NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Yale officials say a laboratory chemical has been detected in a coffee machine suspected to have caused four people at the university’s medical school to fall ill.

University spokeswoman Karen Peart said Tuesday that independent laboratory tests on a single-service, pod-style coffee machine at the medical school indicated the presence of sodium azide.

She says the substance is commonly used in laboratories as a preservative and that symptoms of sodium azide exposure include headaches, nausea, vomiting and rapid breathing and heart rate.

The university says the coffee machine at the focus of the Feb. 28 incident wasn’t connected to a water source and the surrounding area has been declared safe.

But it’s not yet clear how the substance ended up in the machine. University police are still investigating.

 

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