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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
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The Use and Storage of
Methyl Isocyanate (MIC)
at Bayer CropScience




Committee on Inherently Safer Chemical Processes:
The Use of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience

Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
               OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
×

COMMITTEE ON INHERENTLY SAFER CHEMICAL PROCESSES:
THE USE OF METHYL ISOCYANATE (MIC) AT BAYER CROPSCIENCE

ELSA REICHMANIS (Chair), Georgia Institute of Technology

PAUL AMYOTTE, Dalhousie University

PETER BEAK, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

MICHAEL L. P. ELLIOTT, Georgia Institute of Technology

WAYNE B. GRAY, Clark University

DENNIS C. HENDERSHOT, Independent Consultant

ANDREA KIDD TAYLOR, Morgan State University

MICHAEL K. LINDELL, Texas A&M University

JACQUELINE MCDONALD GIBSON, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

JEFFERY J. SIIROLA, Eastman Chemical Company (retired)

JOHN SORENSEN, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (resigned from committee on 2/28/2011)

National Research Council Staff

KATHRYN HUGHES, Study Director

DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director

JEFFREY JACOBS, Director, Water Science and Technology Board

ERICKA MCGOWAN, Program Officer (until April 2011)

SHEENA SIDDIQUI, Senior Program Associate

AMANDA CLINE, Administrative Assistant

RACHEL YANCEY, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
×

BOARD ON CHEMICAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY

PABLO DEBENEDETTI (Co-Chair), Princeton University

C. DALE POULTER (Co-Chair), University of Utah, Salt Lake City

ZHENAN BAO, Stanford University

ROBERT G. BERGMAN, University of California, Berkeley

HENRY E. BRYNDZA, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company

EMILY CARTER, Princeton University

DAVID CHRISTIANSON, University of Pennsylvania

MARY JANE HAGENSON, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC

CAROL J. HENRY, The George Washington University

JILL HRUBY, Sandia National Laboratories

MICHAEL KERBY, ExxonMobil Chemical

CHARLES E. KOLB, Aerodyne Research, Inc.

JOSEF MICHL, University of Colorado, Boulder

SANDER G. MILLS, Merck, Sharp, & Dohme Corporation

DAVID MORSE, Corning Inc.

ROBERT E. ROBERTS, Institute for Defense Analyses

DARLENE J. SOLOMON, Agilent Technologies

JEAN TOM, Bristol-Myers Squibb

DAVID WALT, Tufts University

National Research Council Staff

DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director

KATHRYN HUGHES, Program Officer

TINA M. MASCIANGIOLI, Senior Program Officer

DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN, Program Officer

AMANDA CLINE, Administrative Assistant

SHEENA SIDDIQUI, Senior Program Associate

RACHEL YANCEY, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
×

Acknowledgments

The Committee on Inherently Safer Chemical Processes: The Use of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) At Bayer CropScience would like to thank the many technical, chemical, and engineering experts who contributed to the integrity of this report through the submission of informative materials and attendance of committee meetings. The committee would like to acknowledge Amy McCormick and Lucy Sciallo-Tyler of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board; Steven Smythe, Patrick Ragan, Connie Stewart, Cindi Lester, Walter Martin, and the staff of the Bayer CropScience facility in Institute, West Virginia; Scott Berger, Center for Chemical Process Safety; Randall Sawyer, Contra Costa County; George Famini and George Emmett, Department of Homeland Security Analysis Center; John Carberry, Carberry EnviroTech; Matthew Blackwood and Larry Zuspan, Kanawha Putman Emergency Planning Committee; Craig Mattheisson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and Warren Woomer of Charleston, South Carolina. We would also like to thank West Virginia State University in Institute, West Virginia for hosting the committee members and National Research Council staff for an open public comment session. Our thanks to all those who participated in the comment periods and who contributed information in support of the committee’s data-gathering efforts.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following for their review of this report:

DANIEL A. CROWL, Michigan Technological University

CHAU-CHYUN CHEN, AspenTech

MARTIN SHERWIN, W.R. Grace & Company, Retired

JOHN SAWYER, MATRIC Research

MICHAEL WRIGHT, United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (United Steelworkers)

SCOTT FARROW, UMBC

GAIL BINGHAM, RESOLVE

NED HEINDEL, Lehigh University

MICHAEL R. HOFFMAN, California Institute of Technology

PAM NIXON, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

MAY BERENBAUM, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

JOHN H. SORENSEN, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
×

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by David Bonner, Stematix, Inc. and W. Carl Lineberger, University of Colorado at Boulder. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13385.
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The use of hazardous chemicals such as methyl isocyanate can be a significant concern to the residents of communities adjacent to chemical facilities, but is often an integral part of the chemical manufacturing process. In order to ensure that chemical manufacturing takes place in a manner that is safe for workers, members of the local community, and the environment, the philosophy of inherently safer processing can be used to identify opportunities to eliminate or reduce the hazards associated with chemical processing. However, the concepts of inherently safer process analysis have not yet been adopted in all chemical manufacturing plants. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience presents a possible framework to help plant managers choose between alternative processing options-considering factors such as environmental impact and product yield as well as safety- to develop a chemical manufacturing system.

In 2008, an explosion at the Bayer CropScience chemical production plant in Institute, West Virginia, resulted in the deaths of two employees, a fire within the production unit, and extensive damage to nearby structures. The accident drew renewed attention to the fact that the Bayer facility manufactured and stores methyl isocyanate, or MIC - a volatile, highly toxic chemical used in the production of carbamate pesticides and the agent responsible for thousands of death in Bhopal, India, in 1984. In the Institute accident, debris from the blast hit the shield surrounding a MIC storage tank, and although the container was not damaged, an investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board found that the debris could have struck a relief valve vent pipe and cause the release of MIC to the atmosphere.

The Board's investigation also highlighted a number of weaknesses in the Bayer facility's emergency response systems. In light of these concerns, the Board requested the National Research Council convene a committee of independent experts to write a report that examines the use and storage of MIC at the Bayer facility. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience also evaluates the analyses on alternative production methods for MIC and carbamate pesticides preformed by Bayer and the previous owners of the facility.

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