Sulphur dioxide leak in Rotterdam
22 August 2005, AMSTERDAM — Police and the emergency services have been called out to deal with a leak of sulphur dioxide (SO2) from an oil refinery in Rotterdam.
22 August 2005
AMSTERDAM — Police and the emergency services have been called out to deal with a leak of sulphur dioxide (SO2) from an oil refinery in Rotterdam.
The colourless gas escaped from a chimney at the Q8 refinery on the Moezelweg in the Europoort industrial complex on Monday afternoon. The leak continued for 45 minutes before it was stopped.
SO2 is a caustic gas that smells like burnt matches and comes from smelters and other utilities, especially electrical generation.
Exposure to high levels of SO2 can cause breathing problems, respiratory illness, changes in the lung's defences, and worsening respiratory and cardiovascular disease. People with asthma or chronic lung or heart disease are the most sensitive to SO2. It can also damage trees and crops.
Several people exposed to Monday's leak complained of watery eyes.
A spokesperson for the Fire Department said that there was a danger that the westerly wind could blow the gas onto the Rozenburg residential district. By 5pm there was no evidence this had occurred.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news