Little Monsters

Preventing Chemical Disasters

Tons of poison gas are routinely stored at chemical facilities in major U.S. cities. President Obama called them “stationary weapons of mass destruction” because they are vulnerable to terrorists and pose a catastrophic accident risk. Yet there are many safer alternatives already widely in use.

Find out where more than 400 high-risk chemical plants are located.

Unfortunately there are no rules or safety standards in place to require the use of safer alternatives. Even with the Obama administration supporting the efforts of a broad coalition to enact new chemical disaster prevention legislation the chemical lobby and their allies in Congress have successfully blocked it. But there is a disaster prevention clause in the Clean Air Act that has never been enforced. In fact there was bi-partisan support for such a policy following the 9/11 attacks but that consensus has been eroded by intense pressure from the chemical lobby.

Take action today! You can help prevent a toxic disaster in your community by signing our petition to President Obama urging him to enforce the disaster prevention clause in the Clean Air Act before it's too late.

Prevent Chemical Disasters

Currently, one in three people in the US live within the danger zone of a chemical facility that stores poison gasses. The chemical industry could use safer alternatives, but they are refusing to take action. Luckily the Obama Administration is considering using its authority under the Clean Air Act to require dangerous facilities to swtich to safer alternatives—the best way to prevent a disaster.

If released by an industrial accident or by a terrorist these chemicals could cause a catastrophe leaving thousands killed or injured, like the Bhopal Disaster of 1984. According to EPA, around 480 chemical facilitie s each put 100,000 or more people at risk in the communities surrounding their fenceline, as well as the workers within the plants. One of the nation's biggest vulnerabilities to terrorists, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has identified more than 4,000 chemical facilities as "high-risk." The EPA has identified about 90 chemical plants that each put one million or more people at risk up to 25 miles downwind from a plant. The U.S. Army Surgeon General estimated that an attack on just one U.S. chemical plant could kill or injure 900,000 to 2.4 million people. Despite numerous warnings since 2001, Congress has done little to neutralize these hazards. Read more

Going Hi-Tech is Highly Toxic

From cell phones to laptops, i-pods to digital cameras, we are buying—and throwing away—more electronic products than ever before. The cost is higher than the impact on your pocket book.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of old computers and cell phones are dumped in landfills or burned in smelters. Thousands more are exported, often illegally, to Asia, where workers at scrap yards, often children, are exposed to a cocktail of toxic chemicals and poisons. Read more

Go PVC-Free

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, commonly known as "vinyl," has become one of the most widely-used types of plastics. It's used in packaging, home furnishings, children’s toys, automobile parts, building materials, hospital supplies, and hundreds of other products. PVC may be versatile and relatively inexpensive, but the price we pay for a low-cost piece of PVC pipe or soft vinyl toy is far steeper than it may seem. Read more

Bhopal Disaster

Since 1984, 20,000 people lost their lives in Bhopal, India after a chemical gas spill from a pesticide factory. More than 40 tons of methyl isocyante (MIC) gas created a dense cloud over a resident population of more than half a million people.

People woke in their homes to fits of coughing, their lungs filling with fluid.  More than 8,000 people were killed in just the first few days following the leak, mainly from cardiac and respiratory arrest. Read more

The latest updates

 

Congress: Stop listening to chemical industry lobbyists

Blog by Joe Smyth | March 4, 2011

Chemical and oil corporations operate facilities all around the United States that threaten millions of Americans with a poison gas disaster, and since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it has become especially clear to...

Cancer kills one American every minute

Blog by Rick Hind | March 1, 2011 10 comments

One American will die from cancer every minute this year. We all know someone impacted by cancer and despite the devastation it causes to our friends and families, it’s perfectly legal for companies to add known cancer-causing...

ABC News Investigates Dangerous Oil Refineries

Blog by jdeans | February 25, 2011

Last night ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and Nightline featured their investigation with the Center for Public Integrity on dangerous oil refineries that threaten millions with toxic hydrofluoric acid. ABC’s investigation not...

Investigation: oil refineries threaten millions with poison gas disaster

Blog by Joe Smyth | February 24, 2011 3 comments

Devastation from an explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 180 at the BP Texas City refinery on March 23, 2005. The Center for Public Integrity and ABC News have an extraordinary investigation that highlights...

Water utility lobby flip flops on disaster prevention

Blog by Joe Smyth | February 11, 2011 4 comments

A hearing held today by a House subcommittee on Homeland Security focused on ways to make chemical facilities, including water treatment plants safer from terrorist attack. Of course, the best way to protect communities that are...

31 - 35 of 146 results.

Topics