Advertisement

First responders: Man ingests preservative chemical found in airbags

First responders: Man ingests preservative chemical found in airbags
Rescue units dispatched for an overdose call in Annapolis discovered a man who ingested a toxic chemical on Thursday, an Annapolis fire spokesman said. (Mike Hugg Media / Courtesy Annapolis Fire Department)

Rescue units dispatched for an overdose call in Annapolis discovered a man who ingested a toxic chemical on Thursday, an Annapolis fire spokesman said.

Anne Arundel and Annapolis fire personnel who responded to an overdose call in the 900 block of Bay Ridge Road around 5 p.m. found a man in his vehicle who had ingested a “white, powdery chemical substance.”

Advertisement

It appeared the man mixed the chemical with water and drank it, spokesman Ken White said.

The Annapolis hazmat team identified the substance as sodium azide, “a rapidly acting, potentially deadly chemical that exists as an odorless white solid,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sodium azide is commonly used as an active ingredient during airbag deployment and as a preservative in hospitals and labs, the CDC says.

The man was transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center and was in critical condition as of 8 p.m. Thursday. White said the fire department does not know how the man obtained sodium azide.

All fire personnel and hospital staff in direct contact with the patient were decontaminated, including the disposal and changing of their uniforms, White said.

Advertisement
Advertisement