Chem. Releases Force Evac

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 04:05 PM gHale

Chemical releases in two different areas either forced evacuations or sent neighboring workers to the hospital this week.

In one case, several houses and multi-family buildings ended up evacuated Sunday and people treated at the scene after the accidental release into the air of an acid by a Lyndhurst, NJ, chemical company that produces polyurethane.

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In another situation, after a fire Monday morning at MFG Chemical in Dalton, GA, 15 employees from a nearby building went to Hamilton Medical Center for decontamination. In all, 47 people came to the hospital for decontamination.

In the New Jersey incident, although authorities have not yet determined the cause, the initial suspicion is that pipes used to transfer the adipic acid powder at Chemical Polyurethane Specialties might have failed just after 2 p.m., releasing the substance into the air through roof ducts.

It was a full 20 minutes to an hour before police were called, said Lyndhurst Police Chief James O’Connor. The chief said several residents ended up evacuated from the area.

Meanwhile, Dalton, GA, police responded to a chemical explosion call at 8:50 a.m.

The accident occurred while MFG was manufacturing a product called Coagulant 129, which sees use in water treatment. It can cause skin or respiratory irritation, but officials said none of the people undergoing decontamination had symptoms.

There were no reports of serious injuries.

The fire department sent in firefighters at Beaulieu next door to check for any damage and check air quality.

Officials warned residents within a half mile of the site initially to stay in their homes. They lifted the advisory by 11:40 a.m.

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