EPA Sued Over Approval Of Nanosilver Pesticide
A coalition of environmental and public health groups filed a lawsuit against EPA last week, claiming that the agency failed to assess the risks to humans and the environment when it approved a nanosilver-based pesticide called NSPW-L30SS, or Nanosilva, for use in textiles and plastics. “Novel nanomaterials like this need comprehensive and rigorous analysis. Instead EPA has allowed this product on the market while acknowledging it is missing safety data,” says George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety, one of the plaintiffs in the suit. EPA admits that it does not have the data to determine whether antimicrobial nanosilver products pose a risk to workers, consumers, or wildlife. But the agency gave Nanosilva the green light in May under a “conditional” approval process that gives the product’s manufacturer four years to generate the safety data to determine the product’s effects on human health and the environment.
industrial  discovery  environmental  pesticides 
3 hours ago
Mystery Substance Forces Evacuations Of Hundreds Of Motel Guests
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A motel in Wheat Ridge was evacuated Saturday because of suspected hazardous materials.
The evacuation occurred at the American Motel near Interstate 70 and Kipling Road after a call came in around 6:30 p.m. reporting that several people said they were sick. Hazmat crews showed up and the entire hotel ended up being evacuated.
Hundreds of people were forced out and three people were taken to the hospital to be evaluated. Fire officials told CBS4’s Jeff Todd that was precautionary, but one resident said her friend was vomiting after something came through the ventilation system.
Hazmat crews suited up and found a room on the third floor with a substance on the wall. Tests showed it was a substance similar to pepper spray
“My husband and I came out of the fifth floor and there was kind of an odor and we kind of had a little bit of coughing and a couple minutes later the cops showed up and told us we needed to go,” motel guest Randi Eckman said.
us_CO  public  release  injury  pepper_spray 
3 hours ago
East Bay: Rodeo's Phillips 66 refinery fire extinguished
RODEO -- A small fire Sunday at the Phillips 66 refinery spurred the county health department to issue a public health advisory for the towns of Rodeo and Crockett.

The fire began around 3 p.m. at the refinery site in the 1300 block of San Pablo Avenue, spurring a response from refinery fire staff and Rodeo-Hercules fire district firefighters, Phillips 66 spokesman Paul Adler said in a statement. No injuries were reported, and the fire's cause is under investigation, Adler said.

The Contra Costa County incident warning system issued an alert just before 3:15 p.m. that staff concerned with hazardous materials were responding to a report of a fire at the refinery. County officials advise people with respiratory sensitivities to avoid the area or stay inside and rinse any irritated area with water but added that most people should not be affected.

A photo shows a fire that broke out Sunday afternoon at the ConocoPhilips fire in Rodeo. (Courtesy of Jason Sutton)
The county's hazardous materials incident response site listed the refinery's last major incident as a little more than three years ago. On June 15, 2012, an overpressured sour water tank left splits in two tanks, sending chemical vapors into the air and leaving odors detectable in surrounding communities, according to a tally of major accidents at the county's chemical and refinery plants.
us_CA  industrial  fire  response  petroleum 
3 hours ago
WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority
The Metropolis, IL Honeywell plant is not producing product right now as investigators look into why a chemical compound leaked out Saturday afternoon.

Honeywell spokesperson Peter Dalpe says they're working to find out how much UF6 or uranium hexafluoride was released. A release of this same chemical happened back in October of 2014.

“I guess its 3000 ft. away from our house, and if I can't smell anything yet  I'm going to get as far away from it as I can,” Elliot said.

It’s that close distance from the Honeywell Plant that made Jim Elliot leave with his daughter Abigail and two dogs instead of listening to an automated call.

“We were told to turn off the air conditioner, close all the windows, and stay in the house,” Elliot said.    

Crews spent two hours cleaning up a UF6 chemical leak at the plant reported around 6 Saturday night.
us_IL  industrial  release  response  uranium 
3 hours ago
Coffee roasters' health at risk from chemical compound
MILWAUKEE—Tucked inside a burlap sack at room temperature, green coffee beans pose no known danger.
Funnel a 90-pound batch into a 430-degree roaster and things change. A chemical reaction between the beans’ sugars and amino acids creates a toxic compound capable of crippling the lungs of anyone nearby.
But few, if any, commercial coffee roasters know it.
They stand close, smelling the beans periodically during the 14 minutes it takes to turn them into a ready-to-be-ground roast. As the beans spill from the roasting drums into the cooling rack, roasters again inhale the fumes—the aromas made delicious, in part, by the same molecular formula tied to hundreds of injuries and at least five deaths.
Most coffee roasters have never heard of the chemical compound diacetyl. Those who have, associate it solely with its devastating effects on microwave popcorn workers and those in the flavoring industry. They don’t suspect that it could be wreaking the same havoc on their own lungs.
We don’t make flavored coffee, many in the roasting business say. It’s not a problem for us. But air sampling by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows reason to worry.
us_WI  industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
3 hours ago
Shallow Fracking Wells May Threaten Aquifers
Several thousand near-surface hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations for oil and natural gas production in the U.S. pose a potentially significant risk of contaminating drinking water sources, according to a new analysis. This first national assessment of fracking focused on well depth raises particular concerns about fracking wells less than a mile deep (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01228).
public  discovery  response  methane  natural_gas 
Fire damages Guinette Street garage
A residential garage fire on Guinette Street Saturday morning was extinguished by a neighbor before further damage could be done.

On August 1 at 10:47 a.m., Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a report of a residential house fire that involved a garage on Guinette Street.

Prior to the fire crews’ arrival, a neighbor extinguished the fire. His reaction prevented the fire from spreading and limited the damage done.

Upon the fire personnel’s arrival, they located the fire and worked on the scene to complete salvage and overhaul operations.

The fire was unintentional and was caused from a spontaneous combustion of a chemical-soaked towel.
us_WI  public  fire  response  other_chemical 
Man airlifted to hospital after suffering chemical burns
SALT LAKE CITY — A man was taken to University of Utah Hospital Friday after he suffered chemical burns on his body while doing work for Kennecott.

Unified Fire Authority said the 43-year-old male employee was unloading something when dry chemicals spilled and the man was hit by quick lime under pressure.

The dry chemical was forced into the man’s skin, and he suffered burns from his shoulder to his waist. Kennecott decontamination teams washed the chemical from the man, who was then airlifted to U of U Hospital in stable condition. The man was conscious and alert, and fire officials said he complained of a burning sensation in his eyes and lungs.
us_UT  industrial  release  injury  other_chemical 
American Motel occupants evacuated due to hazmat spray
WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — At least 100 people were evacuated from an American Motel on Saturday evening due to a substance sprayed in a room that spread through the building.

Wheat Ridge and Arvada Fire Departments responded to calls of multiple ill parties at the location at 10200 West 49th Ave at 6:20 p.m.

At least 100 had been evacuated from the motel and were in the parking lot.

Paramedics checked out and treated multiple patients exhibiting symptoms. At least three people were transported as a precaution with very minor symptoms, according to an Arvada Fire spokesperson.

Firefighters in hazmat gear were able to determine that one room had a substance discharged. The spray dissipated through the building and into other rooms, according to Arvada Fire.

Investigators are still working to determine what the substance is and how to deal with it. After the nature of substance is determined, they say they will then seal off the room and ventilate the building.
us_CO  public  release  response  unknown_chemical 
Hazmat scare at Johnston County truck stop
KENLY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Authorities closed a stretch of road in Johnston County on Saturday night due to a hazmat scare.

It happened at the Flying J truck stop off of I-95 at Princeton Kelly Road in Kenly.

Our crew on the scene said a truck is leaking some sort of corrosive material.

Authorities were still working to clear the scene at 11 p.m. on Saturday.

The road has since been reopened.
us_NC  transportation  release  response  corrosives 
US government science institute's one time police chief linked to campus meth lab
When an explosion rocked a laboratory in the special projects building on the US National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) campus in Maryland on 18 July, news spread quickly that the incident was connected to a secret methamphetamine lab.
Suspicion soon fell on a member of the NIST’s security force who was injured in the explosion, and he resigned the next day. It has now emerged during a congressional briefing that this individual had at one point been the agency’s acting police chief, according to NIST director Willie May.

News reports indicated that pseudoephedrine and drain cleaner were found in the building, along with a recipe to make methamphetamine. The lab where methamphetamine was synthesised was in an isolated part of the facility and had been used for combustion research in the past. The suspect, who received non-life threatening injuries, was not named at the briefing and no charges have been filed.

