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Phosphoric acid sickens 2 at JFK airport post office

By Susan Candiotti, CNN
updated 6:08 PM EDT, Sun August 11, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Package "determined to be beauty supplies"
  • Two Customs employees decline medical attention, officials say
  • The phosphoric acid was found in a package originating from China

New York (CNN) -- Two workers at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport post office were exposed to phosphoric acid Sunday from a package that originated from China, a law enforcement official said.

The package was identified after workers smelled an odor emanating from it, the official said.

A hazardous response team from the FBI responded to the airport "out of an abundance of caution," said Peter Donald, a spokesman for the FBI in New York.

The product was identified as organophosphate and secured by Port Authority police. The package was contained to the post office, and airport operations were not affected, the official said.

Donald said the package "was determined to be beauty supplies."

The two workers -- identified by another law enforcement official as Customs and Border Protection employees -- declined medical attention.

Phosphoric acid is a colorless liquid with a syrupy consistency used as an acidifying agent to give colas their flavor.

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