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Nitric acid endangers 9 workers at automobile plant

In a city not much more than a four-hour drive from Kane, Illinois, a 250 gallon nitric acid tank blew up at an automobile plant recently. The accident perhaps caused a bigger stir than it may normally have since it happened on the same day the city was to host a game for the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

The explosion injured nine workers. Eight of the workers were taken to area hospitals, while the ninth was treated at the scene. The plant was emptied out of concern for air quality, but several hours later, test readings declared the air had been cleared. However, second and third shift work was suspended for the day as an added precaution.

It has not yet been determined how the tank exploded or how much nitric acid was in the tank at the time the incident occurred, but it has been confirmed that the leak put workers in danger. The explosion released a mist that left the workers with respiratory problems and burns.

Nitric acid and its vapors are highly corrosive to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes under direct exposure. Contact with concentrated nitric acid can cause deeply painful burns. Inhalation of concentrated amounts can also lead to severe respiratory irritation, which could require long-term care. In some cases,

Some companies may try to minimize the effects of toxic exposure as an illness may not initially appear life-threatening. However, exposure to toxins such as nitric acid, asbestos, carbon monoxide, and benzene can have long-term consequences. If you have been exposed to toxins at your work place, your health can be at risk.

Your workplace illness may result in long-term respiratory infections, pulmonary embolism, or even cancer. It may be a good idea to discuss a course of action and determine if compensation can be garnered through legal action should you find yourself a victim of a workplace accident where harmful chemicals were involved.

Source: Liberty Voice, "Indianapolis Has Bad Luck: A Chemical Explosion Same Day It Hosts NCAA Games" Kimberly Ruble, March 28, 2014

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