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Cloud of cement dust from Cemex plant in Victorville triggers fire department response

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (VVNG.com) — A cloud of cement dust from a Cemex plant in Victorville triggered a response from the fire department Friday evening.

On April 24th, 2020, at 5:05 p.m., the Victorville Fire Department responded to reports of a commercial structure fire at the plant, located at 16888 E St. in Victorville, after people reported the cloud of building material particles as a fire.

“It was not a fire,” stated Victorville City Spokeswoman Sue Jones. “Cemex was filling a silo. It was cement dust that resembled a smoke cloud.”

Cement is the main ingredient in concrete and is a very fine powder that can be dangerous.

A nearby business owner, who did not want to be named, said he believes cement dust poses a health risk for the residents who live or work near the plant.

YouTube video from our VVNG channel.

“Every two days we got to wash our car with muriatic acid, [and Cemex] won’t do a [expletive] thing about it,” he stated. “You know, they’re a global company.”

“That usually doesn’t happen until Sunday morning when nobody’s up,” he stated as he pointed to the dust cloud.

According to Osha.gov, exposure to cement dust can irritate eyes, nose, throat, and the upper respiratory system.

Skin contact may result in moderate irritation to thickening/cracking of skin to severe skin damage from chemical burns. Exposure to silica, which is often in cement, can lead to lung injuries including silicosis and lung cancer, the government website stated.

Osha suggests that anybody who is experiencing symptoms should rinse their eyes with water if they come into contact with cement dust and consult a physician, use soap and water to wash off the dust to avoid skin damage, and wear a P-, N- or R-95 respirator to minimize inhalation of cement dust.

There was no report of injuries at the Cemex plant and at 5:30 p.m., the excess dust escaping from the silo had stopped.

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