After the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland stepped in to handle the case, it soon requested the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), according to an aide to the House science, space and technology committee that requested and received the briefing. The panel has jurisdiction over the NIST, as well as all government activities relating to non-military research and development.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is now leading the investigation of the NIST explosion, working jointly with the police, DEA, and the inspector general of the Department of Commerce, where the NIST is housed.
us_MD  public  follow-up  injury  cleaners  meth_lab 
2 days ago
Phoenix fire crews douse blaze at pool company
hoenix fire crews extinguished a large warehouse fire near 23rd and Peoria avenues late Friday morning. Crews Friday afternoon continued to deal with hazardous materials at the site.

The fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m. in an outside storage area of Cloud Pool Supply. Witnesses said an employee tried to contain the blaze, but it spread too quickly.

Building materials and pool chemicals were involved in the fire, but there were no evacuations ordered in the immediate area.

There was originally concern about the runoff from all the water the fire department used because it may have included pool chemicals but fire officials said the chemicals, which included a cement/latex bonding agent, fertilizer and chlorine, weren't dangerous in that situation.
us_AZ  industrial  fire  response  pool_chemicals 
2 days ago
Chemical Mix-Up Damages Boeing Tanker
In a new setback just weeks before the planned first flight of a fully outfitted KC-46 Air Force tanker, the Boeing plane's fueling system has been damaged by a chemical mix-up, temporarily grounding the jet.
The jet -- the first test plane outfitted with working air-refueling systems and designated as a tanker -- was at the fuel dock on Paine Field last week when mechanics used the wrong chemical during a test of the fuel system, according to people familiar with the details.
The chemical, supplied by a vendor and mislabeled, caused corrosion and damaged the fuel system, including the advanced new fuel boom designed to offload gas to fighter aircraft, the sources said.
The fuel boom as well as the auxiliary fuel tanks in the fuselage of the airplane have been removed from the aircraft for inspection and any necessary repairs. The Air Force has been informed of the incident.
The auxiliary tanks appear to be undamaged, one source said.
us_WA  transportation  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Jang Cautions Plateau Water Board
The Immediate past Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah David Jang, has cautioned the personnel of the Plateau State Water Board to take Pre- cautionary measures in the way they dispose Chlorine Cylinder used for water treatment at the Lamingo plant.

Jang's warning came on the heels of the last Saturday's chemical explosion at Lamingo plant where no fewer than 14 persons died leaving over hundred people severely injured.

Senator Jang who was at Plateau Specialist hospital to commiserate with the victims of the accident at the weekend, cautioned the workers of the Water Board to find a way of handling their empty gas cylinders so that they are not just left carelessly.

According to him, "Maybe somebody didn't know what it was and just went and pull the nozzle out. Now look at what it has caused. So, the Water Board should have been more careful in the way they handle empty gas cylinders and cylinders that carry such dangerous liquids.

"We were hoping as a matter of time before I left government to stop using that kind of gas within the Water Board.
Nigeria  public  follow-up  death  chlorine  gas_cylinders  water_treatment 
2 days ago
Several Treated In NE Austin For Possible HAZMAT Exposure
UPDATE: EMS officials say the possible irritating substance has been located and removed. Two more people refused treatment at the scene.
Three people were treated by EMS Thursday afternoon at a Northeast Austin business for a possible allergic reaction to an unidentified hazardous material.
It happened at around 1:30 p.m. at ProLogis, located east of the intersection of Cameron Road and East Rundberg Lane.
Austin-Travis County EMS says they initially received a call for one patient. When they arrived two others walked out of the ProLogis building requesting help. All three were transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge for possible allergic reaction symptoms.
The cause is still under investigation.
The Austin Fire Department HAZMAT team responded to the scene to monitor air quality. Authorities say they do not considering the incident an ongoing threat to public safety. 
us_TX  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
'Regrettable substitutions' fail to knock hazardous chemicals out of products — NewsWorks
Although diacetyl exposure was primarily hazardous for workers who continually inhaled it, in one extreme case a man who consumed microwave popcorn about twice a day for 10 years developed the same disease.

In reaction, some big food companies vowed to stop using it, and they did. But some replaced it with a chemical called 2,3 pentanedione, which could be just as hazardous, according to a report released earlier this month by The National Institute For Occupational Safety and Health. Swapping one hazardous chemical in for another is what experts call a regrettable substitution.

"We've discovered recently that a lot of these substitutions that have been made, while functionally equivalent, also have hazards associated with them," says Julie Zimmerman, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale University.
industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Chemical spill from Marysville Water Plant triggers swim advisory
Chrysler Beach in Marysville was closed for about three and half hours Wednesday due to a spill of hydrofluorosilicic acid from the city's water treatment plant.

Fluorosilicic acid is used by the plant to fluoridate the water. The chemical exists in liquid form only.

"We're just about to lift the chemical spill warning," Steve Demick, environmental health director of the St. Clair County Health Department, said at 3:45 p.m.

Demick issued the no-swim advisory at 12:17 p.m.

Ironically, the beach remained closed after the spill notice had been lifted due to high levels of the bacteria E. coli, which is caused by raw sewage in the water.

"We called the health department to see if they could send someone down to test the river water for the fluoride," said Marysville Public Safety Chief Tom Konik. "They said the beach was already closed due to E. coli."
us_MI  industrial  release  response  water_treatment 
3 days ago
Emergency units simulate a chemical explosion at NU
Suppose a student in the research labs at Northwestern University mixed up a couple of chemicals that didn't like each other and an explosion occurred, resulting in injuries. How would you handle it?

That was the scenario that formed the basis of a multi-agency training drill on the campus Thursday morning, involving the Evanston Fire Department, Northwestern police, the university's Office of Research Safety, and the regional Hazardous Materials Response Team that consists of personnel from a number of surrounding fire departments.

First, the "injured" students, portrayed by actors, were loaded into ambulances and whisked off to nearby hospitals. Then the alarm went out for the regional haz-mat team to arrive, complete with an array of tools and protective gear that would make them look like creatures from another galaxy.
us_IL  education  discovery  environmental 
3 days ago
Stores evacuated after rotten egg smell
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A hazmat team has cleared a Goodwill store on Olive Drive after a report of a rotten egg smell.

Several stores were evacuated as a precaution, according to the Kern County Fire Department.

Multi-gas detectors initially found 1 part per million of hydrogen sulfide inside the store. The fire department said 100 parts per million of H2S is dangerous to a person's health.

The department says the trace chemical came from outside, but the exact source is still unknown. Anyone who knows its source is asked to call the Air Pollution Control District at (661) 392-5500.

The fire department said it has received many reports of the smell in north Bakersfield and Oildale.

And in a seemingly unrelated incident, residents in northwest Bakersfield reported a chemical smell that environmental health officials said Thursday afternoon may be at least partially attributable to a 20 gallon spill of naphtha at Amber Chemical Inc., located in north Bakersfield, just west of the 99.

Naphtha is found in oil fields and gives off a pungent odor. Health officials, however, say such a small leak doesn't pose any risk to public safety.
us_CA  public  release  response  hydrogen_sulfide  naphtha 
3 days ago
Health and Safety Go Together Like …
When it comes to employee health, disease management and prevention get most of the attention. But occupational safety should be an integral part of any wellness strategy, according to experts who developed guidance to help employers integrate their health and safety programs.
“Employers do safety in one area of their company and other health-related initiatives in another portion of the company,” said Dr. Ron Loeppke, past president of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and a co-author of the guidance, which can be accessed on the college’s website. “Increasingly, there is an acknowledgment of the need to integrate the strategies of health and safety. The health of workers impacts work, and we know that work impacts the health of workers, so there needs to be a more holistic approach.”
In May, the college and UL — a safety certification firm based in Northbrook, Illinois — published an employer’s guide that includes a measurement tool to evaluate the effectiveness of corporate health and safety programs. The Integrated Health and Safety index examines the economic, environmental and social effect of those programs, similar to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which tracks the financial performance of green companies.
other  discovery  environmental 
3 days ago
Did a moldy building kill 4 New Orleans college professors?
Four Southern University at New Orleans professors who died within three months of each other had all worked on the second floor of the Multipurpose Classroom Building. So Cynthia Ramirez found it ironic that SUNO chose to hold a vigil for the dead on the same floor.

Ramirez, a tenured professor of fine arts at SUNO, had her own office in the Multipurpose Building until 2013. That fall, she demanded to be moved, complaining that the building was to blame for her worsening respiratory problems.

But on the morning of the vigil, Feb. 26, 2014, she walked back inside, climbed the atrium stairs and joined a few dozen others to honor the memory of Sudipta Das, 60, Felix James, 76, Guillarne Leary, 72, and Marina Dumas-Haynes, 57.

