Tuesday, September 18, 2018


On occasion over the decades I have been accused of being too negative. Of only reporting the failures but not the successes of Uniroyal, Crompton, Chemtura and now Lanxess. As a broad generalization I would mostly agree. Afterall the well paid professionals including consultants and even media experts whether on Uniroyal staff or independent companies all have taken their job of presenting the company in the very best light possible, very seriously. I would suggest that despite overwhelming evidence pointing to very bad behaviour by the company,that those professionals have done reasonably well. Therefore why exactly should I feel any discomfort about presenting the companies fibs, lies, failures, deceptions and manipulations to the very best of my humble and limited abilities? Hence I do not.

Between late September and late December 2010 there was an outpouring of press including CKCO-TV, K-W Record, Woolwich Observer and the Elmira Independent describing the release of 4,200 kilograms of BLE-25. That's right 4,200 kilograms or approximately 10,000 pounds of a mixture of diphenylamine and acetone which under pressure was blown out of a roof vent on the Chemtura site to be spread far and wide around the town of Elmira, Ontario.

One such newspaper article was the Wednesday December 22, 2010 article published in the Elmira Independent and titled "Closed vent cause of Chemtura release". The improperly closed vent contributed to an unacceptable buildup of pressure within a reaction vessel at Chemtura. The process was not under direct human supervision at the time and thus both visual and audible automatic alarms were not
responded to in a timely manner. Hence a rupture disc did its job by breaking under the pressure and releasing the contents of the rection vessel into the open air rather than the vessel exploding inside the building and causing both extensive property damage and likely human injuries or fatalities.

Chemtura have promised changes including operators present at all times during the running of this process.

The company were strongly and appropriately criticized for failing to inform both Woolwich Township and local residents either by the emergency phone system or in person. The town siren also was not deployed as the Township were in the dark about the release and its severity.

To the best of my knowledge the company did apologize as well as spend a lot of money with professional cleaners and auto body shops cleaning 270 cars and just over 200 homes affected by the fallout of BLE-25.

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