Friday, May 15, 2009

What's that smell??

SAN JOSE, Calif. - An office worker cleaning a fridge full of rotten food created a smell so noxious that it sent seven co-workers to the hospital and made many others ill.

Firefighters had to evacuate the AT&T building in downtown San Jose on Tuesday after the fumes led someone to call 911. A hazmat team was called in.

What crews found was an unplugged refrigerator crammed with moldy food.

Authorities say an enterprising office worker had decided to clean it out, placing the food in a conference room while using two cleaning chemicals to scrub down the mess.

The mixture of old lunches and disinfectant caused 28 people to need treatment for vomiting and nausea.

Authorities say the worker who cleaned the fridge didn't need treatment — she can't smell because of allergies.

I'm a big allergy sufferer....have been for quite some time. In fact, I once had a sinus infection for 6 years straight. For real. They'd give me drugs....I'd take them all. Things would seem good, and then a week or two later, BAM, another sinus infection.

I finally broke down and went to an allergist a number of years ago, and he said I most likely never got rid of it.

During those 6 years, my sense of smell was next to nothing. After the allergy shots my allergist put me on started working, and my sense of smell came back....I arrived at one conclusion.

I didn't miss it. Not one bit. Really....take it away again please.

There are some things I would love to smell hubby wearing Obsession, baking bread, and black permanent markers. But, for the most part, the world, smells. :-)

But, even having said all that, a smell that puts 7 people in the hospital, and has 28 treated for vomiting and nausea?? And she can't smell it because of allergies??

Whew doggie...them are some allergies. (hehe)

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Brook said...

That is crazy-I'd a just thrown out the fridge. When I was pregnant my sense of smell was so heightened it was ridiculous. And sickening. There are many things I'd just as soon never smell again. 6 years is a long time to have a sinus infection.


Nej said...

How long had that fridge sat unplugged with food in it? And what does the rest of this office look like? I guess I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that in a group of at least 28 people in that office (probably more in total) one thought "wow, we should empty that fridge out, it's not plugged in."

Maybe I'm spoiled, everyone here keeps a close eye on things in our fridge. If it's been there too long, it either gets tossed, or inquiries are made.

For a while, I worked in a real estate relocation office...and brought in a slim fast shake every day for the same container, every day. Anyway, one day I went to get it out for lunch, and it was gone. I was told it had been in there too long, and they threw it away. No one noticed that it was there every morning, but gone every afternoon. :-)

Nej said...

Yes, 6 years was a long time. A long, miserable time. It got to where I didn't even notice the sinus infection symptoms, I'd grown used to them.

You have NO IDEA how good I felt when it was actually gone. I was in hog heaven for weeks and weeks.

Although it was like what I imagine a blind or deaf person feels, when the missing sense is returned to them. Sensory OVERLOAD!!! I actually wished the stuffy nose would come back, everything smelled sooo strongly. :-)

Cowguy said...

From the standpoint of finding a 2 day dead cow in August... I'd pay 100 bucks for the no smell malady.

Nej said...

@ Cowguy, Two Day Dead Cow. Do you think Yankee Candle has that for a summer scent? Ick!!!


Brook said...

Cowguy-how 'bout the smell of burning cow-the accepted method of disposing of black leg infected beasts? That weren't no picnic neither. I had to break out my hayseed accent for that one ;)

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I'm wondering if there was something released from the disinfectant...chlorine maybe...that caused all this. Rotting stuff puts out a lot of amines, and amines react with bleach to release chlorine gas. In small enough amounts, that could cause people to get sick.

But then again, I'm probably talking out my rear end.

Nej said...

No mjenks, you're not. They mention the cleaning products she used being part of the issue, for sure!! I don't know if it was the mixing of products themselves, or the mixing of one product and the rotting food. Maybe a little of both?? :-)

mo.stoneskin said...

Serves them right I say, keeping their fridge in such a state.

Nej said...

@ mo - we all know good and well there was on office pool, betting on when the fridge would be opened, and who the brave do-gooder would be. :-)

Phat Mama said...

I can think of a heap of things I would rather not smell.. whoo yeah, share your allergies!