Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Exposure to chemical fumes from evidence leaves police officers ill

Improper storage and escaping fumes put
officers in evidence rooms at risk.
The risks for those working in law enforcement don’t stop at the street level – they can lurk in evidence rooms and exhibit centers where old drugs, chemicals and other materials are stored.

The story of two Australian police officers who got sick after being exposed to toxic fumes is an extreme example of what can happen when inadequate health and safety measures are in place.

The two policemen were asked in March 2009 to perform a drug audit in the Sydney Police Centre’s drug exhibit center.

The room was about 4 x 5 meters big, not ventilated and was crammed with drugs and other chemicals up to 15 years old.

The officers walked in without wearing protective equipment and were hit with the toxic fumes instantly.

Three years later, they are unable to work and allege they were not given any training, special equipment or instructions.

The officers claim they were exposed to old methamphetamine in a particularly toxic exposure incident. Not only did they develop severe headaches, coughing, burning sensation in nose and throat and other symptoms during the drug audit, but their health continued to deteriorate over time, they say.

They are suing the police force for dozens of negligent acts and more than 50 breaches of the duty of care.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Remove airborne chemicals with carbon air cleaners

It is a fact of work-life that the drugs and evidence collected from various cases will have to be stored somewhere, often for a long time.

The right air cleaners can help remove
dangerous chemicals, fumes and particles.
In evidence rooms and other such rooms, the chemical fumes, aspergillus mold and other toxins emitted by the evidence can cause very serious health effects.

Along with adequate health and safety measures, a good ventilation system and safe storage systems, a portable activated carbon + HEPA air cleaner can help provide cleaner and healthier air.

Electrocorp has designed air cleaners for law enforcement and evidence rooms that can remove airborne chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, mold spores, mycotoxins, particles, dust, bacteria, viruses and other contaminants.

The air cleaners feature some of the largest adsorbent surface areas for gaseous pollutants and they are designed to work around the clock for reliable air cleaning.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.
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