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Burn injury after locker room disinfected with dangerous chemical

Burn injuries are commonly associated with fires and explosions, although Texas readers may be interested to learn about a football team that suffered burn injuries caused by a disinfectant. It was reported that a dangerous disinfectant was recently sprayed in the locker room at a high school in another state, affecting 15 football players. The burn injury of one player was severe enough to necessitate a 3-day stay in hospital, and his mother was apparently considering legal action.

The situation arose when team coaches suspected one player of having a contagious staph infection. Without studying the warning labels on the container, they sprayed the facility and all equipment with Virex II 256. The disinfectant, meant for non-porous surfaces such as walls and floors, was also sprayed on helmets and protective pads that absorbed the chemical. The warning on the label apparently states that irreversible and severe skin burns can be caused by the corrosive chemical.

Players complained of burning skin during practice the following day, but the coaches apparently let the players practice for three hours. There were about 15 players who were affected by the disinfectant, but only some were hospitalized. Parents are also upset because they were not advised about the intended disinfection process, nor were they informed of the name of the chemical that was used. One mother called the center for poison control, but it could not answer questions about the product that caused the burns.

The parents of each child who suffered a burn injury in this unfortunate event may want to pursue recovery of medical expenses. They retain the right to file personal injury claims in a civil court. Texas residents who have suffered any injuries that were caused by the negligence of another party also have the right to file such claims. With accurate documentation of the negligence, a successful presentation of a claim may lead to the court awarding restitution for damages related to the incident.

Source: The Washington Post, "Springbrook football parents fuming after misused disinfectant causes player burns", Isabelle Khurshudyan, Sept. 23, 2014

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