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Samsung chip plant in Korea leaked deadly acid into environement, authorities assesing damage

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Samsung chip plant in Korea leaked deadly acid into environement, authorities assesing damage
Hydrofluoric acid is nasty stuff, it is highly corrosive and is extremely poisonous to just about anything that breathes.  It is able to dissolve many materials including metal, so you can imagine what contact to the skin can do or how one might react if it were it were inhaled or began to burn the eyes.

However, the corrosive nature of hydrofluoric acid makes it an ideal substance in many industrial applications.  It is used in geological research, the petroleum industry, and in the manufacture of certain electronic components.  Late last month, about 10 liters of the acid leaked from a pipe at Samsung Electronics' chip plant in Hwaseong, which is 60km south of Seoul.  One worker was killed and three others were injured.

At the time, Samsung issued a statement that the situation was contained and that there was no risk of the liquid or gas causing a problem to the surrounding area.  Korean officials have determined that to not be the case based on CCTV footage showing a subcontractor of Samsung's discharging the acid through a large ventilator system.  Now, officials are not ruling out that many of the residents within a 2km radius of the facility were possibly affected by the toxic discharge.  Local environmental groups claim to have detected higher than standard levels of hydrofluoric acid in the area.

As you can imagine, Samsung has not been on the receiving end of good tidings, with locals blasting the company for not properly reporting the nature of the incident as well as try to cover it up.  So far, no real punishment has been set down, a fine of 1 million Won has been levied, but that only equals about $925.

We all love our gadgets and high-tech devices, but very often we do not think about what goes into actually making the components.  While a lot of attention is given to assembly lines and labor practices, it is important to know that a great deal of the things we enjoy in today's modern society require the use of dangerous materials to bring to fruition.

sources: Yonhap News via Sammy Hub

  • Options

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 01:51

1. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

Bhopal disaster - mini

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 04:52 1

12. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

Warren Anderson (related to Bhopal UCC disaster) is shielded by USA.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 01:52

2. GeekMovement (unregistered)

Wow so many bad things happening at Samsung's factories. Unfortunate that a worker was killed as well. Do big companies like Samsung & Apple get more unfortunate incidents or just more press/media attention when things like this happen?

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 02:01 9

4. Maxwell.R (Posts: 217; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)

The answer to both questions is yes. Both companies have large scale operations so the chances of error or negligence goes up. Because they are also industry leaders, they are paid a lot more attention in many ways. Of course, that attention is stronger when poor decisions are made.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 02:42

7. GeekMovement (unregistered)

I see, well that makes sense. Thanks for your response, Maxwell.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 03:42 2

11. JC557 (Posts: 1789; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)

Unfortunately many will ignore your post and just troll away.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 01:56 4

3. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

wow, thank God Sammy doesnt run a radioactive plant or all the Koreans were affected by radioactive rays.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 02:47 4

9. 9thWonderful (Posts: 232; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)

If there is an all-out zombie attack on humanity I believe Samsung will be responsible for this breakout.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 09:24 2

14. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1488; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


posted on 15 Feb 2013, 02:34 1

5. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4292; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Should be more careful with stuffs like that.
Knowing it's a dangerous substance, proper care should be taken, before the leak, not after.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 02:40

6. wendygarett (unregistered)

Does that means, the ax chips is poison? And poison the workers as well? :(

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 02:43 1

8. 9thWonderful (Posts: 232; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)

Smh...first we could only say shame on Apple for subpar factory practices/deaths now Samsung is following in their footsteps. I smell a grounds for a lawsuit brewing...

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 02:50 2

10. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

Wow, only $925.00 fined for such a mess... I wonder what happened too the 10 Liters of waste that was leftover? And how much was the clean-up and repair of the leak? Hmmmm... Sh!t happens but i believe that Samsung will make it right...

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 08:02 1

13. darkkjedii (Posts: 24454; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Sammy this is very bad. Fix it.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 09:56

15. roscuthiii (Posts: 2233; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)

But it makes for a wonderful spouse remover. Oops! I mean spot remover.

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 09:59

16. a961009 (Posts: 120; Member since: 04 Aug 2011)

Actually this problem is well-known for Koreans...

posted on 15 Feb 2013, 21:56 1

17. Hunt3rj2 (Posts: 396; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)

Hydrofluoric acid is so corrosive that glass cannot be used to store it because it causes the glass to dissolve.

It's insanely dangerous, why didn't Samsung have better safety procedures? It's impossible to feel it on the skin because the acid molecules are so small that they seep through the skin and kill nerves immediately, and even the best medical care in the world will do nothing unless emergency care is taken within seconds.

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