Advisory Issued Following Pfizer Chemical Spill in Michigan

A no-contact advisory has been issued for the Kalamazoo River following Pfizer’s chemical spill.

Pfizer initially declared there were no health risks for the city, saying in a statement: “On Tuesday March 12th, a tank at Pfizer’s Kalamazoo plant discharged methylene chloride, a widely used industrial solvent, to the site’s sanitary sewer system. We detected and captured the majority of the solvent onsite. A portion of the solvent which may have exceeded the permitted limits was discharged to the Kalamazoo Wastewater Reclamation Plant, which has its own treatment processes in place.”

“The Kalamazoo Wastewater Reclamation Plant is designed and permitted to treat methylene chloride. Given the amount of the discharge and controls in place, we do not anticipate any health risks. Pfizer will continue to work with the City of Kalamazoo and is firmly committed to assessing and minimizing any potential impacts on human health, the environment, and the communities in which it operates.”

Last week, Pfizer spilled an estimated 1,057 gallons of methylene chloride, an odorless, colorless liquid used in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

A Michigan toxicologist told a local news outlet that the chemical “can be absorbed into the human body through three routes of exposure. It can be absorbed through the skin, it can be inhaled, and it can be absorbed into your digestive tract if you were to swallow it.”

The toxicologist explained, “Inhaling it in large quantities can leave the central nervous system conditions such as dizziness, nausea, tingling in the fingers and toes, low-level inhalation of methylene chloride can lead to a lack of attention or hard to do hand-eye coordinated tasks.”

Health Officer Jim Rutherford said the city issued a No Contact Advisory as a “precautionary measure.”

“This advisory will remain in effect until further investigation and sampling indicates that there is no risk to public health,” he said, according to Fox 17.

Last year, a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, exposing residents to toxic chemicals.

A local doctor told Real America’s Voice reporter Ben Bergquam that locals have faced numerous health concerns since the train derailment.

“What did you see? So when you’re treating people, what kind of illnesses? What are you seeing?” Bergquam asked.

“So rashes, headaches. I myself suffered welts, a lot of diarrhea. Gastric problems are very common. So I was the only doctor that I know that consistently went against the CDC and tested people’s blood. And a high ratio of people came up with benzene and vinyl chloride metabolites in their blood. The EPA would say, well, maybe they pumped gas that day and got gas on their hands. It’s criminal what happened here and what’s still happening here,” Tsai responded.

Similarly, a train derailment occurred in July in Plymouth Meeting, a suburb of Pennsylvania, causing a mass evacuation and prompting a Level 2 hazmat response.