Chemical spill in Welwyn Garden City

SEVERAL bottles of a carcinogenic chemical were found in a WGC street last night (Monday).

Roads were closed and a 200m exclusion zone set up around Mundells, after five cardboard boxes containing 20 bottles of the dangerous chemical compound Dichloromethane (DCM) were found on the junction with Bessemer Road.

The boxes were discovered shortly after 8pm, and firefighters from WGC, Hatfield, Hertford and Hemel Hempstead donned gas tight suits to clear up the spill.

Dave Stokes, station commander at Hemel Hempstead fire station, who led the decontamination operation, said eight of the bottles had smashed.

“It’s not very nice stuff,” firefighter Stokes said.

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“In the end we decided the safest thing to do would be for us to use our limited life gas tight suits and shovel it up into oversized drums.”

DCM is a colourless, chemical compound and classified as a category three carcinogen. In 2010, its use was banned in commercial paint stripper by the European Parliament.

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