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Styrene: How toxic is the gas leak at Vizag?


The gas leak and resultant death and mayhem were a result of the compound Styrene reacting with oxygen. Here is how deadly the compound is.

Styrene is an organic compound manufactured in refineries and is mostly used in the production of polymers and plastics.

When it reacts with oxygen it creates styrene dioxide which is lethal for human beings.

It is classified as a hazardous and toxic chemical as per the existing norms and is also believed to be carcinogenic.

Short-term exposure to the compound creates acute irritation of the eyes and nose and gastrointestinal problems while long term exposure can affect the nervous system, cause headaches, fatigue, weakness and even hearing loss.

There is also a danger of a person going into a coma of unusually high quantity exposure.

It is also believed that the Styrene can stay in the air for weeks and presence of other pollutants may make it more deadly.