Sulfur dioxide suspected in death of man in Alabama, more than a month after incident

An employee of Daikin-America, which develops and manufactures fluorochemical products from a plant in Alabama, US, has died from suspected sulfur dioxide exposure at work, according to local media. Wesley Rusk worked in the ‘gas area’ of the plant, and after exposure in early July, he experienced chest tightness, headaches, shortness of breath, and coughing, was hospitalised with low oxygen levels and passed away on 10 August, Rusk’s wife told local news. He had been employed by Daikin for 20 years.

The US government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) is investigating the incident. Osha is also still investigating a previous chemical exposure incident at the same facility from October 2019. As a result of that investigation, the agency has already cited Daikin for three serious violations related to hazardous chemical exposure, and imposed fines totalling more than $40,000 (£29,000).