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WINDS OF DEATH

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Title: WINDS OF DEATH


1
CHAPTER 5
  • WINDS OF DEATH

2
  • - A chapter about the production and release of
    toxic compounds
  • Looks at the evolution of chemical hazard
  • --- a production of the interaction of the
    development of the industry and how society
    utilizes chemical products

3
I cant think of a better example of the chemical
specialization than the pesticide industry
  • Insecticide Herbicide
  • Fungicide Nematicide
  • Rodenticide Bactericide
  • Acaricide Algicide
  • Miticide Molluscicide
  • Avicide Slimicide
  • Piscicide Ovicide

4
Pesticide-class chemicals not carrying a
-icide suffix
  • Disinfectants
  • Growth regulators
  • Defoliants
  • Desiccants
  • Repellents
  • Attractants
  • Chemosterilants

5
  • Combining industrial, economic, political, and
    social contexts, gives a better understanding of
    where and why chemical hazards occur
  • and why some people and places are more
    susceptible to this risk
  • Bhopal, India (1984)
  • Guadalajara, Mexico (1992)
  • Seveso, Italy (1997)

6
  • - Accidental releases occur daily, some small and
    unnoticed. Others resulting in significant damage
    to both people and property

7
Forms of Impacts
  • (1) disruption of organic life- support
    systems
  • (2) damage to wildlife
  • (3) damage to human health
  • (4) damage to property
  • (5) nuisance effects
  • (smell tastesight)

8
Types of Chemical Hazards
  • Toxic chemicals substances that are fatal to
    over 50 of test animals at a given concentration
  • Hazardous chemicals harmful to humans for a
    number of reasons
  • Carcinogen chemicals, radiation, or viruses
    that cause/promote growth of malignancy
    especially resulting in metastasis

9
Types of Chemical Hazards, cont
  • Mutagens agents like radiation or chemicals
    that cause mutations
  • change in the DNA of a living organism
    especially in germ cells
  • Teratogens chemicals, radiation, viruses, etc,
    that cause birth defects in human embryos

10
Chemical Hazards and Terrorism
  • There are many chemical agents available to
    terrorists
  • Some of the most widely known and feared and
    would cause the greatest number of injuries

11
Chemical Hazards and Terrorism, cont
  • (1) Blister Agents (mustard gas) a few drops
    can cause severe injury(attacks eyes, skin,
    respiratory and digestive systems)
    flammable
  • In pure state, colorless and odorless
    manufacturers add color (amber, green) and odor
    (mustard, garlic)

12
Chemical Hazards and Terrorism, cont
  • (2) Blood Agents (hydrogen cyanide) under
    pressure a liquid, in use a gas flammable
  • Low concentrations-little effect
  • High concentration toxic and rapid death
    (attacks eyes nervous, respiratory digestive
    systems)
  • In pure state odor of almonds or peach blooms
  • (/-) volatile, dissipates quickly
  • () Toxic effects may be delayed

13
Chemical Hazards and Terrorism, cont
  • (3) Choking Agents (chlorine) many are
    industrial compounds, are readily available
  • React with H2O to form hypochlorous acid (HClO)
    and hydrochloric acid (HCl ) attacks
    respiratory system (coughing, choking, fluid
    build-up)
  • Pungent, bleach-like smell, greenish- yellow gas

14
Chemical Hazards and Terrorism, cont
  • (4) Nerve agents (Sarin) all are toxic in
    small concentrations
  • Odorless, resembles water or a light vegetable
    oil aerosol dispersion best
  • Attacks eyes, skin, muscles, respiratory
    system, nervous system, digestive system
  • Many dead animals, birds, insects may indicate
    an incident

15
The Production of Chemical Hazards
  • Many types of hazard are associated with the
    chemical industry. They can generally be classed
    into two categories
  • (a) incidents / accidents
  • (b) waste products

16
The Production of Chemical Hazards, cont
  • - Severity and magnitude of the hazard is a
    function of
  • (1) type of technological failure
  • (2) location of the incident
  • Both will affect the spatial area impacted,
    including as it relates to product life cycles

17
The Production of Chemical Hazards, cont
  • (3) property(ies) of the chemical hazard
  • --- persistence resistance to degradation
  • hydrolysis (water)
  • photolysis (sunlight)
  • oxidation (O2 bacteria)
  • --- solubility ability to dissolve in water
  • --- volatility measure of the tendency of a
    compound to become a gas
  • --- absorption tendency to bond with
    organic and inorganic matter

