Torrance Refinery Explosion Dust Could Cause Irritation But Is ‘Not Expected to Be Hazardous’

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The Torrance refinery explosion released material in the air that could irritate nearby residents' skin, eyes and throats.

Exxon Mobil officials say fine dust from the large blast contained inorganic material used in the refinery's processes. The light dust contained some metal oxides and amorphous silica, a clear or gray odorless silicon dioxide powder, Exxon Mobil spokesman Todd Spitler said.

Exxon Mobil and the Torrance Fire Department tested the dust and determined it was not toxic but warned about potential symptoms.

“The material is not expected to be hazardous to people or animals under the conditions it was released,” he said. “However, it may cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and throat.”

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