The Hampton VA Medical Center confirmed Monday that a urine sample’s odor that prompted a May 15 evacuation of an entire medical building on its campus was actually vinegar.
Concern first surged early that afternoon due to a pervasive odor that was reportedly emanating from “unknown chemicals” in one of the building’s labs.
The smell weaved its way through the first and second floors of one of the buildings in which hundreds of mental health patients are housed.
Staff and patients were quickly evacuated, and hazmat and fire department personnel from Hampton, Virginia, moved in to investigate the origin of the heinous stench.
The building remained vacant for several hours while air quality was tested.
Initially, it was determined that it was a urine sample causing the odor.
The two employees who handled the sample were given precautionary medical attention after coming into contact.
But in a thankful plot twist for those questioning the thousands of years of dehydration necessary to produce a urine-fueled building evacuation, the pungent liquid that stung the nostrils of all in its vicinity was revealed — after being tested by a lab in Richmond — to be pure vinegar.
An all-clear was given over four hours after the building was first vacated, and the premises was re-opened for business the following morning.
Additional information about the patient will not be made available, according a VA spokesman who cited privacy concerns.
An "A" for determination to pass, perhaps, on the part of the veteran. A staggering “F,” however, for execution.
The list of off-the-wall, innovative methods used by urinalysis test participants to avoid failure is extensive, but it’s a relative certainty the list never included substituting pure vinegar — until now.
Sixty percent of the time, vinegar doesn’t pass for urine, every time.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.