Arrests follow meth lab explosion
ROCK STAND--On Tuesday night, June 18, Randolph County Narcotics Unit agent Larry Clark received a phone call that William Scott Slaughter was in the Wedowee Hospital emergency room with burns over 70 to 80 percent of his body and that the helicopter was en-route to fly him to University Hospital in Birmingham. He was also told Jessica Jones drove Slaughter to the ER, walked him in and then left.
Clark contacted Maj. Greg Dendinger of Randolph County Sheriff's Office. Dendinger questioned Slaughter, who stated he was pouring out a bottle in the shed at his brother's house when he caught on fire.
Dendinger spoke with several of the nurses, and they positively identified Jones as the one who brought Slaughter in. Dendinger contacted deputy Corey Smith and asked Smith to meet him at 7324 U.S. Hwy. 431, south of Rock Stand, to check the scene and make sure everything was OK.
Clark spoke with homeowner Wesley Slaughter, who gave them permission to do whatever they needed to do. Wesley said Scott and Jones had been in and out of there all day, but he wasn't sure if she was there when the fire started.
Clark looked inside the shed where the explosion happened and knew it was caused by a shake-and-bake meth lab. There was a strong chemical smell inside the shed. Clark went outside where a fire had been built that appeared to be where evidence was being destroyed. Clark saw in the fire a bottle of liquid drain opener, a bottle of rosonol lighter fluid, tubing, hcl generator and a punched starter fluid can but was unable to retrieve it due to the fire. Also at the fire, Clark found several pseudoephedrine blister packs, two partially burnt shake-and-bake labs and cut-open lithium batteries.
us_VA  public  explosion  injury  clandestine_lab 
3 hours ago
Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals shuts resin unit after fire injures four workers, East Asia News & Top Stories
TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals Inc said it shut the toner binder resin manufacturing unit at its Mobara branch factory in Chiba on Thursday (July 27) after a fire that injured four workers.

A dangerous substance exploded and caught fire in a warehouse at the plant, located east of Tokyo, shortly after 11am (10am Singapore time), the local fire department said.

Mitsui Chemicals said the fire occurred in a facility that makes toner binder resin and added that it was not clear what caused the fire.

Four workers were burned but the injuries were not life threatening, a Mitsui Chemicals spokesman said, adding there was no impact to the operations of other product units at the factory.
Japan  industrial  explosion  injury  resin  toner 
3 hours ago
EPA Won't Ban Chlorpyrifos, a Neurotoxin That Causes Brain Damage
An attempt to ban a pesticide known to cause brain damage in children was denied by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but a group of Democratic senators hope to change with a new bill.

The bill, introduced by New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, seeks to outlaw chlorpyrifos, an agricultural insecticide used on strawberries, apples and broccoli, among other fruits and vegetables. The chemical is classified as a neurotoxin by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and listed in the same chemical family as sarin nerve gas, but the EPA denied a petition to ban it on March 29. On July 18, Federal appeals court rejected a petition by environmental groups to force the agency into a ban.

The Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers From Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017 was co-sponsored by senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Kamala Harris of California, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
public  discovery  environmental  pesticides 
3 hours ago
100,000 Pages of Chemical Industry Secrets Gathered Dust in an Oregon Barn for Decades — Until Now
FOR DECADES, SOME of the dirtiest, darkest secrets of the chemical industry have been kept in Carol Van Strum’s barn. Creaky, damp, and prowled by the occasional black bear, the listing, 80-year-old structure in rural Oregon housed more than 100,000 pages of documents obtained through legal discovery in lawsuits against Dow, Monsanto, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, the Air Force, and pulp and paper companies, among others.

As of today, those documents and others that have been collected by environmental activists will be publicly available through a project called the Poison Papers. Together, the library contains more than 200,000 pages of information and “lays out a 40-year history of deceit and collusion involving the chemical industry and the regulatory agencies that were supposed to be protecting human health and the environment,” said Peter von Stackelberg, a journalist who along with the Center for Media and Democracy and the Bioscience Resource Project helped put the collection online.

Van Strum didn’t set out to be the repository for the people’s pushback against the chemical industry. She moved to a house in the Siuslaw National Forest in 1974 to live a simple life. But soon after she arrived, she realized the Forest Service was spraying her area with an herbicide called 2,4,5-T — on one occasion, directly dousing her four children with it as they fished by the river.
us_OR  public  discovery  environmental  pesticides 
4 hours ago
Chemical fire fought with sand, rock salt on Detroit’s east side
On Tuesday morning, the Detroit Fire Department fought fire with dry sand and rock salt at a plant on the city’s east side.

It all started with a “minor explosion” in a machine that processes magnesium at the Global Titanium plant on the 19300 block of Filer. This was at about 5:10 a.m., said Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department. That’s north of East Seven Mile, and just east of Mount Elliott.

Of the three buildings on site, the explosion took place in a building where the company processes magnesium.

When firefighters arrived, the fire had spread to two storage bins, Fornell said.

“Magnesium, when it ignites, it burns with a white-hot heat, and you can’t use water to put it out,” Fornell said. “The water turns to steam and causes minor explosions, which spreads the material.”

There was also titanium involved.

Such a fire can’t be extinguished with water, Fornell said; it must be smothered with dry sand. In this case, dry sand and rock salt. And unlike at most of the blazes the department fights, this time workers at the site “worked hand-in-hand” with firefighters over the next hour. The sand and rock salt were already on site.
us_MI  industrial  explosion  response  magnesium  titanium 
OSHA issues $28,000 in fines for Upper Macungie lab explosion
Workers handling a combustible compound at a semiconductor lab in Upper Macungie Township weren’t wearing proper safety gear during a February explosion that injured three employees, according to a U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration report.

In the June report, OSHA said it found three “serious” violations that culminated in $28,067 in fines as a result of the Feb. 16 explosion at CyOptics Inc., at 9999 Hamilton Blvd. in the Tek Park campus.

CyOptics is a subsidiary of Broadcom and describes itself as a leader in indium phosphide optical chips and component technologies for data communications and telecommunications markets.

Workers were handling the flammable compound trimethylindium, which ignited and caused a minor explosion and fire.

The OSHA investigation determined a lack of training led a worker to improperly handle the material, causing the compound to explode around employees who weren’t wearing the kind of protective clothing that could have prevented injury.

Trimethylindium is a organometallic compound commonly used in the manufacture of semiconductors. Derek Lowe, an organic chemistry research scientist and blogger for Science Translational Medicine, said in an email that the compound is used to turn metals such as aluminum or indium into a gaseous state so thin layers can be applied to semiconductor components.
us_PA  laboratory  follow-up  injury  other_chemical 
13,000 litres of chemical spilled at Cambridge Bay airport
Approximately 13,000 litres of a chemical used for dust control was spilled onto the ground at the airport in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, RCMP say.

Police say in a news release that they were notified of the spill on Sunday. They say 13 containers were opened and spilled sometime over the previous weekend. 

Approximately 13,000 litres of a chemical used for dust control was spilled onto the ground at the airport in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, RCMP say.
The chemical, EK35, is considered non-hazardous, but steps have been taken to prevent the spill from reaching the nearby bay, police say.
Canada  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
Chemical plant to pay $150K for breaking pollution law
TRENTON -- A chemical plant that once operated in Newark will pay more than $150,000 in fines for discharging waste into the sewer system in ways that did not comply with the law, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said Tuesday. 

Cardolite Corporation, headquartered at Monmouth Junction, pleaded guilty to six charges of violating the Water Pollution Control Act before Superior Court Judge John I. Gizzo in Essex County. The international company agreed to pay a $100,000 fine and $53,000 in restitution to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, which helped in the investigation. 

A call to the attorney representing Cardolite was not returned. 

Authorities said Cardolite admitted that between April and July 2015, it failed to properly manage and report its waste discharges six different times. The Water Pollution Control Act requires companies self-monitor and report violations but Cardolite tampered with the measurements, authorities said. 
us_NJ  industrial  follow-up  environmental  waste  illegal 
Officials respond to chemical spill at I-Falls paper mill
County and state officials responded to a sulfuric acid spill at the Boise Paper mill in International Falls last week.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency reported Tuesday that it was notified last week that about 2,000 to 3,000 gallons of sulfuric acid had spilled onto the production floor. The liquid flowed from a floor drain into the plant's wastewater treatment facility, the MPCA reported; plant employees worked to neutralize the acid by adding an alkalizing agent, and eventually shut down the wastewater treatment facility.

The plant is located along the Rainy River, and staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Koochiching County Soil and Water Conservation District patrolled about 30 miles of the river downstream from International Falls on Friday and Saturday to look for evidence of a fish kill. They did not find any dead fish.

