An 18-wheeler overturned in east Harris County today, and authorities say it is leaking hydrochloric acid.

The accident happened on Haden Road just near the East Freeway.  A cloud of hydrochloric acid is leaking from that rig. HazMat teams and firefighters are staying back from the truck as a precaution.

The cloud of hydrochloric acid is drifting south toward the Ship Channel.  While there are no reports of injuries at this time, hydrochloric acid is a very dangerous chemical to be exposed to.

Hydrochloric acid is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses.  It is used in the chemical industry as a chemical reagent and even in some household cleaners, and food additives. About 20 million metric tons of hydrochloric acid are produced annually.  Concentrated hydrochloric acid forms acidic mists.  Both the mist and the solution can have a corrosive effect on human tissue.

Symptoms from breathing in hydrochloric acid:

  • Bluish color to lips and fingernails
  • Chest tightness
  • Choking
  • Coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness

For more information about toxic exposure or a Texas Trucking Accident, please contact us at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers.