Lubrizol Leak in Gloucester County, New Jersey

August 12, 2022

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A chemical tanker truck carrying an oil additive inundated residents of Gloucester County, New Jersey and surrounding areas with a foul odor that continues to linger since Wednesday afternoon. Initially reported to emergency crews as a suspected natural gas leak, officials traced the source of the odor, described as a “rotten egg” smell, to a tanker truck parked at a nearby truck stop along I-295 in East Greenwich Township, prompting shelter in place orders for nearby residents.

Hazardous materials teams on scene later determined the truck was carrying 7,000 gallons of the fuel additive Zinc Dialkyldithiophosphate, also known as Lubrizol-1389. Crews monitored and tested air quality at the scene and surrounding areas, determining there was no risk to public health other than the foul stench, which they cautioned could linger for several days. While officials then lifted the shelter in place order, they did recommend residents with odor sensitivities should remain indoors until they feel comfortable going out, as some residents reported the odor brought about headaches and migraines.

Upon investigation, authorities determined the tank was expelling fumes into the air and not compromised or leaking Lubrizol-1389. Tanker trucks are designed to expel building fumes inside the tank, especially during high temperature conditions, as a safety measure. According to the East Greenwich Police Chief, other than releasing the unpleasant odor, the tanker was behaving as it was designed to.

Firefighters doused the truck with water in efforts to cool the internal temperatures and slow the release of fumes until a replacement tanker arrived to offload the Lubrizol and remove it from the area.

Lubrizol is a lubricating oil additive with exceptionally high thermal and hydrolytic stability. It is used as an additive in engine oils, with detergent, acid neutralizing, and dispersant additives. Used in diesel and gasoline engines, Lubrizol provides oxidation and copper-lead bearing wear and corrosion control and is especially effective in highly supercharged diesel engines which operated under severe temperature and load conditions. The additive is designed to have a nuisance odor in order to detect leaks, similar to natural gas.

Cherry Hill Personal Injury Attorneys at DiTomaso Law Assist Clients Injured by Toxic Fumes

Exposure to gas, gas-like, and other chemical fumes can cause breathing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nose and throat irritation. Trucking companies transporting gas, oil, and other chemicals are required to perform exceptional maintenance the rigs and tankers in order to prevent leaks, ruptures, and malfunctions that would expose a health threat to the public. Companies that fail to maintain their trucks can be found at-fault for neglecting to protect the public from dangerous chemicals and other substances.

If you have experienced injuries from inhaling toxic fumes, our experienced Cherry Hill personal injury attorneys at DiTomaso Law can help. Call us at 856-522-4938 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.