Bayer Beats Out ExxonMobil for Most Toxic Corporate Air Polluter Title

Sunday, April 04, 2010
Bayer Material Science, Baytown

The worst air polluter in the United States isn’t an oil or chemical company, but a longtime name best associated with aspirin: Bayer. According to the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Bayer Group, headquartered in Germany, was ranked No. 1 in its Toxic 100 Air Polluters in the United States.

 
The Toxic 100 Air Polluters rankings are based on the amounts and toxicity of chemicals released by companies, along with such factors as wind patterns and the number of people exposed.
 
Having long ago moved beyond making pain relievers, Bayer today produces diverse pharmaceuticals, medical devices, agricultural products, chemicals and more, while being “committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its role as a socially and ethically responsible corporate citizen,” according to the Bayer Group’s website.
 
Most of Bayer’s pollution problems stem from one plant: Bayer Material Science in Baytown, Texas, east of Houston. This plant specializes in the production of plastics and polymers, including products used in the automotive and construction industries.
 
On March 30, the Bayer CropScience division agreed to pay a $143,000 fine for violations related to an explosion in September 2008 that killed two workers at its plant in Institute, West Virginia. The explosion occurred during the production of a component used in the insecticide thiodicarb.
 
Following Bayer on the list are ExxonMobil, Sunoco, DuPont, Arcelor Mittal, Steel Dynamics, Archer Daniels Midland, Ford Motors, Eastman Kodak and Koch Industries.
-David Wallechinsky
 
Toxic 100 Air Polluters Press Release (Political Economy Research Institute)
Toxic 100 Air Polluters (Political Economy Research Institute)
2008 TRI national Analysis (Environmental Protection Agency)
Bayer to Pay Fines over Blast that Killed Two in 2008 (by Ken Ward, Jr., West Virginia Gazette-Mail)

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