Standing before the crowd, students spoke of how their professors had embodied the mission of SUNO, a historically black university that caters to non-traditional students -- some older, returning to school after a time in the workforce, many attending part-time as they work full-time. One male student said Leary, a psychology professor, had saved his life.  

When SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo rose to speak, Ramirez burst into tears and left the building. Back at her office, she uttered a phrase that had been running through her mind for days: "SUNO killed those people."
us_LA  education  discovery  environmental  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Westbury animal hospital evacuated -- pets and all -- after chemical reaction, fire official says
dozen employees and more than two dozen animals had to be evacuated from a Westbury animal hospital under a scorching summer sun Wednesday, following a chemical reaction between two cleaning chemicals, officials said.

Nassau County Fire Marshal Vincent McManus said the animals, dogs and cats were sheltered in private, air-conditioned vehicles; others were kept out of the blazing sun in the specially designed mobile firefighter rehab unit -- a vehicle usually used to aid firefighters working under harsh summer and winter elements.

Five employees were treated at the scene, McManus said.
us_NY  public  release  injury  cleaners 
4 days ago
Engineering Lab Fire at Penn State
A fire on Penn State's campus late Tuesday gutted an office leaving hundreds of people out of work Wednesday. The Hammond Building is closed. Hundreds of people are out of work several classes cancelled and massive fans airing the building out Wednesday after fire tore through a graduate laboratory on the first floor late Tuesday night. This is that it looked like when Fire Crews go to the scene. Windows blown out and flames raging. The County Fire Director says they were able to keep the blaze to just one room. A Penn State Spokesperson says the fire was accidental and the County Fire Marshall is still investigating trying to find out why this happened. The Hammond Building is huge taking up two city blocks. It's the home to nearly every type of Engineering Program at Penn State but mostly Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. This room had only desks and electronics. Penn State Officials assisted at the fire.
us_PA  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Hazmat crews respond to Franklinton chemical leak
COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Hazmat crews are investigating a chemical leak at a Franklinton area business.

Hazmat crews were sent to GFS Chemicals at 851 McKinley Avenue shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday after a worker reported that a cleaning chemical was leaking from a tank.

According to firefighters, the chemical is a bleach product and the leak was contained to the building.

McKinley Avenue was closed for a short time near Souder Avenue.

An employee of the business was taken to Mt. Carmel West Hospital with unspecified injuries. His condition was listed as stable.
us_OH  public  release  injury  bleach  cleaners 
4 days ago
Underground Explosion Breaks Manhole Cover In Midtown Sacramento
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento fire crews are responding to reports of a fireball blowing off a manhole cover and have asked residents to shelter in place.
Sacramento Fire described the event as a level 2 hazmat situation, but has since rescinded that. It has closed down two square blocks in the area of 17th and N streets.
us_CA  public  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Nitric Acid leak site contained
A spokesperson for Beaumont Fire-Rescue says that hazardous material (HAZMAT) crews have contained a Nitric Acid leak that came from a tank truck carrying 43,380 pounds of the chemical by the Jefferson County Courthouse Wednesday.

Capt. Brad Pennison of Beaumont Fire-Rescue told 12News the leak came from the bottom of the tank truck, and was reported around 11:45 a.m. near Franklin and Park Streets.

When firefighters arrived, they set up a perimeter one block in each direction, and HAZMAT units were called to the scene. A temporary shelter was placed near the Jefferson County Courthouse, and four businesses near the courthouse were evacuated.

The driver of the truck was exposed to the product, and was treated on the scene by Beaumont EMS.

At 2:30 p.m. Pennison said the truck company, Action Resources, out of Hanceville, Alabama, had another truck en route to the scene and an environmental clean up crew.

Pennison said that the the crews experienced an equipment failure when they attempted to transfer the Nitric Acid from the leaking tank into a new tank. However, by 12:30 a.m. Thursday the transfer was complete and both trucks were removed. The environmental company remained to continue cleaning up any contaminants that may remain.
us_TX  transportation  release  response  nitric_acid 
4 days ago
No arrests after Easton hazmat investigation
EASTON, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Police and other officials were on scene at an Easton home Tuesday for a hazmat investigation.

At about 1 p.m., an Easton officer saw a 29-year-old man walking on Summer Street, and says when the man saw him, the man threw his backpack into the woods. 

"The officer turned around to investigate. During his investigation he was told by the subject that was walking that he had hazardous materials inside the backpack," Police Chief Gary Sullivan said.

The materials were determined to be those used to make methamphetamine, and are extremely dangerous, police say. They were not yet able to determine if he planned to sell it or use it himself.

A search warrant was then executed at a home on Pheasant Lane, where police say the man lived with his mother. A bomb squad and hazmat team wore protective clothing while searching the home for anything from household cleaners to over the counter drugs that could be used to make methamphetamine. The road had to be shut down temporarily due to the investigation.
us_MA  public  discovery  response  bomb  meth_lab 
5 days ago
1 hospitalized for cadmium exposure at Indiana County plant; nearly 20 decontaminated
One person was admitted Tuesday to Indiana Regional Medical Center, and nearly 20 others were treated because they were exposed to cadmium at a metals and alloy plant, according to spokesman Mark Richards.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration confirmed the incident occurred at Prime Metals & Alloys Inc. in Center. Multiple messages left with the company's chief operating officer were not returned.

Cadmium can be highly toxic, and exposure to the silvery white metal can cause cancer, according to OSHA. Inhalation exposure to high levels over a short period of time can result in flu-like symptoms and can damage the lungs. Chronic exposure to a low level over time can result in kidney, bone and lung disease, the OSHA website states.

The administration estimates that about 300,000 workers are exposed to the metal annually in the United States, mostly in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

The Indiana County hazardous materials team was dispatched to the hospital shortly after noon and helped to treat those exposed to the metal, along with the hospital staff, said John Pividori, deputy director in charge of operations.
us_PA  industrial  release  injury  metals 
5 days ago
Campers deal with faux chemical explosion at NCHS
If you saw mass mayhem and destruction going on at Nampa Christian High School last week, don’t panic. It might happen again. You can blame the summer camp ReadyKamp.

Campers from Adams, Canyon, Gem and Owyhee counties attended the four-day camp that promotes citizen preparedness, and the activity I am referring to was Wednesday’s disaster exercise. Starting at noon, each of the 32 camp participants were challenged to apply the first-aid and emergency training they had been taught at camp — to deal with a faux chemical explosion in a chemistry lab at the school. Volunteer victims went through triage and were decontaminated, and First Responders and the 101st Civil Support Team was on hand to assist the campers.

Some of those volunteers wore make-up to make the wounds look real, so that’s where you may have come away with some trauma. But it’s OK, no worries, it all went off fine and there was a graduation ceremony that night.
us_ID  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
5 days ago
Ohio city detects Lake Erie toxins that led to 2014 crisis
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Toledo has detected the first signs in Lake Erie of the dangerous toxin that resulted in a water crisis last year that left 400,000 people in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan without safe tap water for two days.

Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson and city officials announced late Monday that the intake mechanisms that draw Toledo's drinking water from Lake Erie detected a toxin that can cause liver and kidney damage, The Blade reported (http://bit.ly/1MsT8Ef).

The mayor says the city's drinking water remains safe but she has updated the status of the water to a "Watch" category. The next stage, "Caution," means a toxin has been detected in tap water but the level isn't great enough to require an advisory.

A severe toxic algae outbreak on the lake's western end — where the toxin was recently detected — was forecast after heavy rains in June washed huge amounts of algae-feeding phosphorus into the lake.
us_OH  public  discovery  environmental  phosphorus  toxics 
5 days ago
Hazmat team called to mercury exposure at Bakersfield motel
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Hazmat teams were called to a hotel on Wible Road Monday morning in response to a mercury exposure.

At least one room in the Ramada Limited motel was placed on lockdown because of a spill that started last week at another location and somehow made it past the quarantine.

Now officials say both locations are contaminated.

The first spill was at a rental home on Lincoln Avenue, where a woman lives with her teenage son.

“Not sure where they obtained this mercury, what the source is, or why they had it,” said Donna Fenton of Kern County Environmental Health.

“The story that we have, to us, is that a teenager found a bottle of liquid mercury in a shed,” said Battalion Chief Danny Brown of the Bakersfield Fire Department.

Both members of the family were exposed and then decontaminated.

