School Investigated After Chemical Release! (Well, Axe Spray)

Readers — Emergency crews sped to a school in Brooklyn Wednesday after a kid sprayed Axe in room full of sixth graders. EMS kddyhsenff
transported eight students to the hospital,
 according to The NY Daily News (where I used to work!).

Of course, if Axe fumes were really as dangerous as all that, I should be dead. I live in an apartment with my teenage sons. – L.

Watch out! He's got an Axe!

Watch out! He’s got an Axe!


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33 Responses to School Investigated After Chemical Release! (Well, Axe Spray)

  1. Timesnlatte November 1, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    That stuff is really foul . . . Did it get in their eyes? Or did they just smell awful all day.

  2. Earth.W November 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    That’s just too much. This should be parody.

  3. Earth.W November 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    You have to love how their related news link;


  4. Warren November 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Gotta love they state, there was no serious injuries.

    Unless it was used in a pepper spray style, what injuries?

    More school admins that do not need to be teaching.

  5. Travis Wilde November 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Mass psychogenic illness? As a NYC paramedic we usually get one or two a year.

  6. GRS November 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    I did have a classmate in 5th grade who was allergic to Lysol, and many children do have asthma and/or similar breathing disorders, so I can understand a LITTLE caution here. But this has the rancid Axe-like smell of liability hysteria run amok-hysteria in need of being Axed!

  7. Ravana November 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    I wouldn’t mock this one. As someone with severe allergies to the chemicals in colognes and perfumes (heavily perfumed people walking by me can cause my eyes to water and set off coughing and sneezing fits) I can tell you someone filling a room with Axe would swell my eyes shut and send me into a full blown asthma attack, followed by at least a three day migraine.

  8. bbbbarry November 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Wow. They’ve succeeded in making my own 6th-grade school administration look reasonable, balanced, and wise.

  9. Brekke November 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    If there were any asthmatics in the classroom, they were likely some of the kids in the ER. My nephew was using it as deodorant and it got to the point that when we were staying at his house, his big sis and I had to ask him to either stop using it or make sure we were okay being downstairs for awhile because it would set both of us off in asthma attacks every time he sprayed it. That stuff is RIDICULOUSLY bad in the perfume category for setting off asthma.

  10. Steve Cournoyer November 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    So kid walks into a classroom with an AXE….Kidding, call the UN, it’s a chemical weapon attack..

  11. Eliza November 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    In Australia we call Axe Lynx . Must admit when I am teaching the 11 – 13 year olds I have band the use of it in or around the classroom due to the smell of sweat and horrible smelling deodorant, especially when 30 kids are spraying it at once. But seriously calling emergency services is going too far.

  12. Kimberly November 1, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    I’ve vomited before due to someone’s heavy perfume. We had to leave an opera that we were enjoying b/c this lady felt she needed to be smelled from 3 rows away. Perfume odor makes some people very ill, which is b/c it has toxic chemicals in it.

  13. Warren November 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Well Lenore, I didn’t have to wait long, for all the special needs to be brought up. It is a wonder they have made it this far.

    They are totally oblivious to the fact that emergency services were called over the smell, not dozens of kids having seizures and asthma attacks.

  14. oncefallendotcom November 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    So were all these emergency personnel hot women with lots of cleavage? If not the teens should sue for false advertising.

  15. hineata November 2, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Hmm….the way teenage boys smell, it’s a wonder more kids aren’t at A&E when Lynx is NOT sprayed in the classroom.

    I take my son and his mates to basketball away games, and it’s hard to avoid the urge to end it all by crashing into the nearest wall on the way back. Or straight into the sea. Anything to escape the stench 🙂

  16. baby-paramedic November 2, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    I have no idea what it is like in NY, but I will tell you a little tale of Outback Australia, where we like to think of ourselves as hardy folks…

    The highschool. Oh the highschool. Second only to the lockup for ridiculous calls. Called for sneezing, the sniffles, a sore back that was lacking all signs of being sore.
    Child presents to the office “I’m sore, I’m sick, I’m tired”, office then attempts to contact the parents (who usually will be at work and uncontactable). Ambulance is called, because the office staff aren’t trained medical personnel, and therefore are not permitted to use common sense.

    “I’ve got a cold, I’ve got a headache, I sneezed twice, and I can’t go back to class.” Well, I’m not a babysitter, the office can’t keep them. So, off to the hospital they go until their parents can be contacted.

    (If they try this trick too often though we make an agreement with the parents to not transport in such situations, but you need the parents to come to the table to set that up).

  17. Ben November 2, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    Yes some people are oversensitive to some of the ingredients in perfumes. However, as a lab tech, I can’t stand the witch hunt against “toxic chemicals”. With all the rules and regulations that are in place, you couldn’t kill a fly with the stuff in deodorant. Make sure you kniw what you talk about before you slam it.

  18. K. November 2, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    Reminds me of the time someone dropped a bottle of butric acid in our chemistry class. Smells just like vomit– it got in our clothes and all the other kids in the school complained about us for the rest of the day…

    No ER or hazmat crew called, though– this was 1988.

  19. Wendy Constantinoff November 2, 2013 at 6:02 am #

    My daughter nearly ended up in hospital after one of her students sprayed some type of deodorant in her classroom.
    The para medics were called. I think the student was suspended because it was well known that she was asthmatic so it was considered deliberate.

  20. Donna November 2, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    As someone who does get miserably ill from certain perfume smells (yes, Warren, just the smell gives me a migraine-level headache and nausea within seconds), I can see the need to get some of the kids out of the classroom for the rest of the day. I don’t see the need for hospital and doctor’s visits.

