Environment: An Unending Search for Safety

The goal: isolated plants, good engineering and careful workers

Every day in the U.S. the chemical and petroleum industries produce about 275 million gal. of gasoline, 2.5 million lbs. of pesticides and herbicides, and nearly 723,000 tons of dangerous wastes. Some 250,000 loads of hazardous materials, chiefly petrochemicals, are shipped across the country by rail or road. Considering the volume of this production and movement, fatal accidents are few, just eight deaths last year. One reason, contends the chemical industry, is its elaborate and expensive safety precautions. Says Bruce Karrh, a physician who...

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