LG Polymers Gas Leak: What Exactly Is Styrene Gas And How Harmful Is It?

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Styrene is a colorless liquid gas that evaporates easily. It is widely used to make plastics and rubber. Consumer products containing styrene include: packaging materials, insulation for electrical uses (i.e., wiring and appliances) ,insulation for homes and other buildings, fiberglass, plastic pipes, automobile parts, drinking cups and other items.

Styrene gas can be quickly spread in the air and it is harmful to living beings.

Short term exposure to styrene in humans results in mucous membrane irritation and eye irritation and gastrointestinal effects. When inhaled, it mainly affects the upper respiratory tract.

Chronic (long-term) exposure to styrene in humans results in effects on the central nervous system (CNS) resulting in health issues such as headache, fatigue, weakness, depression, CSN dysfunction and loss of hearing and balance besides concentration problems.

Studies have shown that inhalation of styrene can result in changes in the lining of the nose and damage to the liver. However, studies on animals say that animals may be more sensitive than humans to the nose and liver effects.

It is likely that children would have the same health effects as adults.

A few studies also say that styrene is anticipated to be a human carcinogen. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that styrene is a possible carcinogen.

Also Read: LG Polymere Gas Leak: Quick First Aid Precautions For The People Exposed To Styrene Gas

Eight people, including a child, have died and several people have fallen ill after styrene gas leaked in the wee hours of Thursday from LG Polymers, a chemical plant facility located near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Also Read: Vizag Gas Leak Tragedy Kills Several Animals

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