CSB Investigates Second Release of Toxic Acid at Honeywell Plant

The new release of hydrofluoric acid (HF) occurred June 7, 2024.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

June 11, 2024

2 Min Read
There have been three chemical release incidents within the last few years for Honeywell.Kittisak Kaewchalun/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

A release of toxic hydrofluoric acid seriously injured a worker at Honeywell International on Friday, June 7, and prompted a second federal investigation in two months to look into accidental releases of the chemical at Honeywell's Ascension Parish, LA, plant.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is sending a team down to the complex in Geismar to probe the release of the "highly toxic" chemical used at the plant along the Mississippi River, an agency statement says.

Honeywell reported that a contract employee was exposed on Friday to the chemical known as "HF" while doing maintenance, CSB said. The worker was hospitalized due to exposure.

Hydroflouric acid is an extremely toxic and corrosive gas and liquid used in the refining and chemical industries.
“This is the third serious incident involving the release of HF at this facility in the last three years. This cannot keep happening," said

CSB Chairperson Steve Owens.

There were two other serious incidents at the Honeywell Geismer facility recently in the last few years:

 On October 21, 2021, a Honeywell employee died after being exposed to HF on unprotected areas of his face, ear, and neck when a gasket in piping at the facility catastrophically failed.
On January 23, 2023, a heat exchanger ruptured at the Honeywell facility, resulting in an explosion and the release of approximately 870 lb of hydrogen fluoride (as well as 1,700 lb of chlorine). Local officials closed nearby highways, and workers at the facility sheltered in place. Property damage at the facility is estimated to be $4 million. No one was seriously injured or killed in this event, but the release could have put workers at the facility and nearby residents at serious risk under different circumstances, CSB stated.
The CSB launched an investigation into the January 2023 incident earlier this year.  The CSB’s investigation is currently ongoing.  

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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