Effects Of Styrene On Health | Disastrous Vizag Gas Leak That Happened On 7th May 2020

Styrene and Vizag gas leak is the recent tragedic incident we are hearing now and the effects of Styrene on health are quite worse. Indeed this year God tested us in many different ways. I don’t know, but maybe this year will going to be the worst year for humanity. The whole world was engulfed by the Novel coronavirus. India is also fighting bravely against this pandemic virus, but that morning another tragedic incident took place in our country. Vizag Gas Leakage in Andhra Pradesh, makes people more mentally and socially disturbed. It is said that the main chemical gas responsible for this is Styrene. So let’s discuss the effects of Styrene on health and know it better. Also, keep in mind that the Covid-19 pandemic is still going on so you should stay safe and take all the necessary steps to avoid it.


No one can forget about the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in India that takes place in 1984. That incident was one of the dreadful and heartbreaking incidents for mankind, caused due to the leakage of a dangerous gas Methyl Isocyanate(MIC). This Vizag gas leakage  Incident brings back all those fearful memories of 1984. This hazardous incident creates a panic in the minds of common people.

What Really Happened?

Vizag gas leakage accident occurred at a plant operated by LG polymers, a unit of South Korea’s biggest Petrochemical maker, LG Chem Ltd. This multinational LG Polymer Plant is at RR Venkatapuram village, Vishakapatnam,  Andhra Pradesh. The gas named Styrene that they used as a raw material leaked from the plant and quickly spread to villages in a more than five-kilometer radius, killing at least 11 people. Many people with health complications are admitted to the hospital. Their conditions are very bad. The leaked took place at the wee hours of the day, around 2:30 AM.

How Did The Incident Happen?

The plant uses the styrene monomer to produce plastics and plastic related items. The styrene monomer should be stored at a temperature below 17-degree celsius. Due to the pandemic Coronavirus, the whole country is under the lockdown. So, the plant was also closed. Thus, many maintenance activities in the plant were not carried out. As a result of this, the styrene gas is not being stored at the required temperature which causes pressure in the storage chamber and let the valve to break, resulting in the gas leak. Also, the container used to store the gas was not properly maintained resulted in the leak of almost 3 tones of styrene in the surrounding areas. 

Let’s discuss the Styrene gas and effects of styrene on health in detail:

What Is Styrene?

Styrene is an organic compound that is us to make polymers, fiberglass, rubber with color and filler added, it is used to make toys and household items. When gas is blown in polystyrene liquid, it foams and hardens to form Styrofoam use for making ice chest and disposable coffee cups. It is also used as packing material for shipping instruments and it is widely used for home instruments. Cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust too contain styrene. It naturally occurs in small quantities of foods and plants like peanuts, coffee beans, etc.

Effects Of Styrene On Health or Human Body


The effects of Styrene on health can be very severe. Styrene can stay in the air for several days. It can react with the oxygen and form styrene dioxide which is very lethal. It is also regarded as hazardous and carcinogen. Exposures to styrene in humans can cause a respiration problem. Styrene oxide is considered toxic and possibly mutagenic. Gastrointestinal effects are also some of the negative effects of styrene on health. It also has some long term effects like problems in our central nervous system, reflexogenic circulatory collapse. It causes cerebral edema, tubular necrosis of the kidneys. Effects on vision are also some of the most damning effects of styrene on health. Even it leads to peripheral neuropathy. If the amount of styrene goes beyond 800 ppm the person exposed to this can even go into a coma.

Symptoms Of Styrene Exposure :

Exposure to styrene causes headaches, weakness , fatigue , unconsciousness, and may even lead to depression. It even leads to coughing, suffocation, throat problems, skin irritation or rashes on their bodies, burning sensation in the eyes, hearing problems. Nausea and dizziness also take place. Vomiting, stomach pains also may occur.

effects of styrene on health

Such Disastrous incidents may disturb the common people, especially the people residing near those industries, factories, or Chemical Plants. Bhopal Gas Tragedy, Vizag Gas Leakage are examples that show how they affect the neighboring villages or Localities. It also affects the environment. Animals, birds, trees, plants are affected and even die. It affects the beauty of mother nature. Measures should be taken by the government to save the mankind from such Disastrous or hazardous incidents. They should take immediate directive to ensure safety while resuming operations, after a lockdown in such big plants. Also, such big chemical industries or plants should build away from the city or villages. So that it cannot affects Human society much otherwise, there is much possibility that such incidents may occur again.


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