They took a few blood tests and should be okay.
us_CA  public  release  response  mercury 
6 days ago
UTHealth Alumnus Investigates How Biosafety Professionals Assess the Risks of Field Research BioNews Texas
Recently, The University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH) Alumnist and current director of Environmental Health and Safety for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Dr. Scott Patlovich’s doctoral dissertation article was featured on the cover of Applied Biosafety, the peer-reviewed professional journal of the American Biological Safety Association ABSA. 

Dr. Patlovich worked with his advisor Robert Emery, Dr.P.H., professor of occupational health and UTHealth vice president for safety, health, environment and risk management to investigate the safety deficits that put biosafety professionals working out in the field at an increased risk for injury, illness or even death.

The inspiration for the study came from his experience as a safety manager for the National University of Singapore, where he observed the inadequacies of established safety protocols that were being utilized by researchers collecting infectious disease agents outside the laboratory environment.

As Dr. Patlovich explains in a University press release about the study, “Clearly there were a lot of issues related to field work that we weren’t considering. And I knew we weren’t the only ones. Other institutions have similar challenges assessing field safety, and many biosafety professionals are asked to review protocols involving areas of safety in which we aren’t traditionally trained.”
us_TX  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
6 days ago
Investigation Underway In CSX Train Cart Leaking Chemical Compound In South Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Authorities say an investigation is underway regarding a CSX train cart that was leaking hydrogen peroxide in the Grays Ferry section of the city Monday morning.
Officials say the cause of the leak is unknown at this time.
One person was taken to the hospital prior to the arrival of first responders. No word on their condition.
Authorities say the leak did not prompt any evacuations, nor did it contaminate the water supply.
The water department is on the scene investigating.
Officials placed the incident under control at 10:49 a.m.
Authorities say this is not being investigated as a hazmat situation.
us_PA  transportation  release  injury  hydrogen_peroxide 
6 days ago
Maple syrup leak brings traffic delays at Keene roundabout
Traffic was backed up onto Route 9 thanks to a truck leaking maple syrup in the area of Keene's Winchester Street-Route 101 roundabout. 

About 75 gallons of syrup is believed to have leaked from the truck, according to a tweet from Southwestern N.H. District Fire
Mutual Aid. The freight truck was carrying 220 gallons, according to the driver, who declined to identify himself.

The driver said he was traveling between Alstead and Marlborough when N.H. Department of Transportation officials, who were driving in a truck behind him, flagged him down to alert him to the fact that his truck was leaking. He said he doesn't know what caused it. 

The truck was blocking one lane of traffic entering the circle from the direction of Route 9, while officials attempted to sop up the syrup with an absorbent material.

The leak was evident down the length of the truck.
us_NH  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Chemical Response: Georgetown (MA) Firefighters Respond to Tractor-Trailer Hazmat Spill
Firefighters with the Georgetown (MA) Fire Department successfully handled and decontaminated a section of the roadway after a tractor-trailer spilled suspected hazardous material on the ground last week, according to a release from the department.
Firefighters received a call of a possible hazardous materials incident on Norino Way, opposite the Longview Apartments, at 4:29 p.m. on Wednesday.
The operator of a tractor-trailer reported his liquid cargo had broken open and spilled magnesium hydroxide along Access Road from National Way to Norino Way. Georgetown Engine 5, Ambulance 11, Car 1, and Georgetown Police responded to the area.  
At the scene, firefighters found a trail of white liquid stretching about a half-mile leading up to the truck. The entire back of the tractor-trailer, as well as the ground, were covered with the chemical.
Magnesium hydroxide, or milk of magnesia, is a water suspension that is used in medicine and in a number of industrial applications.
us_MA  transportation  release  response  magnesium 
6 days ago
Residents evacuated after chemical spill sue railroad
Four residents of Maryville in Blount County, Tennessee, have filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against railroad CSX Transportation Inc., and Union Tank Car Co.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville, was filed by four residents who were evacuated from their homes when a train car carrying the toxic chemical acrylonitrile derailed after midnight on July 2 and caught fire.

When on fire, the combustion caused by acrylonitrile produces hydrogen cyanide gas, which can be rapidly fatal if inhaled, according to court documents.

Police went to the homes in the area and evacuated over 5,000 people within a two mile radius of the derailment. They were not allowed to return home until the evening of July 3.

The plaintiffs in the suit, Charles Tipton and Billy Tipton, both inhaled fumes and smoke from the accident. Both Tiptons and Travis and Elizabeth Pruett are filing on behalf of themselves and on behalf of others who were evacuated and suffered from the experience.
us_TN  transportation  follow-up  response  toxics 
6 days ago
Residents displaced by North Brunswick fire finally return home
NORTH BRUNSWICK — The residents who were displaced by an enormous warehouse fire in North Brunswick last week finally got to return home as of 2 p.m. Sunday.

Township police said they've had to stay elsewhere since early Wednesday morning as a safety measure. As many as 200 people had to be evacuated after the five-alarm fire at 1600 Livingston Ave.

Sunday afternoon, residents of the nearby Hearthwood condos began returning home, the last remaining evacuees, according to Lt. Gina Braconi.

PREVIOUSLY: North Brunswick warehouse fire evacuees endure Day 3 of 'horrible' smoke

One resident told MyCentralJersey.com that there was little sign of the billowing cloud of smoke that had lingered in the air for days.

"I'm impressed," Wilda Irizarry said, according to the report. "There's no soot and no smoke. Coming in, the house smelled wonderful." 

The fire burned through automotive parts, as much as 500,000 pounds of plastic and home building supplies like linoleum and rugs. A chemical plume was a concern, state and federal officials said, but air monitoring showed that it posed no environmental hazard, instead drifting directly into the sky. 
us_NJ  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Long-term effects being investigated after chemical plant fire
HANOVER, Pa. (AP) – Wildlife authorities are trying to determine if there are any long-term effects to a central Pennsylvania creek from runoff contamination from a chemical plant fire last month.

The (Hanover) Evening Sun (http://bit.ly/1LMf0to ) reports that the state Fish and Boat Commission was surveying the main stem and south branch of the Conewago Creek last week.

Officials hope to determine if life has returned to normal after the June fire at the Miller Chemical and Fertilizer plant, which killed thousands of fish and prompted closure of the creek to swimming, boating and fishing for almost a month.
us_PA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  ag_chems  runoff 
7 days ago
Five feared dead after fuel-tanker fire in Nigerian town
Officials say two killed -locals say more -after fuel-tanker catches fire in Nigeria’s north-central Niger State

LAGOS, Nigeria – At least five people were reportedly killed late Friday — and several houses burnt down — when a fuel-tanker caught fire in a commercial district of the town of Kagara in Nigeria’s north-central Niger State.

“Five people died, including two children. Rescue workers have, however, since managed to put out the fire,” Adamu Umaru, a resident of the town close to the where the incident took place, told AA.

Nigeria’s official relief agency, meanwhile, confirmed the fire but said only two people had died.

“Two children… died in the inferno. They were locked up in the shops and so died there, while four people were treated for injuries,” Slaku Lugard, coordinator for Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency in central Nigeria, told Anadolu Agency.

Lugard added that 22 shops and “several” homes had been damaged in Kagara — a town in Niger State’s Rafi local government area — by the fire.

And on Saturday morning, a chemical explosion at a water-treatment plant in the central Nigerian town of Jos reportedly killed five people, according to a police spokesman.
Nigeria  transportation  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Chemical mix-up costing golf course thousands
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A local golf course is losing a lot of green because of a major mistake on its greens.

Members of the Blue Ridge Golf Course received a letter in June informing them the course will be closed for more than two months because the chemicals used to treat the greens killed the grass.

Instead of birdies and eagles, all you’ll see are geese on the fairways at the Harrisburg course.

“It’s been a ghost town around here,” Blue Ridge’s head golf professional Jeffrey Breiner said.

Course workers say they are tired. “It’s been a tough couple of months to come to work because we want to be here. We want to be busy interacting with the golfers,” Breiner said. “It’s just taken a toll on everybody. It’s just not the same without anybody here.”

Earlier this summer, chemicals were sprayed to protect the grass as part of routine course maintenance. However, the very next day, the chemical company called saying it was a bad batch and told employees not to use it, but by that time, it was too late.

“You can’t hide the mess,” Breiner said.

The chemical company mixed the spray with an industrial herbicide by accident. It’s used to control weeds, but instead it killed a lot of the grass.
us_PA  public  discovery  environmental  ag_chems  pesticides 
8 days ago
Nation's first chemical-free pool opens to the public
MINNEAPOLIS, July 25 (UPI) -- The nation's first naturally-filtered, chemical-free public pool opened Friday in Minneapolis.

