From staff reports
The unknown green liquid found in a soda bottle on Ohio University's Athens campus Monday was found to be muriatic acid, according to Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokesperson Erin Strouse.
She said the EPA's lab results identified the liquid as an industrial-strength concrete cleaner containing solvents that act as degreasers. She said the tests did not reveal any signs of a catalyst that could agitate the liquid and cause an explosion.
An Ohio University grounds crew discovered the soda bottle lying in Lot 41 behind Seigfred Hall while making early morning cleanup rounds and called the Ohio University Police Department.
After following standard, precautionary procedures, Ohio University Environmental Health and Safety personnel secured the bottle so hazardous materials experts could retrieve, open and test it.
Ohio University Director of Environmental Health and Safety Joe Adams said muriatic acids, mixtures of hydrochloric acid and water, often are used for metal and glass etching and to clean bricks. If it comes in contact with skin or eyes, it can cause burns.
"Despite the fact that the EPA did not find a catalyst in the bottle of acid, our response to the situation was very appropriate, and I am happy that everything turned out fine," Adams said. "Any time we find an unknown substance that can be a hazard, we will respond to it in a responsible manner."
Adams said OUPD will continue its investigation into the incident.
"The investigation is a good thing because we all want to make sure that the bottle was not left in the parking lot as part of a malicious act," he said.