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Carbon Black Spill in Illinois

On Saturday, a private truck hauler spilled a significant quantity of carbon black in Dallas City, Hancock County, Illinois. The spill was not isolated, but spread across a 25 mile swath of Illinois Highway 9. The size of the spill, along with recent flooding in the area, is complicating cleanup efforts. Carbon black is not hazardous and can be cleaned with soap and water, but that’s probably easier said than done over a 25 mile stretch of road.

According to an article in the Hancock County Journal-Pilot,

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency declared the situation was not a hazmat situation. Carbon black is classified as an inhalation irritant and may cause discomfort in the upper respiratory tract. People driving or those living along the infected area were advised to close their windows.

Estimates as to the total size of the spill have varied. According to the Hancock County Journal-Pilot article quoted above, the Illinois EPA estimated that about one ton (2,000 pounds) of carbon black was spilled. However, several other articles indicated that as much as 30,000 pounds of carbon black had been spilled.

Other articles on the spill:

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