According to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Gregory Langley, there was no off-site impact and the release of the acid was secured immediately. A spokeswoman for Exxon, Sarah Nordin, said in a statement that the three contract workers “were contacted with sulfuric acid during normal work activities” at the chemical plant.
Reuters reports that all three were initially treated at the chemical plant by Exxon emergency personnel. Two of the workers were transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. One had received first-aid treatment at a local clinic.
The Department of Environmental Quality and Exxon are investigating the release, details of which were not immediately available.
When handling pure sulfuric acid in a laboratory or industrial setting, or when using products that contain concentrated sulfuric acid, it’s important to prioritize safety precautions. The following protective equipment should be worn when using sulfuric acid:
It’s also a good idea to have access to an eye-flush station if using sulfuric acid at your workplace. Another important consideration when handling ths dangerous chemical is that it can react violently if it comes into contact with water.
Exposure to sulfuric acid can occur as skin/bodily contact, ingestion, or inhalation of vapors. Each type of exposure can pose serious hazards to your health and should be managed immediately and appropriately by a medical professional to minimize damage and health risks.