A spectacular series of explosions at the Dow chemical manufacturing plant in Plaquemine on the evening of July 14, 2023, lit up the night sky for miles around, frightened local residents who were advised to shelter in place with windows closed and air conditioning off until the fire was contained, and released significant quantities of ethylene oxide and other chemicals into the atmosphere. After the initial explosions, fires continued to burn for a day and a half before finally being contained.
If you were working at the Dow facility at the time of the explosions or during the days and weeks thereafter, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits for injuries or conditions caused by your exposure to ethylene oxide.
What is Ethylene Oxide?
Ethylene oxide is a chemical used to manufacture antifreeze (ethylene glycol) and other chemical products.
Is Ethylene Oxide Hazardous?
According to the CDC, exposure to ethylene oxide can cause short-term problems, including:
- Breathing problems
- Weakness and tiredness
- Skin and eye burns
- Reproductive problems
The Department of Health and Human Services' National Toxicology Program identifies ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen – a cancer-causing chemical – based on several studies. The National Cancer Institute notes that exposure to ethylene oxide over time can lead to lymphoma and leukemia, as well as stomach and breast cancers.
How Much Ethylene Oxide Was Released in the July 2023 Dow Explosions?
According to one news report, Dow disclosed to Louisiana regulators that an estimated 31,525 pounds of ethylene oxide were released in the explosions and fires. This amount is roughly two-thirds of the annual reported release of ethylene oxide in all of Louisiana in 2021 and about nine times the average annual ethylene oxide emission at the Dow facility for the years 2013 through 2021.
What Should I Do if I Believe I May Have Been Injured by Exposure to Ethylene Oxide?
If you were working at the Dow Plaquemine facility at the time of the explosions or in the days or weeks thereafter, and you believe you may have suffered injuries as a result of exposure to ethylene oxide or any other chemicals released by the explosions or fires, you should report your injuries to Dow and seek medical treatment for them. Then contact us.
The Delsa Law Firm, LLC, Can Help You With Your Workers' Compensation Claims
The Delsa Law Firm, LLC, has been helping workers in Louisiana with workers' compensation claims for years and can discuss your situation with you. We'll help you determine if you're entitled to workers' compensation benefits and, if so, what benefits you may be entitled to receive.
The Delsa Law Firm, LLC, office is conveniently located off of I-12 in Slidell, near the intersection of I-10, I-12, and I-59. No matter where you live – Louisiana, Mississippi, or elsewhere – if you were working at Dow's Plaquemine facilities during or after the July 2023 explosions and were injured as a result, we can help you. Call us today at (985) 882-1222, or use our contact form to learn how the Delsa Law Firm, LLC, can help you.