A scary situation last week at an out-of-state IHOP restaurant sent more than 50 customers and employees out into the parking lot as a cloud of gas filled the restaurant from the dishwasher. Nine people were hospitalized and were treated for inhalation injuries from what was later determined to be chlorine gas. An employee had mixed chlorine bleach with a product that contained phosphoric acid, started the dishwasher, which then created the toxic cloud of gas.
Chlorine gas has a strong odor and can cause eye irritation and respiratory problems and individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions could experience more serious symptoms.
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