Blast at a chemical plant in Zhangzhou, China

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Residents near the factory were evacuated to about 18km away.The plant produces paraxylene, which is used in polyester and plastics manufacturing. The Zhangzhou fire department said on its microblog that toxic chemical had leaked. The fibres and films produced are used to make water bottles, other containers, fabrics including clothing and curtains, and x-ray and photographic film. Paraxylene can cause dizziness and nausea if inhaled or ingested. It can also cause issues with the central nervous system. In recent years paraxylene has become a focus of protests because residents fear pollution from the plants is hazardous to health.The plant in Zhangzhou is operated by Dragon Aromatics, one of the largest independent PX producers in China.

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