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Custodian hospitalized after chemical exposure

April 15, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — A Colorado College custodian who helped a professor open a can of titanium tetrachloride suffered the most from exposure to the harmful chemical, according to The Gazette.

The custodian, Steve Burt, was hospitalized last week for having trouble breathing, but was in a stable condition, the article stated.

According to the article, the college will be investigating the cause of the incident, though it appears that all security measures were observed by both faculty and staff.

Chemistry Professor Nathan Bower indicated that moisture may have collected on the lid of the container and then reacted with the chemical, making it "extremely volatile," the article noted.

"The problem was not how the chemical was stored, but rather how the container was opened," said Bower.

Seven staff members and six students were sent to the hospital on Wednesday, with 12 people being treated and released, the article added.

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