A1(M): Tanker which crashed and shed its load in Yorkshire was carrying calcium hydroxide - which can cause lung damage, blindness and chemical burns
The HGV hit the central reservation near Ferrybridge and overturned on Wednesday morning, with the driver injured and taken to hospital.
Police warned drivers caught in the road closure before traffic was released to keep their windows closed and stay in their cars, as the white powder that had spilled onto the carriageway was dangerous.
The road was then closed for 48 hours for cleaning and resurfacing, only re-opening at 6am on Friday.
Calcium hydroxide, also known as slaked lime or builders’ lime, has a number of uses. It is used in water and sewage treatment ro raise pH levels, in the preparation of ammonia gas, and in the paper industry.
It can be used in farming as a fungicide to spray onto trees, and is also licensed in dentistry and the food industry, where it is certified as an E number. It can be used to process water for alcoholic and soft drinks, to pickle cucumbers, to make Chinese century eggs and as a substitute for baking soda.
However, exposure to it is hazardous without protective clothing. It can cause severe skin irritation, chemical burns, blindness, lung damage and rashes.