Two arrested and released after chemical drums left out for binmen spark terror alert in Levenshulme
Discarded chemical drums triggered a terror alert after they were reported by worried neighbours.

Police arrested two people on explosives charges after finding 16 plastic containers, which had contained a chemical routinely used by terrorists to make bombs, in a back alley in Levenshulme.

They had been moved into an alley, from the backyard of a nearby house prompting officers to call a specialist fire service hazardous materials team.

Some of the 25-litre barrels were empty but specialist tests showed the others contained only rainwater.

The man and woman were held in custody for more than 15 hours before but have now been released without charge.

It is thought they had been clearing rubbish from a property in Tonbridge Road, shortly after moving into the property.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  response  bomb  explosives 
3 hours ago
No one hurt at Sun Chemical Corp. fire in Berkeley County
Several fire departments responded to a fire at a Berkeley County chemical plant Saturday morning.

The chief of the Goose Creek Rural Fire Department says they received a call about a fire at Sun Chemical at Bushy Creek Park about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Pimlico and Whitesville Fire Departments also responded as part of an auto-aid agreement.

The Fire Departments assisted the plant's response team, getting the fire under control in about 45 minutes.

The site manager says the incident occurred in one of the vessels involving methane.

The Goose Creek Rural Fire Department says there are no hazards to the community or first responders.
us_SC  industrial  fire  response  methane 
ATF warns of danger from 'hash oil' explosions
DENVER — A potentially explosive technique used to make a powerful marijuana concentrate from pot leaves and stems has federal investigators cautioning the public about the risks of hash oil extraction.

When done wrong, the process can cause a fireball or flash fire that blows out windows and doors. Authorities say they've seen an uptick in hash oil-related incidents from California to Washington and New Jersey, and say it's in part because people learn the basic technique over the Internet but often lack the sophistication to do it safely.

In 2014, there were 32 butane hash-oil explosions in Colorado alone. Now, there is a move to limit the amount of the chemical someone can purchase. Watch the video to see a hash-oil explosion. VPC

While the technique to make hash oil — also known as wax, shatter, butter or dabs — isn't new, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives experts say the danger can be greater in states that have legalized marijuana because people have access to larger quantities of marijuana plants. ATF agents aren't taking a position on marijuana legalization but are asking lawmakers to consider the ramifications of permitting hash oil extraction.

"I don't think they realize it's unsafe," said Billy Magalassi, chief of the ATF's fire investigation and arson enforcement division. "Kids are curious but they're dealing with things that are very dangerous."

Colorado's constitution permits residents to make marijuana extracts like hash oil, although Gov. John Hickenlooper is considering whether to sign a proposal specifically banning the use of butane for hash extraction.
us_CA  public  discovery  environmental  butane  drugs  explosives 
Santa Barbara oil spill: Officials step up inquiries
Santa Barbara, California (CNN)Authorities intensified their response Friday to this week's Santa Barbara oil spill by announcing remedies and additional investigations.

Meanwhile, environmentalists declared the 105,000-gallon spill "a wake-up call" about additional oil development and the nation's dependence on fossil fuels.

The federal government ordered the firm, Plains All American Pipeline, to suspend operations and make safety improvements on the ruptured pipe, according to a corrective action order announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Meanwhile, the California attorney general's office is now working with local prosecutors as well as state and federal agencies in investigating Tuesday's spill that prompted a state-issued emergency in Santa Barbara County and the closing of two state beaches until June 4.
us_CA  transportation  release  environmental  oils 
EPA says Citgo Corpus Christi plant agrees to fine, fix problems
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday an agreement had been reached with Citgo Petroleum Corp to fix violations found at the company's Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery.

In addition to corrective actions agreed to with the agency, Citgo will pay a $360,000 civil penalty and give $117,000 to the Corpus Christi Fire Department to purchase equipment to detect and identify suspected chemical leaks, the EPA said.

"Keeping communities and workers safe is the highest priority for EPA's enforcement program," said Regional Administrator Ron Curry, in a statement from the agency. "Companies have to be held accountable when they violate these important regulations."

A Citgo spokesman did not reply to a request for comment about the agreement.

The EPA, acting on a tip from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, discovered the violations during an unannounced inspection of the 163,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in June 2012.

"The inspectors found violations in a range of areas, including equipment and controls, operation and auditing procedures, and initial and ongoing training," the agency said in a statement.

Citgo will be required to correct each violation as part of the agreement.

The Chemical Safety Board found numerous problems with a system meant to prevent a dangerous release of hydrofluoric acid into the atmosphere following a 2009 fire on an alkylation unit that uses the highly corrosive and poisonous substance.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response  corrosives  hydrofluoric_acid  petroleum 
Naperville chlorine spill puts 11 people in hospital
Eight children and three adults are being treated for respiratory issues at Edward Hospital in Naperville following a chlorine spill this morning at Goldfish Swim School on the 1600 block of Quincy Avenue in Naperville.

All of the patients are in good condition and expected to be released, according to an Edward Hospital spokesman.

Fire department Bureau Chief Andrew Dina said firefighters responded to a call of a hazardous materials spill at 10:23 a.m. and arrived at the school to find people leaving the building -- many of them coughing.

The department's hazardous materials team discovered a chlorine leak and began ventilating the building, Dina said.

Meanwhile, paramedics treated patients complaining of chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting. Ambulances took nine patients to Edward Hospital, the fire department said, and 19 others refused to be taken there.

By 2:30 p.m., spokesman Keith Hartenberger said Edward was treating 11 patients with symptoms from the chlorine leak.

Dina said school officials said the staff was "shocking the pool," when the spill occurred, which means they likely found a substance in the water and used chlorine to clean it.
us_IL  education  release  injury  chlorine 
Hillsboro-Deering High School evacuated because of odor
HILLSBOROUGH, N.H. —About 400 students were evacuated Thursday from Hillsboro-Deering High School after a strong odor was detected in one section of the building.

Emergency crews were called about 9:15 a.m. after students and staff members reported feeling sick. Firefighters and emergency crews from three towns responded.

"Basically, we were called to the location for an unknown odor, so basically, we're investigating one of the rooms on the second floor for an unknown odor," Fire Chief Kenny Stafford said. "We did get a report of some symptoms, headaches, dizziness and stuff like that."

Officials said seven people, including students and staff members, were evaluated at the school. No one was taken for treatment, and authorities said everyone appeared to be OK.

All students at the school were taken to the nearby middle school and dismissed for the day.

First responders spent most of the morning trying to isolate the smell and figure out what it was.

"We've narrowed it down to one room, possibly two rooms, which are in the science end of the high school, and that's what we know so far," Stafford said.

Around noon, officials determined that the smell was coming from a formaldehyde-like packaging material that had leaked from one of the biology projects, and they said there was no danger.

"Right now, it doesn't appear that there is (any danger), but to be on the safe side, we have the hazmat crew checking the building out, and we have the (Department of Environmental Services) folks to just to make sure the building is safe," Superintendent Bob Hassett said.
us_NH  laboratory  release  injury  formaldehyde 
3 days ago
Texas lawmakers approve fertilizer safety bill
AUSTIN (AP) — Texas lawmakers have sent to Gov. Greg Abbott a bill meant to strengthen regulations for storing the chemical fertilizer that caused a fatal explosion in West in 2013.

The Senate gave final approval Thursday to requiring ammonium nitrate be kept separate from combustible material. The bill also grants the state fire marshal new powers to inspect businesses that store the chemical and issue citations.

Businesses would have 10 days to fix problems or face penalties.

Companies also would be required to give multiple state agencies and local emergency officials reports on what chemicals they store. The Texas Commission on Environment Quality would make those records public.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  ag_chems  ammonium_nitrate 
3 days ago
One Transported After Chemical Spill at Farm
One person was brought to the hospital following a chemical spill Thursday morning at Dickinson Farm on U.S. Route 202 in Granby, Massachusetts.
Granby Fire Capt. George Randall told necn affiliate WWLP that at least two chemicals spilled and mixed together, causing a reaction at around 9 a.m. The farm building was immediately evacuated.
Firefighters and police from Granby, as well as an Amherst hazardous materials team, and officials from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection all responded to the farm.
It was not immediately clear what chemicals had reacted, and the condition of the patient is not known at this time.
us_MA  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
County and state team up to keep safe site of highway chemical spill
County and state authorities were able to contain a chemical spill at the intersection of Highway 19 and Highway 75 in Huntsville on Wednesday morning.
Huntsville Emergency Management Coordinator John Waldo said the Walker County Hazmat Team was able to neutralize the acid-based substance by about 11 a.m. Authorities are unsure how the spill occurred, which forced the roadway in front of McCoy's Building Supply to be closed for a couple of hours.
"It must have fallen off a truck that was turning onto the on-ramp at Highway 19," Waldo said. "We got a call that there was a substance on the ground and that it was smoking. When we got there it was eating the asphalt.
"The Hazmat Team was able to neutralize the spill with a sodium-based powder off the truck."
us_TX  transportation  release  response  dust 
3 days ago
Company behind Pearl City chemical spill explains what happened
The state is considering enforcement action against the company investigators say caused a chemical spill in Aiea last week.

The spill occurred on May 11, killing more than 600 fish in an adjacent ditch. The fish have been removed and warning signs have since come down.

Investigators traced the spill last week to MOC Hawaii, which sells industrial cleaners and operates out of Harbor Center.

The health department said the company accidentally spilled more than 70 gallons of chemicals in the parking lot, which was sent into a storm drain that led to the nearby ditch.

KHON2 finally heard from MOC Hawaii’s general manager Wednesday. While he refused to go on camera, he said the company is cooperating with the investigation and actually paid for the clean-up.

Two chemicals were involved: a car wash detergent and a dressing that shines tires. The manager said that on the day of the incident, he followed the instructions on what to do in the event of a spill on the Material Safety Data Sheets provided by the manufacturers of the two chemicals.
us_HI  industrial  follow-up  environmental  cleaners 
4 days ago
Hazmat battles anhydrous ammonia spill
BLOOMFIELD — Just before 3 p.m. Tuesday the Davis County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the 19800 block of Ice Avenue in Bloomfield for an anhydrous ammonia tank rollover.
After receiving the initial call, Davis County Sheriff Dave Davis requested Ottumwa Hazmat respond to the scene, due to the inhalation danger of the chemical.
“There is actually no cleaning being done; what hazmat did when they got on scene was go up and plug a hole where a valve had broken off,” said Davis explaining how Ottumwa’s team effectively put a stop to any possible danger.
A driver had been heading toward Highway 2 on Ice Avenue with two tanks attached to the back. After entering the gravel on the righthand side of the road, the truck began to fishtail resulting in the flip.
us_IA  transportation  release  response  ammonia 
4 days ago
Fire Marshal: 1 treated after exposure to cleaning chemicals on
A wrecker service employee was taken to the hospital Tuesday for chemical burns sustained while handling hazardous material on the scene of an overturned 18-wheeler on Interstate 20.

Longview Police PIO Kristie Brian says that driver of the 18-wheeler was attempting to exit I-20 on the off-ramp for exit 595 in Longview. The driver did not slow down enough, she said, and lost control of the vehicle, causing the trailer to roll over.

Longview Fire Marshal Johnny Zackary says the truck was carrying 20 different products, including acids and bases, to which the wrecker service employee was exposed. He was taken to the hospital by private vehicle to be treated.
Six other people were evaluated at the scene, but did not need treatment.
us_TX  transportation  release  injury  acids 
5 days ago
Two men injured after ammonia leak in Sydney’s southwest
Two men are in hospital after ammonia leaked from a burst hose south-west of Sydney.

One man suffered burns to his arms and another was treated for inhalation after paramedics were called to the scene just after midday at an industrial building on Kurrajong Rd in Prestons.
Australia  industrial  release  injury  ammonia 
5 days ago
Train derailment causes fuel spill in Great Falls
GREAT FALLS - Emergency crews responded to the derailment of a rail care in Great Falls on Tuesday afternoon.

It happened at about 5:30 p.m. on the east side of town south of Giant Springs State Park. 

Initial reports indicate that up to 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel may have spilled from a tanker rail car. 

There have been no injuries. 

There is no word yet on the cause of the incident. 

Matt Jones, a spokesman for BNSF, tells MTN News that the derailment is being investigated. 

Jones says that a fuel tank on the locomotive was ruptured in the accident. 
us_MT  transportation  release  response  diesel 
5 days ago
4-alarm chemical fire blazes in San Jose
SAN JOSE (KRON) — A four alarm chemical fire broke out at a San Jose Automotive Business around 12:30 a.m., according to San Jose Fire Captain Mike Van Elgort, possibly endangering the surrounding area to exposed chemical waste.

The fire dispatcher said the fire is burning in the 400 block of Reynolds Circle, near U.S. Highway 101.

Van Elgort said fire officials discovered a sign warning of hazardous materials inside was posted on the burning building.

Van Elgort said chemicals inside the building contributed to the fire. Firefighters had stopped the spread of the fire by about 2:10 a.m., Van Elgort said.

The runoff from the fire is caustic because of the chemicals inside the building and crews are working to contain the runoff so it doesn’t harm the environment, according to fire officials.
us_CA  public  fire  response  runoff 
5 days ago
This Is The World's Smelliest Chemical
Ever heard of thioacetone? If you live in Freiburg, Germany, you probably have. It takes a lot for people to forget a stink that once evacuated an entire city.

A factory in Freiberg attempted to make thioacetone in 1889. Thioacetone is not easy to make — the compound (CH3)2CS stays liquid only at temperatures of under -20 degrees celsius; get it any warmer and it clumps together and converts to a white solid called trithioacentone — but in either form, it stinks horribly. The odor from the factory was able to be smelled (what’s the word for smellable? Odible?) from half a kilometer away. It spread throughout the entire city, where it caused “fainting, vomiting, and a panic evacuation” according to factory workers.

That should have been enough for science, but it seems that chemists make it a point to never learn. In 1967, workers at an Esso station near Oxford decided to give it another go. A bottle came unstoppered and the entire lab found themselves “with an odour problem beyond our worst expectations.” The chemists replaced the stopper but, the incident, “resulted in an immediate complaint of nausea and sickness from colleagues working in a building two hundred yards away.” What’s more, it seems that thioacetone is the kind of smell that clings. Two chemists making tiny amounts of the thioacetone discovered that they couldn’t go to restaurants anymore because they stank so badly that waitresses sprayed the air around them with deodorant.

The Esso people abandoned the project, for obvious reasons, but not before they figured out how bad thioacetone stank. They were the ones to figure out that thioacetone’s odor had a reach of half a kilometer, but also that it only took a single drop to contaminate the area with its noxious smell. Thanks, guys!
Germany  laboratory  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Evacuations Ordered After Chemical Cars Derail in Louisiana
Six tanker cars, three of them carrying caustic or hazardous chemicals — including lye — derailed Tuesday in Addis, Louisiana, triggering a state of emergency and the mandatory evacuation of residents around the scene, West Baton Rouge Parish officials confirmed.

The parish's Office of Homeland Security ordered everyone within 1,000 feet to leave the area, in about 35 homes, while the cars are righted. People within 300 feet were told they weren't likely to be allowed back in until Wednesday morning. Officials said the cars didn't appear to have been damaged and that the evacuations were precautionary.

NBC station WVLA of Baton Rouge reported that the Addis VFW Hall was being used as an emergency shelter. Addis is across the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, the state capital.

Authorities said the chemical cars, which were being pulled by a Union Pacific locomotive, were carrying sodium hydroxide, better known as lye; propylene oxide, an eye and respiratory irritant; and propylene dichloride, a strong acid.

West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley Bertholet Jr. declared a local disaster emergency, and Addis police were going door to door Tuesday night to alert residents and assist with the evacuation, the homeland security office said.
us_LA  transportation  release  response  sodium_hydroxide 
5 days ago
Richmond: Fire crews battle blaze at chemical laboratory
ICHMOND -- Fire crews fought a blaze in a chemical processing boiler room at a laboratory Monday night, officials said.

Richmond Fire responded to a report of a boiler room fire at 8:50 p.m. Monday at a laboratory at the 3000 block of Regatta Boulevard, said Battalion Chief Merlin Turner. An employee of the chemical manufacturer noticed the fire in the processing boiler room.

Automatic sprinklers over the boiler contained the fire to that room, Turner said. The presence of hazardous chemical in the room made the blaze difficult to control, but the fire was extinguished in 20 minutes.

Chemicals contained in 55-gallon drums in the room that were not released into the air or through water runoff.

No one was injured during the fire, Turner said. Damage to the boiler room was estimated $100,000 loss to the facility.

Due to the hazardous materials in the laboratory, crews tested pH levels to check for chemicals in the air or in water runoff. Crews haven't determined what caused the fire, Turner said. Hazardous materials crews and investigators remained at the scene Monday night.
us_CA  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Chemical reaction at jail sickens officers, inmates
ALFRED, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Two corrections officers went to the hospital late Monday night after a chemical reaction in the laundry room of the York County Jail released a noxious gas.

Two chemicals were accidentally mixed causing the gas to fill part of the jail, jail officials said.

Two inmates who were in the laundry room at the time complained of feeling sick or said they had sore throats.

Two correctional officers at the jail also were sickened by the order – also complaining of having sore throats -- and were taken to the hospital for observation.
us_ME  industrial  release  injury  cleaners 
6 days ago
Hazmat team responds at Wawa
GLOUCESTER TWP. – A Wawa closed for a few hours Sunday after a service station attendant pumped gas into a boat bilge instead of into its gas tank.

Lt. Brendan Barton said the store at 2700 Sicklerville Road near Route 42 had to close around 4 p.m. while a Camden County Hazardous Materials Response Team was called to Gloucester Township and safely removed the gas from the bilge. Several area fire departments also responded.

Barton said the attendant filled the first of two gas tanks on the boat and then used the wrong opening for the second tank. He said the store management phoned police to report the a “spill” though no fuel was spilled on the ground.
us_NJ  public  release  response  gasoline 
6 days ago
Firefighters on scene at ammonia leak at Fresh Express in Morrow, avoid the area
MORROW — Clayton County firefighters are getting ready to enter Fresh Express in Morrow in Level 3 hazmat suits in an attempt to clean up an ammonia leak.
##Spokesman Battalion Chief David Vasquez told Clayton News that officials are asking residents to stay out of the area. Part of Southern Road where the Fresh Market is located is blocked off and clogged up with tractor trailers trying to make deliveries.
##Vazquez said 400 people evacuated the building when the leak was reported at about 11:59 a.m. The ammonia has allegedly been contained to one room and there are no injuries or sicknesses reported at this time.
##He said the ammonia Fresh Express uses is more dangerous than its household counterpart because it’s a higher concentration used for refrigerating and cleaning the entire building.
us_GA  public  release  response  ammonia 
6 days ago
Explosion injures Metro officer in Sandy Valley
A Las Vegas police officer was seriously burned on his face, neck and hands by exploding debris while on a call in Sandy Valley on Monday.

A civilian also suffered minor burns in what may be an accidental explosion, police said. First responders were sent in for medical support about 5:46 p.m., according to Clark County Fire Department dispatch logs.

The officer, whose name was not immediately released, was called to investigate an abandoned residence in the 2000 block of Woods Avenue in Sandy Valley, which is about 60 miles southwest of Las Vegas. When the home was cleared by the officer, people gathered up garbage from a previous tenant in a “burn barrel,” Metropolitan Police Department supervisor Lt. Dave Valenta said.

An unknown item or chemical in the barrel exploded, and the officer was the closest to it. He was taken in a helicopter to University Medical Center. His condition was not released.

Valenta said Metro’s hazardous materials ARMOR unit, as well the Las Vegas Fire Department bomb squad were investigating the incident to determine what caused the explosion.
us_NV  public  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Fire at chemical plant
CHAMPAIGN -- Fire caused a chemical spill Monday. It happened at Orbiter Research. The company is on the corner of Gemini Court and Mercury Drive. Orbiter makes chemicals for pharmaceutical companies.

Fire officials say an employee was working with an alcohol-based product when static caused a spark igniting the fire. The building was evacuated. When crews finished with the scene, Orbiter employees will clean up what's left of the chemical. No one was hurt.
us_IL  laboratory  fire  response  pharmaceutical 
6 days ago
Chemical spill kills hundreds of fish in Aiea ditch
The state is investigating a chemical spill that killed hundreds of fish in a drainage ditch along the Pearl Harbor bike path in Aiea.

Hawaii News Now reports that people reported seeing and smelling the dead fish last Tuesday, when state Department of Health workers counted more than 500 dead fish. Officials said water samples revealed the presence of a chemical similar to a cleaner or solvent.

They're looking into whether nearby businesses might have been responsible. One did have an accidental spill last Monday.

Carroll Cox, the president of the environmental group EnviroWatch Inc., said she observed dead bone fish, tilapia, guppies and crabs. She said it was disturbing to be in a beautiful area only to come upon a "wall of smell."

Authorities want to make sure that chemicals don't drain into Pearl Harbor. Health officials said the Navy owns the ditch and will clean it up.
us_HI  industrial  release  environmental  cleaners  solvent 
7 days ago
School lab set on fire
Early on Saturday, unidentified men set fire to a laboratory in a private school in Padarayanapura coming under J.J. Nagar police station limits.

According to the police, several goods, including LED TV sets, CCTV cameras, 16 computers and many important documents were gutted in the fire in the ground floor of Subhash Memorial English Medium School.

The fire was reported around 3.20 a.m. by a neighbour, Ismail, who reportedly heard sounds of crackers and went to check. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

The school’s head mistress Saira Banu filed a complaint with the police.

“We are verifying the CCTV footage. We are yet to ascertain their motive. The damage has been estimated at Rs. 2 lakh,” said an investigating officer.
India  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
1 faints, 12 ill amid HazMat situation at New Jersey postal facility
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP -- Officials are on the scene of a HazMat situation at a postal facility in Hamilton Township, Mercer County.

The incident occurred around 10 a.m. Friday at 435 U.S. Route 130.

Several people reported feeling dizzy and nauseated, and one person passed out.

12 people were being treated at the scene - they did not have to go to the hospital.

The workers described a strong, sweet odor at the time.

Investigators have conducted air quality tests, but say so far they have not found anything. The New Jersey State Police hazmat unit has been called in to bring additional - and more sensitive - equipment.

There is no word on what may have caused this situation. Investigators say no spills or powder residue have been found.

There was a heightened sense of concern, considering this facility was the scene of an anthrax attack back in 2001.
us_NJ  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
8 treated after hydrochloric acid spill in Saskatoon
Eight people had to be treated for breathing problems after a large hydrochloric acid spill in the 800 block of 50th Street in Saskatoon's north end. 

They were checked over by ambulance crews, but officials said that none of the eight had to be taken to hospital. 

Some buildings nearby were also evacuated as a precaution, according to CBC reporters at the scene. But it's unclear exactly how many people were asked to leave the immediate area. 

A 9-1-1 call came in around 9:15 a.m. CST from Pounder Emulsions, which is a division of Husky Oil. As much as 10,000 litres of hydrochloric acid may have spilled at the site. Clean up of the site will begin this evening. 
Canada  public  release  injury  hydrochloric_acid 
8 days ago
APEX: Student injured in chemical fire at Apex High School
APEX, N.C. -
One student suffered minor burns in a chemical fire in a science lab at Apex High School, said Matt Dees, public information officer for Wake County Public Schools.

The incident happened around 9:55 a.m. Friday. The entire school was evacuated as a precaution Dees said.

Dees said the student who suffered minor burns was being treated at the school.

Students were allowed back into the school around 11:15 a.m. Friday.

No other details were immediately released.
us_NC  laboratory  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Government Cites DuPont For Chemical Leak That Killed Four Workers
DuPont has been cited by federal investigators for 11 violations related to a chemical leak at the company’s plant in LaPorte, Texas, that claimed the lives of four workers.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) on May 14 said the tragedy would have been prevented had DuPont taken steps to protect the workers. The agency is proposing fines totaling $99,000 for the November 2014 deaths, which were caused by exposure to a leak of methyl mercaptan, an insectide ingredient.
An investigation by OSHA determined that one worker was overcome when “methyl mercaptan gas was unexpectedly released” after she opened a drain on a vent line. Two coworkers nearby, unaware of the leak, attempted to save her but were also consumed by the gas. The brother of one of the victims rushed to rescue the three but was also overcome by the gas.
“Four people lost their lives and their families lost loved ones because DuPont did not have proper safety procedures in place,” says OSHA chief David Michaels. “Had the company assessed the dangers involved, or trained their employees on what to do if the ventilation system stopped working, they might have had a chance.”
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  thiols 
8 days ago
Texas State Aquarium sues over chemical after fish deaths
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — The Texas State Aquarium is suing a company that it says supplied a chemical labeled as a parasite treatment that actually ended up killing nearly 400 fish.
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports that the aquarium sued Fishman Chemical of Vero Beach, Florida, on Thursday in federal court.
The lawsuit alleges Fishman Chemical sold what was labeled as a parasite treatment known as trichlorfon, but what turned out to be hydroquinone, which is used as an additive to paint and motor fuel. The aquarium began to investigate a potential misuse of chemicals after the fish died last month.
A message left for Fishman Chemical was not immediately returned Friday. The company’s owner, Dr. David Fishman, previously told KRIS-TV last month that the incident “really bothers us.”
us_TX  public  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
8 days ago
Chemical Leak in Northern China Kills 8, Injures 2
Authorities say a chemical leak in northern China has killed eight people and injured two others.

A statement from Yangcheng County in Shanxi province said the carbon disulfide leak occurred Saturday morning at a plant belonging to the Ruixing chemical company.

It says three rescue workers are also under health observation. The cause of the leak is still under investigation.
China  industrial  release  death  other_chemical 
8 days ago
An Overview of the Changes in the 2015 ACS Guidelines for Bachelor’s Degree Programs
The Committee on Professional Training (CPT) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has recently approved a new set of Guidelines and Evaluation Procedures for Bachelor’s Degree Programs. Input from the community was invaluable in informing the deliberations of CPT during the three-year process of Guidelines revisions. The Guidelines describe standards that are used to approve programs to offer ACS certified undergraduate degrees. The most significant changes in the Guidelines are described in this commentary.
education  discovery  response 
10 days ago
Exact source of mercury spill unknown
Several days after 3 pounds of mercury was found on a Cochran Street driveway, directly exposing 10 people to the hazardous liquid metal and prompting a partial street closure, authorities are still not sure what caused the spill in the first place.

With the investigation still underway, the closure of Cochran Street between Tapo Street and Tapo Canyon Road remained in place as of press time Thursday. Officials were hopeful residents of the neighborhood would be able to return home by Saturday afternoon, City Manager Eric Levitt told the Simi Valley Acorn.

Levitt said the colder temperatures and forecasted rain has been an issue for repaving the contaminated areas.

“Right now the plan is we’re hoping to have the (repaving) completed both in the street as well as the private drive,” he said. “If that works as planned, then the streets should be reopened by end of day Saturday.”
us_CA  public  follow-up  response  mercury 
10 days ago
Akron HAZMAT crews respond to metal fire, close East Exchange Street near downtown
AKRON, Ohio -- Water from an overhead sprinkler system reacted with metal shavings to start a fire in  an industrial building on East Exchange Street in Akron this morning.

The Akron fire department sent HAZMAT crews to 600 East Exchange St. just after 4 a.m. after metal shavings inside the building caught on fire, according to Fire Department Spokeswoman Inspector Sierjie Lash.

Lash said that smoke inside the building activated the sprinkler system, but the water reacted with the smoldering metal causing the fire to grow. 

The fire department closed East Exchange Street in both directions and continue to monitor the building for potential hot spots and flareups, Lash said. The street ropened at about 8 a.m.

A fire department spokesperson told reporters this morning hat they believed the fire started spontaneously. Lash said information on the exact type of metal -- mentioned in other news reports as either magnesium or nickel -- was not yet available.
us_OH  industrial  fire  response  magnesium  metals 
10 days ago
Air quality tests deem Jenkins Twp. area safe after chemical fire at Acton Technologies Inc. Students return to Pittston Area High School after being sent home Wednesday
JENKINS TWP. — A state Department of Environmental Protection official said Thursday air quality tests at the site of a chemical fire at Acton Technologies Inc. revealed “very low” levels of chemical compounds.

The fire alarm at Acton Technologies Inc. on Thompson Street Wednesday summoned nearly 80 Greater Pittston firefighters into action and sent Pittston Area High School students home early.

Classes at Pittston Area, located less than a mile away from Acton Technologies Inc., resumed on Thursday.

The fire was ruled accidental by state police deputy fire marshal Trooper Ron Jarocha, and the investigation determined a static discharge was the cause of the blaze.

Acton Technologies Inc. creates coating material for cookware, and according to state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Colleen Connolly, the storage area that caught fire contained acetone, a chemical used to remove glue-like substances such as nail polish.

It took firefighters three hours to quell the flames. One firefighter was treated by paramedics for minor injuries.
us_PA  industrial  follow-up  response  acetone  paints 
10 days ago
Texas A&M Nuclear Science Center evacuated after chemical spill
The Nuclear Science Center on the Texas A&M campus was evacuated Thursday morning after a chemical spill.
University Police Lt. Allan Baron said about four liters of toluene were spilled inside the facility. Fifteen people were evacuated and there were no injuries.
Baron said the spill happened at 9 a.m., and multiple agencies were on scene. At 10 a.m, the building was being ventilated and the chemical was still being cleaned up, he said.
us_TX  laboratory  release  response  toluene 
10 days ago
Chemical-fueled inferno at Philippines factory leaves no survivors, officals say
MANILA, Philippines — Police will open a criminal investigation into a Philippines factory fire that killed at least 72 workers who became trapped in the building's second floor, where iron grills on windows prevented their escape, a victims' relative said Thursday.
Gatchalian said the fire was apparently ignited by sparks from welding work at the factory's main entrance, triggering an explosion of the chemicals used to make the slippers. Workers fled to the second floor where they were trapped, he said.

District Fire Marshal Wilberto Rico Neil Kwan Tiu said that the building had other exits but apparently the workers were overwhelmed by the thick black smoke from the burning rubber and chemicals, which are highly flammable and caused the blaze to spread quickly.
Philippines  industrial  follow-up  death  flammables 
10 days ago
Monterey Apple Store package that hospitalized 4 people was contaminated at FedEx facility
Monterey >> Monterey fire officials confirmed four people were hospitalized Wednesday afternoon after being exposed at Del Monte Shopping Center to a hazardous chemical that spilled on a package at a FedEx distribution facility.

The “clear liquid” that made a dozen people feel nauseated was determined to be organic peroxide, Monterey Fire Chief Gaundenz Panholzer said. The chemical spilled on an Apple Store package being delivered to Del Monte Center from Apple headquarters, Panholzer said.

Panholzer said the package was contaminated at a FedEx distribution center and was then put on a FedEx truck. FedEx spokeswoman Connie Avery said an event like this is “very unusual.”

“Our immediate concern is for the well-being of those involved,” FedEx said in a statement. “We are cooperating with authorities investigating the cause of the incident.”
us_CA  transportation  release  injury  peroxide 
11 days ago
Haz mat incident sends five to hospital
On Monday, May 11 five employees at a local company in the 19800 block of 84 Ave. S. in Kent were sent to local hospitals for treatment following exposure to a possible airborne chemical.

The Kent Fire Department RFA was dispatched to the call at 9:04 am, after the employees reported to the company’s nurse station complaining of shortness of breath and dizziness.

All the employees worked in the same area of the building.

One other person was treated at the property for a medical issue unrelated to the haz mat incident.

The call was upgraded to include hazardous materials teams from not only Kent but from throughout south King County.

This type of response is normal and necessary in order to have the number of hazardous materials technicians needed to investigate and mitigate a chemical problem on scene.

A team sent in to determine what took place was unable to find any obvious problem. The building was ventilated to remove any remaining airborne chemicals.

It will be up to the company to investigate what was happening at the time of the incident and to take any measures necessary to prevent it from happening in the future.
us_WA  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
At least 45 workers die in Manila factory fire
At least 45 workers are confirmed dead and another 25 or more remain missing after a fire broke out at noon on Wednesday inside the Kentex factory on the northern outskirts of Metro Manila in the Philippines.
Kentex manufactures rubber slippers at the plant in the city of Valenzuela. According to an interview with its owner, Veato Ang, it employed 200 to 300 workers.
The two-storey factory occupied 3,000 square meters but had only two working exits. The building had no alarms, no sprinkler system, and, it seems, no fire extinguishers. It was a mass of unpainted concrete, and poorly ventilated despite the chemicals being used throughout the building.
The fire department managed to have the fire under control by 5 p.m., and announced that the fire was out at 7 p.m. The blaze burned for seven hours.
Philippines  industrial  fire  death  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Firefighters Fight Chemical Fire
Jenkins Township, Luzerne County- Smoke filled the air as several fire crews battled an early morning fire Wednesday. It happened at Acton Technologies Incorporation in Jenkins Township. Officials are calling the building that caught fire a total loss. Jenkins Township Fire Chief Dan Kosisky declined to speak to us on camera. But he does say this was a dangerous fire to fight with all the chemicals inside. The Department of Environmental Protections Emergency Response Team was there, conducting air quality testing near the plant.

"DEP did some air monitoring and there is no hazard in the air", said Lucille Morgan, Director of Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency in Luzerne County

Firefighters even set up a hose to redirect run off from the burning building to an area stream.

"They had two containment systems in the back and they overflowed. so its mostly water but there is some liquid plastic in it", Morgan added

People who live nearby had problems with Acton Technologies Incorporation in the past.

"A few years ago we had major problems with the odors. Very, very bad odors", said Hugh Corcoran 

Now Hugh Corcoran and his neighbors want answers.

"It was just a concern what they're making back there. but now with this fire I don't know what exactly was burned, were there any problems? No one even warned us!" he added

Spokespeople for Acton Technologies Incorporation refused to speak to us. According to officials, the fire appears to be accidental, although the investigation is still on going. Employees were inside when the fire broke out. At least one employee was injured, but his or her condition is unknown.
us_PA  industrial  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
State police detonate homemade bomb in Fairhaven, arrest 18-year-old
FAIRHAVEN — State police detonated a bomb on Jeanette Street on Wednesday morning and arrested an 18-year-old man, who told police he left it outside to scare coyotes from his property, police said.
James Dillon of 6 Jeanette St., who turns 19 next month, is charged with placing an explosive device on the property, which is a felony, punishable by either a maximum sentence of 2 1/2 years in the House of Correction or 20 years in state prison and/or a fine of $25,000, according to police.
He left the homemade bomb in his driveway under a wheelbarrow, according to Sgt. Kevin Kobza, public information officer of the Fairhaven Police Department.
On Wednesday evening, a resident of 6 Jeanette St., who declined to give her name, said they were not concerned by the incident. Her cousin, "wasn't trying to hurt anybody," she said.
According to State Police Sgt. Gerald Galizio, the bomb was "toxic and harmful" and had the capability to spray acid and create harm to anyone who approached it, if it exploded, Kobza said.
us_MA  public  discovery  response  bomb  illegal 
11 days ago
Judge Rejects Bankruptcy Plan for Company in Chemical Spill
judge has rejected a $6.7 million bankruptcy plan by the company behind a January 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia.

In a federal bankruptcy court filing Wednesday, Judge Ronald Pearson said Freedom Industries and state environmental regulators haven't agreed on cleanup terms at the Charleston spill site. Pearson ordered Freedom to comply with state cleanup orders.

Freedom's plan would have offered spill victims $2.7 million.

The spill contaminated 300,000 residents' tap water for days. Businesses that couldn't operate without water, including restaurants, and individuals are seeking compensation.

Professionals hired for the bankruptcy case would have received $2.2 million. Among other distributions, $150,000 would go toward spill site cleanup. Regulators want $1 million.

An insurance settlement would provide $3.2 million. Ex-Freedom officials would contribute $3.1 million, which Pearson said initially seems inadequate.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
11 days ago
Fire Breathing Performers Hone Their Skills At Missoula Studio
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of being a performer, even though you sing like a mud frog and your feet can’t find a two-step. But singing and dancing isn’t the only way to get into the spotlight. What if you could throw flames from your mouth like a dragon?

Learning fire breathing was the goal of a small group of twenty-somethings last Sunday. They gathered in front of a cavernous building on DeFoe Street in Missoula for a workshop with Jeff Bluett, a fire eating and breathing instructor from Bozeman. The workshop was offered by Moksha Aerial Studio, whose regular schedule includes classes with names like Acroyoga, Kid Circus!, Aerial Yogafusion, and Flow Jam. It’s a sort of fitness-through-performance studio.

A woman named Arial Prop, who performs with the same Bozeman group Jeff’s in, has taken this training, but never done the actual fire breathing.

"Fire right next to my face does kinda freak me out still," said Prop.
us_MT  public  fire  response  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Fire crews called to chemical spill at University of Nottingham laboratory
Firefighters spent an hour and a half at the University of Nottingham's Park Campus dealing with a chemical spill.

Two fire crews were sent to the university's School of Physics and Astronomy, of Clifton Boulevard, after a small amount of toluene, which is used as a solvent, was spilled.

Although it was the size of a teaspoon, firefighters and a specialist fire officer remained at the scene for 90 minutes as a precaution, due to the substance being hazardous.

No one was hurt in the incident.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said a small fire had broken out at a laboratory at the three-storey building beforehand, but staff had managed to put it out themselves.

But he added that in doing so, the chemical had been spilled.

He said: "There had been a very small fire in the laboratory, and they extinguished it themselves, but then the chemical was spilled."
United_Kingdom  laboratory  fire  response  toluene 
12 days ago
Chemical reactions: glyphosate and the politics of chemical safety
Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, hit the headlines in March after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced that it is a “probable human carcinogen”.

The IARC, which is responsible for providing an evidence base for the cancer control policies of the World Health Organisation and its members, had completed a year long review of the scientific literature on the herbicide. It found “convincing evidence” that glyphosate causes cancer in laboratory animals, “limited evidence” that it does so in agricultural workers, and evidence that it causes DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells.

The IARC’s evaluation is hugely important because it is sharply at odds with the views of the world’s major regulatory agencies. Last year, an evaluation by German government regulators, on behalf of the European Commission, concluded that there was no evidence that glyphosate is carcinogenic or mutagenic, or that the herbicide posed any other serious hazard to health. All other regulatory agencies have reached similar conclusions.

The IARC did not have access to new evidence. So why has it reached totally different conclusions about the hazards posed by glyphosate?

First, this kind of disagreement is not unprecedented, or entirely surprising. Evidence about chemical safety is often incomplete, uncertain and ambiguous, such that assessments of safety cannot always be resolved on the basis of evidence alone. What, for example, constitutes a reliable and relevant study? How should conflicting evidence be weighed? How much of what kinds of evidence are necessary to support a judgement about hazard, or its absence? Subjective judgements and assumptions, as well as evidence, are typically required to settle such questions, so it is no wonder that institutions sometimes disagree.

We do not know exactly why institutional evaluations of glyphosate differed so markedly in this case because the IARC has yet to publish its full evaluation (that is promised for later in the year). But, from the IARC’s summary, it appears likely that it used different criteria for choosing which evidence to evaluate; made different judgements about the reliability of some of the evidence; and interpreted the results of some of the experimental studies in different ways.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  environmental  ag_chems 
12 days ago
Studies: Science-based response lacking in chemical disasters
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –Three new studies suggest that when communities are hit with disasters that contaminate drinking water the official decision-making and response often lack scientific basis.

The result has been an inability to fully anticipate public health risks and effectively rid plumbing systems of contaminants, sometimes exposing residents to toxic chemicals, said Andrew Whelton, an assistant professor in Purdue University's Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering and Lyles School of Civil Engineering.

Since 2014 more than 1.5 million people across the nation have received drinking water tainted with crude oil, diesel fuel, algal toxins and coal-washing chemicals.

"Numerous contamination incidents have been caused by chemical spills from storage tank ruptures, pipeline breaks, rail car and truck accidents, as well as algal blooms," Whelton said.

His team has been examining recent disasters in which tainted drinking water was distributed to homes. The goal is to develop techniques and tools to help communities respond more effectively, said Whelton, who will discuss some of the results of three studies on Wednesday (May 13) during the American Water Works Association Central District spring meeting in Danville, Indiana.

Some of the drinking water catastrophes studied were a January 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia; an August 2014 toxic algal bloom in Western Lake Erie; a December 2014 accident involving a petroleum-based solvent in Washington, D.C.; a January 2015 crude oil pipeline accident in Glendive, Montana; and an April 2015 diesel spill in Nibley City, Utah.
us_IN  public  discovery  environmental  petroleum 
12 days ago
Eglin Parkway closed for chemical spill
Four one-gallon bottles of hydrochloric acid were found “bubbling and smoking” early Tuesday on the Cinco Bayou Bridge.

The discovery, made at 8:35 a.m. by a Fort Walton Beach Police officer, forced the closing of the northbound lane of the bridge for nearly four hours while a hazardous materials team removed the dangerous substance.

The police officer was crossing the bridge when he saw a box lying in the road with its contents spilling, said Fort Walton Beach Sgt. Mark Hayse.

“We don’t know who dropped it off,” Hayse said. “It looked like it had fallen off a truck. It doesn’t look like it was something intentional.”

The officer reacted by contacting city patrol units and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office to get the bridge shut down, Hayse said.
us_FL  transportation  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
12 days ago
Hazmat team responds to Cortland Co. SPCA
UPDATE 10:15 a.m. -- Officials say the hazmat situation was caused by an accidental mixture of chemicals.

Approximately eight people were affected and officials think they will be okay once they utilize the decontamination stations.

Pets are also running through the decontamination stations.

Officials with the SPCA say they have to decontaminate the entire building and essentially start from the beginning since food and supplies have been contaminated, as well.


Dispatchers have confirmed a hazmat team is responding to the Cortland County SPCA. Ambulance, the fire department and police are on scene for what is being called a "hazmat incident," by officials. Few details are being released on the matter, CNYCentral will post updates as more information is made available.
us_NY  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
5 hospitalized following Kent HazMat situation
KENT — Emergency crews took five people to local hospitals Monday morning for treatment to exposure of a possible airborne chemical, stemming from a HazMat situation at an area business.

Fire crews responded to an undisclosed business in the 19800 block of 84th Avenue south in Kent after five employees went to the company’s nurses station, reporting shortness of breath and complaining of dizziness. Nurses called the Kent Fire Department, and all five workers were transported to local hospitals.

One other person was treated at the scene for medical issues unrelated to the HazMat, the Kent Fire Department said.

HazMat teams investigated the “chemical problem” at the scene. However, no obvious source was found, crews said. The building was ventilated to remove any remaining airborne chemicals.
us_WA  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Crews respond to possible mercury spill in Simi Valley
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - Authorities said on Monday that a sizable amount of mercury was found near some Simi Valley homes, forcing them to close the area while a hazardous materials team tries to determine the cause and extent of the contamination.

Ten people, including three firefighters, were exposed to the mercury, authorities said.

The spill was reported about noon outside a home in the 4100 block of East Cochran Street, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The home was near Santa Susana Elementary School, but the school was not affected, officials said.

Six homes in the immediate area were evacuated, and residents of two others were asked to stay indoors, fire officials said.

Ventura County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery said a resident called authorities Monday because his dogs became ill. Lindbery said the substance had been on the driveway, which is shared by multiple homes, for months but had not caused any problems before.

Responding fire crews and environmental health officials tested the substance and determined around 6 p.m. that it was mercury. High exposures to mercury can cause kidney problems, respiratory failure and other serious health effects, officials say.

Two to three pounds of mercury had spilled, affecting a 100-square-foot area, authorities said.
us_CA  public  release  response  mercury 
13 days ago
11 transported after carbon monoxide exposure in Md.
ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Eleven constructions workers were transported to the hospital with carbon monoxide exposure Monday, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials said.

High levels of carbon monoxide were reported at a construction site located at 14935 Southlawn Lane, officials said.

The likely cause of the buildup was the operation of concrete finishers inside without a vent, officials said.

The injuries are not considered to be life-threatening. In the meantime, Montgomery County Fire is ventilating the building.
us_MD  industrial  release  injury  carbon_monoxide 
13 days ago
Yorktown High School in Arlington evacuated after chemical spill
ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - A high school in Arlington was evacuated early Monday morning after a teacher spilled a chemical inside of a room.

The Arlington County Fire Department responded to a call around 7:43 a.m. for a hazmat issue at Yorktown High School. A teacher spilled a 1500 mL bottle of hydrochloric acid inside one of the laboratory classrooms, according to a spokesperson for the department.

It is unclear how much acid was in the container, but the spill affected a 3x4 area in the room. There were no injuries.

The first floor of the school was evacuated. Air testing by firefighters showed additional levels of the school were clear.

Firefighters have neutralized the acid and are waiting for a contracting company to clean up the spill.
us_VA  laboratory  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
13 days ago
Food & Drug Administration Seeks Safety Data On Skin Sanitizers
Federal regulators are planning to reevaluate the safety of long-term daily exposure to skin sanitizers, such as hand washes and surgical hand scrubs, used by workers in hospitals and other health care settings.
FDA has no data suggesting that active ingredients in health care antiseptics are unsafe or ineffective. But the use of these products has skyrocketed since the agency first evaluated them in the 1970s.
“Today, health care professionals use antiseptic products much more frequently than they used to, in some cases up to 100 times a day,” says Theresa M. Michele, director of nonprescription drug products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation & Research. Emerging science suggests that exposure to some antiseptic active ingredients, such as alcohol and iodine, is higher in health care workers than previously thought, she says.
Because of the higher rates of exposure, FDA is proposing to require manufacturers of these products to provide additional safety data. The information would include the potential for active ingredients to be absorbed through the skin, cause hormonal effects, and contribute to antibiotic resistance.
The agency is not requiring manufacturers to remove any health care antiseptics from the market at this time, Michele emphasizes. “FDA recommends that health care personnel continue to use these products, consistent with infection control guidelines while additional data are gathered,” she says.
industrial  discovery  environmental 
14 days ago
Practice Real to Perform Real
Statement: Emergency responders practice real so they can perform real. Their ability to do this depends to some extent on how well the population they serve practices and performs, so practice-real-to-perform-real extends to us, too. In most cases, this is just a matter of respecting the exercises and events and maintaining a safe distance from them when they happen.

Discussion: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is fortunate to have a relatively small number of emergencies. Our best approach is to prevent them when we can and be appropriately prepared to respond and recover when they do occur. An emergency exercise is the only opportunity, outside of an actual event, to put preparations into action. LLNL conducts a number of emergency exercises each year, and we are fortunate that over 300 employees prepare to be ready to respond.

Unfortunately, some employees interrupt the Emergency Response Organization (ERO) and emergency responders during emergency exercises. A few examples are:
industrial  discovery  response 
14 days ago
Hazmat team detects strong odor believed to be gas at site of NY fuel tank blast that killed 2
HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. –  Police in a New York suburb say hazardous materials experts have detected what they believe is the smell of gasoline at the scene of a fuel tank explosion that killed two workers.

The workers had been digging up an underground tank in the backyard of a home in Hastings-on-Hudson on Thursday when the blast occurred. Such tanks are more commonly used for heating oil, which is less explosive than gasoline.

The blast sent the tank flying across the yard into the woods.

Police said Friday that when the Westchester County Hazardous Material Team reached the scene, it found the strong odor of "a substance believed to be gasoline."

Police identified the dead workers as 50-year-old Mora Segundo and 52-year-old Luis Jacho. Both are from Ossining.
us_NY  public  follow-up  death  gasoline 
15 days ago
Arizona Chemical Company Catches Fire
PANAMA CITY -- It took several agencies to put out a fire near the Panama City Paper Mill this afternoon.

It happened about 4 p.m. at the Arizona Chemical Company.

Springfield, Bay County, Panama City and Callaway fire stations all responded to the fire.

But Arizona Chemical has its own fire brigade on site. They were attacking the fire before the other departments arrived to help.

Crews had the blaze put out in about 20 minutes.

The good news is no one was hurt.
us_FL  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
16 days ago
Teacher Dies In University Laboratory Blaze
A 34-year-old science teacher died from smoke inhalation Friday morning following an explosion inside a laboratory at the University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh, officials said.

Lon Moniroth, bureau chief of the Phnom Penh municipal forensic police, said that the teacher, Huy Siep, is thought to have accidently caused the explosion by spraying a flammable gas inside the second-story classroom while preparing for a lesson.

“It was a can of flammable spray that started the fire. He came first to prepare the lab equipment for showing his students and was careless with using the equipment,” Mr. Moniroth said.

“When the explosion erupted he tried to put out the fire and shouted for help but he lost his breath and went to sit on a chair and died,” he added.

Oum Chantha, deputy chief of the municipal fire police, said the blaze started at about 6:20 a.m. but his firefighters could not extinguish it in time to save the victim.

“We used two trucks to put out the fire…we saw the victim had died on a chair with burns to his body,” he said.

A security guard at the university, Loek Ner, also attempted to save the victim from the flames but could not make his way through smoke emanating from the laboratory.

“I heard an explosion from the lab and heard the victim shouting ‘help, help,’” Mr. Ner said. “We tried to save him from the room but it was very dark smoke and we couldn’t see anything,” he added.
Cambodia  laboratory  explosion  death  flammables 
16 days ago
Global textile group reports on hazardous substances progress
Key achievements and plans towards improving the textile industry’s environmental performance have been set out in the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) group's latest annual report. 
Last year, the group, which is made up of 21 major apparel and footwear brands, released a list of manufacturing restricted substances (MRSL). It also issued a framework for prioritising hazardous chemicals for elimination or substitution and a “research list”- a list of prioritised chemicals for which alternatives do not exist and on which the group will focus its research efforts (CW 5 June 2014). 
The latest report, covering 2014, says that by encouraging key stakeholders to develop alternatives to chemicals on the research list, the group hopes to move these substances more rapidly onto the MRSL so that they can be phased out of the supply chain.
Chemicals on the research list, for which safe limits are being sought, include ethylbenzene, methanol, phenol, 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)-ethanol and 2-methoxypropanol. Substances for which the group is seeking safer alternatives include dimethyl formamide (DMF), n,n-dimethylacetamide (DMAC) and toluene.
The group has started research on alternatives to short-chain perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which members say are a replacement for long-chain PFCs, until a safer substitute is found. However, the group acknowledged this may take many years and, in a few cases, there may never be a suitable alternative.
Eleven chemical guidance sheets to support the MRSL have been issued on toluene, nonylphenol, nonylphenol ethoxylates, long-chain perfluoroalkyl acids, phthalates, halogenated solvents, organotins, short-chain chlorinated paraffins, chlorophenols, chlorinated benzenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons/naphthalene. They are available in English, Hindi, Kannada, Urdu and simplified Chinese.
The group is developing an MRSL compliance framework to verify chemical formulations and a draft document is currently under review. There are also plans to update the MRSL to include limits for leather processing.
industrial  discovery  environmental  formamide  solvent 
16 days ago
Chemical factory fined for Tengger Desert dumping
A chemical factory and its legal representative in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region have been punished for dumping untreated waste in the Tengger Desert, according to state media reports.

According to the report, Mingsheng Dye Chemical has been fined over $US800,000, while the company’s legal representative was given an 18 month sentence with a two-year reprieve and a 50,000 yuan fine.

The company had already been shut down in September after it was discovered it had been illegally dumping industrial waste for the past 8 years, threatening the local groundwater supply.

The Tengger Desert is the fourth-largest desert in China, located in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and central Gansu province.

The decision follows the suspension of a chemical factory in the northwest Chinese province of Gansu in April. Ronghua Industry & Trade was fined around $US48 million and had its operations suspended after it was found illegally discharging waste water into the desert.

A number of top environmental officials were also suspended in the province after it was found they had failed to properly monitor the polluting companies.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has stepped up its watchdog role of late, launching 73,000 investigations last year, an increase of 10.5 per cent on the previous year.
China  industrial  discovery  environmental  dye  waste 
17 days ago
Firefighters recovering from Hamilton hazmat situation
HAMILTON TWP., N.J. (WPVI) -- Dozens of firefighters are still recovering after being sickened while battling a blaze in Hamilton Township.

On Wednesday afternoon on South Broad Street, a backyard fire raged, consuming two garages, a workshop and a shed.
A container of chlorine for homeowner Karin Weaver's pool was inside the shed where the fire was roaring.

She was on the way to Newark Airport when police called to tell her about the fire.

"He said 'when the firefighters hit it with the water the chlorine went into the air and now we have a hazmat situation,'" Weaver said.

The chlorine sickened some first responders.

In all, 45 firefighters, police officers, and EMTs were taken to area hospitals to be checked out.

Hamilton Fire Chief Tom Gribbin was admitted overnight with respiratory issues.

"Like a bad sore throat at first and then my chest just kind of felt like, not on fire, but it was a burning sensation in my chest," Gribbin said.
us_NJ  public  fire  injury  chlorine 
17 days ago
Two UT buildings evacuated following Hazmat situation
TOLEDO – Two buildings on the University of Toledo campus have been evacuated following a report of a chemical reaction in a lab.

The two buildings evacuated are Wolfe Hall and Bowman-Oddy Laboratories. The chemical reaction is said to have occurred at 1:30 p.m. in the lab of the second floor of Wolfe Hall.

According to authorities, two students were cleaning cabinets when two chemicals mixed causing a reaction and a small fire. The fire was contained to one room and a vapor cloud developed.

The incident was reported to university police who decided to evacuate both buildings. It is not known how many students were in the buildings at the time. No injuries have been reported.

The university says Wolfe Hall will remain closed for the remainder of the day but scheduled to re-open Friday morning.  
us_OH  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
17 days ago
Edmonds Community College building evacuated due to odor
LYNNWOOD, Wash. - A building on the Edmonds Community College campus was evacuated Thursday morning due to a strong odor, fire officials said.

A hazmat team responded to the campus at around 6 a.m. after receiving reports that a noxious smell in Snohomish Hall was making people sick. Everyone was evacuated from the hall as hazmat responders began ventilating the building.

Two or three people told firefighters they experienced "symptoms" from the odor, but quickly recovered after getting outside in the fresh air.

A Lynnwood Fire Department spokesperson said the source of the smell was found to be a new chemical used by overnight workers.
us_WA  education  release  response  unknown_chemical 
17 days ago
2 Workers Killed When Oil Tank Explodes at Home Near Westchester School: Official
Two workers died when the oil tank they were digging up at a home not far from a school in Westchester exploded Thursday, according to officials.
It's not clear what caused the blast at the home at Hillside Avenue and School Street in Hastings-on-Hudson at about 11:30 a.m., the mayor of the town told NBC 4 New York.
Hastings on Hudson Police Chief Anthony Visalli said when the tank exploded, it sailed 75 feet into the air, killing both workers. 
Neither the supervisor nor any of the home's tenants were hurt. 
Django Morrison, who lives in the home near where the tank exploded, was outside with the two workers moments before the blast. 
"They had just unburied it and were getting the excavator here, and the guy who was running it asked him to cut it open so they could clean it out and I decided at that point I was going inside because I didn't want to be around if anything went wrong. And 30 seconds later, there was a huge explosion," said Morrison.
us_NY  public  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
17 days ago
Holcomb High School evacuated following chemical reaction, flash fire
HOLCOMB — Holcomb High School students were evacuated for about an hour Thursday morning following a flash fire caused by a chemical reaction during a chemistry class.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at 10:20 a.m. in the science wing of the building.

HHS Principal Rob Schneeberger said the chemical reaction occurred while students were performing an experiment with a non-toxic chemical. Students and school staff used a fire extinguisher to immediately put out a small fire.

“The kids did a good job of putting the fire out,” Schneeberger said.

Schneeberger said students and staff were evacuated to the football field bleachers and waited until getting permission from fire officials to re-enter the building.

“Students and staff did a great job of evacuating the building as per the drills we go through,” he said.
us_KS  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
17 days ago
Guangdong’s Environmental Body Kicks Off Assessments on Chemical Projects
The Guangdong Department of Environmental Protection (GDEP) has started conducting environmental impact assessments (EIA) on chemical projects such as those involving p-Xylene (PX) amid speculations of possible pollution threats.

According to authorities, the EIA are aimed at streamlining the operations of GDEP, which was tasked by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in March to assess and monitor projects like national expressways, thermal power stations, and the construction of PX to lower levels.

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The projects, as how the officials put it, have modern production technology as well as more developed environmental protection capacities and manageable risks (from city to country levels).

Peng Yingdeng, a senior EIA engineer affiliated with a Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau's research center, told the Global Times: "Delegating authority to low levels could improve the efficiency of EIA, as local governments are more familiar with local projects, and those projects will start construction faster."
China  public  follow-up  environmental  xylene 
17 days ago
Under Pressure, Universities Take a Renewed Shot at Improving Lab Safety
Motivated by the fear of possible new federal regulations, university leaders gathered in Washington on Wednesday as part of a national study commission seeking strategies to improve lab-safety conditions.

It was the third straight year a commission has convened to scrutinize the issue, motivated by a series of high-profile accidents that illustrated the much poorer safety record of university labs compared with their corporate counterparts. This year’s panel, assembled by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, will emphasize ways of expanding upon and carrying out some of the ideas raised by the previous two commissions, its leaders said.

"We view ourselves as sort of enabling the recommendations from those two efforts," said a co-chairman of the effort, T. Taylor Eighmy, vice chancellor for research and engagement at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

The 13-member Task Force on Laboratory Safety, consisting of officials from universities that belong to the association, spent the day behind closed doors with expert advisers from industry, the government, and academe.

The session was confidential to allow for a "candid and open" exchange, Mr. Eighmy said. Afterward, he and other leaders of the newest task force acknowledged feeling indirect pressure from federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, that appear to be considering ways the federal government might force safety improvements on university labs.

Universities, especially public ones, are already under considerable financial stress and are therefore eager to avoid new rules, said Howard J. Gobstein, the association’s executive vice president. A key objective of the new commission is to help universities "create the best system possible without causing us a lot of undue regulation and increased costs," Mr. Gobstein said.

The earlier study commissions were led by the American Chemical Society and the National Academies, both of which also offered universities advice in strategy and cultural acceptance of safety procedures.
laboratory  discovery  response 
18 days ago
13 firefighters hospitalized after fighting fire in Hamilton garage containing chlorine
HAMILTON — Thirteen firefighters were taken to area hospitals for treatment Wednesday after fighting a garage fire in Hamilton that contained chlorine, fire officials said.

The 2:45 p.m. fire ripped through two large garages in the 2000 block of South Broad Street, gutting the buildings and at destroying two vehicles parked inside one of the garages, firefighters and witnesses said.

One of the garages contained a container of chlorine, the kind used in backyard pools, and when it burned it caused a gas that caused several firefighters to suffer respiratory injuries, fire officials said.

At about 3:15 p.m., as an odor of a chemical hung in the air, fire officials and Hamilton police officers moved onlookers out of the immediate block, saying the fumes from the chlorine would be harmful to inhale.

And the numerous firefighters who responded were moved a block away and emergency medical officials started setting up a decontamination process for the firefighters, so they could then be taken to local emergency rooms for evaluation.
us_NJ  public  fire  injury  chlorine 
18 days ago
Denmark Accuses Total of Using Unauthorized Chemical, Halts Fracking
COPENHAGEN --Denmark said Wednesday that it had stopped the first exploratory drilling for shale gas in the country a day after it began, accusing French company Total of using an unauthorized chemical.

"They used a product that was not part of those authorized" for the procedure, Ture Falbe-Hansen, a Danish Energy Agency spokesman said.

According to Danish public broadcaster DR, the product known as Null Foam -- used in the so-called fracking process to extract shale gas -- was considered to be an environmental hazard.
Denmark  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
18 days ago
CSX announces Chemical Safety Excellence Awards
CSX on May 4, 2015 announced the winners of its 21st annual Chemical Safety Excellence Award, recognizing 70 customers for their commitment to the safe transportation of hazardous materials by rail in 2014 

CSX’s Chemical Safety Excellence Awards are presented to customers from a wide variety of industries that ship more than 600 carloads of hazardous materials during the year without a release due to controllable factors.


CSX said it works with its customers “to ensure that hazardous materials move in the safest equipment and employees are trained on safe loading and handling procedures. Many of the 2014 recipients are repeat winners, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to safety as well as their lasting partnership. “

CSX recognized those companies that have made the list for 10 years: AkzoNobel Chemicals, Inc., International Chemical Company and Westlake Chemical. CSX also acknowledged companies who have been listed for five years: Ascend Performance Materials, Aux Sable Liquid Products, Cargill, Dow Corning, MarkWest Hydrocarbon, Inc., SABIC Americas, Inc. and United Refining Company. 

transportation  discovery  environmental 
18 days ago
Nitrates from agriculture a 'growing threat' to Minnesota drinking water
Farm-related nitrate pollution represents a “growing chemical threat to Minnesota’s drinking water,” according to a new Health Department report that could spark action on clean-water legislation in the final days of the 2015 Legislature.

Community water supplies, overall, are safe and closely monitored, according to the agency’s Drinking Water Annual Report for 2014. But the report, released Wednesday, highlights widespread and often costly efforts to prevent or reverse nitrate pollution in well water drawn by municipal and quasi-public water systems — those used by schools, businesses, resorts, restaurants and other places.

“I think this underscores again that we have a widespread problem with water quality in Minnesota,” Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday at a news conference with Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger and other high-ranking health department officials in St. Paul.

The unusual formality surrounding the report’s release signaled the importance the Dayton administration has placed on cleaning up Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers. Dayton said the state urgently needs antipollution legislation this year because “bad water threatens our health, our economy, and our future.”
us_MN  industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
18 days ago
Implementation of Protocols To Enable Doctoral Training in Physical and Computational Chemistry of a Blind Graduate Student
There exists a sparse representation of blind and low-vision students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This is due in part to these individuals being discouraged from pursuing STEM degrees as well as a lack of appropriate adaptive resources in upper level STEM courses and research. Mona Minkara is a rising fifth year graduate student in computational chemistry at the University of Florida. She is also blind. This account presents efforts conducted by an expansive team of university and student personnel in conjunction with Mona to adapt different portions of the graduate student curriculum to meet Mona’s needs. The most important consideration is prior preparation of materials to assist with coursework and cumulative exams. Herein we present an account of the first four years of Mona’s graduate experience hoping this will assist in the development of protocols for future blind and low-vision graduate students in computational chemistry.
us_FL  laboratory  discovery  response 
19 days ago
Delivering on Science's Social Contact
In 1998, then-president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dr. Jane Luchenco called for a “New Social Contract with science”.  Based on her 1997 address as AAAS president and published in the journal Science,  Lubchenco argued that, in the face of emerging challenges, scientists needed to rethink their roles and responsibilities within society.   Next Wednesday she will be examining how far we’ve come – and how far we still need to go – on delivering on science’s social contract, at the University of Michigan meeting on Academic Engagement in Public and Political Discourse.  Her keynote lecture is open to the public, and will be live streamed here.

Lubchenco’s 1998 article was grounded in environmental responsibility, although her concept of “environment” was a broad one – encompassing human health, the economy, social justice and national security.  Each of these areas, she argued, depend to some degree on the structure, functioning, and resiliency of ecological systems.  And together, she suggested, the challenges they represent demand a re-alignment of the science enterprise with the needs of society.
us_MI  education  discovery  environmental 
19 days ago
Columbia firefighters, HAZMAT teams clear Swearingen annex, no gas leak found
Columbia firefighters and Columbia HAZMAT teams cleared the Swearingen annex building at the University of South Carolina shortly after students and faculty were evacuated due to a potential gas leak Tuesday afternoon.

Brick Lewis, a Columbia Fire Department spokesman, said firefighters and HAZMAT teams could not find any evidence of a gas leak in the building after some students and faculty reported an odor in the building.

Columbia firefighters and Columbia HAZMAT teams were called out to 300 South Main Street to inspect the source of the leak around 1 p.m., but the censors didn’t detect what the leak may be.
us_SC  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
19 days ago
Crews respond to Hazmat situation at NIST
GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) -- Emergency crews responded to a chemical hazard at NIST's Gaithersburg campus on Tuesday.

A pint of an acid-based polish agent warmed to room temperature and became an explosion hazard, the NIST said.

The hazard has been contained to a lab and the building has been evacuated as a precaution, fire officials said. No injuries have been reported.

The NIST building is located at 100 Bureau Drive and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services are helping at the scene, according to MCFRS spokesperson Pete Piringer.
us_MD  laboratory  discovery  response  other_chemical 
19 days ago
Hazmat crews clean up pound of mercury that spilled in Bell Coun
BELL COUNTY - Authorities are investigating after hazmat crews had to clean up a pound of mercury that spilled Monday evening at a Belton home.

Bell County Fire Marshal Steve Casey says crews were called about 5:30 p.m. to the backyard of a home in the 7000 block of Sparta Rd. for a mercury spill.

Casey reports about one pound of the substance was found and later cleaned up by the Killeen hazmat team. The material was put in a container and taken to Georgetown by a company that deals with disposal of poisonous chemicals.

TCEQ has cleared the scene and reported there is no danger to the area after the clean up, which was done correctly.
us_TX  public  release  response  mercury 
19 days ago
Laughing Gas Leak Evacuates Greensboro Pharmaceutical Company
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Greensboro Fire and EMS says a pharmaceutical company was evacuated after nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, leaked inside the building.

Hazmat crews, and Greensboro Fire and EMS were all at Proctor & Gamble located at 100 South Swing Road on Tuesday afternoon.

Chief Michael Rogers with Guilford County Fire and EMS said one person was taken to the hospital, but will be okay.

GSO Fire says the building was evacuated from about 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Employees are now back inside and the building is safe.
us_NC  industrial  release  injury  other_chemical  pharmaceutical 
19 days ago
Firefighters, HAZMAT team puts out chemical fire in west Birming
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A Birmingham Fire and Rescue HAZMAT team worked quickly to extinguish a chemical fire on 4th Street West, ABC 33/40 has learned. 

Crews were called to the scene around 2 p.m. on a report of a bleach spill and fire. Firefighters were able to put out the flames, allowing for HAZMAT workers to begin cleaning up the chemical spill.

No one was injured in the incident. The cause of the spill remains under investigation. 
us_AL  public  fire  response  bleach 
19 days ago
A broader focus on academic lab safety
The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)—which comprises more than 230 institutions and university systems from every state, the District of Columbia, Mexico, Canada,  Guam, Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands—has formed a task force on laboratory safety. The new group “will provide research universities with recommendations and guidance on the most appropriate strategies to enhance a culture of laboratory safety,” according to a 23 April announcement. Composed of “senior research officers and environmental and health safety experts” from a range of universities, the group was “created in coordination with the Association of American Universities (AAU), American Chemical Society (ACS), and Council on Government Relations (COGR),” the announcement adds.

This is welcome news for several reasons. First, many academic labs sorely need “recommendations and guidance”—and more—in order to work safely, as shown by this horrifying litany of disasters and near-disasters recounted on Reddit by scientists and students.

Second, 4.8 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students attend APLU’s member institutions, which collectively do $41.1 billion worth of research, according to the organization’s website. If the task force succeeds in significantly improving safety culture and practices in its members’ labs, the impact would be vast.
laboratory  discovery  environmental 
19 days ago
Chemical plant lead poisoning lawsuit ‘test of China’s resolve to tackle pollution’
A lawsuit filed by residents of a town in China against a chemical plant they say is responsible for high levels of lead in the blood of children is shaping up as a test of the central government’s resolve to tackle pollution.

Of the more than 50 residents from in and around the rural town of Dapu in central Hunan province who originally agreed to join the lawsuit, only 11 remain, their lawyer, Dai Renhui, said.

Hu Shaobo, another lawyer advising on the case, said some plaintiffs had withdrawn under pressure from local government officials.

The lawsuit, described by lawyers as one of the first of its kind to be accepted by a court in mainland China, is scheduled to be heard next month.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation, although Dai declined to say if they had agreed on an amount.

China’s central government has declared “war on pollution” in the wake of mounting discontent over a growth-at-all-costs economic model that has spoiled much of the country’s water, skies and soil.
China  industrial  discovery  response  other_chemical 
19 days ago
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