Thirteen inmates were taken to a hospital Tuesday afternoon after they were exposed to some fumes from a construction material at Berkeley County's jail, a sheriff's official said.

The incident was reported around noon in the Hill-Finklea Detention Center at 300 California Ave. in Moncks Corner.

Chief Deputy Rick Ollic of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said some county maintenance workers were putting some caulking in an area of the jail with cells.

It gave off a vapor that caused some respiratory issues, nausea and skin irritation among 11 inmates, Ollic said. They all were taken to a Moncks Corner Medical Center, where they were treated. They were later taken back to the jail, he added.

After that initial wave of patients, two more inmates were sickened by mid-afternoon and also taken to the hospital.

"It's no riot," Ollic said about the ordeal. "It was nothing like that."

He said, however, that the sealant should have been used only in well-ventilated areas.

"But it wasn't," Ollic said.

County spokeswoman Kace Smith said the inmates had suffered a "mild reaction" during routine maintenance at the facility.

"Officials will assess detention center service protocols to determine an alternate method of routine maintenance," Smith said in a statement. "The safety, health and security of individuals incarcerated in county facilities is of utmost importance."

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or