Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Metro Detroit Chemical Spill

At the moment (and probably for a while to come) I am outraged about a hydrochloric acid chemical spill at a plating company in a west side Detroit suburb. It happened this morning, caused by a burst pipe at an industrial plant. A local elementary school and approximately 3,000 people have been evacuated from the area. A chemical cloud has formed (the helicopter reporter can see it). There is special concern since there is an excellent chance of rain today. There's been a light drizzle earlier on this side of town; the news weather report says there is a "steady" rain in nearby towns, but the danger is if there is a "moderate" rain. If it rains, the water will mix with the chemical cloud and there will be a toxic acid rain. As it is, just being in the area currently can cause a severe irritation/burning of the mucous membranes (eyes, nose) and respiratory problems.

While I think it's infuriating that people are subject to such danger, at least they can get out of the area to local shelters (though no one has mentioned what's being done for senior citizens or the handicapped, or those without transportation).

The "Breaking News" TV reports are speaking about how such a rain would eat the paint off of cars, and warning people to move their cars. So, could anyone mention the effect on local wildlife or pets left outside?

This just infuriates me. Birds, squirrels, rabbits, dogs, cats - and possibly deer in that area - will be devastated, and especially if it rains. (It's dark outside at noon, and a little drizzly on this side of town.) The vapor clouds alone will cause severe irritation/burning of mucous membranes to animals in the area. If it rains, animals (and people) will suffer burning skins, and water and food sources will be terribly poisoned. (And there go the vegetable gardens.) Pets and wildlife will be lost.

To read the Breaking News story at the WDIV web site, click on this link.

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