Hyderabad: There are no industries in Telangana that use styrene gas In its native form, according to industry experts.
The leakage of Styrene gas from LG Chen in Venkatapuram village on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam city of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday morning left at least eight persons dead and scores affected.
According to V Anil Kumar Reddy, former FTCCI President and founder of Nayastrap Private Limited, which is into supplying of plastic bags , strapping rolls, shrink tubing from and others, there are no manufacturing industries or units in Telangana which make styrene. Also, there are no firms which use styrene in the native form.
Styrene is used to make raw materials for plastic industries. One such product is polystyrene, a hard and transparent glassy type of polymer. It is also used to make resins which find a use in the plastic industry. The endusers buy these finished materials and combine with other products to make a wide range of clear disposable items, glasses, plates, spoons and more.
Styrene is also used for making automotive body parts. Styrene gives the plastic a shiny look and can make the plastic tolerate high and low temperatures. It is easy to paint and use glue on them and has good insulation properties. “Telangana does not have an automobile manufacturing hub. What we have is an assembly cluster, which gets finished components that are only assembled,” he said.
“Styrene, once converted into polystyrene, is harmless and can be handled by naked hands as well,” he said. Polystyrene foam, due to its insulation properties, finds a use in building walls and roofs, refrigerators and freezers and industrial cold storage facilities. It is durable and resistant to water damage.
Exposure to styrene causes irritation in the eyes and gastrointestinal effects. Long term exposure to styrene leads to headache, fatigue, weakness and depression and other problems. Units in and around Hyderabad use polysterene to make plastic products useful in food packaging and also to make rubber, plastic, insulation, fibre glass, pipes and automobile parts.
“Styrene is stored in tanks with a strong roof over them. The best way to deal with the gas leaks, if any, is sprinkling water using a firefighter. Those affected need more oxygen supply,” he said.
While two plastic parks are proposed in Telangana, there will be no polymer making unit in them which will use styrene, said Reddy
Jayant Tagore, former president of Bulk Drug Manufacturers Association, said there is no use of styrene in pharma industry. It uses nitrogen, oxygen, argon, chlorine, helium, hydrogen and others.
Efforts to reach out to the Director of Factories, which supervises the safety at factories, did not yield results at this point.
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