BIO: How has civic data capacity (or lack of) impacted people in this setting (subjecting them to industrial risks, for example to over-research or invisibility? What human health impacts and indicators need to be accounted for and addressed in this sett


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Vera Laub's picture
June 5, 2021

It was reported, that one worker at the industrial park was suffering from eye irritation, following the release of hydrogen chloride. He had to be treated at the outpatient clinic of the industrial parks' Occupational Health Center, and could go home afterwards. There is no further information of long-term effects the worker might have suffered from to be found on the internet, according to my search. However, eye irritation induced by chemical exposure can lead to effects such as increased eye pressure and a following reduction of vision, as well as chronic pain.

I am wondering, how this worker got hurt, as this was not reported in the article. Usually, workers need to wear proper protective equipment in areas in which one risks exosure to airborne chemicals that can cause corrosion, including protective goggles. As can be read in a follow-up article (, a pipeline malfunction had been found as the reason for the release, possibly in an area where no protective equipment is required? I can only speculate on this, but the worker seems not have been informed about the incident.

Missing information seems to be a common theme in this case, in the aforementioned article it is also reported that the smartphone application that is supposed to warn residents about such incidents, released a warning only 50 minutes after the sirenes had been going off. Also it is written in the article, that after the incident the citizen telephone line was busy, such that some callers could not get the information they required, and that many residents are not familiar with the meaning of the different signals released by the warning sirene. In case this or similar incidents happen in the future, they therefore pose a grave health risk to the surrounding population.