Mease Hospital in Dunedin has been cleared after being put under a hazmat situation when a gas leak was reported Monday afternoon. The situation is under control. No evacuations were necessary and no injuries were reported.
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Dunedin Fire Department was on scene and said an unknown amount of ethylene oxide was found.
The hazmat team was called and no injuries have been reported at this time.
According to the OSHA website, Ethylene oxide (EtO) is produced in large volumes and is primarily used as an intermediate in the production of several industrial chemicals, the most notable of which is ethylene glycol. It is also used as a fumigant in certain agricultural products and as a sterilant for medical equipment and supplies. Unfortunately, EtO possesses several physical and health hazards that merit special attention. EtO is both flammable and highly reactive. Acute exposures to EtO gas may result in respiratory irritation and lung injury, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and cyanosis. Chronic exposure has been associated with the occurrence of cancer, reproductive effects, mutagenic changes, neurotoxicity, and sensitization.