Fuji Film chemical plant spill controlled

Fuji Film chemical plant spill controlled

July 9th, 2011 by Kimberly McMillian in News

Members of the Dayton Fire Department suit up and wait for instructions in the safe "cold zone" at the Fuji Film Hunt Chemical USA Inc. plant off Manufacturers Road in Dayton, Tenn., after a chemical spill Friday.

Photo by Kimberly McMillian /Times Free Press.

DAYTON, Tenn. - About 350 gallons of an isopropyl alcohol and toluene mixture spilled in the Fuji Film Hunt Chemical plant around 7 a.m. Friday, officials said.

Diane Rainey, in senior management corporate communications for Fuji Film, said Friday afternoon that the size of the spill actually was less than the nearly 900 gallons earlier thought to have been involved.

Both Rainey and Chief Chuck Suttles with the Dayton Fire Department said no one was injured and the environment was safe after the incident.

Toluene is a solvent used in chemical preparation that can cause unconsciousness and death in large-enough exposures. Isopropyl alcohol is not as toxic and is widely used as a solvent and cleaning fluid

Suttles said emergency workers from the Sale Creek and Garrison volunteer fire departments, state and county emergency management services and Chattanooga and Hamilton County rescue reported to the chemical plant at 411 Manufacturers Road "regarding a pulled fire alarm in Building 6."

He said the building was shut down and employees were evacuated, and that "all ignition sources had been eliminated" after the spill took place.

Suttles said there was a threat of fire, but none occurred because electricity was disconnected. Fuji's building and systems performed as designed because of concrete walls inside the building that are designed to contain a spill, he said.

Members of the Dayton Fire Department kept incoming employees and media members at a distance from the plant Friday morning.

Rainey said nine employees were present at the time of the spill, but she didn't have an estimation of damage or any costs involving the loss of production.

Suttles said the Garrison Fire Department and Hamilton County emergency workers kept air bottles filled to maintain "an unlimited supply of air" inside the containment area.