LAKEWOOD – Around a dozen homes near the Belmar shopping district in Lakewood were evacuated after vapor from a trash pile sickened two garbage collectors.
Emergency-alert notifications were sent out to residents near the 900 block of Eaton Street Wednesday afternoon.
West Metro Fire officials say preliminary tests indicate the vapor may be hydrofluoric acid, and there are concerns fluorine may be present, which in high levels is extremely toxic.
“That fluorine in there really likes to calcium,” 9Health Reporter Dr. John Torres said. “So once it gets into the body it starts binding to body calcium . It can cause a lot of intense pain, which is the one thing you see when they come [to the ER].”
A HAZMAT was called in to remove the chemicals.
The two trash collectors were transported to the hospital and are doing okay, officials say.
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