July 28, 2008
12 Long Beach Dockworkers Affected By Chemical Leak
By Kristopher Hanson
LONG BEACH - Four dockworkers were evacuated from a Pier G marine terminal early Wednesday after being sickened by a strong chemical used to odorize natural gas.
At least eight others reported being affected by the chemical - known as "skunk juice" - after it leaked from a shipping container at the International Transportation Service shipping terminal shortly after 10 a.m., officials said.
Paramedics transported four dockworkers to local hospitals for treatment of nausea. The others were treated on scene and released, said Long Beach Firefighter Jeff Johnson.
The leak was later cleaned up by a private contractor.
The chemical, known as butanethiol, can cause eye irritation, rashes, headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Prolonged exposure can also cause blurred vision and unconciousness.
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