Chemistry Research Paper Sample on Jamshedpur Gas Leak

Jamshedpur Gas Leak

            Chemical accidents pose a great threat to properties and population due to the magnitude of damage they can cause. Gas leakages in chemical industries can cause death and fire explosions that can destroy properties. One of the chemical disasters was Jamshedpur gas leak in India. On 27th may, 2008 there was a leakage of chlorine gas from unused cylinder in the water treatment plant owned by Tata Motors (Joshi, 2008). The gas leakage went unnoticed for some time making the gas to spread and affect the nearby residential areas. The next day after the leakage started 200 people had been hospitalized with respiratory problems. The affected persons included the employee, their family members, and the nearby local residents. The residents affected by the gas incidents reported difficulty in breathing (Joshi, 2008).

Effect and Chemical Properties of the Hazardous Material

            Chlorine gas is considered pulmonary chemical agent, primarily because of its effect on the respiratory system (Meyer, 2010). It is normally pale green in color, with a pungent shocking smell. Chlorine is used in water purification plants because of its strong oxidizing properties. Its toxicity causes irritation in the human respiratory system. The early sign from a person who has inhaled chlorine gas is suffocation as a result of difficulty in breathing. 30 to 60 minutes of intensive exposure to the gas can result to pulmonary edema. Treatment is normally directed towards visible physiological signs and symptoms since there is no post-exposure or prophylactic therapy available for chlorine. The prime cause of death is respiratory failure as a result of exposure to chlorine gas. When chlorine liquid is released to the atmosphere it quickly changes to gaseous form, which spreads and stays close to the ground since it is denser that air (Meyer, 2010). When the gas comes into contact with moist surface of tissues such as lungs, throat, and eyes, it forms acid that can damage the tissues. The chemical formula involved is: Cl2+H2O→HOCl+HCl.

            Normally, long-term complications do not manifest from survivors of acute exposure to chlorine gas. However, in case of medical complication or bacterial infection there can be more pronounced long-term effects as a result of exposure to chlorine gas. As per the factories Act and the Environmental Act, it is always important for industries to ensure they protect the people and the environment where they are operating (Dunning & Oswalt, 2015). Companies should comply with all health and safety regulations in order to avert accidents and most importantly to reduce their consequences to the environment and people. It is upon every company to provide people with vital information, equipment, and adequate training on how to handle hazardous materials.

Mitigation Plans

            As a result of this incidence, the emergency response community recognized the need to reduce impact in case of disaster of this kind. Hazardous materials pose great challenge and demands quick evacuation of persons in order to reduce the impact of the disaster (Dunning & Oswalt, 2015). Performance and timing posed vital opportunities and challenges.  Often, the most extensive problems in the incident were caused by lack of preparedness. It is important for companies and organizations to train people and employee on the 4-phase disaster management cycles, which involves the sequence of avoidance, attentiveness, response, and recuperation. The incident prompted local preparation for disaster events by creating community based disaster management teams (Joshi, 2008). This involved training people on how to handle various disasters in order to help in case of a major disaster. This would significantly increase local capacity to handle such disasters. This would ensure quick evacuation of persons from the affected as a result of quick decision-making.

Conclusion

            The Jamshedpur chlorine leak resulted in comparatively a small number of fatalities; however, it illustrated significant number of lessons for evacuation and disaster planning and management. The important lessons extend to evacuation and safety practices that should expand to the most remote regions of all-embracing systems. It is important to ensure appropriate disaster sensitivity through sophisticated civic education on how to interact with hazardous materials. Comprehensive emergency response education should include the most distant communities and people within small-towns.

References

Dunning, A., & Oswalt, J. (2015). Train wreck and chlorine spill in Graniteville, South Carolina: Transportation effects and lessons in small-town capacity for no-notice evacuation. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board.

Meyer, E. (2010).Chemistry of hazardous materials (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Joshi, M. (2008). The Chlorine Gas Leak at Jamshedpur.