Arkema Releases List Of Toxic Chemicals Stored At Doomed Texas Plant, Warns "More Fires" Imminent

Tyler Durden's picture

One day after two explosions rocked its flooded plant in Crosby, Texas, French chemicals giant Arkema said it was on "high alert" as more fires could start at the doomed facility at any moment, according to VP of US manufacturing Daryl Roberts who spoke to reporters on Friday morning. In a separate statement, that company said that "we continue to monitor the temperature in the remaining trailers and there is evidence suggesting that other trailers will soon burn, but there have been no reports of any fires or smoke."

Residents in the vicinity of the Crosby plant, and not only, have grown especially worried about the chemicals contained in the plant, which until recently was only known for holding various forms of organic peroxides. While Arkema executive Richard Rennard said in a press conference Thursday morning that the plant was emitting "noxious" smoke, he would not respond to a question as to whether the smoke from the burning substances was toxic. Incidentally, the following clip shows what happens to the substance if not cooled properly.

Responding to the rising environmental damage concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement on Thursday night they concluded the best course of action was to allow the trailers containing organic peroxide to burn out instead of putting emergency responders in harm's way. It also claimed that its aerial surveillance aircraft did not detect toxic concentrations of chemicals at the site.

"Following this fire, EPA sent aerial surveillance aircraft to test resulting smoke and did ground-level air quality monitoring," read a statement. "EPA’s plane instrumentation is capable of measuring 78 different chemicals, including peroxides. Neither testing methods found toxic concentration levels in areas away from the evacuated facility."

The EPA's blanket dismissal of concerns, however, did little to comfort the local population which has been ordered to evacuate a 1.5 mile perimeter around the plant.

The questioning continued on Friday, when Roberts refused to disclose the exact volumes and location of the chemicals contained in the plant, citing security and terrorism as reasons why.

Instead, aggravating concerns, Arkema said it expects all 500,000 pounds of peroxides on the site to burn. In terms of timing, Arkema Americas CEO Rich Rose said containers filled with chemicals would likely ignite "in a few days" and was unsure how long the situation could last, adding that 1 out of 9 containers with chemicals have already caught fire at Crosby.

Finally, while refusing to provide more details, the company did publish a list of the toxic chemicals stored at the doomed facility on its web site, reposted below.

  • AROMATIC 100

All of these substances are now expected to burn down, many in volatile, explosive fashion, in the coming days.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
kadoka's picture

now that video is cool

Silvery Dan's picture

So if this is all safe I'm guessing we can all purchase it at our local stores?

realmoney2015's picture

Looks like a list of chemicals that are included in household candles:

I wouldn't burn one of those, nor would I want to be anywhere downwind of that!

tmosley's picture

Water is in diesel exhaust, too.

realmoney2015's picture

Yes. But paraffin wax causes many health problems including cancer.



JoeSexPack's picture

All smoke is toxic.


Depends on amount & exposure.


Calm down & light a cigarette.

realmoney2015's picture

No evidence with soy wax or beeswax however. Paraffin wax is a petroleum waste product, of course there will be health concerns with burning it. 

HockeyFool's picture

It would be more helpful if they listed the quantities of each chemical on the list as well.

Are we talking 10 gallons of acetone or 10,000 gallons?

Countrybunkererd's picture

That can't be a complete list either.  I am curious about the nitriles, vinyls, isocyanates, oyls (only two listed???!!)and many other chemicals likely there that are very problematic.

JethroBodien's picture

Who are the fucking morons who built a toxic chemical plant on a flood plain?

Countrybunkererd's picture

Search for CAMEO chemical reactivity software.  It is a computer program where you can mix any chemical and see the toxic/fire/other risks.  It used to be free but it has been years since i needed/used it.

Richard Chesler's picture

EPA Official: Do you have a contingency plan?

Arkema Supervisor: Of course sir. 



Vimes's picture

If by contingency plan you mean; getting the hell out of (Dodge) Houston.  Sure, plan already executed. 

tmosley's picture


That's a big boy oxidizer there.

This is going to be quite a mess.'s picture

Cumene Hydroperoxide

can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin. * Cumene Hydroperoxide may cause mutations. Handle with extreme caution. * Contact can severely irritate and burn the skin and eyes with possible eye damage. * Breathing Cumene Hydroperoxide can irritate the nose, throat and mouth causing nosebleeds, sore throat, hoarseness, cough with phlegm, increased saliva, and shortness of breath. * Breathing Cumene Hydroperoxide can irritate the lungs causing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higher exposures may cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), a medical emergency, with severe shortness of breath. * Exposure can cause headache, dizziness, poor coordination and even passing out. * Cumene Hydroperoxide may cause a skin allergy. If allergy develops, very low future exposure can cause itching and a skin rash.
Urban Roman's picture

They didn't say what concentration of cumene hydroperoxide.

