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Hydrofluoric Acid Spills Into Mississippi Creek


A fire led to a chemical spill into a DeSoto County creek Saturday.

According to WREG Memphis, a fire at Schultz Xtruded Products in Hernando, Mississippi caused hydrofluoric acid to spill into Mussacuna Creek.

It’s the latest industrial disaster to hit the United States.

Crews worked through Saturday night to clean up the spill.


The DeSoto County Government issued this update:

About the fire & spill: The Hernando Fire Department responded to the fire Saturday morning. The cause is still under investigation. During the fire, a tank spilled, releasing a mixture of hydrofluoric acid and a non-toxic degreaser.

As soon as the Fire Department was notified of the spill by SXP, fire crews decontaminated and were checked out as a precaution. No injuries were reported.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the DeSoto County EMA were also notified. Crews from MDEQ immediately came up from Vicksburg to oversee the cleanup process.

Remediation: Initial testing of the nearby Mussacuna Creek showed slightly lower than average PH levels between about 5 and 6. Crews quickly built a dam along the creek near Robertson Gin Road so they could treat the creek water.

Crews added soda ash to the creek to neutralize the acid. The process was effective and worked quickly. Water testing was done all along the creek. By Sunday morning, the PH of the creek water was back in the normal range of 7.

The temporary dam made of sand was removed and water is now flowing normally. There was no contamination of drinking water.

What’s Next: MDEQ said they are satisfied with how the process went and do not believe there was any contamination of groundwater. As a precaution, soil samples will be taken along the creek to make sure. The MDEQ crew returned to Vicksburg, but is expected back in Hernando in the next day or two.


The sand used for the dam will be removed in the next few days.

Environmental crews at SXP are expected to finish the cleanup of the facility by the end of the week.

Sunday Update on SXP spill:
The environmental cleanup companies contracted by SXP worked through the night to stabilize the areas impacted by the spill. The Mussacuna Creek was temporarily dammed up near Robertson Gin road to ensure no product continued downstream to Arkabutla Lake. At that time, testing showed slightly lower PH levels in the creek water. Actions were taken to neutralize the PH levels and the PH of creek water has returned to normal limits. Soil samples and water samples have been taken and will continue to be taken during the duration of cleanup efforts.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Equality (MSDEQ) is satisfied with the progress, so the dam is currently being removed to allow the creek flow to return.
Consensus among the environmental companies and MSDEQ state there is no indications of any contamination of drinking water both for the city water system or any private water wells in the areas along creek.
As a precaution, community air quality survey testing was completed with no measurable detection obtained. Air monitoring will continue on site throughout the cleanup. Cleanup efforts will continue on site at SXP for several more days and crews will continue to assess nearby creeks and waterways for any impacts from the spill and mitigation efforts and protective measures will remain in place to prevent any future contamination.
The CDC listed signs and symptoms of hydrofluoric acid exposure:
  • Swallowing only a small amount of highly concentrated hydrogen fluoride will affect major internal organs and may be fatal.
  • Hydrogen fluoride gas, even at low levels, can irritate the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract. Breathing in hydrogen fluoride at high levels or in combination with skin contact can cause death from an irregular heartbeat or from fluid buildup in the lungs.
  • Even small splashes of high-concentration hydrogen fluoride products on the skin can be fatal. Skin contact with hydrogen fluoride may not cause immediate pain or visible skin damage(signs of exposure).
  • Often, patients exposed to low concentrations of hydrogen fluoride on the skin do not show effects or experience pain immediately. And, severe pain at the exposure site may be the only symptom for several hours. Visible damage may not appear until 12 to 24 hours after the exposure.
  • Depending on the concentration of the chemical and the length of time of exposure, skin contact with hydrogen fluoride may cause severe pain at the point of contact; a rash; and deep, slow-healing burns. Severe pain can occur even if no burns can be seen.
  • Showing these signs and symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person has been exposed to hydrogen fluoride. Other chemicals also can cause these effects.
  • Exposure to hydrogen fluoride can result in severe electrolyte problems.

According to a WREG Memphis video report, DeSoto County officials said there’s no sign of contamination to the drinking water after the toxic chemical spill.


Are we supposed to believe them?

After the East Palestine disaster, residents should be skeptical of statements that anything is ‘safe.’


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