Several people have been hospitalised after reportedly being overcome by fumes from a chemical that spilled at a Wangara recycling plant.
Workers at the plant were evacuated and ChemCentre and firefighters are monitoring and analysing air quality in the area and trying to identify the chemical.
Three people have been taken to Joondalup Health Campus suffering minor respiratory issues, a St John ambulance spokesman said.
Six ambulance crews were called to the site and 15 other people were assessed but did not require medical treatment, he said.
The exposure occurred near the Greens Recycling Facility on Motivation Drive, a plant run by the City of Wanneroo.
Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts praised the quick response of the 24 council employees on the site who evacuated the facility when they noticed an odour.
Mayor Roberts said two employees – one with asthma – had been taken to hospital and two more to a doctor’s clinic with nausea following exposure.
She said both hospitalised workers had been cleared to go home.
Specialists on site suspected the workers may have been exposed to pool chemicals dumped into the recycling, she said.
“What that would mean is there was someone in the community that has been highly irresponsible in putting that particular pool chemical in the recycling bin,” Mrs Roberts said.
“We need to really educate people about how to dispose of pool equipment – we don’t want people to put their equipment in the recycling bin.”
Thewest.com.au understands it was initially reported as an ammonia spill but the specific chemical remains unconfirmed.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has urged people to stay away from the Motivation Drive facility and said those in the area should remain inside, out of the smoke or fumes, with doors and windows closed.
Air conditioners should also be switched off.
The incident at the Motivation Drive facility was reported just before 8am.
Emergency services have closed Motivation Drive between Paramount Drive and Excellence Drive and Leadership Way at the Motivation Drive intersection while they investigate.
Authorities have urged people with medical concerns to contact their local doctor or call Health Direct on 1800 022 222.