BELFAST, Maine — A chemical spill in the pharmacy of the Hannaford supermarket closed the store Thursday afternoon and again Friday morning.
There were no injuries although a few employees complained of respiratory irritation.
The incident occurred early Thursday afternoon when a small amount of phenol spilled, according to Peter Blanchard of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website phenol is used in medicinal products such as ear and nose drops, throat lozenges and mouthwashes. Exposure to phenol is highly irritating to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, according to the EPA.
As a precaution, Hannaford management closed the store and contacted the Belfast Fire Department, Blanchard said. The fire department, in turn, contacted the DEP to have a representative respond with air quality monitoring equipment.
The spill was cleaned up and the air ventilated.
The DEP field worker left the scene at about noon Friday and the store reopened early in the afternoon.
Telephone calls to Hannaford’s corporate office in Scarborough and the fire department were not returned Friday.