A toxic chemical spilled at MeadWestvaco in North Charleston on Thursday afternoon, prompting workers to be evacuated.

"There are no injuries, and there is no impact on the community," said company spokeswoman Amy Kovach.

The spill happened about 5:15 p.m. at the south plant of the company's Specialty Chemicals Division on Virginia Avenue.

A valve on one of the plant's tanks began leaking, Kovach said.

The chemical -- maleic anhydride -- poured into a concrete dike designed to contain such spills, she said. The chemical is a respiratory irritant and can cause thermal burns.

All emergency response procedures were followed, she said.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control and other authorities were notified immediately. But there was no need for backup from nearby agencies, such as North Charleston Fire Department, to respond.

A hazardous materials response team of DHEC and MeadWestvaco emergency workers continued late Thursday to assess the leak for cleanup, she said.

By about 8 p.m. workers at the north plant began heading back to work, but south plant workers still were being kept out of the area.

Kovach said the contained spill will be evaluated further today and that damages and a cause analysis will be performed in the coming business days.