“It’s important to note that a fish kill would be a primary indicator of too much acid in a water body because acid affects the available oxygen, and when that decreases to a certain level, fish die,” MPCA spokeswoman Anne Moore said.
us_MN  industrial  release  response  sulfuric_acid 
Calls to poison centers about dietary supplements on the rise
More than 70% of Americans take some form of dietary supplement. Yet these increasingly popular products typically don’t undergo U.S. Food & Drug Administration safety testing or approval before they hit the market, a lax requirement that may merit reevaluation, according to a recent study (J. Med. Toxicol. 2017, DOI: 10.1007/s13181-017-0623-7).
In the study, researchers evaluated data collected from 2000 to 2012, finding that calls to U.S. poison control centers reporting dietary supplement exposures doubled during the period, to total about 275,000 calls. The majority of those exposures occurred in children younger than age six. Often, parents don’t think of supplements as dangerous and leave them within reach of curious children, says Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center and coauthor of the new study. But when it comes to safety, parents should treat them like any other medicine, he says.
Although most of the exposures over the 13-year period had relatively benign effects, 4.5% of the reported exposures resulted in serious medical outcomes. These adverse effects were linked to a few main categories of supplements: energy products, cultural medicines such as Ayurvedic treatments, and botanicals such as ephedra, which was once marketed for weight loss, heightened alertness, and improved athletic performance.
public  discovery  environmental  drugs 
State Reaches Settlement Over PFOA Contamination In Bennington
Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday that the state has reached a settlement with the company Saint-Gobain over the water contamination in Bennington.

Saint-Gobain owned the factory that released the chemical PFOA, which contaminated about 270 private wells. The company has now agreed to pay about $20 million which will bring municipal water to about 200 homes. 

Saint-Gobain will also pay for a continued investigation into a disputed area of potential contamination.

The two sides will continue hammering out a settlement for the rest of the properties.  The governor's office says that with this part of the talks wrapped up, construction can begin this fall on the waterline extensions.
us_VT  public  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
Cambridge university staff evacuate building after 'pungent' chemical gas leak
Cambridge university staff were forced to evacuate a building and one woman was given oxygen after a "pungent" gas leaked from a cylinder in a laboratory.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service was called at around 2pm yesterday (July 23) to the Earth Science laboratories in Downing Street, Cambridge.

A statement from the fire service said: "A crew from Cambridge was called to a chemical leak at the Earth Science laboratories in Downing Street after a leak from a cylinder of Sulphur Dioxide.

"Firefighters cordoned off the area and entered the building wearing breathing apparatus following reports of a pungent smell in the building."
United_Kingdom  laboratory  release  injury  gas_cylinders  sulfur_dioxide 
2 days ago
Five Injured in Ammonia Leak at Dallas Bakery
(WBAP/KLIF News) – Five people were taken to the hospital after an ammonia leak at a Dallas bakery early Monday morning.

Dallas Fire and Rescue’s Jason Evans said the leak came from a faulty compressor in an air conditioning unit at the EPI Bread Company on West Ledbetter near Joseph Hardin Drive.

“The fumes got into the system and spread throughout the building,” he said.

Shortly after the leak, employees began experiencing side effects from the exposure.

“You had a number of people that were exposed to the fumes and they were experiencing symptoms ranging from nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness. There was one person who even fainted,” he said.

After the company shut off the leak, a HazMat team arrived and helped ventilate the building.

The five employees were taken to nearby hospitals and are expected to recover.
us_TX  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
2 days ago
Strong smell from cleaning chemicals at Glendale apartments
GLENDALE, AZ - Phoenix and Glendale Fire Department crews are at an apartment complex in Glendale after getting a report of two people feeling nauseous from cleaning chemicals.

Authorities say there was a strong chemical smell when fire crews arrived at the scene Sunday afternoon.

The decision was made to evacuate about 14 apartments closest to the apartment that the odor was originating from.

A hazardous materials team came in and used chemical meters to determine that there were vapors present, but not at a level that would cause any long-term health effects.

The cleaning chemicals were removed and a fan was used to exhaust the remaining fumes.

Both people who felt nauseous decline treatment now.
us_AZ  public  release  response  cleaners 
2 days ago
Fox in row over chemical chicken (From HeraldScotland)
Britain’s Trade Secretary has refused to rule out post-Brexit imports of cheap American chicken which has been rinsed in chemicals.

Amid heightened concerns over both food safety and animal welfare after the UK leaves the EU, Liam Fox dismissed fears over chlorine-washed poultry as a media “obsessions”.

Scottish farmers have become increasingly concerned over talk of free trade deals with the United States including low-cost meat, such as hormone-treated beef.

As revealed in The Herald’s Beyond Brexit series, food industry leaders believe Scotland, which produces high-quality produce to European standards, would struggle to compete on price with American chicken and beef.

Dr Fox, however, on Monday said decisions on whether to allow chlorine-washed chicken to be sold to British consumers would be taken at the “very end stage” of a potential US-UK free trade deal.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  environmental  chlorine 
2 days ago
Chemical leak contained at company off Route 1
WEST WINDSOR -- A hazardous chemical release inside a company's building off Route 1 and Alexander Road Monday morning was contained with no threat to the public, and no injuries, police and fire officials said.

The incident occurred at Chilworth on Campus Drive, shortly after 11 a.m.

The company provides safety-related consulting, training, and testing for a number of industries worldwide, their website says.

Employees were working in a "fume hood" and their readings of a test showed a presence of cyanide and chlorine gas, West Windsor Emergency Services Director Jim Yates said. 

The quantities they were working with were very small and company officials called the fire department to check on the readings, Yates said. Two firefighters donned chemical suits to take readings in the area and found no escape of the chemicals into the building.

Yates said the firefighters also found no harm to the public or environment, nor to building employees or occupants and the building was later reopened.
us_NJ  laboratory  release  response  chlorine  cyanide 
2 days ago
A Dangerous Idea: Eliminating the Chemical Safety Board
RICHMOND, Calif. — The United States Chemical Safety Board is a federal watchdog with more bark than bite. It has five board members, a tiny staff of less than 50 and a budget of some $11 million a year. Its mission is to investigate fires and explosions in oil refineries and chemical plants.

The board can’t impose financial penalties for corporate misbehavior and has no rules of its own to enforce. It merely issues fact-finding reports, with accompanying technical and policy recommendations. Labor and management can use this valuable information to avoid future accidents, or ignore it.

But its bark can be effective. The board’s reports have their own power, laying bare corporate negligence or ineptitude, and indentifyng hazards that communities may not realize are in their own backyards.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the board could soon be gone, despite its consultative approach and reliance on voluntary compliance. Under President Trump’s 2018 fiscal year budget proposal, the agency, which opened in 1998, would be eliminated because its role is “largely duplicative” of efforts by other agencies, presumably the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. Both of those agencies would also experience cuts to reduce “over-regulation” of industry.
public  discovery  environmental 
2 days ago
Citations for chemical burns, broken bones slap $1.9M penalty on manufacturer
DELAIR -- An aluminum manufacturing company accused of repeatedly violating workplace safety standards faces new allegations after accidents landed employees in the hospital with chemical burns and broken bones, officials said.  

The Occupational  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the federal Department of Labor inspected Delair-based Aluminum Shapes LLC in January, marking the company's eighth inspection in six years. On Friday, OSHA slammed the site with 51 new violations and a $1.9 million penalty following its latest inspection of the company. 

Aluminum Shapes manufactures products for the construction, transportation and architectural industries, as well as consumer goods and electrical machinery, according to the company's website. 

When visiting the site earlier this year, inspectors learned that two employees had been hospitalized in separate alleged workplace incidents. 

In the first, employees entered a tank containing dehydrated sodium hydroxide, aluminum oxide and metal. While attempting to drain it, the employees allegedly sustained chemical burns, which they reported to supervisors. 
us_NJ  industrial  release  injury  metals  sodium_hydroxide 
2 days ago
Cooper says he's acting on chemical in North Carolina river
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday he's directing state criminal investigators to see if a chemical plant violated any permits by discharging a little-studied chemical into a river that hundreds of thousands of people use for drinking water.

Cooper discussed his order to the State Bureau of Investigation while meeting with local officials in Wilmington, where there's been an outcry since traces of the unregulated chemical GenX in water supplies was revealed this spring. There's little scientific data about the relatively new chemical's health effects.

Cooper also promised that chemical company Chemours will be barred under terms of a pending state permit from releasing GenX into the Cape Fear River alongside its Bladen County plant, which employs nearly 1,000 workers.

GenX has been used since 2009 to make Teflon and other non-stick products. It was developed to replace a different chemical — perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA — tied to increased cancer risk. The related nature of the compounds and their largely unknown health effects prompted the governor's moves, Cooper spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said.
us_NC  public  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
2 days ago
Senators Murray, Cantwell secure new provisions in senate bill to address Hanford chemical vapor concerns
WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and a senior member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced they secured new provisions in the Fiscal Year 2018 Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill to address ongoing concerns about workers in or near the tank farms at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state being exposed to chemical vapors. One provision urges the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to continue implementing recommendations from the 2014 Hanford Tank Vapor Assessment Report, and to move forward with recommendations from three subsequent reviews conducted by DOE’s Office of the Inspector General and Office of Enterprise Assessments, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. A second provision would direct DOE to work with contractors, labor unions, and the State of Washington to establish a resource center to provide education and advocacy to current and former Hanford employees on all available Federal and State compensation programs to support workers who are injured on the job. The bill containing the two provisions passed the Senate Committee on Appropriations and now moves to the full Senate.

“While continued progress at Hanford is important, it should never come at the expense of workers’ health and safety,” Senator Murray said. “I’m encouraged to see these important provisions pass this hurdle, and I will fight to make sure the Trump Administration does everything in its power to put safety first and provide Hanford workers the health care and benefits they deserve.”

