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Acid injures garbage workers

Garbage collectors were sprayed in the face by acid left for disposal by irresponsible homeowners.

The pair were treated at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for exposure to what was believed to be muriatic acid, a corrosive liquid used for heavy-duty cleaning.

Government issued a press release yesterday, urging residents to take proper precautions when throwing away dangerous waste.

The workers were injured around 10am on Friday after the picked up the acid, left for collection in a regular garbage bag.

“It appears that when the garbage was being compacted, the container sprayed the contents in the direction of the operatives,” a Public Works spokesman said.

“Consequently they were taken to [KEMH] and treated for contact to exposure to the substance, and given eye drops and provided other treatments and released.

“While the Ministry is happy to acknowledge these employees have been released from hospital and recovering from their ordeal, the potential exposure to the substance could have been more tragic, so the Ministry reiterates its call for the public to properly dispose of their waste and not place hazardous materials into their garbage.”

Materials such as acid, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, PVC pipes, oil and paint cans, pesticides, caustics and pool cleaners should never be placed in regular garbage cans as they can harm workers and the environment, the spokesman added.

If disposed of correctly, the items can be safely sent overseas for recycling.

The spokesman advised residents to take advantage of special waste days on May 17 and 18, and November 1 and 2 at the Tynes Bay Waste-to-Energy Facility on Palmetto Road, Devonshire.

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Published April 16, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 16, 2013 at 1:12 am)

Acid injures garbage workers

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