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Chemical fire at Athens plant poses no risk

ATHENS -- Emergency management officials said a fire at an Athens chemical plant poses no public health risk.

Chuck Gulley, coordinator of the Athens-Clarke Emergency Management Agency, said that samples taken from the air and water near the blaze at J&J Chemical Co. showed safe levels of chemicals from the fire. The fire burned glutaraldehyde -- a toxin that can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, as well as headaches, drowsiness and dizziness.

The fire broke out early Wednesday and flared up again later in the morning.

Gulley said J&J uses the chemicals to manufacture toilet deodorizers and other products. The company's president, Todd Boyd declined comment.