AROMAS, Calif. - A 1,200 gallon drum carrying sulfuric acid tipped over Saturday morning, spilling the chemical in an ag field at San Juan and Murphy Roads. Some of the acid landed on a field worker.
He was flown to a San Jose hospital for second degree burns, according to California Highway Patrol.
CALFIRE crews and Monterey County Health Department's Hazmat team shut down Murphy Road between San Juan Road and Highway 129 just before noon Saturday as they began cleaning up.
The road was still shut as of Saturday evening.
CalFire, Monterey County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol all responded to the spill.
The tank of sulfuric acid spilled about 500 yards from the banks of the Pajaro River and fire crews said the muddy ground from recent rains may have caused the spill but also helped stop the spread of the acid.
"As wet as the ground is, I don't believe it's going to leak down into the river," said fire investigator Cliff Williams.
But because the acid was diluted Monterey County Health Department's Hazardous Materials Unit said the spill wasn't as bad as it could've been, including the air the public was exposed to.
"It's toxic in concentrated form, with it being out in the open field and everything like that and with the breeze that we've got there's no problem with the fumes," said Williams.
Sulfuric acid is one of many chemicals that farmers use, according to Williams. It is used to control the PH levels in the irrigation systems so the acid goes into the ground diluted either way.
The property owner is on the hook for the clean-up costs, no word yet on how much that will be.