Molecule of the Week

Methyl isocyanate

March 28, 2011

Methyl isocyanate (MIC) is a toxic, volatile liquid used in the manufacture of common pesticides such as carbofuran, carbaryl, and aldicarb. The disastrous release of a large amount of MIC from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, in 1984 eventually killed as many as 17,000 people and disabled many more. This year, the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board ruled that a fatal 2008 MIC release from the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute, WV, was caused by employees bypassing safety controls.

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