CONROE, TX (KTRK) -- We don't know what's in the plant that caught fire in Conroe Friday evening, but we do know that DrillChem is a major manufacturer of lubricants, sealants and chemicals that help with drilling for oil.
For example, one product is called Drill-Lube. It's described as an "emulsified blend of synthetics alcohols." It's flammable, but not considered a hazard by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Another product called First Strike helps replace sand. It's also not considered a hazard by the EPA, but exposure can result in nausea, diarrhea, as well as eye and skin irritation.
Another chemical the company produces is called Surf-Coat, which is a drilling additive. It is very flammable and can cause irritation to the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath.
There is one product we found, however, that company's own documents call "very toxic." It's a course dark powder that aids in shale drilling and is described as a potential carcinogen. It contains crystalline silicate. That means if large concentrations of this are inhaled, damage to the lungs is possible.
As far as the company itself, as you know, it's located in Conroe on a four-acre tract of land. Its warehouse is 5,600 square feet, which is about the size of a 6-bedroom, 6-bathroom luxury mansion you might find in the wealthier parts of Montgomery County.
Its offices are right next door and slightly smaller.
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