2 Md. EMS providers, deputy hospitalized after chemical exposure
Hazmat crews responded to the scene and discovered a large amount of the moisture-reducing chemical DampRid
S. Wayne Carter Jr.
The Aegis, Bel Air, Md.
FOREST HILL, Md. — A large amount of the moisture reducer DampRid was responsible for the chemical odor that sent two EMS providers and a sheriff’s deputy to the hospital Tuesday, after they responded to a home in Forest Hill where a man had died, police said.
The cause of death for Steven Ray Price Jr., 36, remains under investigation, said Kyle Andersen, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office. There are no signs of foul play, he said.
Price was found dead in the living room of his trailer on the 2600 block of Chestnut Hill Road. To Andersen’s knowledge, nothing suspicious was located at the residence. Nobody else was home when deputies found Price.
Calcium chloride, the active ingredient in DampRid, can cause skin and eye irritation and can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested, according to OSHA-required safety data sheets for the chemical and the product.
Around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, crews from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company along with Darlington Volunteer Fire Company’s EMS and Harford County EMS called to the Forest Hill house, a few miles north of Route 543, for a report of an adult male in cardiac arrest, said Jenn Chenworth, a spokesperson for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association. A sheriff’s deputy was also dispatched.
Once they arrived, two EMS providers and the sheriff’s deputy entered the house to provide care. They began having reactions to a chemical smell inside and had to leave the house. The deputy called the Harford County Hazmat unit to the scene.
As a precaution, the deputy and EMS workers were taken to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air. All three were released Tuesday night and are “doing OK,” Chenworth said Wednesday morning.
The cause and manner of Price’s death are pending investigation and autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Andersen said.
©2020 The Aegis (Bel Air, Md.)