Stanton police Sunday were investigating the illegal dumping of about a dozen containers of dangerous chemicals behind a vacated liquor store.
The containers, found about 100 feet from an apartment complex, were separated, placed in plastic bags and removed from the site without any leakage, said Sgt. Sly Clark.
A member of the Orange County Fire Department's hazardous materials team, which was called in to handle the containers, told officers that one of the chemicals, acetaldehyde, was "unstable" and should be refrigerated, Clark said. The chemical could explode if it became hot, but it was not dangerous at the time, he said.
Stanton police were advised of the illegally discarded chemicals about 8 p.m. Saturday by Cypress police, who had received an anonymous tip. The caller, Clark said, told police, "There are some dangerous chemicals. . . . You'd better send someone out there quick."
Besides the acetaldehyde, the chemicals were calcium chloride, hydrochloric acid, denatured alcohol and an unknown corrosive, Clark said.
According to the Condensed Chemical Dictionary, published in 1981 by Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., acetaldehyde is highly flammable and is used in the manufacture of acetic acid.