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Toxic gas at RPI
TROY -- Law enforcement officals confirm it is suicide by hazardous gas.
"They had a rash of this in Japan back in 2008 with hydrogen sulfide," said Troy Fire Chief Tom Garrett.
Tuesday morning as Troy firefighters suited up in HAZMAT gear after receiving a call from inside a dorm building.
"We had an individual that had put a bag over his head and left a note that he had ingested hyrdogen sulfide," said Garrett.
This student was found by him roommates, who called police. Troy fire chief Tom Garrett says the deceased student may have been inside the room since the weekend, so they couldn't find traces of the gas today.
"It was already gone but the time we got in there. The meters didn't indicate any gas at all," Garrett.
It is an easy gas to make with homemade ingredients, but Plymouth State University chemisty professor Dr. Jeremiah Duncan says you will know if you made the concoction by accident.
"It is toxic in low concentrations, but you can begin to smell it before it becomes toxic," said Duncan.
The smell is similar to rotten eggs. Samaitan Hospital Emergency Room Doctor John Janikas says even a low dose exposure can have negative health effects.
"In low levels it causes more of a respiratory problems ann mucus membrane problems. People will look like they have pink eye. They may get coughing and wheezing, in high concentrations they may get death," said Janikas.
Samaritan treated and released four patients who may have been exposed to the gas. Chief Garrett said they went for precautionary measures.
"They didn't show any symptoms, but were advised to go to the hospital," said Garrett.