CARTHAGE Officials at Slack Chemical Co. Inc. said there was no threat to the public following the spill of about 100 gallons of ferrous sulfate Tuesday at its facility on South Washington Street.
According to a notice from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the spill was recognized at 2:52 p.m. and reported to DEC nine minutes later. The cause of the spill was listed as human error.
Thomas J. Williams, director of regulatory affairs for Slack, said the spill took place as a portable container holding the substance was being transferred by forklift. The forklift operator dropped the container after the lift hit a dip in the facilitys loading area, then pierced the container with the lifts tongs when attempting to lift it again.
Plant staff first placed sand over the substance to prevent it from entering nearby storm drains.
The material then was neutralized with sodium bicarbonate, a commonly used cleaning agent better known as baking soda.
Mr. Williams said the scene was cleared within an hour.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, ferrous sulfate can cause irritation in the eyes, skin and mucous membranes, along with abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and possible liver damage.