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

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

FEATURED VIDEO

17 Comments

1. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

Bhopal disaster - mini

12. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

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

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?

4. Maxwell.R

Posts: 218; Member since: Sep 20, 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.

7. GeekMovement unregistered

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

11. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Unfortunately many will ignore your post and just troll away.

3. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

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

9. 9thWonderful

Posts: 232; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

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

14. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

S-Ombies

5. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 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.

6. wendygarett unregistered

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

8. 9thWonderful

Posts: 232; Member since: Jan 24, 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...

10. Topcat488

Posts: 1414; Member since: Sep 29, 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...

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 30906; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Sammy this is very bad. Fix it.

15. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

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

16. a961009

Posts: 120; Member since: Aug 04, 2011

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

17. Hunt3rj2

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 11, 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.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.