What is Styrene, the gas that leaked from Visakhapatnam plant and killed 8

Smoke rising from the factory at vishakhapatnam , Andhra Pradesh.

The Styrene gas can cause nausea and dizziness when inhaled, and experts say that person exposed to the gas should be given medical treatment immediately.

A chemical gas leak at a chemical factory in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday killed at least eight people. More than 2,000 people fell sick after inhaling the poisonous Styrene gas leaked from the plant.

The Styrene gas affects the central nervous system, throat, skin, eyes and some other parts of the body, NDRF Director General S N Pradhan said. Styrene is highly flammable and releases a poisonous gas when burnt.

The gas can cause nausea and dizziness when inhaled, and experts say that person exposed to the gas should be given medical treatment immediately.

According to US National Library of Medicine, Styrene is used to make polystyrene plastics, fiberglass, rubber, and latex in its liquid form. It occurs naturally in some fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, and beverages in low levels.

Styrene is used to make insulation, pipes, automobile parts, printing cartridges and copy machine toner, food containers, packaging material, carpet backing, luggage, shoes, toys, floor waxes and polishes, according to US National Library of Medicine. Cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust too contain styrene.

The plant in Andhra Pradesh is owned by South Korean battery maker LG Chemical Ltd, and is located around 14 kilometers away from Visakhapatnam city.

LG Chem, South Korea’s top petrochemical maker by capacity, took over the facility previously owned by Hindustan Polymers and renamed it as LG Polymers India Private Limited (LGPI) in July, 1997, according to a company website.

The LG Polymers plant makes polystyrene products, according to a company website, which are used in manufacturing electric fan blades, cups and cutlery and containers for cosmetic products such as make up.

Emergency services evacuated hundreds of people from nearby areas where the plant is situated, a police official in Andhra Pradesh said.

Precautionary measure need to  taken

  • Drink more water
  • Use wet cloth and mask
  • If your eyes getting irritated wash them thoroughly and use eye drops
  • If you are feeling itchy skin then wash it with soap and take citrizin-Tan
  • If you feel like vomiting take demostal table
  • Eat milk Banana and jaggery to neutralise the gas effect
  • Feeling uneasy call 108
  • Help people around you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here