The Webber Natural Swimming Pool boasts an organic filtration system which pumps pool water through a system of biological filters -- including 7,000 aquatic plants. The result of a four-year project and $6 million in funding, the pool features a traditional shallow and deep end as well as a deeper section with a jumping platform and lap lanes.

The pool has a capacity of up to 500 people and is capable of holding over 500,000 gallons of water. The natural filtration system -- which filters water through plants and gravel -- pumps through all of the pool's liquid contents every 12 hours.
us_MN  public  discovery  environmental 
8 days ago
Gas Explosion Hits Water Treatment Plant in Jos
A chemical explosion which occurred at the Lamingo Dam treatment plant of the Plateau State Water Board on Saturday in Jos has claimed the lives of no fewer than five people and 50 others injured.

He said a number of persons had been injured in the explosion and were presently receiving treatment at the Plateau Specialist Hospital.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed. “Water from the public mains is safe for consumption and is not affected in anyway”.

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong sympathized with the families of the eight victims and wished the 101 survivors who were being treated in the hospital a speedy recovery, according to the statement.

Government said some of the victims have been discharged.

A source at the Water Board disclosed that the incident followed a chlorine burst at the plant.

“We thought it was an attack from terrorists and so I opened the door to our room and started running”. I eventually survived, but my friend, Ifeoma, who ran towards the water treatment plant from where the gas exploded, did not survive. He commended the state government for promising to pay the medical bills of those hospitalised.
Nigeria  industrial  explosion  death  water_treatment 
8 days ago
Hwy 17 closed at Bruce Mines. Town partially evacuated (now open)
About a quarter of the people living in Bruce Mines have been evacuated from their homes at this point, reports Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Sargeant Michael Mayville.
"People in homes in a one kilometre radius around the arena were evacuated after ammonia was detected in the area," Mayville told SooToday. "OPP is on the scene for public safety. The Ministry of the Environment has also been called in." 
The arena is located at the juncture of Highways 638 and 17 and Highway 17 remains closed at this time.
At aproximately 8:20 p.m. Ontario Provincial Police recieved a call from the arena manager in Bruce Mines to report ammonia leaking from the stack at the arena
Canada  public  release  response  ammonia 
8 days ago
Hazmat team called to chemical spill in De Forest
MADISON, Wis.----A chemical spill early Friday morning in De Forest sent one person to the hospital, according to a release from the City of Madison Fire Department.

The Madison Fire Department said around 1:30 a.m. an employee at Waltco Package Delivery Service in De Forest call 911 saying his co-worker was exposed to some sort of gas.

Authorities say The De Forest Fire Department called the Hazardous Incident Team (HIT) at 2:15 a.m. to assist after it was determined that muriatic acid was leaking from the back of a delivery truck behind the warehouse.

They estimate about 3 gallons of liquid leaked onto the floor of the truck and the ground outside.
us_WI  transportation  release  injury  hydrochloric_acid 
9 days ago
Industrial Engineer Dies After Fall in Laboratory Freezer
An employee of a Salt Lake City medical laboratory has died after falling about 15 feet inside a two-story freezer, officials said Friday.

The man, whose name has not yet been released, fell Thursday while performing maintenance at the ARUP Laboratories facility at the University of Utah Research Park.

The man was conscious and sitting in a wheelchair when paramedics arrived at the facility, Salt Lake City fire spokesman Jasen Asay said. He had a back and ankle injury and possible hypothermia.

The man later died at a hospital. Asay did not have details about how his condition had changed or whether injuries or the cold might have led to his death.

Asay said the man had been in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before co-workers found him and carried him outside.

Dean Li, president and CEO of ARUP, said the worker was an industrial engineer who had been with the company about nine years.

He told the Deseret News that officials were still investigating why the worker fell.
us_UT  laboratory  discovery  death  unknown_chemical 
9 days ago
Chemical spill at Dupo High School
DUPO, IL (KTVI) – A St. Clair County hazmat crew was called to Dupo High School Friday night after a potentially dangerous chemical spill.

A teacher conducting inventory in the school science lab accidentally knocked over a bottle of potassium cyanide. The chemical can be dangerous to inhale if it interacts with other chemicals.

Residents in nearby homes were told to stay inside their homes and a few businesses had to be evacuated.
us_IL  laboratory  release  response  cyanide 
9 days ago
Three Perth Airport workers treated after chemical spill at cargo terminal
Three workers at Perth Airport were exposed to the chemical formaldehyde last night after a spill at a Qantas cargo terminal, the airline has confirmed.

Emergency services said the workers in bay eight at terminal four were exposed to about 10 litres of formaldehyde that spilt from a container within an aircraft at around midnight last night.

Formaldehyde is a chemical used in building materials, industrial disinfectant and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories.

The workers had to be quarantined in a tent while tests were undertaken to determine the chemical.

Seven emergency crews, police and chemical response teams attended the spill.
Australia  transportation  release  response  formaldehyde 
9 days ago
All-clear given after chemical scare in Middleboro
Residents in a Middleboro neighborhood have been given the all-clear and are allowed to leave their homes following a chemical scare at a nearby maintenance building, Thursday night. 

A worker mixing four chemicals triggered a hazardous materials response. 

As a result, nearby residents were told to turn off their air conditioners and stay in their homes. 

A large plume of chemicals spread inside the A & W Maintenance building on Pine Street after the worker mixed the chemicals at around 2 p.m.

When the owner's son returned to the building at 7 p.m. he found the plume. 
us_MA  industrial  release  response  cleaners 
9 days ago
Built Up Gas Likely Caused Mysterious R.I. Beach Explosion
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A mysterious blast on a Rhode Island beach likely was caused by the combustion of hydrogen gas buildup because of a corroded copper cable under the sand, investigators announced Friday.
Officials have spent nearly two weeks trying to figure out what happened on July 11 at Salty Brine Beach in Narragansett, when witnesses heard a large boom and a woman from Connecticut was sent flying through the air into a jetty. Police almost immediately ruled out an explosive device or intentional act, but scientists were stumped about what could have caused the blast.
Janet Coit, director of the state Department of Environmental Management, said Friday that scientists at the University of Rhode Island had pinpointed it to hydrogen built up by the corrosion of an abandoned copper cable that previously was used by the U.S. Coast Guard and runs under the sand.
Coit said scientists took core samples of the beach, and the sand where the blast occurred had unusually high levels of hydrogen.
us_RI  public  follow-up  injury  hydrogen 
9 days ago
RIVERSIDE: Botched theft creates huge hazmat spill
A bungled metal theft accidentally spilled hundreds of gallons of hydraulic fluid at a Riverside recycling center, city fire officials say.
The mess was reported at 8:45 a.m. Thursday, July 23, along the 2900 block of Sixth Street.
"The now-closed metal recycling center has been victim to several theft attempts over the past few years, according to the site manager," Capt. Tim Odebralski said in a written statement.
At the center of the overnight leak is a metal-shearing machine that cuts scrap metal into manageable-sized pieces. The device has a cooling system that includes a gasoline engine and two radiators.
Last week, someone stole the larger of the two radiators, workers reported. An attempt to steal the remaining radiator went badly, causing the leak.
"Perpetrators disconnected the large hydraulic lines, which were fed by (a) 500-gallon hydraulic reservoir, spilling its entire contents onto the dirt lot surrounding the machine," according to the statement. "Due to the size of the second radiator, the...suspects were unable to remove it completely from (its) frame."
us_CA  industrial  release  response  hydraulic_fluid 
10 days ago
Hazmat team responds to ammonia leak at Laconia business
LACONIA, N.H. —A business and a residence in Laconia were evacuated early Thursday morning due to an ammonia leak, officials said.

Crews were called to Laconia Ice Company on Blaisdell Avenue shortly after midnight.

A hazmat team was brought in to deal with the situation.

No one was hurt.

Officials said the leak was from a pressure valve on a tank holding up to 1,200 gallons of produc
us_NH  public  release  response  ammonia 
10 days ago
Explosion at medical pot dispensary injures 2
Two people have been hospitalized with serious burns after an explosion and fire Thursday at a medical marijuana dispensary in central Santa Fe, firefighters said.
Battalion Chief Carl Crook said the blaze apparently resulted from a process in which butane is used to extract THC from cannabis. The incident occurred at 4:30 p.m. at NewMexiCann Natural Medicine off San Mateo Road.
“Somehow they used butane and there was an explosion,” Crook said. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound responsible for most of the marijuana plant’s effects. To make marijuana products edible or topical, the chemical has to be extracted from the plant with heat.
Crook said the two victims suffered third-degree burns but walked on their own out of the building, which sustained no structural damage.
us_NM  industrial  explosion  injury  butane  drugs 
10 days ago
Colorado College campus reopens after non-hazardous chemical incident
Ethylene glycol, a non-hazardous and non-corrosive material, was to blame for the evacuation of a Colorado College science building Thursday morning, according to Leslie Weddell, a CC spokeswoman.