18
The Production of Chemical Hazards, cont
  • - Because chemical hazard incidents can occur at
    any point in the lifetime of the chemical
    manufacture-to-disposal chemical hazards are
    difficult to manage

19
Cutter
  • More than any other technological hazards,
    chemical hazards require a thorough understanding
    of the scale and context (social, historical,
    political, economic, environmental) of chemical
    use because of the source of the hazard is so
    randomly distributed (p. 87)

20
  • Technological change and innovation is the
    driving force in the evolution of world societies
    from rural agrarian to urban industrial
  • --- since the Industrial Revolution, the pace
    of innovation has accelerated with marked
    societal results

21
Better living through chemistry?
  • - Rapidness of this technological change and its
    complexity has led to a correlated increase in
    unintended and unanticipated consequences
  • - Until very recently, societies have taken the
    position that benefits have outweighed
    risks/costs esp chemical industry
  • somewhat blindly, I think

22
Chemical Industry Temporal Patterns
  • Viewed most broadly, two spatial patterns emerge
  • (1) Prior to 1900 concentration in
    Britain (soda) and Germany (Dyeing)
  • (2) After 1900 diversified and rapidly
    growing

23
  • Why pattern after 1900?
  • --- technological advances / innovations in
    science
  • --- internationalization of industry /
    multi-nationals
  • --- mechanization increased efficiency
  • --- abandonment of batch operations for
    continuous-flow operations

24
Product Life Cycles
  • Text says that these also played an important
    role in industry transformation / spatial
    organization
  • Can be viewed as birth-to-death of of a product
    line or an innovation (p. 89)

25
Product Life Cycles, cont
  • Four stages
  • (1) research and development
    conception, testing, patenting,
    commercialization of a product or innovation
  • --- industry concentrated in a few
    locations reflecting factor(s) of
    production

26
Product Life Cycles, cont
  • Four stages, cont
  • (2) new product stage introduction of new
    product / innovation
  • --- rapid market growth
  • --- market monopolization
  • --- core area is reinforced and enhanced as
    skilled labor emigrates
  • may become nodal and foster
  • business serving employment

27
Product Life Cycles, cont
  • Four Stages, cont
  • (3) maturity competitors enter the product /
    innovation field
  • --- innovator firms advantage disappears
  • --- need to reduce cost and product is mass
    produced
  • --- industry seeks dispersion of facilities
    to control cost and off-set decreased market
    share

28
Product Life Cycles, cont
  • Four stages, cont
  • (4) decline and termination
  • --- product or innovation declines and
    eventually disappears
  • --- new product of innovation opportunity
  • --- often associated with antiquated
    facilities / methods
  • --- firm may continue reduced marketing of
    product/innovation

29
Historical and Spatial Evolution of the Chemical
Industry
  • International Developments pre-1900
  • - Text sulphuric acid was the first commercially
    produced chemical (Arabs 8th C)
  • - Not until the Industrial Revolution that the
    chemical industry go its start
  • --- early 18th C industry production dominated
    by heavy organics, particularly alkali and soda
    ash both in demand for hard soap and glass
    production

30
  • International Developments pre-1900, cont
  • - Initially demand far exceeded supply (vegetable
    sources)
  • as a consequence, the impetus existed for
    innovation and the search for alternative
    sources
  • (1) Cutter cites the LeBlanc Method
  • sulphuric acid and salt to synthesize alkali

31
  • International Developments pre-1900
  • - LeBlanc Method inherently dangerous
  • Interesting for every ton of synthetic alkali
    produced by LeBlanc, 1.4 tons of tank waste
    resulted
  • - By 1863, concern about the effects of
    hydrochloric venting that the British government
    enacted the UK AlKali Act

32
  • International Developments pre-1900
  • (2) Solvay Method for alkali synthesis
  • less tank waste cheaper in raw materials
    needed less labor
  • became preferred method of
  • production
  • more capital intensive not accepted in
    Britain factor in the demise of British soda
    industry

33
  • Other sectors of the chemical industry in Europe
    were equally important
  • (1) synthetic dyes from coal tar
  • (Switzerland and Germany)
  • (2) coal tar gas
  • (3) explosives industry

34
  • Explosives industry developed somewhat
    differently
  • --- early industry (esp. if Chinese are
    included)
  • --- not dominated by a single country or
    concern
  • national defense?
  • national pride?
  • --- initially greater competition

