Drain cleaner fumes at Niles home send eight to hospital - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Drain cleaner fumes at Niles home send eight to hospital

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NILES, Ohio -

Eight people were taken to the hospital Thursday night after a homeowner in Niles was overcome by fumes from a drain cleaning chemical.

When firefighters and EMT's arrived at a home on the 300 block of North Road at around 8 o'clock last night, they found a man in the basement having trouble breathing. Three other people were with him.

First responders say they could smell a strong chemical in the home and ordered it to be evacuated.

After a firefighter found an empty gallon-size bottle of concentrated sulfuric acid in the trash, the homeowner told investigators that he had used it in an attempt to clean out out a clogged basement drain.

The homeowner, as well as two firefighters, two members of the ambulance crew, and three others people who were inside the home were taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Firefighters flushed the acid with water and stabilized the scene using kitty litter and plastic film.

The homeowner will not be cited.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, sulfuric acid is a clear, colorless, oily liquid that is very corrosive.

If you are exposed to concentrated sulfuric acid in air, your nose will be irritated and it may seem like sulfuric acid has a pungent odor.

When concentrated sulfuric acid is mixed with water, the solution gets very hot. Concentrated sulfuric acid can catch fire or explode when it comes into contact with many chemicals including acetone, alcohols, and some metals.

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