Workers at New Balance in Skowhegan wait outside the factory Thursday as multiple agencies respond following a reported chemical exposure that sent at least five to the hospital. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Investigators plan to try again Monday to find clues of what caused an unknown chemical exposure that sent five New Balance factory workers in Skowhegan to the hospital Thursday.

The New Balance factory workers were released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.

Skowhegan Capt. Rick Caldwell said Fire Chief Shawn Howard and New Balance will organize a further investigation Monday morning at the shoe-making factory.

“They’re going to do some follow-up with further testing, working with the New Balance people and go in there and do some monitoring and checking to figure it out,” Caldwell said.

Multiple agencies, including the Sappi paper mill special response team, arrive Thursday at a reported chemical exposure incident at the New Balance factory in Skowhegan. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

The chemical 2,5-Dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine, otherwise known as a “DOC,” may be the culprit, as it emanates from the glue used to put soles on shoes, according to Caldwell.

“Because they use this glue, there’s obviously some DOCs that come off, but for some reason, evidently, there was higher levels yesterday and they’re thinking that’s the reason,” Caldwell said. “At this point, it’s going to be more of an investigation or follow-up to see what happened.”

Caldwell said the factory has a good ventilation system and factory workers are safe. Around 70 employees were decontaminated before leaving the scene and given gowns to wear.

“All it showed are DOCs,” Caldwell said. “With all the testing we did there, there was nothing other than just the DOCs, which is normal when using the glue and products that adhere the soles to the shoes.”

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