Georgia Tech lab evacuated after nitric acid spill

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Emergency officials respond to a lab at Georgia Tech after a nitric acid spill on July 10, 2023. (FOX 5)

A science building on the campus of Georgia Institute of Technology was evacuated on Monday after a chemical spill.

Atlanta Fire officials say about a tenth of a gallon of nitric acid was spilled in a lab at the Krone Engineered Biosystems Building located near the corner of 10th and State streets.

Georgia Tech police quickly evacuated the building.

One person was being evaluated for possible exposure.

What are the symptoms of exposure to nitric acid?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent say exposure to nitric acid could include irritation to skin, eyes, and other sensitive areas of the body. The highly corrosive material also can cause pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis, and dental erosion during a long-enough and intense-enough exposure.

No word on how the nitric acid was being used, but the CDC says it is used to manufacture explosives, fertilizers, dyes, and polymers.

Health officials warn users to immediately flush the area exposed with water, especially eyes, and seek medical attention.

What is Georgia Tech's Krone Engineered Biosystems Building?

Georgia Tech’s website lists the Engineered Biosystems Building as a "200,000 square feet of technologically advanced laboratories for faculty, researchers, and students to pursue Georgia Tech’s growing research agenda in the biological sciences."

"The research conducted in EBB helps distinguish Georgia Tech as a national leader in biomedicine and biotechnology," the description reads.

The state-of-the-art facility is a "commitment to improving and saving lives by bringing new treatments, medical technologies, medications, and therapies to patients," the institute says.

In June, the building was the target of a mailed letter which was "threatening and had an unknown substance inside." Six people were exposed to what was believed to be fentanyl, but were not taken to the hospital.

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