EASTER LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) — Officials with the East Liverpool Fire Department confirmed a styrene leak on the Ohio River between East Liverpool and Chester, West Virginia.
Styrene is a chemical primarily used in the production of plastics and resins. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the effects of exposure to the chemical include mucous membrane and eye irritation, gastrointestinal effects, headache, fatigue, weakness and depression, CSN dysfunction, hearing loss and peripheral neuropathy.
Despite this, officials at the scene say there is no need for alarm — it should not pose an environmental or health risk to the public. The spill was quickly contained, as the substance floats, although it is flammable.
The leak was reported about 10 a.m. Friday. It was originally caught in a containment area but made its way into the Ohio River.
The Morning Journal reports that the spill came from a truck traveling from Canada. The newspaper reported that a truck driver failed to make sure all valves and caps were adequately sealed, leading to the leakage of about 50 to 60 gallons.
The Morning Journal says about 10 to 20 of those gallons actually leaked into the river.
Hazmat and the Coast Guard were called to the scene, according to the East Liverpool assistant fire chief. The Environmental Protection Agency will be reviewing the incident.