Skip to main content

The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience

View Cover

Purchase Options
Purchase Options MyNAP members save 10% online. Login or Register



The use of hazardous chemicals such as methyl isocyanate can be a significant concern to the residents of communities adjacent to chemical facilities, but is often an integral part of the chemical manufacturing process. In order to ensure that chemical manufacturing takes place in a manner that is safe for workers, members of the local community, and the environment, the philosophy of inherently safer processing can be used to identify opportunities to eliminate or reduce the hazards associated with chemical processing. However, the concepts of inherently safer process analysis have not yet been adopted in all chemical manufacturing plants. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience presents a possible framework to help plant managers choose between alternative processing options-considering factors such as environmental impact and product yield as well as safety- to develop a chemical manufacturing system.

In 2008, an explosion at the Bayer CropScience chemical production plant in Institute, West Virginia, resulted in the deaths of two employees, a fire within the production unit, and extensive damage to nearby structures. The accident drew renewed attention to the fact that the Bayer facility manufactured and stores methyl isocyanate, or MIC - a volatile, highly toxic chemical used in the production of carbamate pesticides and the agent responsible for thousands of death in Bhopal, India, in 1984. In the Institute accident, debris from the blast hit the shield surrounding a MIC storage tank, and although the container was not damaged, an investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board found that the debris could have struck a relief valve vent pipe and cause the release of MIC to the atmosphere.

The Board's investigation also highlighted a number of weaknesses in the Bayer facility's emergency response systems. In light of these concerns, the Board requested the National Research Council convene a committee of independent experts to write a report that examines the use and storage of MIC at the Bayer facility. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience also evaluates the analyses on alternative production methods for MIC and carbamate pesticides preformed by Bayer and the previous owners of the facility.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2012. The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

218 pages | 6 x 9
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-25543-1
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-25546-2

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press and the Transportation Research Board have partnered with Copyright Clearance Center to offer a variety of options for reusing our content. You may request permission to:

  • Republish or display in another publication, presentation, or other media
  • Use in print or electronic course materials and dissertations
  • Share electronically via secure intranet or extranet
  • And more

For most Academic and Educational uses no royalties will be charged although you are required to obtain a license and comply with the license terms and conditions.

Click here to obtain permission for The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience.

Translation and Other Rights

For information on how to request permission to translate our work and for any other rights related query please click here. Customer Service

For questions about using the service, please contact:

Copyright Clearance Center
22 Rosewood Drive
Danvers, MA 01923
Tel (toll free): 855/239-3415 (select option 1)

Loading stats for The Use and Storage of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) at Bayer CropScience...