Chemical Release at Texas DuPont Plant

Earlier this month, a chemical release at the DuPont Beaumont plant resulted in a partial plant shut down. As a result of the Texas plant accident, one worker was taken to the hospital and 26 others were evaluated by an on-site physician, there have been no reported injuries.

The chemical spill occurred in the morning while the plant was starting up. During the start up process, liquid aniline was released out of a safety release valve. The company spokesperson, Aaron Woods, said that the liquid came in contact with the ground and other places around the plant. DuPont shut down the aniline unit and took safety precautions to evaluate any exposure of plant workers.

Woods said that the company’s clean team decontaminated the affected areas. The team uses soap, water and bleach to remove the aniline. The team also made “a pathway where people on site can leave with the assurance they won’t get the material on their shoes.” Woods stated the chemical release was limited to the site of the plant and that it is not a threat to the community. He also gave assurances that the appropriate regulatory agencies were notified.

Aniline, the chemical produced at the plant, is used to make polyurethane, which is made into such things as insulation, dyes, herbicides and agricultural chemicals. It is a clear to slightly yellow liquid with a foul odor. There is a health risk associated with aniline if a person is repeatedly exposed to it over a long period of time.