It was a nightmare for over 5,000 people who rushed to the nearest hospitals with breathlessness and burning skin and eyes which was later detected as Styrene, a toxic case that escaped from an LG Polymers facility that had been shut for over 40 days due to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. While 12 succumbed to the toxic gas, 1,000 locals were admitted to hospitals with almost 25 patients still fighting death on critical units.
Followed by which a number of chemical experts and environmental engineers started looking into the issue over the long term health risks probability, the experts unveiled shocking facts. Studies revealed that that the toxic gas which showed skin-related problems like rashes and burning of eyes previously, has carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effect on human beings, if inhaled in high quantities.
“We are right now assessing as to what extent this chemical has entered the air and its impact on the people,” said P Prasada Rao, an environmental engineer with the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board. This set ripples in the villages nearby where almost 5,000 members were reported to be infected.
Many of the health experts raised concerns over the patients of future threats of falling prey to cancer. Adding to this, State industries minister P Gautam Reddy also admitted that Styrene, if breathed in high quantity, has the proximity of turning people lethal.
Into the reasons behind the accident, it was learnt that as many as 25 workers were involved in the maintenance work apparently not maintained the stipulated temperature during the lockdown period. There was 2,000 metric tons of the gas (liquid) in the tank that created the problem. Another tank has 3,000 metric tons of the gas stored.