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Regulators: San Diego Ship Fire Smoke Not a Health Risk

Smoke from the fire on the Bonhomme
FILE - Smoke rises from the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego Sunday, July 12, 2020, in San Diego after an explosion and fire Sunday on board the ship at Naval Base San Diego. Smoke from the fire that ravaged a Navy warship in San Diego Bay contained elevated levels of toxins, but air-quality authorities said area residents had little to fear. The San Diego County Air Pollution Control District found that smoke from the USS Bonhomme Richard contained a dozen potentially harmful substances, such as benzene chloromethane and acetonitrile, the San Diego Union-Tribune Reported. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Smoke from the fire that ravaged a Navy warship in San Diego Bay contained elevated levels of toxins, but air-quality authorities said area residents had little to fear.

The San Diego County Air Pollution Control District found that smoke from the USS Bonhomme Richard contained a dozen potentially harmful substances, such as benzene chloromethane and acetonitrile, the San Diego Union-Tribune Reported.

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“At those levels, over that short period of time, there were no known great health risks,” said Donna Durckel, spokeswoman for the county’s air district.

The fire mostly produced a common pollutant known as fine particulate matter.

The district issued the Navy a notice of violation for creating a public nuisance and contaminating the air.

The fire began July 12 and swept through much of the ship, which was docked for a long period of maintenance. The Navy has yet to say whether the vessel will be repaired.

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