back to article SCARY SPICE: Pumpkin air freshener sparks school evacuation

A high school in Baltimore, USA, was evacuated this week after a pumpkin spice air freshener made four people ill and triggered a hazardous materials scare. Cristo Rey Jesuit High School was emptied out Thursday and searched by police after they got a call that two students and two adults had gotten sick after inhaling strong …

  1. Lee D Silver badge

    "After the break, we'll be bringing you the story of the Lush store that was shut down as a chemical health hazard. Keep watching."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if it was done as a trick or treat?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      It might have started of as a trick, but the kids got to leave school early so it turned into a treat!

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Stop! These puns are too much. I wannabe ill. Goodbye!

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Posh Spice

        Enter the luxurious world of Victoria Beckham with the beautifully floral scent of Intimately. The romantic aroma of fresh flowers dominates this fragrance, with top notes of citrusy bergamot and pure rose petals giving way to sweet tuberose and lily.

        Sorry to disappoint - it says here "We no longer sell this product."

        https://www.tesco.com/direct/intimately-beckham-for-her-75ml-edt/210-2961.prd

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Coat

    It wasn't an unfortunate concentration of Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes?

    Lord knows what they really put in those!

    (Mine's the yellow hazmat suit, with oxygen tank)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It wasn't an unfortunate concentration of Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes?

      Sugar, absolute fuck-tonnes of sugar....

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: It wasn't an unfortunate concentration of Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes?

        High Fructose sugar at that... Ugh!

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: It wasn't an unfortunate concentration of Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes?

          table sugar is 50% fructose anyway. High fructose corn syrup is..... 50% fructose.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: It wasn't an unfortunate concentration of Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes?

          "High Fructose sugar at that"

          or just a bottle of corn syrup

  4. redpawn Silver badge

    Impossible!

    Air freshener cleans the air. Doesn't it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Impossible!

      I agree, something smells about this story but I'm not going to fall for it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Impossible!

      Yes it does. Too bad the word "fresh" has no legally defined meaning...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Impossible!

        "Too bad the word "fresh" has no legally defined meaning..."

        It is interesting that Swedish has a nuance for "fresh" that is lacking in English. They have two words that differentiate something like "fresh fish" from something that is pleasantly "fresh smelling".

        Google Translate gives "färsk" which I believe is the former - but it doesn't give me the other word which I think is "friska". The Swedish translation of "Asterix in America" used the two words for a pun. The "fresh" fish for the village shop came the long way via Paris suppliers - rather than being caught in the village's nearby sea.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Impossible!

          @AC

          The "fresh" fish for the village shop came the long way via Paris suppliers

          Very Unhygienix. Must be full of Bacteria

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Impossible!

        "They should be banned, and replaced by proper multi-stage filter and plasma air cleaners, "

        The best smell killer for a toilet is an extractor fan linked into the cistern and sucking fumes directly out of the bowl. Things like http://www.panfan.com/ (there are other systems but this is amongst the simplest to implement if you don't have a syphon valve - syphons need a tad more tweakery but are doable too.)

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Impossible!

          Pan fan? A extraction system inside the toilet bowl? Doesn't the shit ever hit the fan?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Impossible!

        They are especially nasty in small areas like toilets, chock! They should be banned,

        We need to teach people to enjoy biological aromas, that'd fix it. Get them to savour that bile-laden whiff of really loose diarrhoea, the sophisticated whiff of mercaptans and sulphides in a rich, hot fart. The smell of stale vomit in the back of a cab, the exquisitely deep, cumin like scent of a cab driver who hasn't bathed for ten days, the heady, distinctive niff of dog shit on a nearby shoe. The ripe, cheese-ammonia-leaf mould pong of sweaty feet. The distinctive beef + cheese + shit hum of a sweaty, unwashed arse crack (talking of which, was anybody here a commuter out of Marylebone in the mid 2000s, and do they remember "The High Wycombe Sweater", who stank the front carriage out with that distinctive fragrance?).

