Chemical Spill Reported at Beth Israel Hospital

The Boston Fire Department Hazmat team responded to a chemical spill in the basement at Beth Israel Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

The Boston Fire Department responded to a chemical spill in the basement of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon.

Boston Fire reported its hazmat team was called to the Feldberg Building at 330 Brookline Avenue at 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday for a call of an Ethylene Oxide leak in the basement.

By 12:20 p.m., the Boston Fire Department said that meters were showing negative readings of contamination. 

"Only basement and lobby evacuated," Boston Fire tweeted. "No patients affected. No reported injuries."

Ethylene oxide is a flammable, colorless gas that smells like ether at toxic levels, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is found in the production of solvents, antifreeze, textiles, detergents, adhesives, polyurethane foam, and pharmaceuticals, and smaller amounts are used to sterilizatize surgical equipment in hospitals.

In large amounts, exposure to the chemical can cause to eye pain, sore throat, difficult breathing and blurred vision. Exposure can also cause dizziness, nausea, headache,convulsions, blisters and can result in vomiting and coughing, according to OSHA.

The Boston Fire Department left the scene at 12:30 p.m.

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