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Anthrax Scare: Big Response, Wrong Powder

A Tarrytown resident believed something was suspicious in her Aspirin bottle, but it was likely an artificial sweetener, officials said.

Tarrytown police responded to their first Anthrax scare in years on Oct. 12 at 11:46 a.m., said Lieutenant William Herguth.

A call came in from County Fire Control reporting that an Independence Street resident had contacted the Health Department stating she believed her bottle of Aspirin contained Anthrax.

Officers responded along with Greenburgh PD and County Police, who possess an Anthrax testing machine. The Westchester County Special Operations Unit/Hazmat and Greenburgh Technical Rescue Team were on the scene when Tarrytown police arrived.

Further investigation and testing by Hazmat teams revealed no hazardous materials to be on the scene. The mystery powder was taken to the lab for further confirmation, according to the police report, and the caller was evaluated by Greenburgh medic on the scene. She apparently refused any further medical attention. The final lab report will be sent to Tarrytown PD upon completion.

Herguth explained that the woman in her home found the suspicious “a powdery substance” in her Aspirin bottle. He said it was “not Anthrax, of course” but rather officials speculated it was perhaps “some type of artificial sweetener.”

Herguth didn’t know more of the circumstances surrounding the woman's discovery of the content of the bottle; but he did say this was the first Anthrax scare he had seen here in some years – when the national concern over Anthrax surfaced here in a few false alerts.

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Patricia October 24, 2012 at 03:04 PM
It says the caller was evaluated by the Greenburgh Paramedic, they should have had the caller evaluated by the psychiatric unit.

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