Chemical Use In Cotton, Perspective Needed

Chemical Use in Cotton, Perspective Needed

The Associated Press reported on March 28, 2014:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Fire officials say an explosion involving a tank of nitric acid has injured nine workers at a Rolls-Royce plant near the Indianapolis International Airport.


This is one of many news stories that appear daily around the world regarding accidents involving chemicals. Chemicals used in industries are toxic. Workers are exposed. Injury, and even death, happens.

Cotton is often demonized because of injuries and deaths that occur from unsafe chemical handling practices, and advocates of organic cotton or recycled polyester argue that their products should be used instead. Such assertions  lack perspective on the context of an industry that employees about 250 million people.

The accident in Indianapolis occurred at an aircraft engine factory. No one argues that because of industrial accidents in the manufacturing of aircraft engines we should all start using organic transportation by riding horses and ships again. And, nobody demonizes airplanes because workers involved in their production are injured in chemical spills.