Foul odor in Lake Area caused by dirt sample mixture

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu OEP says the foul odor in the Lake Area last night was caused when workers at Chemical Waste Management in Sulphur mixed a dirt sample that contained petroleum hydrocarbons in low concentrations in a metal filtercake.

Officials say the sample came from Texas and they were testing it before putting it in a landfill.

When workers stirred the sample, it became extremely heated and released a strong odor similar to burning tires.

Many complained of burning eyes and headaches but OEP says after testing air samples last night, there was no trace of hazardous material.

The dirt sample that caused the smell has been moved into an indoor holding area.

Chemical Waste Management says treatment methods for this waste stream will be reviewed to determine what improvements can be made.

If you still notice the smell in your home or your vehicle, you're advised to open your windows and allow the air to circulate.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.