On the night of April 18, a fire in the Dow chemical plant in Plaquemine lead to a chemical leak of one of the most dangerous, most-used industrial chemicals in modern industry: chlorine. Chlorine is used in a variety of manufacturing processes, as well as common household products from plastics to bleach.
Even though chlorine is so useful, it’s also one of the most dangerous chemicals for humans. As far as dangerous chemicals go, it’s second only to carbon monoxide—and there’s evidence that its effects are longer-lasting than carbon monoxide, too.
Chlorine exposure victims can experience lasting symptoms, like bronchitis, asthma, and even PTSD, after an exposure of only a few seconds. Victims of chlorine accidents have reported making first responders cough from the chlorine on their clothes, and the experience of chlorine exposure leaves many unable to work where they’ve been exposed.
Of the workers at the Dow Olin facility who were exposed to chlorine, 23 were admitted to a hospital for their injuries. Early investigations of the event blame the exposure on a ruptured compressor inside the facility, causing a “high-priority” violation of the Clean Air Act, as reported by WBRZ. In addition, the town of Plaquemine was placed under a stay-at-home order for over four hours while the gas dissipated.
The Dangers of Chlorine
Part of what makes chlorine so dangerous is its potency. The maximum federally-allowed exposure for workers in plants is 1 part per million, or ppm. Only 40–60 ppm can produce lung injury; 430 ppm can kill in half an hour, and 1,000 ppm is lethal in only a few minutes.
Even the next morning on a return to work, workers’ throats were burning as they entered the building. The Olin Corporation has a week from the incident to release more information about what happened and how much chlorine was released into the Plaquemine air.
Every one of the victims of this industrial accident deserve fair compensation for their injuries. Some of them could suffer asthma or other respiratory issues for months, years, or even for the rest of their lives. They are almost certainly suffering from pain and mental anguish as a result of this accident.
Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys is Here for Victims of Industrial Accidents
As to who’s liable for this accident—that remains to be seen. However, with the experienced industrial accident lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, the victims of this accident have a good chance of receiving the compensation they need to heal from their injuries and move on with their lives. Compensation could include damages for current and future hospital bills, ongoing physical and mental therapy, and lost wages, both current and future, due to an inability to work. If you or a loved one has been injured by the Olin chemical plant accident, or another chemical leak or industrial accident, give Gordon a call at 888.501.7888 for a free consultation. We promise to give your case the attention it deserves, and we won’t charge you a dime until we win your case.