April, 2004

This is a repeating event

200412AprAll DayMFG Chemical (Dalton) Toxic Release 2004MFG Chemical, Inc. Callahan Rd. Dalton (US-GA) Origin: CSB Lessons:Emergency Preparedness,Process Knowledge,Stakeholder EngagementIndustry:ChemicalsCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Genuine release

Summary

On the night of April 12, 2004, during an attempt to make the first production batch of triallyl cyanurate (TAC) at MFG Chemical, Inc. (MFG) in Dalton, Georgia, a runaway chemical reaction released highly toxic and flammable allyl alcohol and toxic allyl chloride into the nearby community. The fire department ordered an evacuation of residents and businesses within a halfmile of the facility. The release forced more than 200 families from their homes. One MFG employee sustained minor chemical burns and 154 people received decontamination and treatment at the local hospital for chemical exposure, including 15 police and ambulance personnel assisting with the evacuation. Five residents required overnight hospitalization for breathing difficulties. The reactor continued venting toxic vapor for nearly eight hours and the evacuation order lasted more than nine hours.

KEY ISSUES:
• REACTIVE CHEMICALS PROCESS DESIGN
• PROCESS SCALE-UP
• EMERGENCY PLANNING & RESPONSE

ROOT CAUSES:
1. MFG did not understand or anticipate the reactive chemistry hazards. They did not make use of readily available literature on the hazards of reactive chemistry, or conduct a comprehensive literature search of the reactive chemistry specifically involved in manufacturing the product, which would have alerted them to the hazards involved in manufacturing TAC.
2. MFG did not perform a comprehensive process design and hazard review of the laboratory scale-up to full production before attempting the first production run.
3. MFG did not prepare and implement an adequate emergency response plan. They did not train or equip employees to conduct emergency mitigation actions.
4. MFG did not implement the EPA Risk Management Program or the OSHA Process Safety Management program prior to receiving the allyl alcohol. The regulations require comprehensive engineering analyses of the process, emergency planning, a pre-startup safety review, and coordination with the local community before receiving the covered chemical at the site and introducing the covered chemical into the process.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

X