30 Years After Bhopal – How Chemical Release Monitoring and Response Has Evolved

On December 2, 1984, a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India leaked a dense cloud of toxic gas that blanketed the region and exposed over a half million men, women, and children to hazardous chemicals. After killing almost 4,000 people in just the first few days, the toxic cloud went on to leave over 40,000 more people partially or permanently disabled. Thirty years after the disaster many are still suffering from the aftermath and Bhopal is considered one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.

While Bhopal serves as a tragic reminder of the potential danger associated with the handling, storage, and processing of toxic chemicals, it also serves as a tremendous learning experience for the entire industry.  Having a comprehensive chemical release monitoring and response solution is paramount to mitigating or avoiding these disastrous events.

The best chemical release monitoring and response solutions use live data from strategically placed gas sensors and meteorological stations to provide accurate information as the incident unfolds. These comprehensive solutions take into account the terrain of a specific area (including hills, valleys, rivers, etc.), use the live data to create highly accurate plume dispersion models, and automatically update those models as the variables change. By using a response solution based on live data, the path of the Bhopal release could have been accurately predicted, better safety procedures could have been executed, the Bhopal community could have responded quickly and efficiently, and countless lives could have been saved.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 9.17.25 AM

In response to this incident, SAFER Systems developed algorithms that led to the first live chemical release monitoring and response system. These systems use live meteorological, gas sensor, and topographical data to model chemical leaks in real-time so that no matter where or when they occur, emergency response personnel can confidently predict who will be impacted by a chemical release, better analyze the risks associated with specific chemical leaks, and efficiently manage critical response activities.

After 30 years, the Bhopal disaster is still on the minds of industrial safety professionals around the world and serves as a constant reminder that when chemical companies don’t use live data to respond to chemical releases they’re not using the best chemical release response solutions. Learn from the people of Bhopal. Be SAFER.

Contact SAFER Systems today to learn more about our patented software and how it can help ensure the safety of your employees and your community.