State environmental officials are saying that three contract workers have been burned by sulfuric acid at the Baton Rouge, Louisiana refinery owned by ExxonMobil. The chemical plant was operating as normal when the three workers were "contacted with sulfuric acid during normal work activities," said Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin.
Two of the workers were taken to the hospital after initial treatment at the chemical plant. The third worker was given first-aid at a nearby clinic. Both the Department of Environmental Quality and Exxon are investigating the acid release. Reporters were not made privy to the details of the accident.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (an agency under the Department of Health & Human Services), sulfuric acid is highly corrosive, so any sort of contact is bound to cause damage. Inhaling sulfuric acid—a likely accident in a refinery environment—can cause eroded teeth and damage to the respiratory system. Contact with the skin causes chemical burns and could cause blindness if exposed to the eyes.
Our chemical plant accident lawyers hope the investigation yields definitive answers. Arnold & Itkin hopes that the workers injured by the exposure to sulfuric acid heal quickly and completely.