American chemical manufacturer, DuPont, has recently stated that 23,000 pounds of toxic gas have leaked from the company’s La Porte chemical plant, resulting in at least four deaths. This is a substantial increase over the initial estimate of 100 pounds reported earlier last month to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The substance leaked at DuPont’s La Porte facility, methyl mercaptan, can cause nausea, vomiting, and fluid buildup in the lungs or other symptoms.
DuPont’s La Porte facility has a long track record of safety violations. In the past 5 years, the TCEQ has issued at least two dozen citations to the chemical plant for violating state law, including multiple chemical leaks. In October 2009, the company was fined for a 3,700 pound leak of another dangerous substance, dichloromethane. In August 2013, 40 pounds of chlorine leaked due to faulty equipment. This past March, DuPont reported that a gas vent had accidentally released 110 pounds of deadly carbon monoxide into the air. In September 2014, the plant released 36,500 pounds of sulfur dioxide over the course of three hours.
Toxic chemical leaks can result in sickness, health problems or even death. Each year Texas chemical plants leak thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals. If you or someone you know may have been exposed to a toxic chemical, such as methyl mercaptan, it is important to understand your right to recover. Contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.