35
  • --- eventually saw the evolution of the
    Gunpowder Trust , an oligopoly which
    cooperated in carving out market areas and
    market shares for its members
  • --- Factors consolidated producers into two
    giants
  • du Pont (U.S.)
  • Noble Industries (Scotland)

36
  • - Additionally, during the period
  • (a) growth of pharmaceutical sector---
    Bayer (1898)
  • (b) birth of petro-chemical industry---
    fertilizers and pesticides

37
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry
  • Pre-World War I Rapid Innovations
  • U.S. chemical industry in its infancy and largely
    dominated by foreign technology and foreign
    investment
  • --- despite 100 years of independence we were
    still a cog in European mercantile colonialism

38
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry, cont
  • By 1900 U.S. had distinct chemical production
    concentrations
  • (1) close to market areas
  • (Philadelphia/northern New Jersey)
  • (2) close to raw materials
  • (West Virginia/Detroit/Pittsburgh, etc)
  • (3) close to power sources
  • (Niagara Falls)

39
  • - Interesting few chemical producers in
    Mid-west or in Gulf Coast States
  • - Pre-war years were characterized by rapid
    innovation in the industry
  • Dow bromides from brine
  • Monstanto artificial sweetener
  • chemical advancements in plastic and acrylics
  • Kodak emulsions and film-making

40
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry, cont
  • War and Inventiveness
  • Armed conflict spark invention and innovation
    esp. for the chemical industry
  • (1) war-time embargo brought German
    shortage in nitrogen
  • (2) development of caustic chlorine gas,
    mustard gas and chloropicrin
  • (3) synthesis of isopropyl alcohol

41
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry, cont
  • By the end of WWI, the U.S. chemical industry had
    grown significantly while retaining decentralized
    spatial organization
  • - The fertilizer industry was the largest single
    sector, followed by explosives

42
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry, cont
  • The Interwar Years Merger Mania and
    Diversification
  • 1920s and 30s were decades of merger and
    acquisition the chemical industry grew and
    expanded operations into new products and markets
  • Research takes precedent over manufacturing

43
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry, cont
  • The Interwar Years Merger Mania and
    Diversification cont,
  • Two important discoveries occurred in the
    inner-war period that permanently altered
    American chemical industry
  • (1) development of polymerization
  • (2) ability to crack molecules

44
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry, cont
  • The Interwar Years Merger Mania and
    Diversification , cont
  • - polymerization allowed customization of
    molecule chains
  • - cracking molecules results in more
    feedstock for processing / later new products
  • - whole synthetics industry ultimately
    increased need for resources and raw material

45
Interesting
  • Changing World Technologies, a factory in
    Carthage, MI, utilizing a process called thermal
    depolymerization has developed a way to speed up
    Mother Nature by combining heat and pressure to
    convert turkey by-products (beaks, feathers,
    bones, etc,) into oil

46
Interesting, cont
  • Claim process will work on anything containing
    carbon
  • The only by-products are oil, natural gas, carbon
    materials and water
  • Plant produces 3,000 barrels of biofuel weekly
    from 1200 tons of turkey parts (ConAgra
    slaughterhouse supplied)
  • Cost 80/barrel smell of burning turkey parts
    threat of increased cost of turkey guts (E
    Magazine, Vol XVI, No. 6)

47
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry, cont
  • Shortages and Substitutions
  • Once again, war spawned shortages and need for
    substitutions sparked technological development
  • - Much of this expansion was Federally funded as
    military or patriotic need

48
The 20th Century and the American Chemical
Industry, cont
  • Shortages and Substitutions, cont
  • (1) war time expansion
  • (2) affluent American chemical market
  • (3) destruction of the German
  • petro-chemical industry during and after the
    war made the U.S. industry world leaders after
    the war

49
Unheralded Growth and Transition
  • 1950-60s brought little technological change
  • easier to think of this time as period of
    reorganization / restructuring
  • Movement from small operations supplying
    domestic-market need to publicly trades
    corporations of international branch operations
    and product diversification
  • demanded larger / more capital intensive
    operations

50
Unheralded Growth and Transition, cont
  • ? How much of this overseas restructuring was the
    result of birth of U.S. environmental movement
    (NEPA, EPA, etc) and subsequent moratorium on
    production of select chemical production in the
    U.S.
  • --- it is clear that increased government
    regulation of pharmaceutical industry did occur

