Workers Sickened at Cell Phone Plant

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Thursday, Aug 18, 2011  |  Updated 9:07 PM EDT
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Over 50 workers were sickened when two chemicals were accidentally mixed at a cell phone plant in Long Island. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

NBC New York

Over 50 workers were sickened when two chemicals were accidentally mixed at a cell phone plant in Long Island. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

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Dozens of workers had to leave a cell phone plant in Long Island after they were apparently overcome by a chemical used to clean the phones.

Suffolk County police said 54 people were taken to area hospitals when they complained of feeling sick inside the Bohemia, N.Y. factory. Workers reported feeling nauseous and said they were vomiting and having trouble breathing. Two had mild convulsions.

Police said the workers were conscious and alert when the workers were taken to hospitals, and were taken away as a precaution. All 54 workers were treated and stabilized.

One worker, Maria Perez, told NBC New York that the chemical the workers were using was new. It was being used to clean cell phone batteries.

Police said two cleaning agents had been accidentally mixed at the plant. The incident was classified as an industrial accident and reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Communications Wireless Group, LLC is a wireless handset recycler, according to its website. It specializes in green take-back programs, including repair, refurbishment, secure data erasure, reclamation, reuse, resale, and safe disposal.

The company has more than 400 employees and office locations in the Midwest as well as in Hong Kong, Shenzen, and BeiHai, China.

A call to CWG was not immediately returned.

Follow Pei-Sze Cheng at @PeiSzeCheng4NY

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