Is Styrene gas leak in Vizag very dangerous?

The poisonous gas leak in LG Polymers P Ltd in Gopalapuram, Visakhapatnam is sending shivers across the region. With many chemical experts going on record that there is no remedy to treat those exposed to Styrene gas, analysis is on as to how dangerous the styrene gas leak in Visakhapatnam.

It is also not clear whether the 11 people who died are due to the direct exposure to styrene gas or to one of its byproducts. Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar Meena assured that the gas is nonpoisonous and would be fatal only when people are exposed to longer duration.

However, people are scared after witnessing the disturbing visuals when many from the surrounding villages like RRV Puram, Venkatapuram, BC Colony, Padmapuram, and Kamparapalem — fell and collapsed unconscious.

How Dangerous is Styrene Gas

Styrene is a flammable liquid that is used in the manufacturing of polystyrene plastics, fiberglass, rubber, and latex. It is also found in cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, and also in natural foods like vegetables and fruits.

People suffer from following symptoms

When exposed to Styrene accidentally, people experience hearing loss, headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and weakness. US-based Environment Protection Agency (EPA) also reported side effects on the eye, liver, CNS, kidney, and nasal irritation.

Prolonged exposure

Prolonged exposure will result in a drastic effect on the central nervous system and result in problems like peripheral neuropathy. It also leads to depression and cancer in some cases. There may be an association between styrene exposure and risk of lymphoma and leukemia.

The cases are high in Visakhapatnam as the leak was detected at 3 AM, and many inhaled the gas when they were asleep. The police had to break open the doors to shift people from their houses.