Batavia police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 3:05 PM Sunday July 8, 2018 to a report of an acid leak near Wilson Hall at FermiLab, 41.838276, -88.261997 (900 South Kirk Rd Batavia, Il). Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report of a sulfuric acid leak. Fermilab Fire Department activated a mutual aid response for extra hazmat technicians to work on containing the sulfuric acid leak.
A MABAS Division 13 Hazmat Box Alarm on Box #7161 for the sulfuric acid leak was activated at 3:11 p.m. Activity is primarly on southwest Ring Road, southwest of Wilson Hall at the Fermilab Central Utility Building where the tank is located. A pool of water separates Wilson Hall and the Central Utility Building. Firefighters and equipment are staged on Kautz Road.
Fire command on scene confirmed there is no threat to the general public by 4:11 p.m.
Fermilab officials report that a 400-gallon tank of sulfuric acid sprang a leak. The sulfuric acid is used for water treatment at Fermilab. The leak was discovered about Monday afternoon, July 9, 2018, about 2:30 p.m. The leak is described as a slow leak.
Sulfuric acid is a colorless, syrupy liquid that is soluble in water, corrosive, and non-flammable. Sulfuric is a common acid and is also is a component of the oldest form of rechargeable battery — the automobile lead-acid battery.
Exposure to aerosols of sulfuric acid at high concentrations leads to immediate and severe irritation of the eyes, respiratory tract and mucous membranes. The symptoms cease rapidly after exposure ends, but there is a risk of pulmonary edema if tissue damage occurs in cases of severe exposure.
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— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) July 9, 2018
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400-gallon tank leaking sulfuric acid at Fermilab https://t.co/sdLPby5LRt
— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) July 9, 2018
— WGN-TV Traffic (@WGNtraffic) July 9, 2018