USC student exposed to chemical in hazmat incident

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LOS ANGELES, CA — A graduate student at the University of Southern California Stauffer Pharmaceutical Sciences Center was exposed to a small amount of a highly toxic chemical Saturday evening and she and firefighters had to be decontaminated along with two other students, authorities said.

The exposure happened just before 7:30 p.m. at 1985 East Zonal Ave. on the USC Health Campus, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

A 24-year-old woman sustained eye exposure to a small amount of Propargylamine, a highly toxic chemical, Humphrey said. A 27-year-old man and another 24-year-old woman were in the vicinity of the exposed woman but not directly exposed to the chemical, he said.

“LAFD Hazmat experts accessed the scene and worked swiftly with other LAFD responders to carefully decontaminate all three patients, who were transported conscious and alert to a nearby hospital,” Humphrey said.

“No escalating or off-site hazards were identified,” he said. “The site was secured and returned to the control of County Health Hazmat and USC Hazmat officials.”

It was unclear what led to the exposure.

Propargylamine is used in treating such conditions as neurodegenerative disease, dementia, affective or mood disorders, drug dependence and memory loss, among others, according to Google Patents.

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