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

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.

  • 2-ETHYLHEXANOYL CHLORIDE DISTILLED
  • ACETIC ACID 84%
  • ACETONE
  • AROMATIC 100
  • BENZOYL CHLORIDE
  • CAUSTIC POTASH 45%
  • CAUSTIC SODA 50%
  • CUMENE HYDROPEROXIDE
  • CUMENE HYDROPEROXIDE
  • DIMETHYL HEXADIENE
  • DIMETHYL HEXANEDIOL DH-S
  • EPSOM SALTS
  • HEXANE
  • HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 70%
  • ISOAMYLENE
  • ISOAMYLENE
  • ISOBUTYLENE     ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
  • MINERAL OIL, WHITE
  • MINERAL SPIRITS ODORLESS
  • MONOSODIUM PHOSPHATE
  • NEODECANOYL CHLORIDE >=98.0% UNDISTILLED
  • PIVALOYL CHLORIDE 95-100%
  • PROPYLENE GLYCOL
  • SODIUM BICARBONATE
  • SODIUM CARBONATE ANHYDROUS LIGHT
  • SODIUM SULFATE ANHYDROUS
  • SODIUM SULFITE ANHYDROUS
  • SULFUR DIOXIDE
  • SULFURIC ACID 93% REAGENT ACS
  • T-BUTYL HYDROPEROXIDE 70%

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

Comments

whatswhat1@yahoo.com tmosley Fri, 09/01/2017 - 14:02 Permalink

Cumene Hydroperoxidecan affect you when breathed inand by passing through your skin.*Cumene Hydroperoxidemay cause mutations. Handlewith extreme caution.* Contact can severely irritate and burn the skin and eyeswith possible eye damage.* BreathingCumene Hydroperoxidecan irritate the nose,throat and mouth causing nosebleeds, sore throat,hoarseness, cough with phlegm, increased saliva, andshortness of breath.* BreathingCumene Hydroperoxidecan irritate the lungscausing coughing and/or shortness of breath. Higherexposures may cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs(pulmonary edema), a medical emergency, with severeshortness of breath.* Exposure can cause headache, dizziness, poor coordinationand even passing out.*Cumene Hydroperoxidemay cause a skin allergy. Ifallergy develops, very low future exposure can causeitching and a skin rash.

In reply to by tmosley

Urban Roman tmosley Fri, 09/01/2017 - 14:20 Permalink

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).

In reply to by tmosley

bloofer tmosley Fri, 09/01/2017 - 13:52 Permalink

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.

In reply to by tmosley

post turtle saver (not verified) kadoka Fri, 09/01/2017 - 13:32 Permalink

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...

In reply to by kadoka

lasvegaspersona Fri, 09/01/2017 - 13:24 Permalink

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.

Juliette Fri, 09/01/2017 - 13:24 Permalink

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!

JimmyRainbow Fri, 09/01/2017 - 13:38 Permalink

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.https://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=12&cad=rja…       pdf download, funnynice story. like some mercury-salts which destroy aluminium surfaces slowly but surely