On May 7, 2020, Styrene gas leaked LG Polymers India Private Limited plant in Vizag- Visakhapatnam, Andra Pradesh, India. It was leaked from a tank in the plant. At least 11 peoples died after Styrene gas leaked from a chemical plant. Over 1000 people have been affected by this gas.
So we need to know what this Styrene gas is and why it is used in the industries.
What is Styrene?
Styrene is an organic compound with the chemical formula C3H8. Its IUPAC name is Ethenylbenzene. It is a chemical used to make latex, synthetic rubber, and polystyrene resins. These resins are used to make plastic packaging, disposable cups and containers, insulation, and other products.
|Physical state||clear, colorless.|
|Colour||Colorless to yellowish, oily liquid|
|Melting point/ freezing point||-31°C(lit.)|
|Boiling point or initial boiling point and boiling range||145°C|
|Flammability||Class IC Flammable Liquid: Fl.P. at or above 22.8°C and below 37.8°C.Combustible. Gives off irritating or toxic fumes (or gases) in a fire.|
|Solubility||In water:0.3 g/L (20 ºC),|
|Vapour pressure||12.4 mm Hg ( 37.7 °C)|
It is primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics and resins. Acute (short-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in mucous membrane and eye irritation, and gastrointestinal effects. Chronic (long-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in effects on the central nervous system (CNS), such as headache, fatigue, weakness, and depression, CSN dysfunction, hearing loss, and peripheral neuropathy.
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Human studies are inconclusive on the reproductive and developmental effects of styrene; several studies did not report an increase in developmental effects in women who worked in the plastics industry, while an increased frequency of spontaneous abortions and decreased frequency of births were reported in another study. Several epidemiologic studies suggest there may be an association between styrene exposure and an increased risk of leukemia and lymphoma. However, the evidence is inconclusive due to confounding factors.
So, I hope you have got the basic idea of this gas that why it is dangerous however actual death reason due to this gas is not confirmed yet.
Also read Why Water drops are always spherical?