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‘A period of concern and frustration’; Lubrizol updates on Chemtool fire

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ROCKTON (WREX) — Lubrizol, the company that owns Chemtool, said the air testing done around the site continues to show no negative health risks besides short-term irritation from the smoke.

It also said fluorinated foam used in the early stages of the firefighting was diluted and used because of its effectiveness at fighting large fires.

Fluorinated firefighting foam can cause "adverse human health effects."

We continue to work in close collaboration with all local, state and national authorities. In the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing information on the next stage of site clean-up. We know this is a period of concern and frustration and we sincerely apologize for the disruption. We will continue to provide support to the Rockton community to help our neighbors recover.

Lubrizol representative

Ongoing Testing

Lubrizol said air quality testing to date hasn't shown negative health risks, but the company will keep monitoring the area.

"To date, these analyses do not show negative health risk other than the short-term irritation one would normally experience in the presence of smoke," Lubrizol said. "We hope these results give residents peace of mind, but the work does not stop here. We are fully committed to ongoing testing."

The "local EPA, public health authorities and multiple third-party experts" are testing the air quality in the area.

Firefighting Foam

Fluorinated foam used in the early stages of firefighting was used in a diluted form, Lubrizol said. Lubrizol said the fluorinated foam is twice as effective in suppressing a fire, according to the company.

Before it was applied, Lubrizol and US Fire Pumps dug containment trenches, applied absorbent materials and vacuuming foam and water into industrial storage tanks for appropriate disposal.

Lubrizol will continue to run tests of the soil and water to make sure the containment measures worked.

Debris Removal

Lubrizol contracted Clean Harbors last week to remove fire debris. The company said it expected remaining calls for cleanup to be finished by the end of the week.

Residents only need to call once. Lubrizol will continue to contract the removal service for as long as it's needed.

All fire-related debris will be sent to an EPA-approved facility for disposal.

13 WREX reached out to Lubrizol to see if a facility had been chosen and if the collected debris would be tested.

Resident-Directed Cleaning

Lubrizol recommends residents follow self-cleaning recommendations from the health department when cleaning up debris around the house and in their yards. It specifically recommended degreasing soap or cleaners for safe cleaning.

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Jena Kleindl

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