For five hours on Wednesday, Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue investigated a call of a “slight haze and a chemical smell” inside a manufacturer that ended up being a sodium hydroxide spill.
The 911 call came at 7:40 a.m. from Cortec Corporation, located at 2420 Trailmate Drive. SMFR, which is directly across the street from the company, responded with 18 personnel and had three Manatee County EMS employees assisting, according to battalion chief Herb Smith.
Cortec Corporation, a Minnesota-based chemical manufacturing company, makes environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitors to prevent rust.
According to Bradenton Herald archives, the Manatee County campus has an office, manufacturing facility, a warehouse and two laboratories for research into biotechnology and marine corrosion.
After the hazmat team entered the building for the third time, they were able take a sample of the leaked substance and determine that it was sodium hydroxide. Smith said the substance causes a “caustic vapor” that isn’t good for the lungs or skin.
During the fourth entry, the hazmat team shut off the machine that operates the line that had been breached. A total of four gallons of sodium hydroxide had spilled, which was then cleaned up by a private company.
The leak was contained to the building and there were no reported injuries.