Lifestyle & Belief

Foul-smelling cloud from gas leak wafts over Europe


Protesters against Dow Chemical's Olympic sponsorship demonstrate outside the venue of the final IOC press conference in central London on March 30, 2012. Dow has been linked to the 1984 Bhopal Gas disaster.


Ben Stansall

When there's an accident at a chemical factory, everyone pays for it. Lubrizol France, a chemical company that makes additives, has accidentally leaked an additive called mercaptan into the air. Company officials say that the chemical isn't toxic. But thousands of people in France are complaining of headaches, sore throats, nausea and an odd smell of garlic, sweat and rotten eggs, the Independent reported.

The leaked gas has formed a foul-smelling cloud that wafted across the English Channel, reaching all the way to London, Reuters reported

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"South Kent residents are being asked to keep doors and windows closed due to a gas cloud that is believed to have come across from France," the fire and rescue service in the UK announced, Agence France Presse reported.

Staffers at the plant in Rouen are trying to stop the leak, BBC News reported

The Daily Telegraph says that mercaptan irritates the eyes and throats at high levels but otherwise isn't dangerous.