The Arizona Department of Public Safety says an accident involving a commercial tanker truck caused a hazardous material to leak onto Interstate 10 outside Tucson, prompting state troopers to shut down traffic on the freeway.
Agency spokesman Raul Garcia said liquid nitric acid was leaking after the tanker rolled over in the Tuesday afternoon accident on the interstate between Rita and Kolb Roads.
Garcia referred to the accident as an “injury collision,” but did not provide details, including whether another vehicle was involved and who, if anyone, was injured. There were no reports of anyone being hospitalized because of exposure to the substance.
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Garcia said first responders were working to clear people from the area and that troopers anticipated a lengthy freeway closure.
Nitric acid is used to make ammonium nitrate for fertilizers and in the manufacture of plastics and dyes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nitric acid is a highly corrosive, colorless liquid with yellow or red fumes and can cause an acrid smell.
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It says exposure to nitric acid can irritate the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Depending on the dosage, it also can also cause delayed pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis, and dental erosion.