        If we can get people to ENJOY these, then there will be no need for hazardous artificial odours.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: If we can get people to ENJOY these

          My parents encouraged me to breathe deeply if the local farmer was muck spreading, or if the tar lorry was working in the area. Told me it was good for me. Mind you, I do love the country smells now and can enjoy the air when others around me are almost heaving.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If we can get people to ENJOY these

            "My parents encouraged me to breathe deeply if the local farmer was muck spreading"

            Like what I tell the nippers after I've dropped a really rich miasma. "Breathe deep" says I, "there's more vitamins there'n you'll of 'ad all week". And they reply "Uggghhh! Dad, you're disgusting!.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Infnords

        There are some perfumes that make me sneeze (my nose feels like somebody has pushed pins in it).

        I don't know what the offending compound is, but I avoid the perfume counters in department stores; needless to say the wife does not get perfume as a present.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: Impossible!

        "on-VOC extracts while the cleaner is working."

        Nice of you to consider the needs of your domestic servant. Mexican or East European?

        1. Funkymunky

          Re: Impossible!

          Our domestic is local, as was her predecessor. My wife thought a replacement would be hard to find, but a quick post on Facebook had over 30 applicants.

          Should have employed someone decades ago...no way I am going back to doing the housework.

      5. PNGuinn
        Mushroom

        Re: Impossible!

        "with maybe some natural vegetation non-VOC extracts while the cleaner is working."

        Well, if you will use vegetarian toilets ...

        Now, there's little to beat something like the afterglow of, say, a nice hot egg and lamb curry ...

    4. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Impossible!

      Air freshener cleans the air. Doesn't it?

      Pumpkin has got to rank a little more popular than cauliflower or cabbage - at least in theory.

      1. Bob Wheeler

        Re: Impossible!

        Back in the 70's and 80's I always thought that NHS hospitals stank of boiled cabbage

  5. Keef

    The Grand pumpkin takes its revenge...

    Someone must have been making pumpkin bread or carving Halloween pumpkins.

  6. Oldfogey
    Devil

    Last year after Halloween Lidl were selling off pumpkins for 20p. Bought a stack and made spiced pumpkin wine - time to try it and see whether to do it again this year.

    Today saw a store selling pumpkin muffins. Best before 10 October!

    1. redpawn Silver badge

      Last year

      They should be about perfect for the 31st. How many did you purchase for your trick-or-treaters?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Today saw a store selling pumpkin muffins. Best before 10 October!"

      I was Aldi on Friday and they have Xmas puddings and Xmas mince pies on sale. I assume the best before, at least on the mince pies, is well before Xmas otherwise they must be just chemical recreations or look-a-like mince pies.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        RE:Today saw a store selling pumpkin muffins. Best before 10 October!"

        A lot of winter foods contain natural preservatives (vinegar and shit loads of sugar) and are also quite dry. All these thing slow bacterial action and mean that they will last a long time even without refrigeration. My mum uses to panic if the Xmas cake was not done by August. I've had 2 year old xmas pud and its no worse than a fresh one. A good chutney takes at least a year to mature.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE:Today saw a store selling pumpkin muffins. Best before 10 October!"

          " I've had 2 year old xmas pud and its no worse than a fresh one. "

          On the contrary they have to improve with age - if they are made with decent ingredients. Shops now sell "12 month matured" Xmas puddings. My friend often gives me home made ones that have been matured for two years. Similar maturing is needed with Xmas cake.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Alien

        Mince Pies

        My local Tesco has been selling them since early september.

        All I need now is the cheesy christmas songs being playes as musak while we shop. Before the end of the month I recon.

        Some TV channels are already outputting Chistmans films 24/7 and have been for several weeks. Already saw a listing for 'It's a wonderful life'. no, I didn't watch it.

        I refuse to have anything to do with Christmas until 1st Dec.

        1. Tromos
          Coat

          Re: Mince Pies

          I refuse to have anything to do with Christmas until Boxing day.

          Mine's the one with the bag of humbugs in the pocket.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I assume the best before, at least on the mince pies, is well before Xmas [...]"

