Chemical company will investigate acid leak in South Baltimore

Officials from Solvay USA Inc. launched an investigation Tuesday into a toxic acid leak at the company’s chemical plant in South Baltimore’s Fairfield industrial area.

After a cloud of chlorosulfonic acid escaped into the air Monday morning as a tank truck was being unloaded, nearby workers and residents were warned to shelter in place for several hours. Baltimore’s fire department HAZMAT team responded to the leak, and no one was injured.

Solvay, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, said it will send process safety specialists and technicians from several company locations to investigate the incident and will work with the city’s hazmat teams. The chemical company plans to review mechanical equipment, procedures, training and other details to identify causes and ways to prevent a recurrence. Technicians also will look into potential improvements at the site.

The plant, which employs about 60 people, uses chlorosulfonic acid to make compounds for making soaps, detergents and other consumer products.

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