Substance found near Mills hospital

A suspicious white, powdery substance was found near the loading dock at the Mills-Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame on Thursday, bringing a team of the county’s hazardous material authorities and a number of firefighters to the scene before the material was found to be harmless hours later.

An employee found the material at the hospital at 7:35 a.m. and fire officials immediately cordoned off the area while hospital officials sent a memo to staff members and patients, explaining that they were not in harms way.

When the Burlingame Fire Department couldn’t figure out what it was, they called the county’s hazardous materials team, said Burlingame’s Battalion Chief Jack Lindecker.

That team ultimately decided it was inert, and called a private hauler to take the material away, he said.

He said lab tests will determine exactly what the material was, but one possibility was silica powder. Silica is found in quartz, sand and glass and is an abundant material on the planet.

It is sometimes used in packing materials, and can be found in small packets in shoe boxes as a drying agent.

It took about two and a half hours for the material to be identified as inert and removed, according to Lindecker.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

A former inmate and a sheriff’s deputy are among the first four members chosen to serve on the newly created Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Years after fight club scandal, Sheriff’s oversight board takes shape

‘We want to promote law enforcement best practices’

More than a thousand people gathered in front of the California Capitol building to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order and demand that the state re-open on May 1, 2020. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Newsom blames ‘right-wing pundits’ for COVID surge

By Emily Hoeven CalMatters Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday placed the blame… Continue reading

Demand for housing in San Francisco, despite high prices and economic effects of the pandemic, continues.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2020)</ins>
Talking about inventory in unprecedented times

Traditional market indicators may not always be what they seem

Most Read