“Workers at Hanford deserve the most stringent possible precautions in place as they make progress on the clean-up,” Senator Cantwell said. “The measures that Senator Murray and I were able to include in the 2018 Appropriations bill will help make progress towards that important goal, and I look forward to seeing them become law."
us_wa  industrial  follow-up  injury  radiation 
2 days ago
Chevron settles with Cal/OSHA over 2012 refinery fire
RICHMOND — Chevron Corp. has reached a settlement agreement with state regulators stemming from the 2012 fire at its Richmond refinery that will require it to spend about $20 million to improve safety at the facility.

The agreement calls for San Ramon-based Chevron to implement “extraordinary measures” that meet or exceed California’s pending landmark regulation to reduce risk at refineries, the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) said in a news release Monday.

“This means safer operations at the refinery, which will help protect refinery workers and those who work and live nearby,” Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum said.

An investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board found that the Aug. 6, 2012, fire, which endangered 19 refinery workers and sent more than 15,000 residents to hospitals, was caused by a combination of regulatory shortcomings, a flawed Chevron safety culture and insufficient emergency efforts that likely exacerbated the problem. It concluded that Chevron failed to replace aging and corroded pipes, and failed to shut down leaking equipment before it caught fire

The agreement announced Monday calls for Chevron to replace all carbon steel piping that carries corrosive liquids with chrome-alloy piping, which has better corrosion resistance, at an estimated cost of $15 million. It also calls for Chevron to spend an estimated $5 million to develop and implement criteria and procedures to monitor equipment to alert operators when equipment should be replaced.

In addition, Chevron agreed to provide specialized training for Chevron Fire Department workers and refinery operators, beyond the training that is already provided; donate $200,000 to a job-readiness program to help prepare students for jobs in the petrochemical and related industries; and pay the citation penalties originally proposed by Cal/OSHA in January 2013 of $782,700, plus an additional $227,300.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  injury  corrosives  petroleum 
2 days ago
11 states sue Trump admin to reduce risk of chemical explosions
Eleven states including Washington have sued the Trump administration to improve safety at the nation’s refineries and chemical plants.

The lawsuit aims to force the Environmental Protection Agency to revive safety rules enacted in the final days of the Obama administration.

Within days of taking office, the Trump administration put the rules on hold as part of its push to de-regulate the U.S. economy.

The chemical safety rules — amendments to EPA’s Accidental Release Prevention Requirements under the Clean Air Act — are in limbo until 2019. They were intended to reduce the risk of explosions that have killed workers and endangered communities in Anacortes and elsewhere in recent years.

“Washingtonians have first-hand experience with the types of disasters this rule was designed to help prevent,” a press release from Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.

A fireball half the size of a football field erupted from the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes in 2010, killing seven workers. An appeals judge in June overturned the company’s record $2.4 million safety fine from state safety regulators.

United Steelworkers – the union representing workers at that refinery – and environmental groups sued the EPA in June to revive the safety rules.
transportation  discovery  environmental 
2 days ago
Four Kings County deputies hospitalized after being exposed to airborne drugs during traffic stop
FRESNO, County (KFSN) -- Deputies in Kings County are recovering from a hospital stay after being exposed to the highly toxic drug fentanyl during a traffic stop.

It led to a HAZMAT situation at 12 3/4 and Douglas Avenues, just south of Laton. The incident happened around 10 p.m. Saturday night when deputies pulled over 43-year-old Gene Brady for an outstanding warrant

During a search of his car, authorities now confirm that four deputies were exposed to the highly toxic drug fentanyl and became ill shortly after coming in contact with it.

They were immediately transported to the hospital for treatment and were released a few hours later.
us_WA  public  release  injury  clandestine_lab 
3 days ago
EPA: Tanks leaked hazardous substances at former Deferiet paper mill site, public not at risk
DEFERIET — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said hazardous substances appear to have leaked from containers at the site of the former St. Regis paper mill.
However, Joel M. Petty, on-scene coordinator for the EPA, said there was no risk to the public from the materials found in a garage at the secured site at 400 Anderson Ave. or to those working at a nearby hydroelectric power plant.
Mr. Petty said the material was either “containerized, or onto the floor of the garage.”
EPA officials said they discovered the spilled material in June as they searched the site for asbestos-containing material, work that has been ongoing since last year. The mill site has been out of use since the mid-1980s and was described by the agency as being in a “severe state of disrepair.”
In searching more than 100 containers, ranging from 30-gallon containers to a pair of 4,500-gallon tanks, the EPA said “several of these containers have holes, are bulging and leaking contents onto the ground.”
A sample of the containers determined they contained substances like sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid, Mr. Petty said.
us_NY  industrial  release  response  asbestos  sodium_hydroxide  sulfuric_acid 
3 days ago
Water tainted with perfluorocarbons by U.S. military is focus of legislation
The Pentagon would have to study whether drinking water tainted with perfluorinated chemicals used in firefighting causes health problems under a bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed on July 14.
The proposed 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810) includes provisions on perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), collectively known as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The chemicals persist in the environment indefinitely and have been linked to disease in people.
The military in the 1970s began using aqueous film-forming foam containing PFOA and other perfluorinated compounds that can degrade to PFOA or PFOS. Scientists have recently linked use of the foam at military installations to contamination of drinking water with PFASs. The Department of Defense is assessing its use of these substances and potential substitutes for them.
The bill would instruct the Pentagon to study the health of people who drank PFOS- or PFOA-contaminated water on or near current or former military installations.
The measure brings up the possibility that the Environmental Protection Agency might cap the amount of PFASs allowed in drinking water. EPA set a nonbinding health advisory level for PFASs in drinking water at 70 ppt in May 2016 but has not set a legally enforceable limit for these substances.
public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Gas leak at The Wave complex 'non-poisonous', says PACDA
Muscat: A report of a gas leak and lots of smoke at The Wave, Muscat, (Al Mouj) has prompted authorities to act immediately, according to the Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance.

“Crews were dealing with a report and were able to control a non-poisonous gas leakage,” the statement said.

The PACDA team - specialists in dealing with hazardous materials - were able to control the leakage without any injuries, PACDA said.
Oman  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Acid leak causes breathing problems for N.J. troopers
A sulfuric acid leak at a Burlington County battery company Saturday caused respiratory issues for three New Jersey state troopers, who were taken by ambulance to Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly as a precaution, authorities said.

The leak at Hoppecke Batteries Inc., on Berry Drive in Hainesport, was reported at 10:17 a.m., said David Kinney, supervisor in the Burlington County 911 call center.

The three troopers were on site to help secure the area and their injuries appeared to be minor, said Trooper Alejandro Goez. The county hazardous-materials unit also was on the scene.

The amount of leaked acid was reported to be 25 gallons. The site has since been cleared, Kinney said.
us_NJ  industrial  release  injury  batteries  sulfuric_acid 
4 days ago
Industrial plant goes up in flames in Conroe
CONROE, Texas - A building in Conroe went up in flames Saturday, according to the Conroe Fire Department. 

Officials said just after 10 a.m. heavy smoke and fire were reported at the building in the 9900 block of Butler Road near South Loop 336 East. 

The deputy chief requested a foam truck and a hazmat truck for the two-alarm fire. Three additional tankers from the Caney Creek, Cut and Shoot, Needham and North Montgomery fire departments assisted in containing the fire.

Officials said there was no water supply nearby and three dump tanks were used to shuttle water to the fire. 

Authorities said four people were working outside the building when the fire happened. One worker's vehicles was engulfed by the flames, but the workers were not injured.

According to the Conroe Fire Department, the building belongs to a company that manufactures the chemical used for explosive charges to shoot nails into concrete, mostly for hospital construction. 
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Marinette pool to reopen Sunday after chlorine gas leak
MARINETTE (WLUK) -- A Marinette pool is set to reopen Sunday after nearly two dozen people were treated for respiratory problems caused by chlorine gas Friday evening.
An expert was brought in to test the chlorine levels and machinery Saturday morning at Marinette Civic Center pool.
Marinette recreation director, Kent Kostelecky described it as a one in a million occurrence. He says a power surge caused the pool to stop circulating water while the chemical feeder continued to add chlorine, resulting in too much of the chemical.
"When the pool was restarted, those chemicals sitting in the empty pipes created a chlorine gas. It was immediately put in the pool and that's what caused the reaction to everybody that was in there," Kostelecky said.
us_WI  public  release  injury  chlorine 
4 days ago
Chlorine chemical exposure at Country Club of Darien sends several to the hospital Saturday
Darien Police confirm a chemical exposure of chlorine at the pool at the Country Club of Darien has sent several to the hospital. Several emergency responders have reported to the scene. It is currently unclear how many were injured or the nature of the injuries. The Darien Times will update as further details are available.
us_CT  public  release  injury  chlorine 
4 days ago
Hundreds of fish die after chemical from Ford Plant reaches Hite Creek
The Metropolitan Sewer District is investigating after a chemical release from Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant spread to waterways and killed fish.

A spokeswoman from Ford Motor Company said that a urea pumping system leaked at the location earlier this month. Leaked urea traveled through Ford's wastewater treatment plant, Kelli Felker said, and was released into the sewer leading to MSD's Hite Creek treatment facility. 

It then reached Hite Creek itself, where "a couple hundred fish" of small and medium size died, said MSD spokesman Steve Tedder.
us_KY  industrial  release  environmental  water_treatment 
4 days ago
Acid spill forces evacuation at Gabe Lozano golf course
An accident caused an acid spill at the Gabe Lozano golf course early Friday morning. 

