VIZAG NEWS – Which gas leaked in Vizag?

On May 7, 2020, a thick air, pungent smell of styrene gas unfurled at Visakhapatnam’s LG polymers plant.

The preparations for the reopening of  LG polymers, led to this gas leak.    

What is styrene sickness?

This is what actually happened on Thursday at Gopalapatnam in the city of destiny, Vizag. Everyone in that area suffered from Styrene sickness, which is exposure to high concentrations of styrene gas that affects humans.

Evacuation of people on gas leak Vizag:

At 3:30 am on Thursday, the villagers informed the officials about the presence of gas in the air.  They evoked this due to the burning sensation caused by the LG Polymers. Later, people were also advised not to go out as there were chances of the blast of LG polymers.

Flicks of this incident left many citizens fainting. People became unconscious and were seen lying on the roads of Vizag.           

Vizag gas leads to death tolls!

As announced by NDRF, 11 people have died and around 300 are hospitalised. 

What are the symptoms of styrene gas exposure?

  • Irritation of eyes 
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Rashes
  • Burning sensation 
  • Unconsciousness 

Styrene gas effects on the long term:

  •  Majorly affects CNS and kidneys
  • Gastrointestinal effects
  •  Headache 
  • Depression
  • Hearing loss 
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • cancer.

Immediate precautionary measures:

  • GVMC urged people to stay indoors.
  • Use a wet cloth to cover their noses and mouth.
  • Washing skin and eyes with water as even very small amounts of  styrene may enter through skin.
  • If fatal, providing with breathing support.

What is styrene?

 It is chemically called vinyl benzene. Styrene is found naturally in foods and even in tobacco smoke.  It is highly flammable and releases a poisonous gas when burnt.

An antidote for the gas leak:

Para – tertiary butyl catechol ( PTBC) – will be used on Friday to neutralise the affects and spread of styrene gas leak

Is there a Medical test to Determine?

Yes,  there is. The levels of styrene in blood,  urine  and body tissues can be measured. This should be done within few hours after  styrene gas exposure.  Or else , it breaks down the metabolites in the body.  

        Finally, don’t panic as styrene is not poisonous. It’s fatal when breathed only in large doses.