Arkema SA is not exactly a household name, but its products are found in everything from plastics in automotive parts to adhesives for baby diapers. The company also claims to be the third-largest producer of hydrogen peroxide in the world.
But now it has a new distinction after Arkema reported two explosions and black smoke coming from its plant in Crosby, Texas early Thursday morning, raising serious health and safety concerns.
Records show that the plant, located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, was fined nearly $110,000 in February by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over 10 safety violations found during an inspection.
Investigators classified the violations as "serious," meaning there were workplace hazards that could cause an accident or illness that would "most likely result in death or serious physical harm."