It happened while a truck was parked in the entrance to the maintenance area of the course. 

A container was being unloaded when it flipped over and spilled what was later identified as neutralizer acid. 

Workers were able to surround the spill with mounds of sand.

Shortly after, workers began complaining of burning eyes which prompted the area surrounding the golf course to be evacuated. 
us_TX  transportation  release  response  acids 
5 days ago
Australia: Anger grows over fire at Melbourne recycling plant
Anger has continued to grow among workers over the conditions that led to the fire at the Coolaroo recycling plant in Melbourne’s north, which broke out on July 13 and blanketed large areas of the city in toxic smoke and ash.
At least 115 households were forced to evacuate their homes for 24 hours due to smoke from the fire. Five people, including one child, were hospitalised with smoke-related conditions, and many others have been treated for asthma or developed other breathing difficulties. Up to 100 firefighters managed to bring the massive blaze under control only by last Saturday, and it has continued to smoulder among the compacted recycling materials in the factory ever since.
Workers complain of their homes and cars being covered in dirt and ash, smelling of burnt plastic. The state Environmental Protection Agency was forced to issue a notice to residents on July 20, warning them to stay away from local waterways, which have been poisoned by the runoff water used to fight the blaze.
On Thursday evening, around 100 people attended a meeting at the Coolaroo Hotel, called by the legal firm Madden Lawyers, to discuss a class action against SKM, the plant’s private operator. The suit was filed yesterday in the Victorian Supreme Court and has already been joined by more than 100 people.
Australia  industrial  follow-up  environmental  waste 
5 days ago
23 sickened by chlorine leak
MARINETTE — Nearly two dozen people were treated for breathing problems following an apparent pool chemical overload Friday night at the Marinette Civic Center.
The pool was having one of its Friday night summer pool party theme events. This session was called “Under the Sea.”
Marinette Assistant Fire Chief Steve Campbell said the call came in at about 7:30 p.m. It came from an unidentified caller to the 911/Dispatch Center. Campbell said the pool circulating system was restarted after a power surge shut it down. After the restart, too much chlorine was released into the pool.
“People started exiting the water and were coughing,” he said. “When the lead engine arrived on scene, children were coming out here (in the lobby) and I did (see) a lot of children coughing. We immediately started triage.”
Campbell said shortly after firefighters’ arrival, the HAZMAT incident was finished and the focus was on treating the children. He said 23 people were transported and about 15 of those were children.
“They were having a respiratory affect from the chlorine gas,” Campbell said. “They were having tightening of the chest and shortness of breath. In time, patients were already getting better while on scene. They were further evaluated at the hospital.”
us_WI  public  release  injury  pool_chemicals 
5 days ago
Explosion at Somersby factory
A man in his 40's has been transported to Gosford Hospital with burns to his face, forearms and left leg, after an explosion involving a chemical substance at a factory in Somersby this morning.

Emergency services were called to the factory at 62 Pile Road just before quarter past six.

Two fire and rescue crews and a HAZMAT Unit from Berekeley Vale remain on site trying to identify the substance involved.

Duty Commander Jeff McPherson says there is no danger to workers in surrounding areas, and no roads have been closed.
Australia  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
5 days ago
Elsevier Updates "Bretherick's Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards"
CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - July 21, 2017) - Elsevier, the information analytics company specializing in science and health, today announced the publication of the eighth edition of Bretherick's Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards, edited by Peter G. Urben. This expanded edition provides the latest updates to help prevent the explosion and loss of containment of chemicals. Also among the seven new chemistry and chemical engineering titles announced by Elsevier is the second edition of its major reference work, Comprehensive Supramolecular Chemistry II. This nine-volume set, edited by Jerry L. Atwood, George W. Gokel and Len Barbour, is a "one-stop shop" covering a field that originated from the work of researchers in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, with some biological influence.
Presented in a clear and user-friendly format, Bretherick's Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards, Eighth Edition, includes new pure compound and class of compounds records and updates on all existing records. It also lists important hazardous reactions and contains references to real chemical incidents, providing guidelines on the safe use and handling of chemicals in the laboratory and industry. Editor Dr. Urben is affiliated with Consultants Courtaulds Chemicals, (Suisse) S.A., Warwickshire, UK. He is a retired organic chemist of initially academic, later industrial, background who has undertaken practical work in many fields, from milligram to ton scale, for more than forty years.
laboratory  discovery  environmental 
5 days ago
Pool chemical spill prompts brief closure of Winchester Road overpass in Temecula – Press Enterprise
The Winchester Road overpass and part of the I-15 in Temecula were closed for a little more than an hour Friday, July 21, for a hazmat crew to clean up some boxes of pool chemicals that had landed on the roadway there, officials said.

Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Mike Vasquez said the Sheriff’s Department received a report of a possible chemical spill just after 6:30 a.m. and arrived to find the boxes. He said the overpass was closed and cleaned up, then reopened to traffic a little after 8 a.m.

The California Highway Patrol also closed the far right northbound lane of the freeway and the off-ramp to eastbound Winchester Road.
us_CA  transportation  release  response  pool_chemicals 
5 days ago
Safety probed after rail car workers pass out
Federal safety officials are investigating after three workers were left unconscious Thursday morning at GBW Railcar Services outside Hollidaysburg.

Emergency dispatchers said firefighters were called at

6:52 a.m. to the facility, where workers repair and clean tank cars commonly used to carry liquids and chemicals.

Two workers found one of their coworkers unconscious inside a car he was working on, Blair County Emergency Management Director Mark Taylor said. When they went inside to help, they passed out as well.

Firefighters from Hollidays-burg and Duncansville responded, as did a hazardous materials team from Altoona, dispatchers said.

Taylor said investigators checked the scene for dangerous chemicals but found none. Oxygen levels inside the tank were low, however — a likely cause for the workers’ unconsciousness, Taylor said.
us_PA  industrial  release  response  oxygen 
6 days ago
Syringe creates small lab fire at Norman Hackerman Building
A small lab fire broke out inside the Norman Hackerman Building on Thursday afternoon after a graduate student disposed of a syringe containing unreacted chemicals.
The University sent out a notification through their emergency notification system that Austin Fire Department was on scene at the Hackerman Building for a “hazmat event,” around 4:17  p.m. Ten minutes later, students received an all-clear.
John Salsman, director of Environmental Health and Safety, said a few days ago a graduate student removed a syringe that had a small amount of a chemical in it from a glove box and placed it into a fume hood.
The graduate student believed the material in the syringe had reacted and placed the syringe into a garbage can earlier today, Salsman said. Shortly after disposing of the syringe, the garbage can caught on fire. The student then used a portable fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire and placed the garbage can in the hallway.
When the fire department arrived, they talked to EHS personnel, as well as UT Police Department personnel, and after checking the scene of the fire, said it was safe to reoccupy the building.
Salsman said if there’s an unidentified chemical in a syringe, it should be left in a glove box or fume hood, and EHS will come pick up the material as hazardous waste.
“It seemed like a big incident, but it was relatively minor,” Salsman said. “Obviously, we wish these kinds of incidents would not occur, but that’s why it’s important to have these conversations when they do to make sure they do not occur again.”
us_TX  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical  waste 
6 days ago
Explosion at Somersby factory
A man in his 40's has been transported to Gosford Hospital with burns to his face, forearms and left leg, after an explosion involving a chemical substance at a factory in Somersby this morning.

Emergency services were called to the factory at 62 Pile Road just before quarter past six.

Two fire and rescue crews and a HAZMAT Unit from Berekeley Vale remain on site trying to identify the substance involved.

Duty Commander Jeff McPherson says there is no danger to workers in surrounding areas, and no roads have been closed.
Australia  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Safety audit must once in six months for industries: Pithani
Hazard analysis laboratory to be set up in Visakhapatnam

Minister for Labour, Employment and Factories Pithani Satyanarayana on Thursday ordered safety audit for all industries once in six months.

He was addressing a press conference along with HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao after a two-day collaborative conference on ‘Chemical safety and disaster mitigation in pharma industry - challenges and opportunities’, which concluded here.

Responding to a suggestion made by the HRD Minister, Mr. Satyanarayana ordered the regulatory agencies, including Factories Department and AP Pollution Control Board, to ensure third-party audit.

