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Old 09-25-2012, 05:09 PM
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Default The air smelled a bit funny today...

No wonder, since a storage hall at a fertilizer production plant went up in flames at Krefeld today, several kilometers west from where I live and work.

Even though the toxicity levels of the nitrose agents, cyanide and chlorine compounds were "well below danger marks", according to officials, I'd rather inhale none than any amount of that stuff!

Toxic cloud? Fertilizer plant burns in Germany - PhotoBlog







Wiggling bare toes (which I washed thoroughly after coming home),

~*Txim Asawl*~
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:41 AM
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That doesn't look healthy..
Did you manage to wear a mask at all?
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:30 AM
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Most of the smoke passed my workplace off the north-west, fortunately, looking very impressive and intimidating. And around mid-day, the smoke cloud began settling down to the ground, enveloping large parts of Krefeld and Duisburg.

And, since I work in an office, there are no masks around. Other people were in more direct contact with it... as this video shows, shot in the morning by someone in Duisburg, just about 1.5 kilometers west from my apartment house:







Wiggling bare toes,

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Old 09-27-2012, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pa'li Makto View Post
That doesn't look healthy
Lol

Gotta love corporate liars...
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:30 PM
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That's lying how exactly?

Either way, nasty , hope they catch whoever's responsible.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:19 AM
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That's lying how exactly?
I was commenting on how it was announced that it "wasn't really dangerous" or something.

Corporations who make things that have the potential to be very harmful to ecosystems or humans (or both) tend to "soften the edges" a bit with news like this in order to save face. I don't know if the owner of that plant did this or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

I know that if I were in the position to announce that my company had accidentally released something potentially hazardous, I would rather be honest and have a clean consience than lie in order to avoid losing money.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:04 AM
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Well, according to the state officials of the "Landesamt für Natur, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz NRW" (State board of nature, environment and consumer rights protection for North-Rhine Westphalia), the readings taken around the cloud were mostly below the AEGL level 1 (AEGL being the "acute exposure guideline level", which is defined at level 1 to possibly cause irritation of mucuous membranes, but not being hazardous to the health). Nitrous oxides, ammonia, and carbon monoxide readings only surpassed that level in direct vicinity of the fire at times... thus causing six people (mostly firefighters) to be slightly injured during exinguishing the flames, from inhaling the fumes.

Funny... I always thought, that anything irritating my mucosae was in some way detrimental to my health, too... but then, growing up in the Ruhr are in the 1970s, the overall air quality back then was bad enough to make me inhale lots of vile stuff...

The fire itself could have been worse, since samples from the extinguishing water contained quite high levels of ammonium nitrate... OK, that's a common compound used in fertilizers, but with other ingredients added and a spark to ignite it, it can also be used to go "boom!" (as an explosive, that is). Fortunately, samples from the river port dock showed, that none of the exinguishing water made it into the river Rhine (unlike the fire at the Swiss Sandoz chemical plant in November 1986, when the extinguishing water got into the Rhine, dyeing the river bright red). So, there won't be masses of dead fish in the Rhine this time. Back then, the corporate officials also claimed, that the pesticides washed into the river were "harmless" and not hazardous for the general public's health. Perhaps not hazardous for the public, but definitely lethal for tons of fish.

All in all, it depends again on how much exposure to the various toxic agents there was... commenting on the fire at the Compo fertilizer plant, one of the officials said: "we never denied, that inhaling those compounds at higher concentration levels would be hazardous for the health"... typical corporate whitewashing talk. Still, lots of people in the region were suffering from mucosae irritation, sore throats, coughing... not to mention the psychological effect of seeing that cloud and reading and hearing the various mantras of "be careful, but it's not hazardous".

I'm glad, anyway, that the eerie-looking giant cloud has dissipated and the air does not smell of smoke anymore...

Wiggling bare toes,

~*Txim Asawl*~
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:09 PM
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You must have dreaded the thought of possibly having to go from bare toes to a hazmat suit if things got REALLY ugly with that fire.
Niri Te
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:26 PM
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Hehe - I actually have a gas mask at home and at work we also have some - so if it would happen here... - some years ago, a plastics factory fire here was putting out such smoke and explosions. Happy dioxin - But we were far enough away.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:25 PM
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Every town along the Mississippi river in Louisiana is pretty much constantly exposed to clouds of smoke, being sandwiched between chemical plants of all kinds. I lived in this area for three years and the air smelled like sulfur constantly
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Old 09-06-2015, 03:01 AM
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Dunno how I came across this thread but just wondering........has anyone heard from txim_asawl lately? It's been a long time and I noticed his website is down.

He is the ultimate barefooter.....
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahoragi View Post
Dunno how I came across this thread but just wondering........has anyone heard from txim_asawl lately? It's been a long time and I noticed his website is down.

He is the ultimate barefooter.....
Nope; go fish.
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