On January 16 an explosion occurred in Bayer´s Belford Roxo pesticide plant. The blast could be heard within a radius of five kilometers. Three workers were injured. The regional government announced a fine.

Agrow, 6 February 2007

Blast at Bayer Brazil plant

An explosion at Bayer CropScience's pesticide plant in Belford Roxo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has left three people injured. Bayer faces a fine over the incident, the regional government's Ministry of the Environment says. It is also to demand a series of measures from the company to prevent a reoccurrence of such accidents. There is no risk of toxic contamination of the area, according to the Minister of Public Security, Colonel Francisco D'Ambrosio.

The plant was not operating at the time of the blast, Bayer told Agrow. The blast has destroyed production facilities of the organophosphate insecticide, Tamaron 600 SL (methamidophos). A vessel blew after rising temperature caused it to break. It was immediately cooled with treated water to minimise atmospheric contamination. The clean-up and emergency action following the accident included the participation of the fire service and the Environment Ministry. Bayer says that the only damage done was to its plant.

The Brazilian agrochemical company, Fersol (Mairinque, Sao Paulo), is entering into an agreement to continue supplying methamidophos on Bayer's behalf, according to the Brazilian generic agrochemical association, ANDEF. National demand for the active ingredient is greater than 20 million litres per year, but the company has the capacity to meet the demand, it adds. Bayer would not comment on any agreement. The company is looking at options to ensure supplies of the product are available, it says.

Bayer has concentrated its national production at the Belford Roxo plant following the closure of its Portao plant in Rio Grande do Sul last year (Agrow No 498, p 1). The company also set up a quality control laboratory and environmental protection system at the plant, costing Real 24 million ($10.5 million). The move was a first step in a Bayer policy of restructuring, reducing the number of production plants and introducing a "hub" distribution concept.
AGROW - World Crop Protection News -

more information on Methamidophos:
OPEN LETTER URGES BAYER TO WITHDRAW WORST PESTICIDES and Industry urged to pull dangerous pesticides from Indian market