Admitting that accidents were occurring at regular intervals at Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City, HPCL, and other industrial units, he said, henceforth, clearances would not be given without getting approval on safety precautions from various agencies.
India  industrial  discovery  response 
6 days ago
Fire at Indus Magic Lab: NCL orders internal probe into safety system at MAGIC lab
The CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) will seek forensic help to further investigate the cause of the fire which broke out at Indus MAGIC Lab on March 27 and will probe the safety of equipment inside the lab.
Pune Newsline had in a report on June 29 questioned the existing safety measures in the lab.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the NCL management has also decided to probe the readiness of this lab, which was manufacturing soft chemicals for industry despite being under renovation for the last three years. This has raised doubts about the lab’s capacity for full scale operations at the time of its induction.
“CSIR-NCL will internally probe into the procedures followed during the construction of the MAGIC building, the specifications of materials used, fire and safety devices installed and the readiness of the MAGIC lab to conduct large scale chemical processes before the building was fully commissioned,” the statement said.
A major fire in the Pilot Plant III, which housed the 13-month-old MAGIC lab, caused it to completely burn down on the night of March 27 this year. Though there were no casualties, the NCL Fact Finding Committee had estimated the loss caused by the fire at Rs 6.73 crore.
After initial investigations conducted by the Fact Finding Committee into the safety, security, medical personnel and scientists from NCL, a thorough probe was also carried out by an expert team of the Council of Industrial and Scientific Research (CSIR), which had visited NCL on April 13. The team was supposed to submit its findings in May.
India  laboratory  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Hazmat crews on scene of reported acid spill in north Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — 
Tulsa police say they discovered an acid spill while investigating a burglary alarm at a north Tulsa business.
Police say someone broke into the Independent Material Company building near Admiral and Peoria around 5:30 a.m. and knocked off over a shelf with muriatic acid on it. Hazmat responded to clean up the medium-sized spill, according to police.
The suspect broke a window to get inside and took a few things, according to police. No one was injured, and no arrests have been made.
Muriatic acid is a type of cleaning material often used in pools.
us_OK  public  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
7 days ago
Pharma units told to take safety measures to contain mishaps
Visakhapatnam: To address the growing concerns among the public and workers regarding the safety and environmental pollution issues of pharma units in Visakhapatnam, state factories department in collaboration with pharmaceutical industry organised a two-day seminar – ‘Chemical safety and disaster mitigation in pharma industry: Challenges and opportunities’– here on Wednesday. 

Addressing the industrialists and other stakeholders of pharma sector, Minister for Labour, Employment, Training and Factories Pithani Satyanarayana said only those firms, which obey the norms  framed by the government, could compete in international business. 

In the recent past, with increase of mishaps and loss of lives in the pharmaceutical units, the sector hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons and caught the attention of public.  

In this backdrop, the conference was organised involving all the stakeholders, including factories department, pharma firms’ staff, workers’ unions and Pollution Control Board officials to get a holistic understanding about the safety lapses in the sector. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said Visakhapatnam, the largest industrial hub in the state, along with other north Andhra districts Srikakaulam and Vizianagaram, have been housing nearly 3,200 industrial units and major role was being played by pharma companies.

“Companies should provide safety measures to contain mishaps and take care about environment and public health by curbing pollution levels,” the Minister said.

Two ESI hospitals with 500 beds each would be constructed in the state, he informed.“Giving top priority to safety would be the best way to resolve environmental pollution issues,” said member secretary Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board BSS Prasad.
India  industrial  discovery  environmental  pharmaceutical 
7 days ago
Gas leak may have caused Kallang Way factory incident
SINGAPORE — A suspected gas leak inside the clean room of an electronics manufacturing company in Kallang Way on Tuesday (July 18) resulted in 11 workers being sent to hospital, said the company yesterday.

Giving its account of the incident, RF360 Singapore said that the factory’s life-safety system, which is a gas monitoring safety system inside the clean room on its third floor, was activated on Tuesday.

A clean room is an enclosed area where the environment is free from dust and other contaminants, and is used chiefly for the manufacture of electronic components.

The system’s activation indicated “a potential leak of a gas used in the production process of surface acoustic wave devices”, the company said.

“The life-safety system operated as designed and immediately triggered the gas shut-off and evacuation of the employees,” it added.
Singapore  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
7 days ago
St. John chemical plant: No further steps, for now, to reduce dangerous emissions
The chemical company at the center of a controversy over air pollution in St. John the Baptist Parish is digging in against residents who are demanding it take more drastic steps to curb emissions of a likely carcinogen called chloroprene. 

Officials with Denka Performance Elastomer agreed in November to spend $17.5 million on technology aimed at sharply cutting the amount of chloroprene coming from its plant in LaPlace after a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed residents in St. John Parish had a higher risk of cancer from airborne pollutants than any other area of the country.

The EPA study, released in 2015, traced the risk to the Denka plant, which for nearly half a century has been using chloroprene to produce neoprene, a synthetic rubber. The chemical was only classified as being particularly dangerous in 2010, amid studies suggesting it could cause lung, liver and kidney cancers.

Since then, controversy has continued to engulf the plant, with residents urging the company to take safety measures beyond those in the agreement made last year.

But in a letter made public this month, Denka officials said they would take no further steps beyond what was already promised, at least for now. 

Jorge Lavastida, the company's plant manager, wrote to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in late June, saying the company has already "devoted substantial resources" to emission control.

In a statement to The Advocate, Lavastida said, "These projects not only have been done voluntarily and proactively, but most companies would not even entertain the thought of spending this type of time and money without being ordered to do so."

Plans to retrofit the plant with emission reduction technology began in earnest eight months ago, when officials reached a voluntary consent agreement with state regulators. The plant pledged to reduce emissions of chloroprene by 85 percent before the end of 2017.
us_LA  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
7 days ago
Sticky situation after truck crashes and spills glue
One of three ­trailers on a big rig hauling the components for plywood glue turned onto its side ­Tuesday night on the Washington Street Bridge, making an epoxylike glue on the pavement and snarling traffic.

Capt. Ed Meyer of Eugene Springfield Fire said the crash happened shortly after 7:30 p.m., possibly because the truck could not stop as the ­vehicle approached the intersection with Seventh Avenue. The driver ­escaped from the cab, ­unhurt, authorities said.

The bridge was closed and traffic was diverted onto the Jefferson Street Bridge as crews from ­Region 2 Hazmat arrived to begin trying to ­contain the spill. Meyer said it did not appear that any of the spill was reaching the Willamette River.

The bridge was ­expected to remain closed overnight and possibly into the morning, Meyer said.

The truck had the ­company name Oak ­Harbor Freightlines on its trailers, and Meyer said that Oak Harbor would be billed for the ­estimated $50,000 cost of the cleanup.
us_OR  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
8 days ago
CCTV captures explosion in China
(CNN) - A violent explosion went off when a van hit a parked semi-trailer on an expressway near Hangzhou of East China's Zhejiang province early on Monday.

Nobody got hurt in the incident while police are investigating into the cause of the blast. Surveillance footage showed the van taking a bend, but it brushed onto the semi-trailer parked on the shoulder of the expressway.

The expressway had to be closed down while firefighters were fighting the chemical fire on the van. Police video showed burned residues of paints and their containers in the van.

It took one hour and a half to reopen one lane to traffic along that expressway.

Initial inquiries showed that the semi trailer was carrying steel products while the van was carrying paper and paints.
China  transportation  explosion  response  paints 
8 days ago
Study: High levels of chemical that causes serious side effects found in mac and cheese
The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging recently published a study after testing levels of phthalates in food and found 29 out of 30 cheeses tested contain the chemical. Phthalates won't be found on any ingredient list. They are indirectly and unintentionally added to the food through the plastics used in the manufacturing process. Phthalates enable hard substances like plastics to be more malleable and softer.

According to The Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging, "phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that pose a serious threat to the health of pregnant women and children." They have been linked to abnormal development and function of the brain and reproductive system.

Phthalates tend to stick better to highly processed or fatty foods. Out of the 29 cheeses that tested positive, dry mix macaroni and cheese had more than four-times higher levels than natural cheeses and close to twice the amount in processed cheese (like cheese slices).

The US has banned several phthalates in children's products while Europe has gone a step further and banned most phthalates for plastics that come in contact with fatty foods.
public  discovery  response  plastics 
8 days ago
Precautionary evacuations due to chemical spill on Barnes Road i
Firefighters issued precautionary evacuations due to a chemical spill on Southwest Barnes Road in Portland on Tuesday.

Firefighters and a hazmat team from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to the Peterkort Towne Square, located at the corner of Barnes Road and Cedar Hills Boulevard, late Tuesday afternoon.

According to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, a truck carrying Ultramine, a chemical that decreases the rate of corrosion on aluminum, was delivered to UPS, tipped off the bed of the truck and poured out.

The chemicals were caught inside a storm drain but have not gone beyond it.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue said about 200 gallons of the 500 gallon barrel spilled into the drain.

There was not believed to be a serious threat to the public, but firefighters said people were evacuated from the immediate area as a precaution.
us_OR  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
8 days ago
Santa Rosa may rethink use of chemical sprays such as Roundup in parks
Santa Rosa is the latest Sonoma County city to take a harder look at how it uses synthetic herbicides like Roundup following the state’s action to list the key ingredient in the weed killer as a known cause of cancer.

The City Council agreed Tuesday to re-bid a large landscaping contract to see if there are maintenance options that don’t use glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup, or neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides suspected of contributing to the demise of bee populations.

The city will seek bids for landscaping methods using common chemical sprays, as well as bids using more organic methods outlined by the Russian River Watershed Association.

“I will be very interested to see the Russian River-friendly proposal,” said Councilman Chris Rogers, who urged the city rethink its approach.
us_CA  public  discovery  response  pesticides 
8 days ago
11 workers hurt after chemical leak at Singapore factory
SINGAPORE, July 19 — In the third major workplace accident in five days, 11 workers were taken to the hospital following a chemical leak at an electronics manufacturing factory at Kallang Way yesterday.

The leak, which happened in the afternoon, was contained within a sealed room in the premises, and shut off by the company’s in-built safety system shortly after.

The workers from RF360 Holdings were sent to the hospital in “conscious and stable condition”, and 10 of them were discharged by the evening.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), which was notified of the incident at about 1.40pm, posted its first alert on its Facebook page at 2.11pm, urging members of the public to stay away from the area.

