Injured by ammonia?
Call (612) 337-6126

Not many lawyers are experienced with anhydrous ammonia. Elliot Olsen is one of the few who can call it an area of expertise. If you know someone who was injured in the April 25 Beach Park anhydrous ammonia spill, please have them call Elliot at (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

Illinois’ Lake County Health Department (LCHD) is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate the health impacts of the April 25 Beach Park anhydrous ammonia spill, according to several news reports.

Residents who live within a 1-mile radius of the spill were interviewed by CDC investigators Saturday. They were encouraged to participate in the survey to aid the CDC analysis and also to help improve future responses to such incidents, the LCHD said in a release.

The CDC also will interview anyone who was hospitalized during the incident, including all first-responders.

April 25 Beach Park ammonia spill investigation joined by CDC

The CDC is aiding Illinois officials in their investigation of the health impacts of the April 25 Beach Park anhydrous ammonia spill about 50 miles north of Chicago.

April 25 Beach Park spill:
What happened

At about 4:25 a.m. on April 25, an anhydrous ammonia spill (or leak) occurred on Green Bay Road at Clarendon Street in Beach Park, about 50 miles north of Chicago.

The tractor driver – a 59-year-old man who lives in Sturtevant, Wisconsin – was towing tanks of anhydrous ammonia from Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, to an Illinois farm when the chemical leaked, creating a toxic gas cloud. Soon thereafter, a shelter-in-place order was issued by officials to anyone who lives within a 1-mile radius of the leak.

The toxic plume released by the anhydrous ammonia spill affected residents of Beach Park, Wadsworth and Zion, as well as people traveling through the region.

Throughout the morning, emergency crews conducted door-to-door wellness checks, evaluating and treating residents as needed.

Ultimately, 37 people were taken to local hospitals, although early reports put that number above 40.

April 25 Beach Park spill:
CDC brought aboard

Two days after the incident, the LCHD collected and analyzed samples from wells serving six homes nearest to the spill, as well as from sump pits in two homes. The LCHD said that results showed slightly elevated levels of ammonia in the water.

The detected levels did not present a health risk, the LCHD said at the time, but residents were advised to drink bottled water as a precaution.

On April 30, the wells were retested for anhydrous ammonia, and those results were within the normal range considered safe.

April 25 Beach Park spill:
More testing upcoming

The LCHD said its staff will resample the wells toward the end of this month for a third assessment.

Residents with questions about well-testing or other environmental concerns can contact the LCHD at (847) 377-8020. Questions about anhydrous ammonia exposure or the CDC interviews can be directed to (847) 377-8130.

April 25 Beach Park spill:
Serious injuries possible

People who inhale even small amounts of anhydrous ammonia – which is most commonly used as soil fertilizer – will most commonly experience burning of the eyes, nose, and throat. Inhaling higher doses will result in coughing and choking, and exposure to high levels of the chemical can cause death from a swollen throat or burns to the lungs.

Since 2013, there have been an average of 12 spills per year in Illinois, although including the April 25 Beach Park incident, there were three in April alone. The first occurred April 10 in Easton, and the second was April 24 in Farina.


Elliot Olsen has decades of experience representing people harmed by anhydrous ammonia. You can contact him for a free consultation by filling out the following form and submitting it: