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"Sugar Dust Explosion" Kills 6, Injures More, At Imperial Sugar Co. Refinery Near Savannah, Georgia -- What Does Sugar

Posted Dec 18 2008 7:33pm

How tragic!

Six people died and 42 were injured after a sugar dust explosion at Imperial Sugar Co.'s sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia, near Savannah, Georgia, Bloomberg reported.

The culprit? Sugar dust.

That's right, sugar dust in a "silo" -- where refined sugar is stored before being packaged -- "likely ignited like gunpowder," reported the AP's Ross Bynum, attributing Imperial Sugar Co. president and CEO John Sheptor.

"Now, what does that say about our favorite little `treat'?" wondered Karen, who is a member of my Break Free to Soar With Glee program.

This incident certainly gives one pause about America's sweetheart -- sugar. Think about it: If sugar dust can explode, what then happens in our bodies after we consume this sweetener in abundance?

(You can get more info about sugar's dangers by reading my book SUGAR SHOCK! )

Anyhow, back to the cause for the blast. As the AP's Ross Bynum explains, "Sugar dust can be combustible if it's too dry and builds up a static electric charge." This means, he adds, that static electricity, sparks from metal tools or a cigarette can ignite explosions.

"Sugar dust sounds like an unlikely killer," Bynum writes, "but federal regulators were criticized just two years ago for doing too little to stop it from triggering explosions at industrial plants."

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