Mostly it's a laundry list of industrial chemicals. Of course you don't want sulfuric acid or anything caustic on your skin, and the hydrocarbons are flammable, etc. 

But the last one on the list caught my attention. Back in the 70s a friend of mine worked at Oxirane for a while. One of their products was TBHP. He had stories to tell, you know. And 70% is the cutoff for that particular peroxide. Higher than 70% it will blow. 

So it was either the cumene or the t-butyl that blew up. A big container of either of those will slowly decompose, get hotter, water will boil off, the concentration will increase, until you have a thermal runaway situation (an 'explosion' as the neighbors would call it).

AngryNinja's picture

It's not all safe Benzoyl Chloride is carcinogenic in humans, also known to cause skin cancer in animals


ParkAveFlasher's picture

No sodium bicarbonate?  LONG ARM & HAMMER!!!

tmosley's picture

They have the industrial versions. All the stuff that has the word "caustic" in the name.

Caustic enough to strip the flesh right off your bones. With a little water, of course.

b-sugar's picture

A bitcoin specialist and a scientist, damn I bet you are making 7K a week

tmosley's picture

I am a chemist, actually.

The scientific method is a very robust tool for understanding reality, even realities that go against what we want to believe.

b-sugar's picture

Says the chemist who defended fuckcoin yesterday, I swear I want to learn from you. teach me

TruthHammer's picture

obviously not a very good one Tom, if you write papers, and everyone but you gets a job...

Stick to making Mead...

bloofer's picture

Caustic soda and caustic potash are both forms of lye: NaOH and KOH, respectively. Either one, or a water solution of either one, will burn skin--and very badly if concentrated. But I suppose there's plenty of water around there to dilute it, and plenty of organic material in the water for the solution to react with.

post turtle saver's picture

gotta love the idiot tweet re: regulation... chemical plants / refineries et al are buried neck deep in regulations, why the hell do you think both FEMA and the EPA are on site? just for the fuck of it?

fine, so you may shoot back "waah waah but no one is _enforcing_ the regulations"... explain why this plant was recently fined when audited, then... a small fine but fined nonetheless, these guys aren't getting a free pass no matter which way you look at it...

I fucking hate idiots that tweet stupid shit like that with the heat of a thousand suns... I hope Trump wins a second term so they all go apopleptic and die from a brain aneurysm...

KFBR392's picture

oh shit i rinse my mouth with peroxide every night! that explains a lot.

gilhgvc's picture

break out the marshmallows and the frankfurters

sirsmokum's picture

NO comment unless doom in headline.

behind the curtain's picture

Perfect time for some hot dogs, apple pie and Shiner .. fireworks start promptly at 9PM and end when the fuel runs out!

UndertheDRADIS's picture

Definitely want to be upwind before opening up the hot dogs.

Cynicles II's picture

Harvey was a racist!

Robert Trip's picture

With the loss of these chemicals expect shortages of Big Macs and Raid.

lasvegaspersona's picture

What chemicals are not 'toxic'? Even glucose ( a chemical!!! OMG) can cause human harm.The media has been reduced to click baiting trolls.

But that is not news.. is it.

Gasseous chlorine deserves attention. Stinky stuff might not have a high LD50.

tmosley's picture

There is plenty of highly toxic and explosive stuff in that list.

Vimes's picture

I am going with alcohol, but only because the weekend has arrived. 

Juliette's picture

Nobody ever thought about building a goddamned dyke around that plant?

Would have cost too much, I guess ... some dirt for a million was too much to ask for, and now they got the damage for billions!

Vimes's picture

All the dykes moved to Cali... but apparently they left their explosive personality behind :D

stormsailor's picture


ironmace's picture

I never realized so many things were called dykes.

Defiated's picture

So, the Gulf of Mexico seems to be a 'Toxic Cocktail'.....anyone for a swim???

krispkritter's picture

Is this the same EPA that gave the 'all clear' after 9/11?  Sure, I'd believe everything they say. 

lasvegaspersona's picture

and what about organic peroxide blondes?

tmosley's picture

Carpet matches the drapes. Charred remnants. 

JimmyRainbow's picture

sulfuric acid 93% is nice. there was a mystery in germany about decomposing banknotes. someone found out due to microtraces of sulfuric acid. over years it destroys the textile, slowly but surely and before someone noticed the notes had contact to a lot of other notes, also decomposing slowly after that. pdf download, funny

nice story. like some mercury-salts which destroy aluminium surfaces slowly but surely

artvandalai's picture

So the Woman Voter person puts out a video which basically communicates what everybody ALREADY KNOWS. But she gets the drama award.

NotApplicable's picture

Maybe she composed the soundtrack?