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A chemical disaster occurred almost every day in 2023

(HEATED, January 7, 2024)

Out of the 322 chemical incidents reported last year, 138 caused either injury, evacuation, a shelter-in-place order, or death, according to the database. Put another way, a chemical incident caused serious consequences in the U.S. about once every two-and-a-half days in 2023. The majority of last year’s chemical incidents involved fossil fuels and fossil fuel-derived products. At least 47 incidents occurred directly at oil and gas extraction sites, while 83 incidents occurred at plastic and petrochemical manufacturing sites, according to the database. At least 48 chemical incidents occurred in transport, like the infamous East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, which spilled the petrochemical vinyl chloride. And at least 39 chemical incidents occurred at food and beverage storage facilities, most of which involved leakage of ammonia, a particularly toxic petrochemical that is responsible for about 1 to 2 percent of global carbon emissions.

US faces almost daily hazardous chemical accidents, research suggests

(The Guardian, November 9, 2023)

Hazardous chemical accidents are occurring almost daily, on average, in the United States, exposing people to dangerous toxins through fires, explosions, leaks, spills and other releases, according to a new analysis by non-profit researchers. The report, prepared by Coming Clean, in conjunction with a network of environmental and economic justice organizations in the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters, documents what it calls an “alarming frequency” of accidents, and comes a month before US regulators are expected to release final rules aimed at preventing such incidents.

Day After Texas Fire, Report Reveals US Hazardous Chemical Incidents Occur Almost Daily

(Common Dreams, November 9, 2023)

A shelter-in-place order has been lifted in two Texas counties after a chemical plant fire on Wednesday, which came on the eve of a report showing just how frequent such incidents are across the United States, particularly at sites tied to the fossil fuel industry. There have been at least 287 hazardous chemical incidents—including explosions, fires, and toxic releases—this year alone, and over 825 since the beginning of 2021, according to the Coalition to Prevent Chemical Disasters' online database.

Advocates push for oversight to prevent chemical disasters

(PBS NewsHour, October 7, 2023)

Eight months after a train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio, people are still waiting for answers about long-term health and environmental consequences. What happened isn’t uncommon — on average, there’s a chemical incident in the U.S. every two days. John Yang reports from North Carolina, where one city is trying to move forward after a chemical disaster in 2022.

Chemical disasters will keep happening

(The Hill, February 23, 2023)

Healthcare Professionals Ask EPA to Protect Frontline Communities

(Union of Concerned Scientists, June 29, 2022)

No One Should Have to Breathe These Chemicals

(The New York Times, December 6, 2019)