herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Probe on chemical scare at city plant

Investigations are under way after a "serious incident" involving the possible release of toxic chemicals at a Dublin plant.

An emergency containment plan was put in place at the Arch Chemical plant on Watery Lane in Swords, Co Dublin, shortly after 5pm last night.

Investigations involving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Health and Safety Authority, the gardai and Dublin Fire Brigade are now in operation.

Some 13 units of the Dublin Fire Brigade were dispatched to the scene along with a hazardous material unit.



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They were alerted after an anti-fungal material called copper pyrithione or copper omadine was discharged at the plant after a boiler overheated.

The powder is considered to be highly toxic. It can be fatal if inhaled and can also burn the eyes. After a thorough sweep of the plant it was declared safe by 8.30pm last night.

"It was a serious incident," Gerard O'Leary, of the EPA, said last night.

A 300kg bag of the chemical -- used to kill microbes and other marine organisms that form on the bottom of sea-going vessels -- was travelling on a conveyor belt into a tank when a boiler overheated and the material started to smoke, he said.

"There was smoke but we're satisfied that there was no discharge into the environment," an EPA official said.

hnews@herald.ie

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