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Thursday, April 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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CDC: Language barrier caused chlorine gas leak

By Kelly P. Kissel Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a chlorine gas leak at an Arkansas poultry plant last year that sickened nearly 200 people occurred because a worker couldn’t read English.

The CDC said in a report released Thursday that a Spanish-speaking worker at the Tyson Foods plant in Springdale knew not to mix sodium hypochlorite with an acid but couldn’t read the label on a container of chemicals that had been misplaced.

Tyson Foods disputes the report. Spokesman Gary Mickelson says the worker wasn’t Hispanic and that a language issue wasn’t to blame. He didn’t say why the accident happened.

The health agency recommends that U.S. industries take steps to better train workers and says warning labels should be tailored to workers’ languages and educational levels.

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