TEXAS CITY — A worker at the Marathon refinery in Texas City was possibly exposed to a sulfur dioxide leak Tuesday and taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure, an official said.
The leak, reported shortly after 3 p.m. at the refinery along Fifth Avenue South, wasn’t a danger to the public, said Bruce Clawson, emergency management manager for the city of Texas City.
The worker was exposed only briefly to the gas, which is a byproduct of oil production. Medical personnel checked the worker, and he was taken to a hospital as a precaution, Clawson said.
“There was a brief spike of sulfur dioxide, but it was over immediately,” Clawson said. “There’s certainly no danger to the public.”
Sulfur dioxide is a naturally occurring gas and has the smell of rotten eggs, Clawson said. It can be hazardous to the respiratory system, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.