51
Unheralded Growth and Transition, cont
  • Example clioquinol thalidomide (Cantergan)
    and phocomelia deformity
  • I would add that this regulation was complicated
    by indirect biological response example
    exposure to
  • --- formaldehyde and sickhouse syndrome
  • --- sodium fluoroacetate

52
Unheralded Growth and Transition, cont
  • There are also immune system depressants that
    turn off body natural defenses
  • Widespread access to TV makes media become a
    leading mass marketing tool
  • chemical sales becomes big business
  • Economies of scale drove chemical industry
    thinking
  • (drive for efficiency and market share)

53
Unheralded Growth and Transition, cont
  • Also, during this period chemicals as weapons of
    war again make appearance
  • now directed against their operating
    environment not them
  • ex napalm, dev. In WWII by Dupont and
    Standard Oil CO. reappears
  • Also a growing backlash against the chemical
    industry
  • Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
  • common ground movement of anti-war, consumer
    protection and environmental, groups

54
Safety and Environmental Awakening
  • With what we developed and what we knew at the
    time, is the U.S. chemical industry good or
    bad?
  • Mowrey and Redmond vs Ames
  • - After 1970 the chemical industry for first time
    comes under concerted, organized and unified
    regulatory effort

55
Safety and Environmental Awakening, cont
  • (1) Legislative - Occupational Safety and Health
    Administration (OSHA)
  • --- legislative act unifying worker protection
    across the U.S.
  • --- set health and safety standards for
    workplaces of 10 or more workers
  • --- Standards set for noise, chemical agents,
    temperature, workplace
  • safety, worker training and exposure

56
Safety and Environmental Awakening, cont
  • (2) Accidents brought occupational and
    environmental exposure
  • Firemaster (1974) fire retardant of
    polybrominated biphenyls was mistakenly delivered
    to a agricultural feed plant instead of
  • Nutrimaster , a dairy additive thousands of
    farm animals died, animal deformities

57
  • A Michigan feed worker accidentally mixed a bag
    of Firemaster into feed. Before discovered,
    thousands of cows (as well as pigs chickens
    sheep) in southwestern Michigan were affected.
    As were humans who ate the meat and eggs, drank
    the milk, etc
  • 23,000 cattle 1.5 million chickens thousands
    of pigs and sheep were slaughtered
  • why? simple mistake - same company, similar
    names, similar packaging

58
Safety and Environmental Awakening, cont
  • (2) Cont
  • kepone (early 1970s) a pesticide poisons the
    James River and chemical workers
  • Lathrop, CA (1978) EPA closed a
    dibromochloropropane where chemical workers
    became sterile and pesticide residue contaminated
    soil and groundwater

59
Safety and Environmental Awakening, cont
  • These episodes and others fueled chemophobia
    and brought renewed calls for tighter legislation
  • The chemical industry continued growth and
    expansion, esp. in petro-chemicals
  • helped Texas, Louisiana, New York, New
    Jersey, California become leading chemical
    states and older industrial concentrations
    dispersed

60
Risk and Hazards Assessment
  • Accidents have always been part of the chemical
    industry
  • both in reality and perceptually
  • history has repeated itself with multiple
    accidents in the same location
  • reliable data on accidents is complicated by
    a lack of dependable data on type and
    circumstance
  • further, big accidents get the press

61
Risk and Hazards Assessment, cont
  • It is easy to conclude that worldwide there is a
    general underestimation of accident hazard
  • Globally there is no comprehensive data base,
    though attempts are in place
  • SARA Title III (U.S.)
  • EU Seveso Directive
  • Control of Industrial Major Accident Hazard
    (U.K.)
  • UN International Programme on Chemical Safety
  • UN International Register of Potentially Toxic
    Chemicals

62
Airborne Toxic Releases
  • International Patterns
  • As would be expected, there are conflicting
    reports on the trend in chemical accidents
    (Cutter)
  • General consensus that greatest frequency of
    these accidents are LDCs
  • lack industrial infrastructure development /
    safety and response infrastructures
  • --- this is somewhat balanced more reported
    accidents lesser severity

63
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • The U.S. Hazardscape
  • Cutter opens section with a statement that
    examination of the global patterns of
    accidents reveal little about the contextual
    nature of the hazard
  • How should we be trained to react to releases?
  • Time limit time of exposure
  • Distance distance yourself from the threat
    uphill and upwind
  • Shielding learn common substance that form a
    barrier / protect (Schellhorn)

