Texas town’s shelter in place order lifted after officials warned of mysterious airborne irritant

La Porte residents were asked to go inside and turn their air conditioners off

Shweta Sharma
Monday 16 August 2021 19:56
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<p>Air monitoring was conducted throughout in the La Porte city after a leak was reported  </p>

Air monitoring was conducted throughout in the La Porte city after a leak was reported

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A shelter in place order has been lifted for the Texas city of La Porte city after a reported chemical leak.

Residents were asked to stay inside and turn their air conditioners off “immediately” as authorities investigated an “airborne irritant”, said La Porte Emergency Management.

“Harris County Pollution Control has responded to conduct air monitoring and assist in identifying the source of the odor.  We recommend that you remain sheltered in place at your location until the City issues an All Clear,” it said in an update.

An “all clear” was issued by the authorities after almost an hour under Shelter in Place alert but city officials continued to monitor the air throughout the area.

“Please be aware that the odor may still be detected when you turn your A/C system back on, but it should dissipate over time. If you are concerned about an odor at your location, please contact the City’s non-emergency line at 281-471-2141,” it said it latest update.

The chemical leak has happened at Lubrizol Plant at 41 Tidal Road in Deer Park, said Harris County pollution control. The chemical compound released is hydrogen sulfide which can cause “upper respiratory irritation”. The gas is known for a pungent “rotten egg” smell, officials said.

Spokesperson of the department Dimetra Hamilton said the order is coming from a tank car filled with “zinc material” in Deer park, reported The Houston Chronicle.

Lubrizol said on Monday morning that the odour was caused by a “sulfur material widely used to odorize natural gas because of its distinctive unpleasant smell”.

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