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Carburetor Cleaner Spill Brings HAZMAT response to Carlton Oaks Drive

Woman suspected of probation violation was fallout from incident near Willow Pond Road.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. Aug. 28, 2012

Reports of an odor brought the county Hazardous Materials Team to a townhome garage on Carlton Oaks Drive on Tuesday, but a Sheriff’s Department presence pointed to a different concern.

A woman in the affected home in the 9450 block of Carlton Oaks Drive was being questioned over a possible probation violation, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Johnson said a search of the home was conducted, but didn’t specify what was sought or why the woman was on probation.

Meanwhile, an old gallon can of B-9 Chem-Dip—a toxic carburetor cleaner and the source of the spill—rested on a brick outside the multifamily complex near the intersection of Halberns Boulevard and Willow Pond Road.

Although yellow police tape was strung across the alley fronting the small garage units, traffic on Carlton Oaks was unaffected from the time of a neighbor’s call to the Fire Department about 11:45 a.m.

Fire Capt. John Sengebusch said the carburetor cleaner was illegal, but a La Mesa autoparts dealer said the product, made by Berryman, was being sold and was in stock.

According to the Berryman website, B-9 Chem-DIP contains methylene chloride and cresylic acid, and “disposal must conform to the rules of your community for proper disposal of hazardous waste.”

The odor from the product is that of cresylic acid, the manufacturer said, noting this “is also one of the hardest odors to get rid of. Our best results have occurred by soaking the affected area with isopropyl alcohol.”

But the federal Environmental Protection Agency says of the acid:

Acute inhalation exposure by humans to mixed cresols results in respiratory tract irritation, with symptoms such as dryness, nasal constriction, and throat irritation.  Mixed cresols are also strong dermal irritants.  Ingestion of high levels of mixed cresols by humans has resulted in effects on the respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, blood, liver, kidney, and [central nervous system.]

Scot August 29, 2012 at 01:21 PM
It wasn't all that long ago that anyone could walk in to Price Club (Now Costco) and purchase a 5 gallon bucket of this stuff for about $25.00. I went through several buckets of this stuff when I was rebuilding carburetors in my garage for extra money. The best way to dispose of it is to take it to a hazmat collection site.
Jake Mahamood August 29, 2012 at 02:39 PM
It is both sad and wasteful when the folks that are trusted with our safety over react these days. They almost always send twice the deputys or fire trucks. I guess they the need to back up the ladys they send.
Santee Resident August 29, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Really, over reaction? Back up the ladies (notice how i spelled that correctly) they send?
Santee Resident August 29, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Over reacted? If you'd any clue what goes on there, you'd never have typed that. I live close enough to know... there was no over reaction. If anything, there's not been enough.
sluggo August 30, 2012 at 01:35 AM
OMG, B-9?! Obviously domestic terrorism. I better hump down to Lowes and get some fresh duct tape and Visqueen. See you there!
Santee Resident August 30, 2012 at 06:35 PM
For those that don't live near this address, you do not know what this neighborhood has been through with this homeowner. It is easy for you to say this was an over-reaction, but if you have seen the people coming in and out if this house, you probably would not have made the comments above. Think twice before you rush to judge!
Santee resident... September 05, 2012 at 07:19 AM
you have no clue what goes on over there, cops are being called to that location at least 2-3 times a month. Don't spew your bile, because you have ABSOLUTELY no clue what goes on over there, us neighbors do...
Santee resident... September 05, 2012 at 07:19 AM
Exactly, the crap that goes on in that house is unreal...
alvinaruby December 19, 2012 at 06:37 AM
This is something I need to think more about. http://www.designerwatchesideas.com/dresses/typically-the-ideas-from-mens-swimsuit.html

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