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Gazette Premium Content Habanero peppers found in Colorado school playground where kids had mystery reaction

Associated Press Updated: April 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Associated Press Updated: April 8, 2014 at 12:42 pm • Published: April 8, 2014

Six habanero peppers are being blamed for Monday afternoon's haz-mat situation at a Lakewood school. At about 1 p.m. Monday a skin reaction sent seven students from Jefferson County Open School to hospitals, and about two dozen others were decontaminated on site before the school was...

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DENVER — Environmental investigators say they found pieces of habanero peppers on a school playground after seven students were sent to the hospital complaining of skin and eye irritation.

Jefferson County schools spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said Tuesday school employees found pieces of about six habanero peppers scattered in the wood chips around play equipment at Jefferson County Open School, which has about 500 students in grades K-12.

Setzer said it isn't known at this time how or when the peppers got on the playground. The peppers are so hot people handling them wear gloves.

About two dozen students and a teachers' aide had to be decontaminated on Monday and the school was closed Tuesday so playground equipment and school surfaces could be wiped clean. The school is expected to reopen on Wednesday.

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