A hotel employee in Solvang was hospitalized Friday after coming into contact with muriatic acid in a dumpster, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Firefighters, including a hazardous-materials team, spent most of the day at the Holiday Inn Express, 1455 Mission Drive, after being called out at about 9:45 a.m., said fire Engineer Russell Sechler.
The hotel employee, a 44-year-old man, was taken to Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital after experiencing respiratory distress, Sechler said.
His name and details on his condition were not available.
Crews found two containers of muriatic acid in the dumpster, from which a small amount had leaked, Sechler said.
Muriatic acid is also known as hydrochloric acid, and has a variety of industrial and cleaning uses. It can cause burns and the vapors also are dangerous.
Crews on scene decided to pack all the contents of the dumpster into drums that were to be sealed and turned over to a hazardous-waste-removal company.
One lane of Mission Drive was shut down for much of the day while emergency personnel worked on the situation, but there were no evacuations, Sechler said.
Officials were using gas monitors to make sure the fumes did not reach dangerous levels.