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Another Day Of Chemical Smell In Parts Of NJ

Some parts of New Jersey are still detecting a chemical smell for a second day.

Bristol chemical fire
Bristol chemical fire (WPVI TV)

A fire at the at the Rohm and Haas plant in Bristol, Pennsylvania early Wednesday morning caused a chemical smell to linger much of the day and into the evening in throughout Mercer and Middlesex counties on Wednesday.

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Reports continue today, however, via Twitter and Facebook, of a soapy smell remaining in parts of Monmouth & Middlesex. An email from a listener in Willingboro reports a “sickening smell” inside her home for a second day.

Barbara Del Duke of Dow Chemical says that onsite emergency response along with area fire companies have nearly completed the removal of excess material from the damaged tanks. Material that escaped from the tanks has been pumped into containers and is greatly diminished from the surrounding dikes.

She cautions, “Odors may persist until the material is remediated from the site.”

A change in the air mass could help to clear out the smell today. Fox freelance meteorologist Justin Ryan, says Wednesday’s cloud cover and humidity may have helped trap the chemicals in the area. Today’s clear skies with a slight wind will help clear out the atmosphere and what’s left of the odor.

Monmouth County Emergency Management reports no calls about a smell overnight.

A lightning strike caused the early morning three-alarm fire in two storage tanks containing a combined 154,000 gallons of ethyl acrylate and butyl acrylate, flammable chemicals used to make acrylic coating products for paints. The chemicals have a low-odor threshold, which means a small amount can be smelled at great distances according to the Bucks County Courier Times.

The Pennsylvania says their test of the air yesterday did not detect any dangerous air exposure levels.

TRACKING THE SMELL

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