EAST GREENWICH TWP., NJ (WPVI) — Dozens of residents from across New Jersey turned up at the East Greenwich Municipal Building Tuesday night demanding answers after a stench swept through New Jersey for days.
“I felt it in my throat on Thursday and my daughter had eye irritation. So it was like, ‘Let’s dodge it and not marinate in it,'” said Mickleton’s Everett Reiss. “We fled the county and went to Airbnb for a weekend in the fresh, clean Philly air.”
The town hall committee consisted of representatives from emergency management, the fire department, the police, hazardous materials, toxicologists and the responsible company TransChem USA.
“We’re here,” said Dave Edmundson, a representative from TransChem USA. “Our plan is to address this and remove it from your community as quickly and safely as possible.”
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Officials said they received more than 8,200 first aid calls after 3 p.m. last Wednesday. Within half an hour, officers determined the smell was from a tanker truck located at Block 100 of Berkeley Road near Paulsboro off I-295.
“I wanted to hear what they had to say because it’s nerve wracking to have that smell and be like, ‘I have animals. i have children I live in this community. I can smell how strong it is,'” said East Greenwich’s Eileen Hollingshead.
Officials identified the vapor as Lubrizol 1389, a fuel additive that produced hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans. Officials said toxicologists have conducted thousands of air quality tests. Two colorless gases have been found to be less than 0.1 parts per million and are not human carcinogens.
“Very low concentrations that are above our odor threshold but 10 to 1000 times lower than any air concentrations that would be associated with adverse health effects,” said Michael Reilly, project toxicologist at the Center for Toxicology and Environment Health (CTEH).
Residents questioned how the odor could be harmless when some reported physical side effects such as nausea and burning eyes and throat.
“Your body reacts to a very unpleasant smell, it’s called an unpleasant smell,” Reilly said. “These are temporary reactions, they have no long-term health effects. Once you are removed from that situation, those symptoms will be removed.”
TransChem said they had never had a reaction like this before. The situation is contained, but they’re investigating why this chemical reaction happened in the first place.
The tanker is still in Greenwich Township but is not emitting any fumes. Officials believe it is not yet safe to move the vehicle.
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https://6abc.com/east-greenwich-nj-odor-in-new-jersey-transchem-gloucester-county-truck-smell/12131878/ East Greenwich Township officials hold town hall after tanker truck emits vapors, stench in NJ