The Passaic chemical plant that was engulfed in flames Friday night and prompted calls to close windows and shelter in place housed as much as 3 million pounds of potentially hazardous substances on an average day, according to state data.
Qualco Inc., which makes pool treatment supplies, had about a dozen chemicals at its large Passaic Street plant, ranging from industrial disinfectants to bleaching agents, according to a 2020 inventory list sent to state regulators.
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That information comes from the latest “Community Right to Know” data on the plant's chemical inventory from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Information on the plant's 2021 inventory was not available in the DEP's database.
On Saturday morning, Passaic Mayor Hector Lora said firefighters were trying to stop what was left of the fire from reaching the main section of the plant where he said the bulk of the chemicals are stored. State environmental workers were at the site to monitor the air.
The substances included liquids and solids. Some were in their pure state and some were in a mixture.
Here is a list by substance, average daily inventory and what potential adverse effects they can have on people.
Scott Fallon has covered the COVID-19 pandemic since its onset in March 2020. To get unlimited access to the latest news about the pandemic's impact on New Jersey, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.