Today, toxic gas spills out of LG polymer factory in Vishakhapatnam and instantly kills 8 people, and 1000+ are unconscious after inhaling poisonous styrene gas leaked. The accident occurred at around 3 am today early morning at LG Polymers Ltd in Gopalapatnam, when residents were sound asleep in neighboring colonies. Thursday’s tragedy revives memories of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster when a gas leak in a factory belonging to the US chemical company Union Carbide killed thousands.
Early morning leakage from LG Polymers, which produces polystyrene for commercial application, high-impact polystyrene, and colored polystyrene, caused panic in several parts of the city in the Mindhi and Gajuwaka industrial belts.
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister, will leave for Visakhapatnam and visit King George Hospital where care is given to the injured people. “The chief minister is following the situation closely and has ordered the district machinery to take urgent action and provide all assistance,” said CMO, Andhra Pradesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reacted to a gas leak incident that happened at Andhra Pradesh chemical plant and said he has discussed with officials at the Home Affairs ministry and the NDMA regarding the incident. “I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being in Visakhapatnam”: PM Modi said on Andhra Pradesh chemical gas leak.
“Depending on the severity of the inhalation of the poison gas, a person may experience difficulties in the lungs and inhalation of oxygen. It could give rise to fatality severe damage to the central nervous system.”, said Dr. C.V. Rao, Director, GITAM Institute of Medical Sciences.
Short and long-term effects
Dr. D Raghunatha Rao, former Director, Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital and Research Centre said that styrene is basically used in the production of polystyrene plastics and resins. Acute exposure to styrene in humans results in mucous membrane and eye irritation, and gastrointestinal effects.
He said that chronic (long-term) exposure to styrene in human beings leads to severe various complications. He said that studies on its impact on the reproductive and developmental effects of styrene are inconclusive. Numerous research has not recorded a rise in the developmental consequences of women working in the plastics industry. Although another study recorded a rise in the prevalence of spontaneous pregnancies and a decline in the number of births. “Several epidemiological studies indicate that there could be a link between exposure to styrene and an elevated risk of leukemia and lymphoma.
Elderly more affected
Gas leakage could have more effect on aged people and people with respiratory disorders, said Dr. K. Satya Vara Prasad, Director of the Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences. Dr. Avinash Pathengay, the senior ophthalmologist at LV Prasad Eye Hospital, said the gas could trigger the central nervous system, peripheral neuropathy, and extreme weakness and fatigue.
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