Rochester, N.Y., woman dealing with effects of mystery white powder

A Rochester, New York, woman who came in contact with a mysterious white powder that had been sealed in with a dress she had ordered online claims to still be suffering from health problems.

While the substance, which has been determined to not be a biohazard, consisting of polystyrene and calcium carbonate particles, Patricia McBride and her husband believe that a month later she is still suffering from the powder’s after effects. The EnviroVantage company of Epping is expected to send officials to McBride’s house next week to provide a thorough cleaning, reports.

McBride is still concerned there may be long-term health effects as a result of her exposure.

“The scary part of this is that no one can tell me what type of effects these substances have on the body if they’re inhaled,” McBride said, according to

On October 3, McBride received a dress she had ordered from China. She told  that there was an unidentifiable white powder inside. Within an hour of handling the dress, her hands began to itch, and within days she went to the hospital with a swollen, itchy, hot right hand and an itchy left hand with two large welts.

The substance was tested by the regional hazmat team and was found not to be a biohazard. In McBride’s attempt to get the substance tested at a state lab, she was told there was not enough of the substance to get a clear result.

Since the initial contact, additional exposure to the powder in the area she opened the package has led to a fat lip, a swollen throat, swollen tongue and several welts on her head. The state emphasized in a letter to McBride that their investigation is already complete.

“It’s been a real nightmare, real scary,” McBride said, according to “I keep hoping that we find someone who knows something.”