WYOMING, Mich. — Residents are no longer being asked to shelter in place after an ammonia leak in Wyoming. The police department lifted the order just before 12 p.m.
The Grand Rapids FD Hazardous Materials Team responded to an ammonia leak at a Wyoming business in the 500 block of 32nd Street in Wyoming at the State Heat Treating Company.
People between Eastern Ave SE and Roger B. Chaffee Memorial Blvd, and 32nd St. SE and 36th St SE had been asked to shelter in place with windows closed and ventilation systems turned off.
"Ammonia is a colorless gas that has a strong sharp irritating odor," said Spectrum Health Pulmonologist Dr. Gustavo Cumbo-Nacheli. "Usually this can be a gas or used in a water solution. Most of the time it gets used in the agriculture environment. But, it also can be used in the industry to make plastics or textiles or pesticides or detergents."
Dr. Cumbo-Nacheli added that it has a distinct smell. However, if it's been inhaled the side effects tend to be short-term.
"It can cause coughing and shortness of breath. It can cause wheezing," Dr. Cumbo-Nacheli said. "Unfortunately, patients who are developing this breathlessness, it can go in crescendo."
So, if anyone believes they inhaled he recommended that they monitor their breathing and overall health over the next few days.
"Make sure that nobody got in touch with the ammonia on their skin or in their eyes," Dr. Cumbo-Nacheli said. "Ammonia inhalation has not been known to cause any long-term effects that is cancer or anything like that. So, watch them for a couple of days. If there’s no trouble breathing then we should be good."