The gas leak tragedy is a reminder that safety is paramount when exiting the lockdown. Comment
गैस रिसाव त्रासदी एक अनुस्मारक है कि लॉकडाउन से बाहर निकलने पर सुरक्षा सर्वोपरि है। टिप्पणी
Recently, there was a leak of a toxic chemical, Styrene, near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The source of the leak was a styrene plant owned by South Korean electronics giant LG. It has killed several people and left thousands sick.
Styrene is a flammable liquid It is used in the manufacturing of: polystyrene plastics fiberglass rubber latex.
It is also found in: vehicle exhaust cigarette smoke natural foods like fruits and vegetables.
Short-term exposure can result in: respiratory problems irritation in the eyes irritation in the mucous membrane gastrointestinal issues.
Long-term exposure can lead to : central nervous system issues peripheral neuropathy. cancer depression
Symptoms: headache hearing loss fatigue difficulty in concentrating. Styrene is included in the schedule of the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989. Strict norms are to be followed while handling and storing the chemical. An inquiry is yet to be commissioned to know the exact cause of the leak. Faulty safety mechanisms or ignoring them are being cited as the causes of the leak.
The Andhra Pradesh government must focus immediately on the medical needs of those grievously affected by the gas leak. Compensation for the victims and families. Access to the highest quality of health care for the victims must be ensured. Safety of industrial chemicals must be on continuous watch, irrespective of any pandemic. The approach to public and occupational safety must be strengthened. Conclusion The gas leak tragedy is a reminder that safety is paramount when exiting the lockdown.
The disastrous leak of a toxic chemical that has killed several people and left hundreds sick near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh comes as a shock to a nation struggling to cope with a prolonged lockdown. Residents of habitations around Gopalapatnam, close to the site where the LG Polymers plant is located, passed out as the hazardous styrene vapour swept through the area at night. Several deaths took place as people tried to flee, and the chemical rendered them unconscious. There are horrific stories of people falling from buildings, or into wells and ditches as they lost consciousness. They have become the first victims of the exit from the lockdown, when industrial units were allowed to resume their operations. Styrene, the chemical involved in the disaster-struck plant that produces polystyrene products, is included in the schedule of the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989. The rules lay down strict norms on how it should be handled and stored. Although it will take an inquiry to establish what caused the incident, the company and the State government knew that the chemical was hazardous, characterised by poor stability under a variety of conditions that could even lead to explosive situations. It is also reasonable to assume that the safety mechanism built into the storage structures of something so hazardous was either faulty or allowed to be overridden. Was the reopening work at the factory left to unskilled people, as some city officials have said? These aspects must be probed in the inquiry to fix accountability.