Concern at lack of transparency over Lubrizol chemical plant blaze in France

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The Lubrizol chemical factory at Rouen in northern France that caught fire on September 26th stores and produces products that are “very dangerous for the environment”, “irritants” and “noxious”, according to reports by the inspectorate in charge of overseeing potentially hazardous sites. In 2016 the inspectorate warned about the risk of the “creation of toxic substances” in the event of a fire. Jade Lindgaard examines the background to the chemical plant where local residents are alarmed about the risk of dangerous pollution.

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For five days after the massive blaze which swept through the Lubrizol chemical plant at Rouen in northern France, key questions remained unanswered. Which products burned in the fire on Thursday 26th September? What substances were released into the air? It was only on the afternoon of Tuesday October 1st that the local prefecture released details of the 5,253 tonnes of chemicals that were involved in the incident.