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Chemical Leak Forms Toxic Cloud Over Pennsylvania

Posted by John on October 11th, 2008

BREAKING NEWSCNN reports that a toxic chemical cloud has formed over Petrolia, PA, after a chemical leak in a local plant.

The toxic cloud affected at least 2,000 residents, many of whom fled their homes to stay with friends and relatives or in shelters. Others decided to stay home and keep their windows and doors closed.

The chemical cloud consisted of fuming sulfuric acid which came from an overflowed tank at the plant. At least three people have been taken to hospitals.

Ed Schrecengost, a former employee of the chemical plant, said, “It’s about as dangerous as you can get. It’s a very fuming acid. A quart bottle of this material could fill a household in two seconds.”

AllerAir air cleanersThis shocking story made me wonder: What would I do if an inescapable toxic cloud formed over my house? Luckily, I have an AllerAir air cleaner. I would make sure all doors and windows were shut tightly, duct-tape plastic sheets around them just to be safe, and sit in the center room of my house with my air purifier on high. I have my AllerAir to filter allergens and odors from the air, but in an emergency situation, it could also protect me from dangerous outdoor fumes.

Unfortunately, these scenarios pop up more frequently I’d like to admit. For instance, three years ago, a train wreck in South Carolina released a toxic chlorine cloud that killed nine people, injured hundreds, and led to the evacuation of thousands. While this may seem slightly paranoid, it’s better to be safe than sorry: What would you do if a toxic cloud formed over your home?

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