Friday, September 01, 2017

'Toxicity Is a Relative Thing'

Technically, Arkema spokesasshole Richard Rennard, is correct. Technically, a pint of pure strychnine is more toxic than a jigger of arsenic but both will kill you just as dead.
The result of a leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India in 1984.

The fact that Arkema is refusing to disclose what chemicals are being aerosolized by the fire at their Texas plant because of "terrorist" concerns should be terrifying. If terrorists would consider the chemicals Arkema has sufficiently deadly to make the plant a target then those chemicals are too dangerous to be stored near human habitation. The explosions and fires are mixing the chemicals in unknown ways creating compounds of unknown lethality.

Like Arkema, Union Carbide refused to disclose the chemicals they had released into the environment. Thousands died from the initial exposure and thousands more died in the following weeks. Still more tens of thousands were permanently crippled from the exposure. Even today, hundreds of children are born annually with horrible birth defects due to the lingering contamination of the ground and water supply.

Of course, Bhopal was a large city of nearly one million residents while Crosby, Texas has a population of only 2,000 people. So, from a corporate perspective, the cancers and birth defects in Crosby caused by Arkema are likely to be considered an acceptable financial risk. Also, from a corporate perspective, the lives of a few rural folk are far less important than maintaining a strong stock price.

No comments: