Arsenal tests come up negative

(May 20, 2004) — (White Hall-AP) -- Officials say an analysis should be complete next week on what caused a worker at the Pine Bluff Arsenal to break out in a rash after handling containers from Kuwait. The matter is being investigated by the arsenal and a team from the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The arsenal says tests for the presence of biological or chemical agents came up negative Wednesday. Since the incident May twelfth, no one has been working in the area where the employee developed the rash. Officials are taking samples from the surface of materials in the area and from the air, she said. The 39-year-old worker developed a rash, itching and shortness of breath after doing an inventory of unopened boxes in metal containers used to transport military supplies. The paramedics who took the worker to Jefferson Regional Medical Center at Pine Bluff experienced similar symptoms. All three were decontaminated at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.