Mislabeled chemicals trigger illness, evacuation at Oklahoma City factory

At least three workers at Oklahoma City building product manufacturer Macklanburg-Duncan were treated Thursday after they became nauseous when a chemical solution they were mixing started smoking. The building was evacuated.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Published: May 25, 2012

An Oklahoma City business was evacuated Thursday and several workers were treated after a chemical solution started smoking and made people nauseous, firefighters said.

Fire Maj. Tammy McKinney said several workers at Macklanburg-Duncan, 4041 N Santa Fe Ave., were mixing a sodium hydroxide solution about 3 p.m. when the solution started smoking and three workers became nauseous.

The building was evacuated and the three workers were treated by emergency workers.

“We've given them oxygen and their symptoms have gotten better,” McKinney said.

Eight other employees were evaluated by paramedics, she said.

Fire Deputy Chief Marc Woodard said the mixing of mislabeled chemicals caused the situation. None of the workers were taken to the hospital, he said.

Macklanburg-Duncan manufactures building products such as weather stripping, flooring and decorative moldings.

McKinney said the fire department's hazardous materials team is working with the company to determine how to deal with the chemicals.