Shelter-in-place lifted after chemical leak at J'town business - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Shelter-in-place lifted after chemical leak at J'town business

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A business in Bluegrass Industrial Park in Jeffersontown was evacuated Friday morning due to a chemical leak, and residents within a mile of the building were asked to shelter-in-place for about two hours.

The shelter-in-place advisory was lifted just after 1:30 p.m.

The evacuation took place at Peptides International at 11621 Electron Drive, according to Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders.

Bob Brousseau with Peptides International says there were 30 people inside when the leak started.

According to a news release, Jeffersontown Fire officials confirmed that a piece of plastic tubing got disconnected from a 28-pound cylinder inside a hooded system. The cylinder contained Hydrogen Fluoride, which leaked, but the valve has successfully been turned off.

The chemical is no longer leaking from the cylinder. One employee drove himself to the hospital, was decontaminated outside of the hospital, and has been reported in stable condition.

The Jeffersontown Fire Department ordered a Shelter-in-Place for residents within one mile of the location.

J'town fire officials says a HazMat team entered the building and so far have found zero readings of the chemical within the facility.

Peptides has called in an environmental company to perform clean-up inside the lab for any residual product that may have penetrated the lab and/or facility. Fire officials remain on the scene monitoring the incident.

The following information was obtained from the CDC regarding Hydrogen Fluoride:

Facts About Hydrogen Fluoride
Hydrogen fluoride is a chemical compound that contains fluorine. It can exist as a colorless gas or as a fuming liquid, or it can be dissolved in water.

When hydrogen fluoride is dissolved in water, it may be called hydrofluoric acid. Hydrogen fluoride can be released when other fluoride-containing compounds such as ammonium fluoride are combined with water.

It is used to make refrigerants, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, high-octane gasoline, aluminum, plastics, electrical components, and fluorescent light bulbs. Sixty percent of the hydrogen fluoride used in manufacturing is for processes to make refrigerants. Hydrogen fluoride is also used for etching glass and metal.

Hydrogen flouride damages the cells and causes them to not work properly. The seriousness of poisoning caused by hydrogen fluoride depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and preexisting medical condition of the person exposed. Breathing hydrogen fluoride can damage lung tissue and cause swelling and fluid accumulation in the lungs (pulmonary edema).

Skin contact with hydrogen fluoride may cause severe burns that develop after several hours and form skin ulcers.

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