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Bayer Accused of Skirting Safety

A decision at a Bayer plant to bypass safety controls for a pesticide production process led to a tragic accident. The accident killed two workers and required 40,000 people living near the plant to take shelter.

Workers at the plant were under pressure to resume production of the pesticides methomyl and Larvin. Because of this, they failed to evaluate new computer programs, inspect safety equipment, and conduct safety process checks.

According to Chemical & Engineering News:

"In the months that followed, Bayer officials repeatedly stated that no toxic material had been released during the accident ... During its investigation, the safety board determined that plant air monitors that could have detected the release of toxic chemicals were not working at the time of the accident. And according to the CSB report, no reliable data or analytical methods were available to determine which chemicals were released or to predict exposure concentrations."

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