Olin Hall, at 1030 N. Nevada Ave., between Unitah Avenue and Cache la Poudre Street, was evacuated around 8:30 a.m., while Colorado Springs Fire Department hazmat crews responded to reports of a possible chemical spill. Emergency vehicles blocked traffic in the area as well.

The area was cleared and the building reopened about mid-morning, Weddell said.
us_CO  laboratory  release  response  antifreeze  ethylene_glycol 
10 days ago
Grant Dispute Throws an Unwritten Rule of Academic Poaching Out the Window
A less-than-collegial battle between two major research universities in laid-back Southern California says much about the severity of the financial pressures mounting on American higher education.

Among research universities a longstanding gentlemen’s agreement has held that a scientist who moves from one institution to another is allowed to carry any grant support along to his or her new home.

Now, with universities counting every dollar, that bit of protocol may become a quaint courtesy of days gone by.

The dispute broke out last month, when Paul S. Aisen, a professor of neurosciences at the University of California at San Diego and director of its Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, resigned to join the University of Southern California.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, known as the ADCS, was financed in 2013 by a five-year, $55-million grant from the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Aisen intended to take the grant with him to USC.

But under NIH rules, grants are awarded to institutions, not individuals. UC-San Diego acknowledges that it is typical for a university to allow the transfer of a researcher’s grants to a new institution. But that courtesy is rarely extended in the case of very large awards involving multiple faculty members, such as center grants, said David A. Brenner, dean of medicine at UC-San Diego.

So this month UC-San Diego sued Dr. Aisen and USC in state court in San Diego. The suit accused the professor of blocking UC-San Diego from gaining computer access to his study’s data, and accused USC of encouraging such behavior by giving Dr. Aisen benefits that include a $500,000 annual salary guaranteed through 2020.
us_CA  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
Judge Hearing Appeal of Tesoro Anacortes Fine -- Occupational Health & Safety
Five years after the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries issued a $2.39 million fine to Tesoro Corp., the largest fine in that agency's history, the company's appeal is being heard. L&I announced that an industrial appeals judge would hear arguments starting July 21. L&I cited Tesoro for 39 willful violations and five serious violations of state workplace safety and health regulations after investigating an explosion at its Anacortes, Wash., petroleum refinery. Seven workers, five men and two women, died in the explosion on April 2, 2010.

A heat exchanger at the petroleum refinery blew apart along cracks in welded areas, investigators for L&I and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) determined. L&I found that Tesoro did not correctly test the equipment for cracks as required by state law and industry standards.

Tesoro filed an appeal on Oct. 22, 2010; the hearing has been delayed because of "numerous legal motions," according to L&I.
us_WA  industrial  follow-up  death  petroleum 
11 days ago
CSB report on Caribbean Petroleum explosion on hold amid board dissent
Washington – A stalemate between the two current members of the Chemical Safety Board means the agency’s final investigation report on the 2009 Caribbean Petroleum refinery explosion remains in limbo.

At a July 22 public meeting, board member Richard Engler introduced a motion to adopt and release CSB’s final investigation report on a massive blast at an oil refinery that injured three people and damaged about 300 homes near Catano, Puerto Rico. However, board member Manuel Ehrlich declined to second the motion, which prevented CSB from releasing the final report and an accompanying safety video.

According to Engler, CSB’s final report includes several recommendations to improve safeguards for above-ground storage tanks. Among other measures, CSB recommended that OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency determine the best regulatory standards for above-ground tanks.

Ehrlich said he disagreed with the report’s recommendation for new regulations from EPA and OSHA. He said agencies already are stretched thin by insufficient staffing and resources. The recommendations also would be “burdensome for industry” and punish others for Caribbean Petroleum’s errors, he said.
us_PR  industrial  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
11 days ago
Ammonia leak at Westover Dairy closed Fort Ave.; no injuries reported
An ammonia leak prompted the evacuation of Westover Dairy and closed a portion of Fort Avenue on Wednesday afternoon as first responders worked to dispel the toxic gas.

No one required medical treatment from the incident, Lynchburg Fire officials said.

The plant, at 2801 Fort Avenue, resumed operations a few hours later, said Allison McGee, a spokeswoman for The Kroger Company, which owns the dairy.

“The release of ammonia is thought to have been caused when a line was cut by contractors upgrading the refrigeration system,” she said in an email.
us_VA  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
11 days ago
UPDATE: Residents Near Warehouse Fire Not Allowed To Return Wednesday
Residents who live near a massive warehouse fire that broke out early Wednesday will not be allowed to return home until at least Thursday.
Air monitoring will continue until at least Thursday or Friday, but as of Wednesday evening no hazards had been detected, officials said.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency was at the scene, working with the state and county to monitor air quality in the area.

The warehouse fire on Livingston Avenue broke out early Wednesday, authorities said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Dwayne Harrington of the EPA said a chemical plume - which was largely invisible - was moving up and out of harm’s way. But officials planned to continue to monitor air quality in the area.

“This fire is about the smoke more than anything else,’’ he said.
us_NJ  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Hazmat team responds to fire aboard semi carrying batteries
A small fire broke out aboard a semitrailer carrying pallets of used batteries on Interstate 15 this afternoon, according to Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.

The truck stopped about 4:40 p.m. on I-15 southbound before Charleston Boulevard after light smoke appeared to be coming from the trailer, fire department spokesman Tim Szymanski said.

The fire department responded and escorted the truck to a vacant lot near Wall Street and Western Avenue so the trailer could be opened at a safer, less populated location, he said.

The department's hazmat team went inside the trailer, and they found a light haze and an apparently wet floor, Szymanski said.

Firefighters who went into the trailer were located a small fire on a pallet and extinguished it, he said.

No injuries were reported in the incident, and the truck didn't suffer any major damage, he said.

The wet floor appeared to be from a leaking battery, though it's unclear exactly how the fire began, he said.
us_NV  transportation  fire  response  batteries 
11 days ago
CDC to review oversight of bioterror labs after USA TODAY investigation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a comprehensive review of how it regulates safety and security at bioterror labs in the wake of an ongoing USA TODAY Media Network investigation that has prompted congressional probes into the agency’s effectiveness.

CDC Director Tom Frieden ordered the review last week as USA TODAY prepared to report on newly obtained documents showing that the agency’s inspectors have allowed labs to keep experimenting with bioterror pathogens despite failing to meet key requirements on inspection after inspection, sometimes for years. The action also comes as the agency faces a hearing in the House next week.

“This review will be wide-ranging and includes a review of regulatory authority and the exercise of that authority so that we can identify potential modifications to the methods used to inspect labs,” the CDC said in a statement this week.

The review, which is expected to take 90 days, will be directed by Stephen Redd, director of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, the CDC said.

Next Tuesday, a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold a hearing on the CDC’s oversight of select-agent labs, with an emphasis on recent shipments of live anthrax from a Department of Defense facility in Utah.
laboratory  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Firefighters put out Keystone fire sparked by chemical-soaked towels
Firefighters helped extinguish a pile of smoldering towels used to clean up a chemical spill on Tuesday morning. Lake Dillon Fire was called to a laundry facility operated by Keystone on Tennis Club Road at 9:30 a.m., where they neutralized a large bin full of smoking and burning towels using water and soda ash.

Steve Lipsher, public information officer for Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue, said the towels were used to clean up a spill of 35 percent concentration hydrogen peroxide — more than three times the strength of hair bleach — that was used to clean a pool near the facility.

“The workers there mopped it all up using a bunch of towels, which were tossed in the laundry bin,” Lipsher said.

As the wet towels sat in a laundry bin, they began to oxidize due to the acidic hydrogen peroxide, and the cotton in the towels began to smolder.

“And, we had a case of spontaneous combustion going on,” Lipsher added. “It’s kind of like a high school chemistry experiment in some respects.”

The fire was quickly extinguished, and never escalated to a structure fire.

Firefighters evacuated the building, and ventilated it, clearing the area of smoke and toxic vapors. Two workers were treated at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center after they opened the laundry bin to investigate, inhaling some of the vapors and smoke, reporting shortness of breath and skin irritation.
us_CO  industrial  fire  injury  hydrogen_peroxide 
12 days ago
Officials investigating after chemicals found at Baldwin Park house fire
BALDWIN PARK >> Officials battling a house fire found 100 5-gallon containers with unknown chemicals in a Baldwin Park backyard Tuesday evening.

