Ron O’Brien, a spokesman for Life’s parent company Thermo Fisher Scientific – told BioPharma-Reporter.com that the “injured employee was taken to a local hospital and is being treated for lacerations.”
Earlier reports described the incident as an “explosion” resulting from the mixing of methyl iodide and picoline, however, according to O’Brien “the incident was in fact a chemical reaction restricted to one area of the facility and was totally contained.”
He declined to name any of the reactants involved but did say the firm follows “all recommended safety guidelines regarding the handling of chemicals at the site.”
O’Brien reiterated that: “The reaction did not result in the release of any toxic substances and did not pose a threat to other employees, the surrounding community, or the environment.”
The Eugene facility - which was set by florescent dye maker Molecular Probes in 1975 – develops “polymeric materials with the goal of developing novel luminescent materials for use in flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy” according to a job ad on the firm’s Linkedin page.
The site was sold to Invitrogen in 2003 before being sold to Invitrogen, which merged with Applied Biosystems in 2008 to create Life Technologies. Thermo Fisher acquired the site when it bought Life for $13.6bn earlier this year.