64
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • For example
  • (1) A doctor in Richland, WA, you see an
    inordinate number of cancer patients. A check
    shows no reported chemical or radioactive
    accidents in your area. Random occurrence?
    Probably not.
  • You are downwind of Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
    For 28 yrs (circa 1970) Hanford had routinely
    released radioactive metals and chemicals into
    the atmosphere. Because it was SOP, it is not
    classed as an accident

65
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • Or
  • (2) Tired of problems at Richland, you move east
    to Long Island, where you encounter much the same
    scenario of cancer clustering. Coincidence?
    Probably not.
  • Long Island is home to Brookhaven National
    Laboratory, a center for pure scientific study.
    One of their experiments was the Gamma Forest.
    Here for 15 yrs (to 1980), 20 hrs a day, high
    concentrations of radioactive cobalt was pumped
    through 100 acres of forest to examine that the
    impact might be. Again, SOP, not reported, not
    an accident.

66
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • - Cutters figures and studies have become
    somewhat dated
  • - Cutter provides us a literature view of
    chemical incidents (p. 103), but concludes that
    even the cited studies do not give an
    understanding of the increasing hazards of
    chemical use.
  • For the limited analysis Cutter does here, she
    confines herself to airborne chemical releases.
    published accounts

67
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • Frequency and Distribution
  • - A total of 339 incidents occurred 1900-1990,
    compared to 333 worldwide
  • --- majority 1970s and 80s
  • --- Cutter notes that beginning 1950 there is
    almost a doubling each succeeding decade
  • --- point sources dominated the numbers /
    transport sources (shipping and pipelines)
    showed fewer numbers
  • --- by state TX CA NJ LA NY PA IL

68
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • Chemical Accidents
  • Year Total Acute Releases
  • U.S. Inter U.S. Inter
  • 00-09 4 2
    0 0
  • 10-19 14 19 1
    0
  • 20-29 12 18 5
    3
  • 30-39 6 20 3
    2
  • 40-49 15 25 6
    4
  • 50-59 18 27 5
    8
  • 60-69 53 36 29
    14
  • 70-79 118 89 50
    41
  • 80-89 99 97 66
    38

69
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • Chemical Accident Sources and Totals
  • Year Total Stationary Transport Pipelines
    Unknown
  • 00-09 4 4 0
    0 0
  • 10-19 14 12 0
    0 0
  • 20-29 12 11 1
    0 0
  • 30-39 6 3 3
    0 0
  • 40-49 15 8 5
    1 1
  • 50-59 18 12 4
    1 1
  • 60-69 53 35 10
    3 5
  • 70-79 118 55 43
    8 12
  • 80-89 99 53 38
    2 6

70
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • Chemical Type
  • Cutter summarizes with six categories of accident
    by chemical type
  • (1) Acute SARA provided
  • --- majority of accidents (1970-1990) were
    from stationary sources from this class
  • (2) Radiation
  • (3) Ammunition and Explosives
  • (4) Oil and Natural Gas
  • (5) Known chemicals not covered previously
  • (6) Unknown chemical agents

71
Airborne Toxic Releases, cont
  • Severity
  • - Frequently hard to judge because the most
    visible indictors are also the most obvious
  • - Author observations on fatalities by chemical
    type
  • Munitions explosions resulted in greatest
    fatalities
  • Acute releases resulted in less deaths, but more
    injuries than other classes
  • Radiation class was relative injury-free
  • but long-term effects are down played

72
Context of Risk
  • According to Cutter
  • (1) incidents are increasing nationally and
    internationally
  • (2) toxicity of materials involved is
    increasing
  • It is noteworthy the chemical industry as a whole
    (by SIC codes) has one of the best safety records
    among manufacturers but this is little comfort
    if you are one of the 50,000 persons evacuated
    from more than 100 accidents in Cutters study
    period

73
Context of Risk, cont
  • Historically, risk has shifted
  • From early dependence on heavy inorganics and
    small operations where exposure was occupational
  • to
  • Large specialized and diversified operations,
    heavily capital dependent and operating on the
    basis of economies of scale
  • Hazard increased with growth and
    diversification

74
Context of Risk, cont
  • Some locations have been left more vulnerable to
    chemical hazards than others
  • vulnerability The likelihood that an
    individual or group will be exposed to and
    adversely affected by a hazard.
  • --- By our social geography, the South has been
    particularly vulnerable to this threat

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