    I’m guessing it is what baby-paramedic says. You have a bunch of kids complaining to be ill from the smell. Some are probably legitimately ill from the smell; others jumping on the bandwagon. Parents can’t be reached and they have to do something with them. Personally, I’d rather just go home or even hang in the library, but if my only options are go back into the classroom for the rest of the day or get in an ambulance, I’d get in the ambulance.

  21. JaneW November 2, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Is it rude to spray stuff in people’s faces? Definitely. Can some people be allergic to heavy perfumes? Yes. Did the school totally over-react? YES.

  22. Jess November 2, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    When I was in high school in the late 90’s we had a chemistry teacher who really should have retired 20 years prior (too many experiments with mercury in the 70’s according to her, she was hilarious). We were doing an experiment one day in which a toxic gas could be produced if you mixed the wrong chemicals together in exactly the right way. When some prankster in the hallway sprayed a can of pepper spray, the chemistry teacher pulled the fire alarm and evacuated the entire school, complete with emergency response. We all laughed about her ridiculous overreaction for years afterward…

    Sadly this circus was run by normal administrators and not one crazy old lady.

  23. LTMG November 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Is it my imagination, or do I correctly notice that private schools are underrepresented in overreactions to various events?

  24. lollipoplover November 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    If I could survive driving with grammy and her Youth Dew while she smoked pal mals confined to the back seat of her Mercury…I also remember being overwhelmed by too much Drakkar in the early 90’s.
    Do we declare fragrance counters in department stores hazmat areas now?

    Couldn’t they open a window? To the hospital? Really?

  25. Papilio November 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Well, I’m not allergic or anything, but I do HATE the smell of AXE. To me it’s right up there with garbage and cigarette smoke and possibly decomp. When my brother had that age and used to scent mark himself in the bathroom, I could smell it from behind two closed doors. Could even taste it in the air. Just yuck.
    The only reason I can imagine to chase after an AXE user is to kill and bury him to get rid of that horrible chemical fruit smell.

    Anyway – so, Lenore, do your sons have girlfriends yet…? 🙂

  26. Warren November 3, 2013 at 12:45 am #

    Okay Donna, then we shall add fragrances to the long list of banned items in school. Nuts, wheat, dairy, egg products, and any other item or substance that someone somewhere sometime might possibly, given the exact conditions, may remotely have some sort of adverse reaction to.

    Better yet, kids show up for school, go thru a decontamination shower, dress in school supplied tyvek suits. At the end of the day they reverse the process.

    How do all you people make it thru a normal day, is beyond me.

  27. baby-paramedic November 3, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Quite easy “we people” avoid things, take medications, remove ourselves from situations. We bumble through life much the same as anybody else, just trying to work our way around any issues.
    In my case I am a paramedic and I get car sick. Think about that for a moment. Sometimes I will be sitting backwards in the enclosed space of the ambulance with no fresh air, with horrid smells, my hands full of goodness knows what, on windy dirt roads, going far too quick in an effort to get to definitive care.

    “Us people” deal with things as best we can. Remove our selves when we can, and battle on as best we can if we can’t.

  28. Donna November 3, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Yes, Warren, that is exactly what I said. Everything should be banned. It is totally not even worth the effort to attempt to talk to you.

  29. Cynthia November 3, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    LOL. I wish Leonore would put in a “like” button. The comments are as entertaining to read as the posts.

  30. LadyTL November 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    As someone who can in fact be killed by some perfume, yes I do consider the perfume counters to be dangerous areas and avoid them because I can. I am glad some schools are taking precautions about Axe and their like because most people would consider NOT BEING ABLE TO BREATHE a serious thing. This is really no different then someone who is virulently allergic to peanuts not being exposed to peanuts in the class room.

    I’m sorry people feel hurt by the fact that not everyone is allergy free but perfumes and chemicals are more unaviodable then peanuts or other food items. I only have to be downwind or in a room to be affected and yes even end up in the hospital. The article didn’t say the entire class went to the hospital or the school was shut down so I’m not sure what the issue was beyond gee some kids can be in danger from perfumes.

    As for how I get through the day with my allergies for the snarky person, I don’t. I have limited breathing as I am stuck working with the public and yes suffer health problems from low oxygen intake. You try living you life barely breathing every time you go to work and see how much energy you have for snark afterwards.

  31. LadyTL November 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Oh and as for banning items, how about using some intelligence and if you have a kid in your class that has a severe allergy, just not have the allergen in the class room. It’s not that hard to go without whatever for a school year so you don’t harm your classmate. It doesn’t need to be school or whatever wide.

  32. Emily November 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Let’s imagine for a moment you’re working at the school. You have a series of students who’s eyes are swelling shut, having breathing trouble, and may be turning red from irritation. This looks like a chemical attack. Do you a) have someone investigate to figure out what it was or b) ignore it and tell the kids they’re overreacting since they didn’t die?

    At Wal-mart recently there was someone giving out Axe samples and spraying. I avoided her, tried to anyway, but the smell eventually started causing a reaction (eyes swelling shut, violent sneezing, breathing problems and emergency inhaler.) Once in the fresh air and after my inhaler I was able to relax, but it wiped me out (as a true allergy attack can.) If I had been taken to a nurse’s office it would not have abated (I needed the cold fresh air to help stop it) and I would have had to go home or a hospital if I had been in a school situation.

    When I was in HS they restricted perfumes, colognes, hairspray, etc to the bathrooms. There’s reasons, and it’s not ridiculous to call in experts to figure out what’s causing a chemical reaction.

  33. Emily November 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    And for the record, 8 teens were sent to the hospital. So yeah, I don’t think it’s an overreaction.