Monday, October 27, 2008

Dow Chemical's Human Element can't overcome Heat Exchanger Element

If you were around Dow Chemical yesterday afternoon around 4:30 and noticed an unusual pleasant smell in the air, you may have been sniffin' 1,625 pounds of 1,2-dichloroethane that leaked into a cooling water system and vented into the air.

Or, you may have caught a whiff of Luby's getting the red Jell-O ready for the Dow retirees that start wandering down there before the sun gets too low on the horizon.

We hope it was the Jell-O that you smelled.

Cause 1,2-dichloroethane "may reasonably be expected to cause cancer," according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Also, it says here, "The EPA has determined that 1,2-dichloroethane is a probable human carcinogen and the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) considers it to be a possible human carcinogen."

Dow said a heat exchanger failure cause the probable carcinogens to vent into the air.

(In case you were wondering ... 1,2-dichloroethane is used to make vinyl chloride, which is used to make all sorts of plastic and vinyl products including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, furniture and automobile upholstery, wall coverings, housewares, and automobile parts. It is also used to as a solvent and is added to leaded gasoline to remove lead.)


Cristian said...

Holy smokes. Glad I don't live down there anymore. Although I am missing me some Cafe Annice. Keep it up, Banjo.


Anonymous said...

FYI - it was also, and may still be, used to decaffinate coffee. So, drink up, you health freaks.

Personally, I'd rather have the caffein. Though I've been exposed to somewhere around 10,000X the amount of MeCl2/1,2-dichloroethane/methylene chloride than the ordinary person, so it really wouldn't matter much to me.