A dozen children and two adults at an Alaska elementary school drank floor sealant they thought was milk at breakfast after a mix-up of containers, school officials said Wednesday.
The children at Sitʼ Eeti Shaanáx̱ Glacier Valley Elementary School in Juneau complained of burning sensations in their mouths and throats and said the milk tasted bad after being served on Tuesday, the school district said in a statement.
Workers with NANA Management Services, which served the liquid, discovered along with school officials that the milk was “actually a floor sealant resembling liquid milk,” the school district said in its statement. “Staff immediately directed students to stop consuming the substance and removed it.”
One of the dozen affected students sought medical treatment, two others were picked up from school, and school officials immediately contacted poison control, according to the district's statement. The children in the breakfast day care program at the school range in age from 5 to 12.
The floor sealant is a milky substance that also comes in a large plastic bag like the milk and is stored in cardboard boxes, Superintendent Bridget Weiss told The Associated Press.
The Juneau police are investigating how the bags of the two substances got mixed up.
“We don’t know how that happened, but they were all put on the same pallet,” Weiss told the AP. “That pallet was delivered, and the assumption was that it was milk because that’s what we thought was being delivered.”
"When NMS became aware of the incident, we immediately dispatched our safety team to Juneau," NANA Management Services said in a statement sent to NBC News. "We are in the midst of a comprehensive investigation that will look at every contributing factor to determine exactly what happened and to identify potential safety measures."
Weiss said the sealant has a low ingestion risk due to school standards about chemicals in the building and the students "are doing fine" other than a few upset stomachs.