The Daily Times
LOUISVILLE, Tenn. — Employees at a Louisville business were victims of a chemical scare Friday after several packages arrived covered with a suspicious white substance.
The Alcoa Fire Department responded to Northgate RV, 3332 Wrights Ferry Road, at 11:43 a.m. after several employees began experiencing a bitter taste in the back of the throat.
Fortunately, the substance turned out to be nonhazardous. Following an investigation by firefighters and Alcoa Police officers, they determined the substance was denatonium benzoate, a chemical with several uses, including as an additive to prevent the ingestion of poisonous liquids.
Alcoa Fire Lt. Steven Owens said they traced the packages to a Knoxville distribution center where a package of the chemical had become damaged and spilled on several packages that were shipped to Northgate RV.
When the substance is inhaled, it causes a bitter taste in the back of the mouth, Owens said.
“Since it wasn’t an environmental or health hazard, we were able to sweep it off into a bag and let the business owner discard of it,” Owens said.
There were six employees at the business experiencing the bitter taste from inhaling the substance. All declined medical treatment.
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