        I made the mistake last year of buying mince pies from Aldi in early December - getting ready for the local food bank's Xmas special appeal. Not only were they very close to expiry - some packs were two weeks past their "best" date. They didn't refresh their stock until it was almost too late for the food bank's last Xmas collection.

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      @oldfogey

      Good one - pumpkin wine is pretty good. Not tried the spice one.

      For all you alcoholics out there Cyril Berry's 'First Steps in Winemaking' will help you get pissed all year round and is cheaper than the demi-john you need to get started.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Herby Silver badge

    Pumpkin spice??

    Wasn't that one of the Spice Girls. At least that is what I thought.

    p.s. I really don't like pumpkin for eating AT ALL. They are bet for carving weird faces to scare people. Candles for illuminating optional. Oh, yes, they don't last long so you do it a couple of days before. Be sure to throw away sometime on November 1.

  9. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Pumpkins?

    So is this a Harry Potter or just a US influence...?

    When I were a kid, we had to make-do with turnip. At least for carving, I can't see anyone starting their day with a tall glass of turnip juice (unless it's their final day), or make anything (except maybe enemies *) with turnip muffins.

    * Baldrick might love you though...

    1. elkster88

      Re: Pumpkins?

      "When I were a kid, we had to make-do with turnip. "

      Luxury!

      We had to make do with Turnip Helper™, without the turnip.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pumpkins?

        No Turnips?

        Luxury.

        When I were a lad we had no carrots, no parsnips and no cabbage. We were the true anti-thesis of luxury.

        That said we did have peas.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Pumpkins?

          When I were a lad we had no carrots, no parsnips and no cabbage. We were the true anti-thesis of luxury.

          That said we did have peas.

          There'd at least be novelty value in, if not a few guineas for a good boy who could carve halloween masks from garden peas....

          Trying the same trick with carrots or parsnips would likely result in inappropriate results...

        2. Spudley

          Re: Pumpkins?

          No Turnips?

          Luxury.

          When I were a lad we had no carrots, no parsnips and no cabbage. We were the true anti-thesis of luxury.

          That said we did have peas.

          Bringing it back on topic, I heard that peas are going to be banned for halloween. The witches won't allow them.

          Because, you know, there's no peas for the wicked.

          1. Pedigree-Pete

            Re; Spudly pun.

            Where's the "groan" icon? PP

  10. STrRedWolf
    Facepalm

    And badly sourced.

    The report pointed to a CBS network affiliate... which isn't in Baltimore. It pulled the copy from the Baltimore CBS station, WJZ.

    Yes, I've sent a correction notice in. I bet the Reg hacks are sleeping off their hangovers...

  11. Ernie Mercer

    "Air fresheners" are nothing of the sort. They add perfumes and fragrances to the air that can be toxic to some people (me).

    1. An nonymous Cowerd

      air-freshener = increased asthma

      I seem to recall from 'A'-level chemistry, that some of the 'air-freshener' fragrances are extracted from petroleum in the same factories as pesticides and fertilizers;

      they allegedly contain phthalates (DEP, DBP) and other endocrine disruptors';

      have been tested as subliming 1,4-dichlorobenzene (1,4-DCB) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,4-Dichlorobenzene (febreze? - blocks your nose function!);

      release nano-particles of ???$undefined into your local environment;

      typically make asthmatic kids WORSE

  12. Dave 32

    Pumpkin Pie Spice

    Don't forget that pumpkin pie spice is a mixed spice, typically consisting of Cinnamon and Nutmeg, perhaps with a few other spices thrown in (Ginger, Cloves).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin_pie_spice

    Then, remember that Nutmeg is a hallucinogen!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutmeg#Psychoactivity_and_toxicity

    I had a buddy who ate a small spice can of Nutmeg one weekend. He said he was seeing pink elephants floating around the room for the next week.

    Do you really want your kids snorting the stuff?!?

    Dave

  13. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah?

    Nauseating is right. Drop into any craft store this time of year and the stench is overpowering. That, and the stink of "christmas spices" give me pounding headaches within minutes.

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