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Chemical Disaster

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What is Chemical Disaster?

A chemical disaster is the unintentional release of one or more hazardous substances which could harm human health or the environment. Chemical hazards are systems where chemical disasters could occur under certain circumstances.

The accidental release of large amounts of toxins into the environment. The effects suffered by people in the area are determined by the toxicity of the chemical, its speed in spreading, its composition (liquid, solid, or gaseous), and the spill site, esp. its proximity to a water supply or buildings. The major effect may be due to the chemical itself or to a resulting fire or explosion. The catastrophic release of chemicals may overwhelm, at least temporarily, local or regional health care resources.


Cases of Chemical Disaster


Widely considered the greatest tragedy in chemical industry history, the Bhopal Disaster was a gas leak incident in India that occurred on Dec. 2, 1984, at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya, Pradesh, India. During the night of Dec. 2-3, water entered a tank containing 42 tons of MIC. The resulting exothermic reaction increased the temperature inside the tank to more than 392°F (200°C) and raised the pressure. The tank vented, releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere. The gases were blown by northwesterly winds over Bhopal. Theories differ on how water entered the tank. Operators assumed that bad maintenance and leaking valves made it possible for the water to leak into the tank. Some suggest sabotage by a disgruntled employee via a connection to a missing pressure gauge on the top of the tank. A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused as many as 25,000 deaths, as well as 558,125 injuries (3,900 severely).



Causes of Chemical Disaster

Human Error - A majority of the industrial accidents that occur every year are a result of human error. Many of these accidents are a result of the worker failing to follow the safety procedures that have been put into place by the company where he or she works. When the proper equipment is not used by personnel, accidents can occur.

Improper Training - When personnel are not trained properly or adequately, industrial accidents are more likely to occur. Workers should be taught how to operate the equipment in the way it was designed to be used. They should also learn to employ correct safety procedures when they are operating the equipment. Employees should be well versed in what to do if something goes wrong so that they can work to correct the problem quickly before it gets out of control.

Improper Maintenance - A common reason that industrial accidents occur in chemical plants is the improper maintenance of equipment. Regular maintenance at scheduled intervals following the manufacturer’s recommendations is important for ensuring that the equipment runs smoothly and safely. This can result in dire consequences to the personnel who are operating and working around the machine.


Effects of Chemical Disaster

  • The result in the death of thousand people and animals in the surrounding localities.
  • The exact impact of the chemical on the health of future generations cannot be assessed.
  • Disabilities in human.
  • Environmental degradation.
  • Vomiting, racking coughs, and a sense of suffocation and temporary blindness.



Safety tips from Chemical Disaster

  • Turn off all ventilation.
  • Go into room with fewest openings.
  • Seal doors and windows.
  • Listen to the local radio and television for instructions from authorities.
  • Remain in protected areas.
  • If you are outside, try and gat upwind and inside.



How to stop Chemical Disaster

Use very safely chemical in industry. Don’t forget safety rules for chemical use. Container is safe for chemical. The best thing is to stay indoors. Cover the face and breathe with a wet cloth. Most gases dissolve in water. Most poisonous gases are lighter than air. As such it is relatively safer to lie down close to the ground.



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