NY cellphone workers sickened in cleaner mishap

August 18, 2011 - 7:20 PM

BOHEMIA, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say two chemical cleaning agents were inadvertently mixed at a New York cellphone business, sickening more than four dozen workers.

The Suffolk County police say 54 workers at CWG Communications became ill Thursday afternoon. They showed symptoms of nausea, vomiting and respiratory distress. Two workers had mild convulsions.

Hazardous material emergency responders responded to the business, which cleans and refurbishes cellphones. Many of the sickened were found on a lawn outside the facility.

Authorities say a new cleaning agent apparently mixed with some residual solution on equipment, causing the reaction. Police Inspector Stuart Cameron says it "appears to be just an accident."

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified. The fire marshal's office is investigating.

A call to the company rang unanswered Thursday.