Report: RC man drowned in water, not acid
Many readers were agog yesterday over the story of the 18-year-old circuit board company employee who reportedly drowned in a vat of sulfuric acid.
Now it seems that the “vat” was filled primarily with water and was only three feet deep, leading reporters to question why authorities haven’t labeled the death as suspicious.
Some quotes after the jump.
Mike Schanhaar of Electrochemicals, a Minnesota-based circuit board company, said: “I have never heard of someone dying in a vat in a circuit board shop.”
One reason, Schanhaar said, is because none of the more toxic chemicals typically used in the industry (sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide and formaldehyde-based solutions) tend not to render individuals unconscious.
“I’ve never heard of anyone getting knocked out from a chemical in any process in the manufacture of a circuit board,” he said. “There are some (chemicals) that are just such an irritant that you would leave the room, but it wouldn’t get to the point where you were knocked out.”
Police reported that Gonzalez did not appear to be wearing facial protection before he died, but Coastal Circuits doesn’t require its employees to wear anything beyond goggles, protective smocks and boots, said Heather Fitzsimmons, a publicist hired by the plant.
The ventilation equipment in the room was working at the time of the incident, Fitzsimmons said. The fire department checked the air in the room and determined that there were no toxic fumes, she said.