ENNIS - Officials are investigating a chemical release Wednesday evening from Schirm USA, a manufacturing facility located at 2801 Oak Grove Road.
One release occurred at 8 p.m., with an undetermined amount - but believed to be less than 55 gallons - of methyl parathion released, according to a press release issued by the city of Ennis.
No injuries or illness were reported as a result of the release, and all people located at the site and within 1,000 feet downwind of the release were evacuated, including the Sherwin-Williams manufacturing facility immediately south of Schirm.
At about 9:10 p.m., a second release of methyl parathion believed to be less than 55 gallons was released from Schirm, with all people located within 5,000 5,000 feet downwind of the release evacuated, including employees at the PetSmart Distribution Center.
Sixteen people at 11 residences also were included in the second evacuation, with no injuries or illness reported.
The cause has not been determined for the releases, which have been reported to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (case No. 20071662).
The press release indicates the city has requested that the TCEQ and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency evaluate the releases and provide an environmental clearance for return of evacuated or displaced people.
The American Red Cross responded to the incident, providing assistance to public safety personnel and assisting the people who were evacuated. One family of seven was provided lodging immediately following the release.
At about 4:45 this morning, EPA officials authorized that the evacuated properties could be reoccupied, with the exception of Schirm.
No toxicity was detected off the Schirm site, according to the press release.
Methyl parathion is an organophosphate insecticide used to control boll weevils and many biting or sucking insect pests of agricultural crops, primarily cotton.
Symptoms of acute exposure to organophosphate or cholinesterase-inhibiting compounds may include: numbness, tingling sensations, incoordination, headache, dizziness, tremor, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, blurred vision, difficulty breathing or respiratory depression and slow heartbeat. Very high doses may result in unconsciousness, incontinence and convulsion or fatality.