An industrial explosion at the ConAgra Foods Plant in Garner, North Carolina that killed two workers and injured many others in June is still an incident that has many industrial workers concerned over the safety of their future. A wral.com report stated that approximately 300 workers were in the plant at the time of the explosion, many of whom were exposed to toxic fumes released from ammonia leaks. Thirty-eight individuals had to be transported to local hospitals for serious injuries resulting from the explosion, and three firefighters suffered from ammonia inhalation.
According to the article, district chief for Wake County EMS stated, “It’s not just a matter of fire or any chemical exposure, but certainly with the structure collapse, there’s the issue of the safety of going in.” In any explosion, structure integrity is always a serious issue, but it is not the only concern that involved workers have to deal with. Exposure to toxic substances in the workplace can have long-lasting effects on a person’s well-being, putting an individual who has come in dangerous contact with an environmental toxin at risk of organ damage, cancer, severe burns, and many other calamities.
Fortunately in this incident, the ammonia toxic fumes were contained enough that the surrounding community was not threatened. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials kept a close watch over the air quality near the plant soon after the explosion to ensure that the toxic chemicals did not endanger people in the surrounding areas.