More than a dozen students and two staff members from Paulsboro High School were taken to the hospital on Wednesday, March 18, 2105 after being exposed to dangerous chemical fumes at school. Teachers and students reported that a foul odor had been present in the building all week. On Wednesday morning many began to feel sick. Students and staff were suffering from headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, and a burning sensation in their noses and eyes when the Office of Emergency Management was called to assess the air quality in the school. After conducting air quality tests, emergency management officials advised Paulsboro school officials that it was not safe for anyone to be in the building. School was closed for the reminder of the day.
Paulsboro High School is located adjacent to the Paulsboro Oil Refinery. A spokesperson for the oil refinery said that they were aware of the odor problem in the community, and that it was the result of a vapor leak in a tank containing NAPTHA, a partially refined oil. The oil company released a statement saying that they were in the process of draining the broken tank and working to remedy the situation. Air quality tests were performed periodically throughout the day Wednesday and again Thursday morning. School reopened Thursday morning after officials confirmed that it was safe for students and staff to be in the building.
NAPTHA is classified as a hazardous substance by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services – Occupational Health Services. Exposure to NAPTHA is known to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. People exposed to NAPTHA also experience irritation to their eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Repeated exposure can affect the kidneys and/or nervous system. NAPTHA exposure may result in long-term health problems, including cancer.
This is the second health hazard emergency that has occurred at Paulsboro High School in roughly one month. On February 18th, an emergency asbestos clean-up was ordered at the school after a flood disturbed asbestos floor tiles, putting students and staff at risk for asbestos exposure.
Shein Law helps victims who have become sick after being exposed to dangerous substances, chemicals, or fumes. We fight to ensure that the responsible party is held accountable for putting our client’s health at risk. South Jersey mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law have won multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for people diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer. Contact Shein Law online or call 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Pennsauken, New Jersey to serve clients throughout South Jersey including Gloucester County, Camden County, Burlington County, Salem County and other southern New Jersey counties.