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Are Chemical Plants Dangerous?

A simple glance at a chemical plant, with its gleaming tanks and hissing smokestacks, makes it clear that working at such a location brings with it many hazards, including the potential for inhaling toxic fumes and the possibility of fires or explosions that cause serious injury and even death.

Millions of Americans live and work near high-risk chemical facilities with the potential to kill and injure workers and residents. This reality became all too vivid last spring when a West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people. There are more than 12,000 chemical plants that put people at risk with large amounts of chemicals, and 89 of those endanger more than 1 million people. Unfortunately, those most at risk in the examples below live in low-income communities of color.

12. Houston Texas: South Houston Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Houston area has more than 40 high-risk facilities, including more than 20 that put at least a million people at risk, and another 20 that put at least 100,000 people at risk in an accidental chemical release. South Houston Wastewater Treatment Plant is one of these facilities. The plant uses sulfur dioxide and chlorine gas to treat wastewater and puts 140,000 people within 3.1 miles at risk of harm.

11. Hampton, GA: KIK Georgia LLC

Located just south of Atlanta, this plant produces liquid bleach and endangers 370,000 people within 14 miles.

10. Albuquerque, New Mexico: DPC Industries, Inc

550,000 people are at risk from this facility's storage and use of chlorine to manufacture liquid bleach.

9. Edgemoor, Delaware: Dupont Edgemoor Facility

This is one of 11 facilities in the area that endanger at least 200,000 people and often more than 1 million. This Dupont plant manufactures titanium dioxide for paper products and endangers 660,000 people.

Toxics: Chemical Security Inspection Failure

8. New Orleans, LA: Carrolton Water Purification Plant

This facility treats drinking water with chlorine and is one of 11 in the New Orleans area endangering residents. This particular facility's bulk use and storage of chlorine puts 900,000 people at risk.

7. Seattle, Washington: Pioneer Americas Tacoma Bleach Plant

This Washington plant manufacturers liquid bleach and endangers 900,000 people within 14 miles.

6. Chicago, Illinois: Pelron

One of a dozen high-risk facilities in the area, Pelron uses ethylene oxide to produce chemicals for products such as foam mattresses, insulation, and carpet padding. The use and storage of ethylene oxide at this facility endangers 1.6 million people.

5. Detroit, Michigan: Detroit Chlorination/Dichlorination Facility

Treating wastewater with chlorine and sulfur dioxide, this Detroit facility puts 2.1 million people at risk with 16 miles.

4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Trainer Refinery

The Trainer Refinery in Pennsylvania uses hydrofluoric acid to refine crude oil into gasoline. The facility puts 2.4 million people within 19 miles at risk of an accidental chemical release.

3. Paulsboro, New Jersey: Paulsboro Refining Company

The Paulsboro Refining Company uses hydrofluoric acid to refine crude oil into gasoline, therefore putting 3 million people at risk.

2. Los Angeles, California: KIK SoCal Inc.

One of 12 high-risk chemical facilities in the Los Angeles area, this plant puts more than 4.9 million people at risk.

1. New York City & Newark, New Jersey: Kuehne Chemical Company

The most dangerous chemical facility in the country, this plant manufactures liquid bleach and endangers 12 million people.

Our Chemical Plant Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help

If you were injured while working at a chemical plant, or if you live near any plant or refinery and suffered harm or losses as the result of an explosion, leak, or fire, Arnold & Itkin may be able to help you. Our chemical plant accident attorneys are committed to standing against unsafe and negligent practices by large corporations, helping the injured recover the fair and complete compensation they need to put their lives back on track. Call (888) 493-1629 or contact us online for your free consultation.

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