Environmental investigators say they found pieces of habanero peppers on a school playground after seven students were sent to the hospital complaining of skin and eye irritation.
Jefferson County schools spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said Tuesday school employees found pieces of about six habanero peppers scattered in the wood chips around play equipment at Jefferson County Open School, which has about 500 students in grades K-12.
Setzer said it isn't known at this time how or when the peppers got on the playground. The peppers are so hot people handling them wear gloves.
About two dozen students and a teachers' aide had to be decontaminated on Monday and the school was closed Tuesday so playground equipment and school surfaces could be wiped clean. The school is expected to reopen on Wednesday.