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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 117-128

The styrene gas disaster – lessons to learn and the way forward

1 Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Chief of Medical Oncology, KIMS-ICON Hospital, Sheelanagar, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Endocrine and Diabetes Centre, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
4 Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Raghunadharao Digumarti
208 Green City Heights, Green City, Yadava Jaggaraju Peta, SEZ Post Office, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdrntruhs.jdrntruhs_32_21

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The incident: A large amount of styrene gas was accidentally released from the LG Polymers India plant in Visakhapatnam, India, on 7 May 2020. The release resulted in 12 deaths and hundreds of injured persons in the nearby communities. This article reviews the potential causes and consequences of the accident on the people and the surrounding environment. Health Effects: The chemistry, toxicology, and exposure pathways of styrene are discussed to facilitate understanding the health effects on the exposed population. Lessons from the Bhopal disaster are discussed with a view to investigating and preventing future industrial disasters. The way forward: Using the experience of experts from the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, we propose the requisite methodology to monitor the exposed population using epidemiological research protocols that incorporate risk stratification and clinical investigation of the victims exposed to styrene.

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