On August 13th, 2015, several large explosions ripped through the night air in the Chinese port city of Tianjin. Fireballs and shockwaves were felt up to 6 miles away from the blast center and debris from the exploding materials rained down in the surrounding area. The death toll is still being assessed, but the latest reports have put the number at 112 with an additional 95 still missing. Due to the materials handled in the port, chemical experts have been combing through the wreckage to assess the severity of the situation.

There have been several hazardous chemicals of concern identified as being present in the facility at the time of the explosion. According to Public Health Research Associate Professor of Massey University Deborah Read, “Three highly hazardous substances have so far been reported – sodium cyanide, calcium carbide and toluene diisocyanate…”, Professor Read continued that “…contact of calcium carbide with water can result in fire and explosion…”, illustrating the dire nature of the situation.  

As the world reels from the tragic loss of life and environmental hazards, there is an important lesson to be learned. Chemical risk mitigation can be a laborious task for any entity to undertake. With multiple facets to consider, the task of centralizing chemical security, knowledge, and safety adherence takes a considerable amount of effort. To find out how Source Intelligence’s chemical management experts can consolidate your safety and compliance issues, click here.