Schaumburg police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 8:14 AM Wednesday to a report of six people feeling sick with headaches and light-headedness to the Michaels store in the Woodfield Green Shopping Center, 1420 East Golf Road Schaumburg, IL. Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report that six people were unloading a truck in a warehouse dock area when they started feeling sick. At least one of the victims experienced vomiting.
Two of the employees were transported to Alexian Brothers Medical Center, and the four other employees signed medical releases.
Firefighters used meters that detect natural gas, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases, but did not detect any abnormal readings. Firefighters also checked to determine if the refrigerator was leaking Freon gas.
At about 10:38 a.m. another employee felt sick and waited outside in front of the store in fresh air for Schaumburg firefighter/paramedics, who immediately responded again. Firefighters also again brought a rescue squad with meters and instruments to detect hazardous materials. This third employee was also transported to Alexian Brothers Medical Center.
After further investigation with Schaumburg health department officals also onsite, attention focused on straw packaging material that was wrapped in plastic. No specific irritant was identified, but officials speculated that some chemical process, insecticide spray or mold on the straw packaging may have caused the illnesses.
As of Wednesday afternoon there was no report of any medical tests that may have confirmed the source of the symptoms. Some employees that were inside the store did not report any symptoms.
After sampling the air in the building, Schaumburg officials did not order the building closed, and the business stayed open. No elevated level hazardous materials response was ordered.
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