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Homemade spray sanitizer sold at 7-Eleven badly burned my son, mom says. Cops seize bottles, issue warning.

NJ.com logo NJ.com 3/10/2020 By Anthony G. Attrino, nj.com

Police in a New Jersey town issued a warning Monday night about a product marketed as “Spray Sanitizer” at a 7-Eleven after mom shared photos on social media saying her son had been burned by the potentially-homemade chemical packaged 3-ounce, mini-sprayer bottles in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

River Vale police were called shortly after 8 p.m. to the 7-Eleven on Rivervale Road after an officer saw the photos “depicting a young boy with apparent burns to his arm and leg,” police Lt. John DeVoe said in a statement.

“From the information that we received, approximately one dozen of the bottles were sold to customers (on Monday),” Devoe said, adding that officers “immediately seized the remaining bottles.”

Township resident Lauren Michele Gehm, 40, said she took her son to a local hospital after he suffered burns from the sanitizer, which she believes was homemade with ammonia in response to coronavirus warnings. The boy suffered first-degree burns, according to nbcnewyork.com.

“We are sitting in the ER with chemical burns due to hand sanitizer loaded with ammonia, prob made in a back ally due to all this hype nonsense,” Gehm wrote on Facebook. “This was sold to a bunch of kids and they innocently sprayed it and now we are here with (my son) in major pain.”

Gehm posted a label from the bottle, showing it includes ingredients like octyl decyl dimethyl ammonium chloride and dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, which can cause severe skin burns, according to several material safety data guidelines.

She told NJ Advance Media her son’s “friend sprayed it on him. My son didn’t put it on himself.”

A woman who answered the phone at the 7-Eleven Tuesday morning said the sanitizer is safe but declined to comment further.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday declared a state of emergency after 11 people have tested positive in the state. Worldwide, nearly 110,000 people have been affected, according to reports. Twenty-four others in New Jersey are under investigation by the state Department of Health, authorities said.

River Vale police said the 7-Eleven matter is under investigation and that the incident was reported to county and state officials.

“Our first priority is to make the public aware that they should not use this item if they purchased it at the River Vale 7-Eleven,” Devoe said. “As far as we know, this issue is limited to the River Vale store at this time.”

Anyone who bought the spray from the River Vale 7-Eleven is asked to call police at 201-664-1111.”

Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at tattrino@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

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