Toxic reduction

Bayer Cropscience is to cut production of methyl isocyanate (MIC) at its West Virginia chemical plant where two workers were killed in an explosion last year. MIC is the compound released at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, in 1984, which killed thousands. The proximity of the Bayer explosion to the above-ground MIC tank led the federal Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to make recommendations to the company. Now, as part of a $25 million safety upgrade, the plant will eliminate all above-ground storage of MIC within a year. Federal officials said the move would "lessen the risk to the public and the work force."