A section of Interstate 5 was shut down late Monday morning to allow for the cleanup of spilled bags of calcium hydroxide, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol said.
Shortly after 11 a.m., CHP officers were notified of the spill and alerted firefighters trained to handle hazardous to respond to the incident on the northbound lanes of I-5 near Smokey Bear Road, near Gorman.
“At 11:04 we got a call that one or two bags – 40 to 50-pound bags – of food grade calcium hydroxide was spilled,” CHP Officer Eric Preissman told The Signal shortly before noon.
Calcium hydroxide, commonly referred to slaked lime, is an inorganic compound with many industrial uses, including dentistry and water treatment.
In the food industry, however, it is widely used for such things processing water for alcoholic beverages and soft drinks and also for pickling cucumbers.
The spill bags were blowing the compound across all lanes of the interstate in the Grapevine near Gorman, prompted the CHP to shut down northbound lanes.
“This is an inhalant concern and an eye irritant and it was blowing across the lanes,” Preissman said, noting that the compound is non-toxic and that a sig alert was put in place to allow firefighting units to cleanup the mess.
It’s not known how long the sig alert will remain in place.
Firefighters were dispatched to the call at 11:27 a.m. and arrived at the scene at 11:42 a.m.
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