Boston, MA personal injury – Six people poisoned at Harvard University

Boston, MA personal injury – Six people poisoned at Harvard University


Legal news for Massachusetts personal injury attorneys. Six people became sick after drinking coffee at the Harvard laboratories.

Massachusetts personal injury attorneys- Six people got sick after drinking single-serve coffee tainted with sodium azide at Harvard University Medical School

Boston, MA—Officials at Harvard University Medical School announced they are increasing security measures at its laboratories after six people may have been deliberately poisoned. A memo released on Friday, October 23, 2009 revealed sodium azide was present in the coffee, which made six people sick on August 26th in the research building as reported by WCVB.

On August 26th, six scientists and students drank the coffee from the single-serve coffee machine located by the pathology lab in Harvard’s New Research Building, and fell ill. All six people reported they felt dizzy, and experienced low blood pressure after consuming the coffee. In a memo released to the Harvard medical school students, it stated they found a potentially lethal chemical identified as sodium azide. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) sodium azide is an odorless white solid chemical, which can cause rapid breathing, dizziness, and nausea if ingested. All six of the affected people were transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for treatment. One person reportedly became unconscious from exposure to the chemical. It is believed no one has suffered any long-term damages from the poison.

Harvard University officials are still trying to determine if the coffee poisoning was an unintentional or deliberate action. The Harvard memo stated, “We are in the process of installing additional security cameras throughout our buildings, and we are strengthening the security systems that manage access to the laboratories during both normal business hours and off hours.” Officials with the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Boston Public Health Commission are conducting a full investigating into the poisoning.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Massachusetts personal injury attorneys.

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