- Associated Press - Monday, July 7, 2014

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A malfunctioning ventilation system is blamed for the build-up of fumes in a lab at the Trinity Campus of the University of Vermont.

Firefighters responded to the campus at 3:30 Monday after a staffer noted an alarm had been activated by a sensor in the lab. The staffer pulled the fire alarm, which evacuated the building and prevented people from coming into contact with the hydrofluoric acid fumes. Nobody was injured.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the chemical is used in refrigerants, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, high-octane gasoline, aluminum and plastics, among other things. Breathing in the fumes can damage lung tissue and cause swelling and fluid build-up in the lungs. It can also cause eye and nose irritation.

The laboratory ventilation system was re-activated, clearing the fumes.

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