Two fire engines, one fire bike, three support vehicles and two ambulances were despatched to 166 Kallang Way, the address of RF360 Holdings.

In an update at 2.56pm, the SCDF said the leak was contained within the factory’s sealed production room and it has been shut off.

At 3.47pm, it posted a final update on the incident, saying: “The leak was shut off prior to SCDF arrival by the in-built safety system on the premises ... SCDF HazMat detectors currently show no reading of the chemical vapour in the production room. The surrounding environment is also safe with no traces of the chemical in the air.”

It remains unclear what type of chemical had leaked out, or what caused the leak.
Singapore  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Water tainted with perfluorocarbons by U.S. military is focus of legislation
The Pentagon would have to study whether drinking water tainted with perfluorinated chemicals used in firefighting causes health problems under a bill the U.S. House of Representatives passed on July 14.
The proposed 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810) includes provisions on perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), collectively known as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The chemicals persist in the environment indefinitely and have been linked to disease in people.
The military in the 1970s began using aqueous film-forming foam containing PFOA and other perfluorinated compounds that can degrade to PFOA or PFOS. Scientists have recently linked use of the foam at military installations to contamination of drinking water with PFASs. The Department of Defense is assessing its use of these substances and potential substitutes for them.
The bill would instruct the Pentagon to study the health of people who drank PFOS- or PFOA-contaminated water on or near current or former military installations. That study would include biomonitoring of community members and would have to be completed within five years.
public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
8 days ago
Application of Systematic Review Methods in an Overall Strategy for Evaluating Low-Dose Toxicity from Endocrine Active Chemicals
To safeguard public health, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must keep abreast of new scientific information and emerging technologies so that it can apply them to regulatory decision-making. For decades the agency has dealt with questions about what animal-testing data to use to make predictions about human health hazards, how to perform dose-response extrapolations, how to identify and protect susceptible subpopulations, and how to address uncertainties. As alternatives to traditional toxicity testing have emerged, the agency has been faced with additional questions about how to incorporate data from such tests into its chemical assessments and whether such tests can replace some traditional testing methods.
public  discovery  environmental 
8 days ago
Chemical leak incident at Kallang Way factory contained; 9 injured people sent to hospital
A chemical leak, which occurred at a Kallang Way factory today (Jul 18), has been contained by Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers. It is believed that nine people were injured in the incident, and they were sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, according to The Straits Times.

Hazardous Materials (HazMat) officers are at the scene. The Straits Times also reported seeing SCDF officers bringing out boxes, and stated that the company involved is wafer production firm RF360 Singapore.

One of the engineers present claimed that the gas alarm was triggered because of a leak on the third floor of the building. Another employee said that the evacuation announcement was issued around 12:30pm.
Singapore  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
9 days ago
Haz Mat Situation Sends Nine First Responders to Hospital
County Road 107 near Proctorville, Ohio, was blocked for several hours Sunday, July 16, for what was preliminarily described as a hazmat situation. Nine people , including first responders, were rush to area hospitals.

However, upon further investigation, the fumes were not "toxic," but a combination of household chemicals. Apparently, a woman's efforts to clean a toilet resulted in the a pepper gas styled burning feeling. 

Lawrence County EMS Medic 41 was called to call in Rome Twp. Once they got on scene the crew started experiencing burning to skin, rash, and burning to throat. Another squad was called in along with the Rome Fire Dept.. Two firemen, four LCEMS personnel, and three patients all had similar symptoms and were transported to Cabell Huntington Hospital where they were met by my favorite female fire chief, Jan Rader, for decontamination and evaluation in the ED.
us_OH  public  release  injury  cleaners 
9 days ago
After massive tire fire, residents want to know: How was site able to get this bad?
ATLANTA -- After a giant tire fire sent plumes of black smoke into the air over DeKalb County this weekend, residents are left wondering who should be held responsible for what has now become an illegal dumping site.

The Old Atlanta Prison Farm in the Atlanta piece of DeKalb County has been abandoned for years. The 300-acre site has been left covered with graffiti, hundreds of dumped tires and other debris.

PREVIOUS | Tire fire creates massive column of smoke seen across metro Atlanta

On Sunday, billowing black smoke could be seen for miles as DeKalb County fire crews worked into Monday morning to put out the flames. Black marks and scorched ground show the aftermath of the massive tire fire. Yet there are still many more piles of tires, not to mention trash, profane graffiti and standing water that's led to clouds of mosquitos.
us_GA  industrial  fire  response 
9 days ago
Woman exposed to weed killer chemical, now battling cancer, vows to fight Monsanto to her last breath
We use it in our garden and shower in on our crops.

Roundup is a weed killer that was heralded as something of a miracle after it was created 30 years ago because it saved farmers from the time-consuming, back-breaking work of clearing weeds from their fields.

But now scientific studies show it could be giving us cancer.

“The label said it was okay, so you just use it,” said Francene Lisle, who has chronic lymphoma leukemia and is now among the more than 800 people suing Roundup’s maker Monsanto.

Lisle, who recently moved from the Kansas City metro to Oklahoma, said she was diagnosed in March 2015 after her regular doctor noticed she had an elevated white blood cell count.

With no history of chronic lymphoma leukemia in her family, Lisle started searching for answers. That’s how she learned about glyphosate – a key ingredient in Roundup and other weed killers that has been linked to cancer.

“I grew up in a farming community,” Lisle said. “I worked in a plant in West Virginia that produced the chemicals for Roundup for Monsanto and I used Roundup. We all did down there.”
us_OK  industrial  discovery  injury  pesticides 
9 days ago
Nine kids hospitalized after 'possible chemical vapor' at Palm Desert pool
Nine children were hospitalized after experiencing breathing issues by the pool at the Marriott Shadow Ridge Resort in Palm Desert on Monday.

Three of the children exhibited serious symptoms, three had moderate symptoms and three had minor symptoms, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Firefighters were investigating reports of a possible chemical vapor at the resort's "lower south pool," the fire department said. The incident was reported shortly after 3 p.m.
us_CA  public  release  injury  chlorine 
9 days ago
Chemical spill at Nippon-Dynawave contained Sunday
A sulfuric acid spill Sunday afternoon at the Nippon-Dynawave plant (formerly Weyerhaeuser Co.) was contained, according to the company and Cowlitz County Department of Emergency Management.

Emergency Management Director Ernie Schnabler said about 4,000 to 5,000 gallons of sulfuric acid were spilled, and N-D officials called 911, who then contacted Longview Fire Department and Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue.

Neither fire department was needed for emergency cleanup.

The spill was securely managed by a constructed containment moat around the sulfuric acid container, according to Brian Wood, N-D's director of support services.
us_WA  industrial  release  response  sulfuric_acid 
9 days ago
Young scientists gain valuable experience through GC program
This summer five area high school students have received an intensive look at what a career in a chemistry lab could look like.

Georgia College’s Science Education Center is hosting the six-week long Young Scientists Academy, which is in its second year under the direction of GC chemistry professor Dr. Catrena Lisse.

“These guys have learned so much during this time,” she said. “The first week is full of chemical safety and just learning their way around a college-level laboratory as well as learning how to ask questions. So many students come in, even at the college level, and they may not know how to ask a question or it may be they’re scared to ask a question. That was one of the first things I wanted to teach them. In a field like chemistry you can hurt yourself or someone else if you make assumptions.”

Once they got the lay of the labs in GC’s Herty Hall, they went to work on their individual projects developed by Lisse. They’ve been working diligently the last six weeks, and have the timecards to prove it as they punch in and out just like at a regular job. The program’s funding even allows for a stipend for four out of the five participants. Since the students are dealing with hazardous materials with which they are unfamiliar, Lisse has two undergraduate chemistry majors serving as mentors to the younger students.
us_GA  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
9 days ago
Primark recalls men's flip-flops after carcinogenic chemical discovery
Primark has recalled thousands of pairs of flip-flops after discovering they contain a chemical that can cause cancer.

The high street chain is recalling three colours – black, blue and khaki – from its men’s Cedar Wood State flip-flop range and offering customers a full refund.

A statement on the company’s website said: “It has come to our attention that the footwear product detailed above does not meet the Primark usual high standards for chemical compliance.

“We have found levels of a restricted substance in the product in excess of the 1.0 mg/kg requirement.”

A Primark spokesman told the Guardian the chemical in question was chrysene, which is a regulated chemical commonly used in dark coloured dyes.

Chrysene has been found to have a carcinogenic risk to humans and can cause cancer, reports Science Direct.

However, a Primark spokesman said: “At the levels found in the flip-flop, we believe the health and safety risk to customers is minimal.”

The shoes were taken off the shelves on 2 June after being on sale since January.

The problem was discovered by Primark when it followed up an inquiry by a third party, it has been reported. The company has suspended any outstanding orders from the factory which makes the flip-flops and an investigation has been launched.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  response  dye 
9 days ago
Monticello apartment complex evacuated over formaldehyde spill
An apartment complex was evacuated this morning after Linn County HAZMAT responded to a hazardous liquid spill inside.

At approximately 7:30 a.m.,  the Monticello Police Department was dispatched to an apartment building in the 300 block of East First St. for a hazardous liquid spill.

