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Public reassurance following tanker chemical spillage on A19 between Tees Flyover and Exelby Services

Last modified: 25 September 2020 at 01:34pm

Police in Cleveland and North Yorkshire have reassured the public that a chemical spillage on the A19 is not thought to have posed a significant health risk.

The incident occurred on Wednesday (23 September 2020) when the tanker was travelling south between the Tees Flyover and Exelby Services.

It was first reported at 5.37pm and the stretch of road had to be closed until 9.30pm, with the services having to remain shut until 3am on Thursday.

Chemical waste products had leaked from the tanker and safety assessments were conducted by the fire service and specialist decontamination contractors.

The nature of the product meant that it could produce gases which are potentially toxic when released.

Urgent advice was given at the time for members of the public to seek medical attention if suffering any ill effects.

Following specialist assessment, it was further advised that the product – once discharged from the vehicle – would be in limited quantities at any one location, and would have been diluted by the rain very quickly so as not to cause any significant risk to the public.

The tanker was subject to specialist cleaning and the road where the original spill occurred was tested by the fire service and deemed safe to re-open.

For awareness, the chemical involved does have a foul smell which may linger in vehicles in particularly. If this is the case, motorists should ventilate the vehicle – ideally leave the ventilation system on full with windows open – for a period of time until the smell dissipates.

In relation to cleaning any of the product from the outside of a vehicle, it can just be washed off as part of a normal vehicle washing. It may already have been removed by the heavy rain that evening.

As always, if you have any concerns or feel you have suffered any ill effects as a result of this spillage, you should seek medical attention without delay.

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