RODEO (KCBS) – People with respiratory problems such as asthma or emphysema were advised Friday to avoid the immediate vicinity of the Conoco Phillips Refinery while it carried out a flaring operation.

Health officials in Contra Costa County issued a level two advisory shortly after 2 p.m. because of thick black smoke and flames emerging from a tower at the Rodeo facility.

The advisory warned that eye, skin, nose or throat irritation was possible for anyone in close proximity to the refinery. Anyone who experienced such irritation was advised to go indoors and rinse the irritated area with water.

No shelter in place was issued and most individuals would not be affected, said the director of Contra Costa County’s Hazardous Materials Program, Randy Sawyer.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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