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Worker hospitalized for monitoring after 3M chemical leak in Cottage Grove

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn—A 3M employee was hospitalized for monitoring after a chemical leak Tuesday at the company’s Cottage Grove plant.

A 30-percent solution of nitric acid leaked from a container in a manufacturing building, 3M spokeswoman Donna Fleming Runyon said.

Employees noticed the leak around 6:50 a.m. and reported it. Cottage Grove and Woodbury emergency crews responded to provide assistance, but Fleming Runyon said the company’s on-site emergency team contained the leak.

The liquid was cleaned up and vapors from the nitric acid were captured by water before they were released from the facility, Fleming Runyon said. Based on the company’s conservative estimates, 3M believes there is no health risk to the community, she said.

Two male employees were exposed to the chemical and one was transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, according to the report received by Cottage Grove police.

Only one employee was in the vicinity of the spill, Fleming Runyon said.

“He’s just being monitored,” she said.

As a precautionary measure, some 3M workers as well as employees of the nearby city of Cottage Grove water treatment facility were told to stay inside for about two hours.

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