Police say someone who lived in the building had a 1 gallon glass jar with a pig fetus in formaldehyde. The jar broke spilling the liquid in the kitchen area of the apartment. Apartment residents were evacuated for safety precautions.

Linn County HAZMAT, was called in to clean the area. Also assisting was the Monticello Fire Department.
us_IA  public  release  response  formaldehyde 
10 days ago
Chemical issue leads to Hazmat call at Englewood business
ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) — Hazmat crews were called to a business in Englewood early on Monday morning.

Crews removed a chemical from the business in the 700 block of Harco Drive around 2:30 a.m. on Monday.

Authorities say the chemical began oxidizing, creating the hazard. Steam could be seen rising from parking lot where the chemical was sitting.

Police blocked off Harco Drive while crews worked to clear the scene. That scene was clear by 6 a.m. and all roads reopened.

No injuries were reported.
us_OH  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical 
10 days ago
Water to be tested in area where sinkhole swallowed homes
LAND O'LAKES, Fla. (AP) — Emergency management officials will collect water samples to test for E.coli on Monday in the immediate neighborhood where a sinkhole swallowed two homes in Florida.

Additional residents in the area — where many people use wells — can have their water tested for a fee.

Pasco County officials said in a news release that families from four of the homes that were initially evacuated were allowed to return Saturday evening. Five other homes are still deemed unsafe for occupancy.

The sinkhole opened up Friday morning and grew to 225 feet (68 meters) in diameter and 50 feet (15 meters) deep, taking with it the two homes and a boat. No one was injured.

The scene is being considered a hazardous materials incident because of possible septic tank issues and building debris.
us_FL  public  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
10 days ago
CCFD: Second chemical leak at the South Texas Cold Storage facil
Police shut down intersections near the South Texas Cold Storage facility for a second ammonia leak according to Corpus Christi Fire Department Captain James Brown.

The incident happened just after 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

First responders had received reports of ammonia in the air which prompted HAZ-MAT crews to be called in. Police officers were also called in to close certain intersections as teams took air samples around the facility.

The incident comes just a month ago after a 'shelter in place' was ordered involving the plant back on June 12th, 2017.
us_TX  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
10 days ago
City adopts new garbage rules to protect workers
FAIRBANKS — Half of the city’s garbage collection workers have been punctured by hypodermic needles at some point in their careers while picking up garbage bags, said Jeff Jacobson, director of Fairbanks Public Works. 

Several years ago, hot ashes inside a garbage can were dumped into the packer truck, which caught fire.

And a few weeks ago, oil was put into the packer truck. When the trash was packed, oil squirted out of the truck, causing an environmental hazard that required immediate cleanup. 

Garbage collection can be a dangerous job, and city officials are hoping newly adopted rules will protect their employees and the community. 

The amendments to city code boil down to requiring the public to put certain types of garbage into specific containers. Repeat offenses will result in fees tacked onto a resident’s quarterly garbage bill. 

“It’s not a matter of catching them doing wrong,” Jacobson said. “It’s more so they can really helps us by keeping our city clean and our workers safe.”
us_AK  industrial  discovery  environmental  wastes 
11 days ago
All clear following chemical incident
Ten patients admitted to Tauranga Hospital last night following a chemical incident have been discharged.

The nine teenagers and one adult were brought to the hospital by the fire service after 7pm on Saturday.

A fire service spokesperson says they responded to a chemical incident involving what is believed to have been quicklime powder.

The patients – nine boys aged between 14 and 16, and one 43-year-old man – had been exposed to the substance, causing irritation to their skin and eyes.

The fire service brought the patients to the hospital, where they assisted hospital staff in decontaminating the patients using the hospital showers.

A BOPDHB spokesperson says all ten patients were discharged at around 11pm.

Police also attended the incident, although they say at this stage no charges have been laid in relation to the matter.
New_Zealand  public  release  injury  dust 
11 days ago
Firefighter respond to Kewdale chemical spill
SEVEN fire crews have raced to the scene of a chemical spill in Kewdale.

Sodium cyanide was inside a train carriage near the Kewdale Freight Terminal when the spill happened shortly after 4.30pm.

Some of the chemicals, which were packaged in house brick sizes, mixed with water at Fenton Street.

Two firefighters in full chemical suits are being sent into the container to assess the spill.

It remains unclear if the chemical outside of the carriage is just water or a chemical mixture.

Sodium cyanide is an organic material that has a high-affinity for metals.

Fenton Street is closed as fire crews work to contain the spill.
Australia  public  release  response  sodium_cyanide 
12 days ago
Tesco commits to Greenpeace detox campaign to make clothes chemical-free
Tesco has become the latest retailer to commit to removing chemicals thought to be hazardous from the supply chain of its clothing brand.

Greenpeace said Tesco will immediately begin the process of eliminating 11 groups of hazardous substances from its F&F brand, including phthalates, brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, chlorinated solvents and heavy metals.

According to the environmental group, Tesco’s pledge went beyond chemicals already banned by EU regulations.

The supermarket giant was also making a precautionary move by eliminating substances thought to be harmful but not necessarily backed by evidence.

Tesco is the latest of around 80 retailers around the world – including Marks & Spencer, H&M, Aldi and Lidl – that have committed to the Greenpeace Detox Campaign.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  environmental 
12 days ago
Lab Tests: Chemicals linked to birth defects found in most Mac & Cheese products
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (WCMH) — Two million boxes of macaroni and cheese are sold every day here in the United States, but could serving up one of America’s favorite comfort foods be exposing you to harmful chemicals?

The tried and true box of mac n cheese you feed your kids could be downright dangerous, according to new lab tests.

The study of 30 cheese products, including 10 kinds of mac and cheese, found toxic industrial chemicals phthalates in all but one of the samples. The study says the highest concentrations were found in the highly processed cheese powder in boxed mac and cheese mixes, including nine products made by Kraft.

“The phthalate concentrations in powder from mac and cheese mixes were more than four times higher than in block cheese and other natural cheeses like shredded cheese, string cheese and cottage cheese,” Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center told the New York Times.
public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
12 days ago
NC changes governors, keeps cancer-causing chemical standard
RALEIGH - As a Democratic gubernatorial candidate last fall, Roy Cooper blasted his Republican opponent for adopting a more lenient standard than what’s recommended by North Carolina’s health agency for cancer-causing hexavalent chromium in well water.

Now that he’s governor, Cooper’s environmental agency has decided to keep that same standard, infuriating people who say their well water is contaminated and enabling former Gov. Pat McCrory to call Cooper a hypocrite.

The state Department of Environmental Quality’s guidelines for the well-water filtering systems Duke Energy will be required by law to install for some neighbors of its North Carolina coal-ash storage pits were announced last week. They match the standard for protecting against hexavalent chromium that McCrory’s administration adopted, which is about 140 times higher than the amount the state’s health agency says could harm human health if exceeded.
us_NC  public  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
12 days ago
State drastically lowers 'safe' level of chemical GenX in Cape Fear River :: WRAL.com
The state departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services released the updated information Friday afternoon.

The Cape Fear River is the source of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people in eastern North Carolina.

Chemours, a chemical manufacturing plant near Fayetteville, has been discharging the compound into the Cape Fear watershed for years. Water near the plant was tested several weeks ago. At the time, officials said it was well below the state’s preliminary health risk threshold of 71,000 parts per trillion.

However, after consulting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state officials lowered the health safety threshold for GenX to 140 parts per trillion. Samples taken as recently as June 22nd tested at several times that level.

According to DHHS, the updated threshold is based on toxicology data and is still subject to change.

There is little data on the long-term health effects of GenX in drinking water. Samples were analyzed at the EPA lab in Research Triangle Park and at a lab in Colorado under contract to Chemours.
us_NC  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
12 days ago
The Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip Louisiana serves as a terrifying example of what can become of a state that shortchanges science and environmental regulations to boost industry and infrastructure.
If you’re visiting New Orleans and want to see something truly amazing, take your beer or daiquiri to-go and walk a few blocks past the Superdome—you’ll find a school being constructed on an old waste dump.

“All the toxins from the landfill are still there,” says toxicologist Wilma Subra. These toxins include lead, mercury, and arsenic, exposure to which can lead to reproductive damage, and skin and lung cancer. Even more astonishing, Subra says hundreds of schools across Louisiana have been built on waste dumps. Why? Dumps represent cheap land often already owned by a cash-strapped town or city, plus serve as rare high ground in a flood-prone state. And this is just the beginning of Louisiana’s nightmare.

The risk of cancer in Reserve, a community founded by freed slaves, is 800 times the national average, making the community, by one EPA metric, the most carcinogenic census tract in America—the cause is a DuPont/Denka chemical plant adjacent to the town that annually spews 250,000 pounds of the likely carcinogen chloroprene into the air. If you think the situation in Flint is bad, there are approximately 400 public water systems in Louisiana with lead or other hazardous substances leaching into the drinking water. Meanwhile, hundreds of petrochemical plants peppered across the state’s lush swampy interior freely emit carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins into the air and water, as well as inject them deep into the earth.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Louisiana is ranked, according to different surveys, 47th in environmental quality, third in poverty, and 49th in education. Are you still gushing about your latest trip to New Orleans for Jazz Fest Presented by Shell, or French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron? “New Orleans is the best,” one visitor recently wrote to me, “you are so smart to live there!” But how smart is it to allow children to attend school built on toxin-laced waste? How smart is it to allow a community’s cancer rates to shoot off the charts? Louisiana is rich in culture, spirit, and faith, yet what type of state knowingly poisons its own people? What type of country stands by and allows it to happen?

