An individual exposed to a substance believed to have been used as an insecticide at a Stallion Springs farm walked into Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley at approximately 12:45 p.m. Thursday, prompting a quarantine within the hospital.
Those who were exposed secondarily were not admitted to the hospital.
There were a total of eight individuals put at risk of contamination, including three other workers at the farm and five people in the hospital.
“To my knowledge, there’s no concern of any more contamination,” said Matt Redstone, an engineer with the Kern County Fire Department.
The individual entered the hospital complaining of feeling ill from contact with a substance, and hospital workers within the immediate vicinity began to complain of feeling ill as well, Redstone said.
Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley said the person who initially came to the hospital and one AHTV employee experienced symptoms.
The hospital, at 115 W. E St., began a quarantine and decontamination protocol while the Kern County Fire Department was on its way. The KCFD was also dispatched to the farm, where they found the additional workers complaining of symptoms. Those three were decontaminated on site with soap and water, Redstone said.
Redstone said the substance is an applicant soap that was sprayed on the plants the night before, and the workers came in contact with it in the morning. The initial patient reported having worked in a greenhouse, a KCFD news release said.
A hazardous materials unit and environmental health were called to the hospital.
It is uncertain whether the workers’ feelings of sickness are even directly tied to the substance, Redstone said.
“They were worrying themselves sick,” Redstone said.
Anyone possibly exposed to or contaminated by a dangerous substance is advised to call 911 and remain in their current location.
“Community members may not be aware that if they are exposed to potentially dangerous substances, it is best for them to call 911 and stay in place until first responders arrive,” Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley President Jeff Lingerfelt said in an Adventist Health press release.
The hospital was partially closed for about two hours while patients were decontaminated and the exposures were contained, according to a KCFD news release.
The name of the farm has not been released, but it is located near the 2600 block of Pellisier Road in Tehachapi, Redstone said.