Los Angeles County Fire officials responded to a call of a structure fire at 5:02 p.m. Tuesday in the 14400 block of Estella Street, Supervising Fire Dispatcher Eddie Pickett said.

“After we knocked down the fire in a back bedroom, crews found chemical drums in the rear yard,” Pickett said.

Hazmat crews were called to determine what the chemicals are, Pickett said.
us_CA  public  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Scientists unite to warn against flawed chemical reagents
A band of more than 50 scientists has created a website to help biologists avoid poor-quality chemical reagents that undermine experiments in molecular biology and drug discovery.

“Shitty reagents generate shitty science. They waste money and waste careers,” says biochemist Aled Edwards, head of the Structural Genomics Consortium, a public–private partnership to study proteins important to drug-discovery efforts. Although the literature is rife with reports about the flaws of individual chemical tools, scientists continue to use them, he says. “The current way of doing things can't fix it. There is a systems failure in how we communicate information about molecules.”

The Chemical Probes Portal, which Edwards and dozens of co-authors describe in a commentary published in Nature Chemical Biology on 21 July1, is an attempt to create a community tool to improve the situation.

Chemical probes are small molecules designed to bind to a specific protein and disrupt its function. They are valuable tools for biologists trying to find out what a particular protein does in a cell, or for drug-discoverers gauging whether interfering with a function could form the basis of a therapy. But probes often interfere with unintended proteins, and their reliability can vary by cell type and by species. That can lead scientists who rely on such probes to make — and publish — unwarranted conclusions.
laboratory  discovery  response  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Lessons learned: Enbridge spill teaches response
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — In Battle Creek, the fire department’s hazmat team is ready for just about anything. From spills at an industrial plant to an overturned tanker car, they have trained for the most likely scenarios an urban hazmat team may face on any given day.

But the discovery of about a million gallons of crude oil spilled out of a pipeline into a major waterway near Marshall in July of 2010 was a different ball game.

“We were pretty limited on our response capabilities. We didn’t have enough booms or anything like that,” said Battle Creek Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Fleisher Jr., who leads BCFD’s regional hazmat response team.

Since the spill into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River five years ago, the department has obtained more equipment and the team has expanded to 23 firefighters.
us_MI  transportation  follow-up  response  oils  petroleum 
12 days ago
South-side SAWS facility reopens following chemical leak scare
Hazmat crews were responding to the report of a chemical leak at a SAWS water recycling facility in south San Antonio early Tuesday morning.

According to San Antonio firefighters, they were called to the SAWS Dos Rios Water Recycling plant around 5:30 a.m. for what was initially thought to be a chlorine leak.

Anne Hayden, a SAWS representative, later confirmed the leak to actually be sulphur dioxide. The leak occurred in a room where they transfer chemicals. According to Hayden, it was due to a valve malfunction.

The employees that noticed the leak reportedly ran out of the room, and called the San Antonio Fire Department before seeking shelter.

SAFD said 12 employees were sheltered inside of the plant using hazmat suits, and were checked out by first responders following the report of the leak.
us_TX  industrial  release  response  chlorine  sulfur_dioxide  waste 
12 days ago
Hazmat situation prompts apartment building evacuation
NORTH GREENBUSH – A North Greenbush apartment building was evacuated on Tuesday.
Police say two workers at Partridge Hill Apartments were mixing chemicals in the pool house basement, when a cloud of yellow smoke appeared.
The apartment building closest to the pool house was evacuated.
One worker was taken to the hospital, but doesn’t appear to be seriously hurt. A second worker was fine.
Crews are trying to determine what chemicals were mixed, but say one appears to be chlorine.
us_NY  public  release  injury  chlorine 
12 days ago
Mulcher burns, leaks fuel and fluid in Riverside Friday
mulcher was destroyed in a fire late Friday morning, the result of a suspected break in a hydraulic line on the machine, according to Harford County fire officials.

First responders were alerted at 9:43 a.m., and the Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company and Harford County HAZMAT, along with the Maryland Department of the Environment, responded, according to Rich Gardiner, spokesperson for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association.

No one was injured in the fire.

The mulcher was near the intersection of Route 7 and Holly Oak Circle in Riverside. Gardiner said the equipment was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived. Route 7 was closed in the area as firefighters fought the blaze.
us_MD  public  fire  response  other_chemical 
13 days ago
Pool Chemical Mixup at LA Fitness Sends 1 to Hospital (Updated)
One person was sent to the hospital for evaluation after a pool chemical mixup resulted in a hazmat incident at LA Fitness in Peachtree Corners Monday afternoon.

The incident was reported around 3 p.m. Monday at the fitness club located at 7050 Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

“Crews found an accidental mix of a small amount of pool chemicals (HCA and Chlorine) in a ‘pool room’ within the building,” Gwinnett Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said in a news release. “The accidental mixture occurred during pool maintenance by a pool company representative. The incident is contained to the fitness center and no other businesses are affected.”

Two people were evaluated for general medical complaints, Rutledge said, and one of the patients was taken non-emergency to Gwinnett Medical Center-Duluth.
us_GA  public  release  injury  chlorine  pool_chemicals 
13 days ago
Explosion at Md. federal campus may have drug connection
WASHINGTON — An explosion at a Montgomery County government lab may have been caused by a secret meth lab, according to a NBC Washington report.

On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., there was an explosion on the Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology — a federal entity that’s part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Investigators tell NBC Washington that they have recovered several chemicals, melted bottles and a recipe used to make meth at the facility.

“We are looking at the possibility that this was some sort of chemical reaction due to the manufacturing of drugs,” Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks said to NBC Washington.

NBC Washington reports a NIST police officer who was hurt in the explosion is believed to have been cooking the chemicals, but the officer told authorities he was injured trying to fill his lighter with butane. The officer, formerly the second-in-command and acting chief of the NIST police, has resigned, NBC Washington reports.
us_MD  public  explosion  injury  butane 
13 days ago
Villagers Call For Relocation After Massive Chemical Blast Near Chinese Port
Local residents terrified by a massive hydrogen explosion at a busy port in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong are calling on the government to relocate their village in its entirety over fears of further industrial accidents.

Eyewitness photos posted online showed a massive fireball rising over buildings and industrial structures after the blast at a chemical plant near Shandong's Rizhao port.

A resident surnamed Ma from Dongpan village, close to the site of the blast, said there was a "huge fireball" within a few hundred meters of his home.

"We live just 500-600 meters from the factory and the explosion was very big, with a huge fireball," Ma said. "It made a noise like thunder."

"People houses were rocked and damaged."

He said local people had taken to the streets to protest in the wake of the explosion.

"There are a lot of people out during the day, when the government doesn't dare move in, but at night they come into the village and start detaining people," Ma said. "I heard they had detained seven people."
China  industrial  follow-up  response  hydrogen 
13 days ago
Two workers treated after chemical leak scare at Frankley Services
Two workers were given precautionary check-ups after they tried to stop a leak of a hazardous chemical from a lorry at Frankley Services on the M5.

The service station, on the southbound carriageway of the M5, was evacuated so emergency services could deal with the chemical scare.

The workers were decontaminated by firefighters and eventually given the all-clear by medics after they tried to secure a leaking chemical tanker at the services, between junctions 3 and 4, at about 4.15pm on Monday.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The initial call suggested that hydrochloric acid was venting off from a lorry that had stopped at the services.

“On arrival, ambulance staff worked jointly with fire and police colleagues to ensure the southbound services were evacuated and secure.

“Staff from the company that own the tanker brought in a second tanker and also handled the sealing of the leak using specialist protection equipment.

“Once finished, they were decontaminated by firefighters and given a full check over by ambulance staff as a precaution. They were discharged after assessment.
United_Kingdom  transportation  release  injury  hydrochloric_acid 
13 days ago
OSHA: New Britain company exposed employees to chemical, fire, explosion hazards
NEW BRITAIN — A New Britain based company is facing $77,000 in fines after an OSHA investigation found employees were exposed to chemical, fire, explosion and mechanical hazards.

OSHA says they found 24 serious violations at Metallurgical Processing Inc. during inspections in January.

Officials say they were brought in after employees complained about working conditions.  

