Sulfonic acid leaks on Rio Seco causes foams to water which can cause serious harm to human health in Joinville, Southern Brazil.
A truck accident in the Southern Brazilian State of Santa Catarina resulted in the discharge of acid into a river, leading to 75 percent of a town being deprived of drinking water.
Video footage from a motorist’s dashboard camera reveals the truck speeding and changing into another lane to overtake other vehicles before colliding on a highway in Joinville, the largest city in Santa Catarina.
The truck’s cabin flipped on a hill, caught fire, and the cargo box, positioned slightly above the hill, resulted in the leakage of sulfonic acid, forming a white foam. This substance is a crucial ingredient in the production of detergents, shampoos, and toothpaste.
A 59-year-old male truck driver sustained various injuries in the accident and was transported to São José Municipal Hospital, where he stayed overnight. His condition is currently stable.
As a result of the incident, authorities had to close down the Cubatão Water Treatment Station, which provides water to 34 out of the 43 neighborhoods in Joinville.
The water station supplies water to 75% of the municipality, which is home to approximately 600,000 residents. According to the water company, the acid spill “does not possess toxic properties harmful to humans, wildlife, or plants.”
Mayor Adriano Silva of Joinville expresses concern about potential spills, citing that truck drivers often struggle to maintain control when approaching the highway curb.
“It may repeat itself. This is a warning we have been giving for a long time,” he told Brazilian news outlet UOL.
“There is a state government project where a project was developed with these escape area ramps, because it is always the same curves that trucks get lost,” he added.
Local residents hurried to nearby stores to buy water, resulting in the depletion of supplies on the shelves in at least four stores, as reported by the Brazilian news outlet G1.
“Measurements point to a reduction in the contamination rate, but there is still no forecast for the opening of intake and normalization of services,” the Joinville city government said in a statement.