While it is fashionable to critique President Trump for his scientific ignorance, science was misdirected long before Trump laid hands on it. It is time to open our eyes and see what is really going on in this world, to critique our society’s dinosaur methods, then step back and imagine what a new path forward might look like. It is with this aim that I begin a science column for Longreads. In my first story I’ll tour us through a land America should have never allowed to materialize—it’s what I’m calling the Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip. As the Trump administration chucks environmental science out the window, evaporates industry regulations, and cripples agencies charged with protecting the environment, this tale is relevant for all Americans, because the poisoning happening in Louisiana could happen in your state too—in fact, it is probably already happening.
us_la  discovery  industrial  enviromental 
12 days ago
Fire in Indus MAGIC lab: CSIR rubbishes NCL fact-finding team’s findings on fire that gutted MAGIC lab
The New Delhi-headquartered Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has sent its final enquiry report on the fire that had destroyed the Indus MAGIC lab inside the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune on the night of March 27.
The CSIR report, which is now in the possession of NCL management, was sent to its Pune lab earlier this week. “The CSIR committee has raised serious objections to several findings submitted by the NCL’s fact-finding internal committee…,” said sources. During its day-long visit to NCL on April 13 , the expert team from CSIR had questioned the scientists working at MAGIC lab and officials in charge of safety and security. They had also collected evidence from the site, which has been cordoned off ever since the incident. The CSIR inquiry report comes after a delay of over two months. It has been learned from reliable NCL sources that CSIR has expressed its displeasure with the initial findings of the fact-finding internal committee appointed by NCL.
This committee, comprising senior NCL staffers and security officials, had conducted a primary inquiry just days after the fire.
In a report dated June 29, The Indian Express had highlighted questions about the “compromised” safety standards of The Indus MAGIC lab. Subsequently, scientists and students working at NCL were cautioned by senior scientists, who had warned them about the serious consequences of failing to adhere to mandatory safety norms. Incidentally, neither of the teams which investigated the fire has ascertained the exact loss caused by the fire.
Officials of the Chaturshrungi police station, who were also probing the matter, had informed The Indian Express in April that the estimated loss caused by the fire was Rs 7-8 crore. However, the NCL internal team has yet again drawn the CSIR’s flak, after the Council cited discrepancies in the estimated loss amount. “This may be due to the differences in the estimation of losses… it definitely calls for clarification, as it is a public funded laboratory,” said sources.
india  fire  laboratory  follow-up 
13 days ago
Gas Company Sues to End County Oversight After Massive Natural Gas Disaster
LOS ANGELES (CN) – After a massive methane gas leak at SoCalGas’s Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility displaced thousands of families and took more than 100 days to plug, many residents in surrounding neighborhoods felt the energy company had gotten off lightly with a $4 million fine and tightened outside oversight.

But now Southern California Gas, a subsidiary of energy giant Sempra, says Los Angeles County’s attempts to prevent another environmental disaster of that scale go too far.

In a federal lawsuit filed against Los Angeles County and state regulators on Wednesday, SoCalGas claims that the county’s attempts to impose stricter safety standards on its pipelines and underground storage facilities violate a federal law called the Pipeline Safety Act, or PSA.

“Defendants include a state agency and a county that are attempting to impose and enforce safety standards for SoCalGas’ natural gas pipeline facilities, including SoCalGas’ underground gas storage facilities. Defendants’ actions violate the PSA, which expressly preempts all state and local safety standards for natural gas pipeline facilities and precludes state and local authorities from imposing or enforcing safety standards on natural gas pipeline facilities except as permitted under federal law,” the 25-page lawsuit states.

According to SoCalGas, only the California Public Utilities Commission has the authority under federal law to regulate the energy company’s facilities, and the company says that it is in compliance with the regulations the agency imposes.
us_ca  industrial  release  follow-up  natural_gas 
13 days ago
Multiple Buildings Evacuated After Chemical Spill in Billerica, Massachusetts
Multiple buildings have been evacuated in Billerica, Massachusetts, after a chemical spill.
The Billerica Fire Department said the spill came from a truck carrying 55-gallon barrels of different chemicals, and there is now a fume cloud associated with it.
Crews have identified the spill as sulfuric acid.
Several businesses have been evacuated, including a Cumberland Farms, but no one has been injured.

Source: Multiple Buildings Evacuated After Chemical Spill in Billerica, Massachusetts | NECN http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Multiple-Buildings-Evacuated-After-Chemical-Spill-in-Billerica-434335693.html#ixzz4mnxzACFw
Follow us: @necn on Twitter | NECN on Facebook
us_ma  industrial  release  response  sulfuric_acid 
13 days ago
Exxon Mobil fined for Louisiana refinery explosion that injured four
HOUSTON, July 13 (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp has been fined about $165,000 by U.S. regulators for safety lapses including inadequate training and equipment maintenance over an explosion that injured four workers at an aging Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery last year.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued nine citations, several of which echo previous cautions by federal agencies at two other Exxon plants. The citations, issued in May, were seen by Reuters this month.

A separate investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is ongoing and its report on the incident is due by year-end.

Exxon said it is contesting the OSHA citations and fines.

The facility was faulted five years ago by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to address corrosion on pipes and valves and for inadequate shutdown and emergency procedures provided to workers.

The Nov. 22, 2016 explosion on a sulfuric-acid alkylation unit that makes octane-boosting components of gasoline in the sprawling Baton Rouge refinery and chemical plant injured four workers, two of them severely. Two of the affected workers declined to comment; others could not be reached.

A worker on the alkylation unit removed the cover of a malfunctioning valve on an isobutane line and used a wrench to turn the value stem, Exxon reported to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in a letter. Volatile isobutane is converted in the alkylation unit to a component of gasoline.

As the operator turned the valve stem, portions of the valve fell out, releasing isobutane, according to the Exxon letter, which was ignited by a welding machine 70 feet away.

One worker was knocked off a scaffold next to the alkylation unit and left dangling over the fire, according to two sources. Another worker was burned over most of her body.
us_la  industrial  explosion  injuries  followup 
13 days ago
Chemical leak prompts evacuation at D&E
ELKINS, W. Va. (WDTV) -- A chemical leak inside one of the science labs at Davis and Elkins College prompted an evacuation, Wednesday afternoon.

According to firefighters, they were called to the science center around 2 p.m., after hydrofluoric acid leaked onto the floor, and started reacting with something else. At this time, they don't know what it was reacting with. No one was hurt.

The building was evacuated and an area was cordoned off while firefighters cleaned up the scene.

Firefighters were there for about four hours clearing the area. That building will remain closed until a HAZMAT team comes in to finish cleaning the area.
us_WV  laboratory  release  response  hydrofluoric_acid 
14 days ago
Arkansas and Missouri ban dicamba herbicide
In response to escalating concerns about alleged misuse of the herbicide dicamba, Arkansas and Missouri have halted the sale and use of the chemical. The states received hundreds of complaints this year from farmers who say dicamba spray drifted onto their property from neighboring fields and damaged their soybeans that have not been genetically engineered to tolerate the herbicide.
On July 7, the Missouri Department of Agriculture banned the sale and use of all dicamba products labeled for agricultural use in the state, effective immediately. Also on July 7, the Arkansas Agriculture Department halted the sale and use of dicamba in that state for 120 days, effective on July 11.
Chris Chinn, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, says Missouri’s ban will be lifted once companies, the state, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agree to new restrictions to be printed on dicamba product labels.
Dicamba (3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid) is found in herbicides produced by Monsanto, BASF, and DuPont for use on soybeans and cotton that are genetically modified to tolerate the chemical. EPA cleared the way for these uses in 2016 to combat broadleaf weeds that have developed resistance to glyphosate and other herbicides.
Complaints about spray drift and soybean damage from illegal use of dicamba in 2015 and 2016 led companies to develop formulations that are less volatile.
us_AR  industrial  release  environmental  pesticides 
14 days ago
New details on mercury’s route to the Arctic
Mining operations, coal-fired plants, and other sources of mercury pollution worldwide have led to the deposition of the neurotoxic metal in the Arctic. The chemical mechanism behind this deposition is not completely understood.
Environmental scientists’ prevailing hypothesis is that Hg from man-made and natural sources travels through the atmosphere and collects in the Arctic primarily as Hg2+ that falls in rain and snow.
A study now finds that the primary source of the pollution is absorption of gaseous elemental mercury (Hg0) from the atmosphere, not Hg2+ from precipitation (Nature 2017, DOI: 10.1038/nature22997). Hg0 is more stable and lasts longer in the atmosphere, making it more subject to long-range transport, whereas Hg2+ is more reactive and shorter-lived in the atmosphere. The findings have implications for policies to reduce Hg pollution in Arctic ecosystems, which contaminates plants, fish, and mammals that native peoples rely on as food.
In the study, a team led by Daniel Obrist of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and the Desert Research Institute, measured Hg levels over two years in air, snow, plants, and soil at Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska and other sites. They found that Hg0 accounted for about 70% of total Hg deposition to the ecosystem, with Hg2+ only a minor contributor.
public  discovery  environmental  mercury 
14 days ago
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