 Cited hazards include: not training and providing protective clothing and tools to employees who performed live electrical work; not inspecting a piping system carrying anhydrous ammonia; lack of a  pressure relief valve on a nitrogen tank; and improper storage of incompatible chemicals and combustible materials. The company also lacked a complete and adequate program regulating employees’ work in confined spaces and adequate safeguards for employees required to wear respirators.
us_CT  industrial  follow-up  response  flammables 
13 days ago
PAPR power cord failure: DOE Lessons Learned Database
Statement: This Lessons Learned is being issued to alert personnel of an event in H Canyon at the Savannah River Site (SRS) regarding the power cord for the MM2K Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR).
Discussion: On two separate occasions, workers in H Canyon at SRS experienced a power cord detachment from either the battery or blower on their MM2K PAPR during use. Investigation into the two events revealed that there are two different power cords. A thin power cord, gray in color with a black connector housing and a black connection point and a thick power cord, gray in color with a gray connector housing and a black connection point.

H Canyon discovered that the thin MM2K PAPR power cord detaches easier than the thick power cord from the battery or blower. The manufacturer has confirmed that the thick power cord is the newest version.
industrial  discovery  environmental 
14 days ago
Chem Exposure Model Limits: DOE Lessons Learned Database
Statement: Emergency planners and responders do not adequately consider exposure times for personnel in a plume when determining whether consequence assessments and modified protective actions are timely.

Discussion: Enterprise Assessments (EA) observed that many reviewed site Emergency Response Organizations (EROs) do not consider how long personnel are exposed to Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) when meeting consequence assessment and modified protective action timeliness goals. Instead, site EROs consider consequence assessments to be timely if the consequence assessment team completes an assessment within one hour either from when the request was made or from when the team assembled. This is sometimes several hours after a HAZMAT release occurs by the time the consequence assessment team assembles and produces consequent assessment products. Additionally, sites often consider protective actions to be timely based on initial protective actions rather than protective actions that are most appropriate (e.g., sheltering personnel for a tornado warning, but not modifying protective actions after HAZMAT facilities have been significantly damaged). This is sometimes hours after a postulated release occurs, when people have been sheltered in the plume for the entire duration (for an ongoing release) or when the assessment is no longer relevant because the plume has dissipated (for a puff release or a quickly evaporating chemical spill). Specific examples observed during exercises that sites did not consider in evaluating whether timeliness goals were met include:
industrial  discovery  environmental 
14 days ago
KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |
Emergency crews and Ector County Sheriff's are working out in Ector County on the 200 block of South Proctor to clean up a hazmat spill. 

Officials say the sulfuric acid spill happened around 3:45 Sunday afternoon. 

Currently there is no information on how the spill occurred or how long it will take to clean up the area.

Investigators say they will be getting some outside help from a clean-up up crew out of Houston. 
us_TX  public  release  response  sulfuric_acid 
14 days ago
Boeing: Lithium batteries an "unacceptable fire hazard" in cargo holds
It's lithium ion batteries that power the iPhones, iPads and other iStuff that have come to be regarded as the essentials of life. Only problem is, they tend to catch fire, leading Boeing Co. to warn airlines that loading up their planes' cargo compartments with bulk battery shipments pose unacceptable fire hazards.

There've been plenty of cases of individual phones and other devices catching fire, both on the grund and in the air. Just one blazing phone is a problem; think what a blazing pallet of burning batteries could do.

That, says the Wall Street Journal, is what led Boeing to issue a formal warning to its customers, urging them to stop accepting large shipments of lithium batteries until safer packaging and fire protection efforts can be worked out.

Let them take a slow boat from China, Boeing advised, though not in so many words.

Nothing new
It's hardly a new problem. There have been many case over the years of cell phones igniting in people's pockets, on airplanes and in other inconvenient locations.

Thomas Forqueran's vintage Ford truck post-fire (Submitted photo)
Last August, an airplane was evacuated in Tel Aviv after an iPhone 5 caught fire and filled the cabin with smoke. Last July, a smartphone caught fire under a 13-year-old girl's pillow in Dallas. And way back in 2008, a laptop computer caught fire in a vintage pickup truck in Nevada, destroying the truck, a Remington rifle and setting off two boxes of ammunition.

Boeing has reportedly been giving the no-big-battery-cartons advice to airlines who asked but has now issued a formal warning to all of the world's carriers, who are expected to comply. Airlines that disregard the warning would be on shaky legal ground in the event of a disaster attributed to flaming batteries.
transportation  discovery  environmental  batteries 
14 days ago
UPDATED: Chemical smoke from Orleans fire prompts evacuation; 3 people treated for smoke inhalation
UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Residents near the 1700 block of Ishi-Pishi Road north of Orleans who were evacuated due to chemical-laden smoke caused by a nearby structure fire at a fumigated house are still not allowed to return to their homes, according to Peggi Lawrence of the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire is currently active with CalFire acting as lead agency for the incident, Lawrence said.

County Environmental Health personnel were also en route to the scene, according to Department of Health and Human Services Public Information Manager Heather Muller.

More information will posted when it becomes available.
us_CA  public  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
16 days ago
Hydrofluoric acid burns 6 Eden Prairie firefighters, gear now qu
It started out as a business fire on Wednesday, but as Eden Prairie firefighters began taking off their gear, it all changed.

“That’s when firefighters were experiencing tingling in their hands and arms, and also we had at least two firefighters developing rashes,” Eden Prairie Fire Chief George Esbensen said. “And that's just a very, very uncommon kind of occurrence.”

Esbensen believes six fighters were burned by hydrofluoric acid, a very dangerous chemical that burns through skin. Now, $100,000 worth of contaminated equipment is in quarantine -- hoses, tanks, plus fifteen sets of gear.

“Our hope is that we can figure out a way to bring this back, but we're not going to do that unless we have absolute guarantee that after we're done cleaning it, it's 100-percent safe to use for our firefighters,” Esbensen said.

Investigators were back on scene Thursday at the scene of the fire at SVT Associates, a high-tech manufacturer.  The chief said the fire appears accidental, but they want to determine whether the business needed warning signs for the chemicals.

Meanwhile, all injured firefighters are back at home after spending four to five hours in the hospital.

“It started out as I want to say routine fire, but there's no such thing, it turned into a much larger event than I would have anticipated,” Esbensen said.
us_MN  industrial  fire  injury  hydrofluoric_acid 
16 days ago
EPA Inspections Reveal Clean Air Act Violations at Wilbur-Ellis Company Facilities in White Cloud, Troy and Silver Lake, Kan.
(Lenexa, Kan., July 16, 2015) - In a settlement agreement with EPA Region 7 filed today, Wilbur-Ellis Company has agreed to pay a $67,404 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its fertilizer facilities in White Cloud, Troy, and Silver Lake, Kan. The company is also required to spend an additional $113,121 on emergency response equipment to complete a Supplemental Environmental Project, benefitting the Sedgwick Fire Department and Doniphan County.

EPA inspections revealed the company exceeded the threshold quantity of anhydrous ammonia in processes at each of the three facilities. This requires each facility to file a Risk Management Plan with EPA and implement a risk management program. The inspections also noted violations of the Clean Air Act’s Chemical Accident Prevention regulations at each facility.

Anhydrous ammonia is used in fertilizers, and can cause rapid dehydration and severe burns if inhaled. Short-term exposure at high concentrations can cause death. The threshold quantity of anhydrous ammonia in a process is 10,000 pounds. Facilities holding more than 10,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in a process are required to comply with EPA’s Risk Management Program regulations.
us_KS  public  discovery  environmental  ag_chems  ammonia 
16 days ago
[Updated] Clear Lake chlorine leak contained; gas line repaired
CLEAR LAKE | A chlorine leak at Clear Lake’s Water Treatment Plant was contained Friday but not before officials evacuated nearby homes.

Clear Lake City Administrator Scott Flory said that a water plant worker called the Fire Department at 8:36 a.m. after smelling chlorine in the downtown facility adjacent to City Park. 

Officials were unsure how long the chemical had been leaking, how much had leaked or what caused the leak, but said it was a hazardous situation. The plant has about 1,500 pounds of the chemical in multiple 175-pound cylinders, according to Flory. 

A strong chlorine smell was evident two blocks northeast of the plant at First Avenue South and South Third Street about 9:30 a.m.
us_IA  industrial  release  response  chlorine 
16 days ago
Federal HAZMAT Experts Rushed to 35,000 Gallons Oil Train Spill in Montana / Sputnik International
US hazardous materials experts are investigating the train crash that spilled 35,000 gallons of crude oil.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US hazardous materials (HAZMAT) experts are investigating the train crash that spilled 35,000 gallons of crude oil near Culbertson, Montana, Department of Transportation spokesperson Artealia Gilliard said in a statement on Friday.

“Thursday evening a BNSF train transporting crude oil derailed near Culbertson, Montana,” the statement said. “Local first responders are on site, and investigators from the US Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are on the scene.”
us_MT  transportation  release  response  petroleum 
16 days ago
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