Accidents Involving Toxic Vinyl Chloride Are Commonplace, New Report Finds

"A year after a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the study found vinyl chloride accidents have happened on average “once every five days since 2010.” An industry group says the chemical is safe and “makes modern life possible.”"

"The vinyl chloride industry made headlines across the country last winter when a train carrying the flammable, carcinogenic chemical derailed near the town of East Palestine, Ohio. News outlets published dystopian images of the smoke plume released by a controlled burn of the vinyl chloride cars, and thousands of people were evacuated from their homes.

Months later, when several environmental organizations, including the nonprofit Beyond Plastics, began advocating for the Environmental Protection Agency to consider banning vinyl chloride, the Vinyl Institute, an industry trade group, called their petition “a publicity stunt that irresponsibly ignores decades of credible science that shows VCM [vinyl chloride monomer] is safely and responsibly manufactured in the United States.”

In February, a blog post published by the Institute asserted that 95 percent of vinyl chloride manufactured in the U.S. is transported by pipeline to facilities on the same property, and that train accidents involving vinyl chloride are “exceedingly rare.”

The Institute insists that vinyl chloride and the product it’s most often used to make, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, a plastic commonly found in pipes and flooring and known for its durability, are safe, and that protections for workers and the public have improved since the 1970s, when stricter regulations were passed."

Kiley Bense reports for Inside Climate News March 26, 2024.


"Chemical Spilled In East Palestine Involved In 966 Accidents Since 2010: Report" (The Hill)

Source: Inside Climate News, 03/27/2024