28 May 2013, 10:30
There are warnings not to mix household chemicals after an attempt to unblock a sink turned toxic in Oxford.
Fire-fighters were called to the Ivy Flats yesterday afternoon, Monday 27th May, after a man suffered burns and was having breathing problems when the products reacted with each other.
The maintenance worker had poured a mixture of chemicals down the sink, to try to unblock it.
The previous evening another resident had also poured chemicals down the sink making the combination dangerous.
Four firefighters in breathing apparatus and gas tight suits entered the flat and were able to identify the three household substances that had been put into the sink.
A specialist Hazardous Materials and Environmental Protection Advisor discovered that by combining these three regular products a small quantity of chlorine gas had been created that still had the potential to cause harm to the other occupants.
The firefighters were decontaminated and subsequent crews were sent in, in Breathing Apparatus, to contain and remove the mixture before it was disposed of safely.
A spokesman for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said: 'This incident serves as a timely reminder that all packaging on household products should be read before they are used.
'No mixing of chemicals, particularly bleaches and un-blockers, should ever take place as potentially toxic and corrosive mixtures can be created.
'You should always follow all of the instructions on the packaging to prevent any accidents.'