A leak of hydrofluoric acid at Honeywell’s facility on Lupine Avenue on Monday had no offsite effects, according to the Baton Rouge Fire Department.
Robert Combs, a Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman, said the leak of material — used to make refrigerants and other products — was reported shortly after noon on Monday.
Robert Donohoe, a spokesman for Honeywell, said there were no injuries and the “all clear” was sounded at 1:20 p.m.
“The affected operations are currently offline and we are in the process of preparing the unit to make repairs,” Donohoe wrote in an e-mail statement.
According to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control fact sheet, effects from exposure to hydrofluoric acid depend on the amount, concentration and the length of exposure.
If inhaled, hydrofluoric acid can burn lung tissue or cause fluid to accumulate in the lungs. Contact with the skin can cause burns or skin ulcers, according to the fact sheet.
People exposed to low levels of the chemical might not show symptoms immediately; symptoms can develop 12 or 24 hours after exposure, according to the CDC.
The leak of the material came from a pipeline, said Rodney Mallett, state Department of Environmental Quality spokesman.
As of 4:30 p.m., employees were still vacuuming the pipeline and didn’t have an estimate on how much material had leaked, Mallett said.
In 2003, Honeywell had three chemical spills between July and August investigated by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board.
Those releases involved a chlorine gas release that sent four plant workers to the hospital, an antimony pentachloride release that killed an employee and a hydrofluoric acid release that sent two employees to the hospital.
In August 2005, a chlorine release from a railcar at the facility sent seven employees to the hospital.
The plant had a 10-pound leak of hydrofluoric acid in August 2006. No injuries were reported in that incident.