FUMES from a major chemical spill at a factory in Nakhon Pathom early this morning (Sept. 22) spread to Nonthaburi leading to over 200 people suffering from burning eyes and nose but none needed hospitalisation while many schools shut for the day, Matichon newspaper said.
The chemical spill occurred at Indorama Polyester Industries Ltd. on Petchkasem road at 6.10 a.m. but this was brought under control by 8 a.m. The chemical was initially identified as “hot oil down term DT1 ” used in plastic pellet production.
However at 12.20 p.m. Dr. Rungruethai Mualprasitphon, Nonthaburi provincial doctor, said the volatile substance is Diphenyl Oxide, which is a mixture of oils and used as a solvent in the production of plastic pellets.
After the leak occurred at 6.10 p.m. wind blew the chemical fumes to Nonthaburi affecting over 200 people in Bang Kruai and Bang Yai districts.
As the leak occurred before schools opened many closed for the day because this chemical can cause skin and respiratory irritation.
“Right now no one in Nonthaburi is sick to the point of having to come to the hospital. Most are suffering from eyes and nose burning. The Public Health Office and state hospitals are visiting the people to educate them and distribute face masks.
“As Diphenyl Oxide is a volatile matter, it does dilute when exposed to air, so face masks worn to prevent Covid-19 works for this too,” he said.
Chemical fumes pouring out of the factory. Photo: Matichon