Styrene gas leaked at 2.30 AM on May 7, 2020 from a Vizag (in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India)-based factory called LG Polymers India Pvt Ltd. Twelve people are reported dead after inhaling the gas and thousands suffering and displaced from their villages and residences.
What is styrene? How toxic is it?
Styrene is an organic compound used in the manufacture of polymers/plastic/resins. It is manufactured in petrochemical refineries. It is a likely carcinogenic substance. It can react with oxygen in the air to mutate into styrene dioxide which is more lethal. According to India’s Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules 1989, styrene is classified as a ‘hazardous and toxic chemical’.
Acute (short-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in mucous membrane and eye irritation and gastrointestinal effects. Chronic (long-term) exposure results in impacts on the central nervous system (CNS), leading to headaches, fatigue, weakness, depression, CSN dysfunction, hearing loss, and peripheral neuropathy. If the amount of styrene goes beyond 800 ppm, then the person exposed to it can go into a coma.
Though it was Hazardous and Toxic Chemical, how LG management is running industry without proper permissions from the government and how Bharathi Polymers and other bottling companies big heads of government purchasing Raw MAterial form LG Polymers
What Environment ( Protection ) Act 1986 Says?
• Environment (Protection) Act, 1986: Omnibus act that gives sweeping powers to the Central government to take all measures to protect the environment. Under it are the following Rules:
• Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986: Set discharge and product standards – source standards for restricting pollution; product standards for manufactured goods and ambient air and water standards – for regulating quality of life and environmental protection.
• Hazardous Waste (management, handling and trans-boundary movement) Rules, 1989: Industry required to identify major accident hazards, take preventive measures and submit a report to the designated authorities.
• Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989: Importer must furnish complete product safety information to the competent authority and must transport imported chemicals in accordance with the amended rules.
• Chemical Accidents (Emergency, Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules, 1996: Centre is required to constitute a central crisis group for management of chemical accidents; set up quick response mechanism termed as the crisis alert system. Each state is required to set up a crisis group and report on its work.
What Public Liability Insurance Act 1991 Says?
• Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991: Imposes a no-fault liability on the owner of hazardous substance and requires the owner to compensate victims of accident irrespective of any neglect or default. For this, the owner is required to take out an insurance policy covering potential liability from any accident.
Definitely will have, but it’s only Rs 5 crores per accident subject to max 3 accidents pa. So Rs 5 crores has to distribute among all people
Did the LG Polymers company not followed the stipulated rules for storage and handling of hazardous chemicals?
There are clear rules on hazardous chemical storage under the EPA, 1986. The unit in question is an ISO-certified facility, which means it has a protocol for everything. Not Followed
However, what seems to be the case is that the plant management, in its haste to re-start the plant, ignored the protocol of doing maintenance of the plant before resuming operations. This, combined with the lack of proper storage of the gas – not maintained at the temperature required – and faulty fixtures could have resulted in the accident.
I think 1000 – 2000 crores of company assets must be attached and kept secured for compensations that is the prime duty of State Government, Whereas Andhra Pradesh Government procrastinating the subject and issue and allowing LG Polymers Management to escape from all liabilities
Is there any particular word , saying that the company to pay to the effected people so and so like that .. or it depends on the package amount they pay to insurance company while starting .
No one has arrested and no one asset attached, this is Never before Ever after…
This was not checked till now by the government and experts that whether the company has maintained the stipulated rules for storage of handling Hazardous Chemicals in the factory premises and Tankers, It seems it was totally violated and moreover without proper environmental permissions company ran production with Hazardous Chemical as Raw Material. The Company Management is liable for death punishment for the above mistakes
The storage tanks of Styrene gas were in dilapidated condition that we are able to see in the pictures clearly.