A toxic chemical spill occurred at the Prime Metals & Alloys in Homer City, Indiana County, PA, facility Tuesday afternoon, which led to 17 workers having to go through decontamination, officials said.
A decontamination area was set up at the Indiana Regional Medical Center campus to process the contaminated workers, said hospital spokesman Mark Richards.
It turns out 17 workers ended up treated for cadmium exposure, with one person admitted to the hospital.
The manufacturing plant on Innovation Drive is a producer of metals, steels and alloys, according to the company’s official website.
Indiana Regional Medical Dr. Geoffrey Pazder said the workers at the plant were melting metal when it vaporized and they inhaled it. He said most had some respiratory issues and some were experiencing nausea.
“I’ve been here about three years and have not had to use this tent yet, but the response from everyone was great and went as planned,” he said.
Breathing air with very high levels of cadmium can severely damage the lungs and may cause death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the International Agency for Research on Cancer list cadmium and cadmium compounds as known human carcinogens.