ATLANTA (AP) – A white powder that sent a scare through the Georgia Capitol complex after two employees complained it made them sick turned out to be a non-hazardous cleaning agent, officials said Monday.

Five people were decontaminated by rescue officials after an employee in the mailroom at the Department of Corrections found the substance stuffed into four or five manilla envelopes in a mailbag that came from a state prison, department spokeswoman Peggy Chapman said.

One employee said his arm itched and his throat became scratchy. Another employee complained of similar symptoms. Both were taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Field tests later determined the substance was calcium phosphate, a cleaning agent, but the substance was taken to a state laboratory for further analysis, Davis said.

Anthrax sent through the mail following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, left five people dead. Since then, officials have been cautious when suspicious powders are detected.


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