Chemicals put 27,000 people a year at risk Special reports Guardian Unlimited
Chemical spills, leaks and explosions put up to 27,000 people at risk of injury in a single year, according to the most extensive government survey yet of chemical accidents. More than 3,000 people suffered effects including poisoning and burns from contamination during 2005.
The Health Protection Agency's report includes hundreds of incidents involving mercury, asbestos, carbon monoxide and pesticides; it reveals 1,040 accidents involving potentially harmful leaks and emissions of chemicals directly affected an estimated 27,000 people, with up to 3,400 reporting symptoms of exposure. A fifth of accidents were industrial but nearly as many were in people's homes.
HPA report can be found at
It's intresting to consider how much effort the nuclear sector puts into controling discharges and reducing discharges close to zero. These resources might return a greater safety benefit if they were directed to reducing chemical leaks, spills and explsoions