MADISON, Ind. (WAVE) - City leaders and school officials are investigating in Madison following numerous trips to the emergency room that appear to be vaping related.
School and health officials said a total of a dozen teens and two school staffers have been sent to the emergency room this month. Madison Mayor Bob Courtney called it “a public health situation.”
Late in the day on Wednesday, school officials released a breakdown of numbers that make it appear some of the same students may have been involved on different days.
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Courtney said Tuesday that three students and two adults from Madison Consolidated High School went to the hospital after coming into contact what what’s believed to be a tainted vaping device, and Homeland Security was called in to do air quality tests.
In a letter that went home to parents on Tuesday, the principal told parents a vaping device was found in a classroom near this area of the school under the construction. Those two adults and three students came into the area around the device and became ill and were sent to the emergency room.
“We want to know what’s making some of our students and adults ill,” Courtney said. “We want to get to the bottom of it.”
Courtney said he believes those air quality tests cleared construction from causing the sickness. He added that most likely, chemically-altered vaping cartridges are to blame.
“Anybody can come into contact, perhaps touching it, or inhaling the plume of the smoke or the vapor that’s coming from the device,” Courtney said.
The mayor said from the internet to the black market, they want to know where the tainted vapes are coming from, as schools and many public places could be at risk.
Courtney also said students will not get in trouble, and information can also be given anonymously.
“We want to make sure people feel comfortable bringing forward that information that’s going to be the primary way we can attack the issue, make sure it’s isolated, and make sure it doesn’t make anybody else ill,” Courtney said.
Courtney urged parents to talk to their children, adding that anyone with information should call Madison police or the school superintendent’s office.