By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Ten to 11 students at Conneaut Elementary suffered some type of chemical burns suspected to be caused by a cleaning product used on the school’s toilet seats.
An email was sent out to Conneaut parents this morning alerting them to the situation.
Principal Jim Lang explained that on Wednesday, four or five students reported to the school office complaining that the back of their legs and/or backsides were itching. The nurse examined the students and could see nothing more than irritation from where they had been scratching. The students were offered hand lotion, since it was thought the irritation was a result of dry skin.
Then this morning, the school was notified by two parents who reported their children had experienced what appeared to be chemical burns from exposure to a toilet seat. By the end of school today, Lang said a total of 10 to 11 students were reported to have the red raised welts. Most, if not all, of the affected students were at school today, the principal said.
“We immediately began an investigation by contacting the distributor of the cleaning products we use who assured us the product was widely used and safe for the intended purpose of disinfecting hard surfaces including toilet seats. They did suggest this could be a case of cross-contamination of chemicals or cleaning supplies,” Lang wrote to parents in the email.
The directions on the cleaning product suggest that it can be sprayed onto hard surfaces and then left to air dry.
“We immediately closed the bathrooms involved,” the principal said. The facilities were cleaned again with new materials.
“I have instructed our custodial staff to not use it on any surface the students will come in contact with,” Lang said when reached at the end of the school day.
“We will continue to investigate this matter and will take all precautions to continue to provide a safe environment for all of our students,” Lang said, urging that any parents with concerns contact him.