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Elementary school serves students floor sealant thinking it was milk

Elementary school serves students floor sealant thinking it was milk

Students complained that breakfast tasted bad and was burning their mouths and throats.

Twelve elementary school children enrolled in a summer program at the Sitʼ Eeti Shaanáx̱ Glacier Valley Elementary School drank floor sealant believing it was milk. It was served to students at a childcare program in Juneau, Alaska, on Tuesday. The students were participating in the school's Relationships and Leadership, Learning for Youth (RALLY) program. Students began to complain about the milk tasting bad and burning their mouths and throat after breakfast was served at 8.45 am. The breakfast was served on trays by an outside contractor, NANA Management Services (NMS), an Alaska-based food and facility services corporation.



 

 

According to CNN, Juneau School District said in a statement Wednesday that the school district and NMS staff "immediately followed up by smelling/tasting the milk and looking at the container/label. It was found that the 'milk' served was actually a floor sealant resembling liquid milk. Staff immediately directed students to stop consuming the substance and removed it." Staff removed the remaining product and placed it in the chemical/hazardous storage. The site manager for RALLY, the summer care program, called poison control and notified parents, according to the statement, and "all steps provided by poison control were carefully followed." RALLY provides state-licensed childcare for elementary students ages 5 through 12 and is a partnership with the Juneau School District, according to the district website. An investigation into the incident has been launched with the help of the school district, NMS, the City and Borough of Juneau and the Juneau Police Department. NPR reports that the children ingested Hillyard Seal 341. According to Hillyard's website, "Seal 341 not only enhances the natural colors in hard floors, it protects all floors from dirt, spills, and abrasions that come from heavy traffic."



 

 

In an update, the district stated: Twelve children and two adults each ingested up to 3oz of Seal 341 floor sealant. The RALLY site manager immediately contacted poison control for instructions, which included drinking water and getting medical attention if any discomfort continued. There was a delay in parent notification which was longer than it should have been. This caused families to learn about the situation from other people, which is not best practice. Students were monitored by staff and some students were taken by parents for medical treatment at Bartlett Regional Hospital or their medical provider. Notifications continued Tuesday evening to families of students who did not ingest the chemicals. Symptoms reported included headache, nausea and burning of mouth and throat. As of Wednesday evening, all 12 students are recovering, and some are fully recovered. 



 

 

References:

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/06/16/us/alaska-students-floor-sealant-milk/index.html

https://www.npr.org/2022/06/16/1105644787/alaska-students-drank-floor-sealant-not-milk-breakfast-juneau

https://www.juneauschools.org/en-US

https://b2b.hillyard.com/productdetail/index/grid/wwm/PL~12166,PD~HIL0034100

Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | JGI | Jamie Grill

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