Farmers in Ontario Warned about Silo Gas
Canada Moderate // Miscellaneous accident
Corn Farmers in Southwestern Ontario, Canada are warned by officials that rainy weather following near-drought conditions is creating a deadly gas in silos. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food issued the warning after two reports of farm workers being injured by the gas -- formed when dry silage corn is exposed to heavy moisture -- as wet weather came to threaten the agriculture last week. The gush in moisture creates nitrogen dioxide from the corn, which when inhaled becomes burning nitric acid. When this happens, the lungs then begin to fill quickly with fluid and the victim drowns on his own fluids. Experts said that the nitrogen dioxide gas is heavier than air and seeps down to ground level in the first 12 to 60 hours after a silo has been filled. It said the gas sometimes has a brownish hue and often smells like bleach. Officials advised farmers to wear a breathing apparatus and run ventilating fans for 30 minutes before starting work on the silos.
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