780,000 chemical weapons being destroyed in Colo.
PUEBLO, Colo. — Workers have begun destroying a massive stockpile of American chemical weapons stored at a former Army munitions depot near Colorado's ninth-largest city, blasting the artillery rounds open with explosives and neutralizing them with solvents.

Workers perform their slow, painstaking task under heavy security and strict safety precautions, which include constant monitoring for leaks, armed guards on random patrols and video monitoring by independent observers. About 780,000 shells and mortar rounds filled with mustard agent are stored at the military-run Pueblo Chemical Depot, and all of them must be destroyed under a 1997 international law.

"You can't be too safe about what we're doing here," said Thomas Schultz, a spokesman for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. "As long as things are dull, we're all happy."

Chemical weapons were once stored across the USA, including in Oregon and Utah, but the United States has been destroying the stockpile for years. Most were incinerated, but community concerns in Pueblo, about 115 miles south of Denver, and at the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Ky., delayed destruction until the military could develop new techniques to reduce the risk of mercury contamination from the smoke.

U.S. to destroy largest remaining chemical weapons cache

The meticulous disposal process is a stark departure from how the military used to get rid of chemical weapons: either by burying them or dumping them into the ocean.

In 2004 and 2005, some chemical munitions were accidentally dredged up off the New Jersey coast and ended up buried in residential driveways. The Army apparently dumped the munitions in relatively shallow water, said Lenny Siegel, the executive director of the California-based nonprofit Center for Public Environmental Oversight.
us_CO  industrial  discovery  environmental  explosives  mustard_gas  waste 
19 hours ago
Dollar Tree Must Pay $3 Million For Improper Hazmat Disposal
The Dollar Tree discount chain, which operates more than 30 stores in San Diego County, will pay nearly $3 million to settle an environmental protection lawsuit filed by 45 California district attorneys and two city attorneys, including San Diego’s, it was announced today.

The settlement was the result of an investigation into Dollar Tree Stores’ unlawful disposal of hazardous waste products into trash bins at each of its stores and distribution centers, more than 480 facilities in California.

The waste included ignitable and corrosive liquids, toxic materials, batteries, electronic devices and other e-waste, as well as other hazardous waste generated by circumstances including spills and damage.

Hazardous materials were being illegally handled and, rather than being transported to authorized hazardous waste facilities, hazardous wastes were illegally transported to local landfills that are not permitted to accept such waste.

Dollar Tree Stores, which cooperated throughout the investigation, admitted no guilt in settling the complaint and agreeing to pay $2.72 million in civil penalties and costs. As part of the settlement, Virginia-based Dollar Tree was ordered to continue implementing a company-wide hazardous waste compliance program.

“This is yet another victory for San Diego’s landfills, which were never meant to handle toxic and hazardous wastes,” said San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “The systematic illegal disposal of hazardous waste is a real threat to our water supply, our health, and the health of future generations.”
us_CA  public  release  environmental  batteries  corrosives  flammables  illegal  wastes 
19 hours ago
Chemical spill victim talks about explosion
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - We’re learning more about a chemical explosion last week that sent four people to the hospital, including three firefighters.

The man who accidentally caused the explosion was 85-year-old Baldassaro Amico. He was mixing cleaning chemicals in his West Palm Beach condo, when they suddenly exploded.

"I'm a lucky guy because [I] could have died," said Amico.

He was released from West Palm hospital on Monday.

"I'm a survivor," he added.

The explosion happened in the kitchen. Firefighters rushed to the scene but three of them were overcome by fumes and were taken to Good Samaritan hospital. That's when the bomb squad showed up to investigate.

"I did something stupid," said Amico.

And that he regrets. He mixed household cleaners to kill weeds that he says were taking over his lawn.

"I had chlorine and wanted to put it in a container with Fantastic, as soon as I put it in there it exploded," he said. "Holy shepherds I didn't know what happened!"

Looking back now he understands what went wrong and says when it comes to sprucing his lawn, he learned a hard lesson.

"Have someone else do it,  ask my landscaper to do it," he said
us_FL  public  follow-up  injury  chlorine  cleaners 
19 hours ago
Bear repellent causes hazmat, evacuation in Pioneer Square
SEATTLE — Bear repellent caused a hazmat response and the evacuation of a building in Pioneer Square Friday morning.
The incident occurred at a building at 77 Washington Square.
The building was evacuated after the spray was released in a bag in the basement of the building.
The building contains 102 units of transitional and permanent housing.
Three people were evaluated evaluated for mild irritation of their eyes and lungs, but no one needed treatment.
Alaskan Way South is closed from Yesler Way to South Main Street. Drivers should use alternate routes and expect long delays.
us_WA  public  release  response  repellent 
Uncovered beaker of mercury discovered in high school science lab
GOSHEN – No one was in any danger when an uncovered beaker of elementary mercury was discovered in a Goshen High School chemistry lab prep area on Friday, school officials said.

The dangerous material was found underneath a prep sink and measured less than five milliliters in volume.

District officials immediately contacted the Orange County Health Department and BOCES Risk Management, which then contacted hazmat and the Goshen Fire Department.

High School Principal Kurtis Kotes said hazmat and BOCES Risk Management advised that a building evacuation was unnecessary.

Air quality tests were conducted and Kotes said at no time were students or staff unsafe.
us_NY  laboratory  discovery  response  mercury 
The Scientist Magazine®
After scientists shared memorable accidents, mistakes, and errors from their laboratory experiences on Reddit last week, The Scientist asked readers to share a #labblooper or two. Here are some reader responses from Twitter and Facebook:

Agar disasters

Tina Loane Peterson: “Automated agar plate dispenser mishap. The gasket was not correctly aligned in the reassembled machine. I set up to make a batch of plates and went to lunch. Returned to a room looking like Slimer attacked it. I had to clean agar off of the ceiling!”

Charli Evans: “As an undergrad I once lifted a Petri dish in excitement, the lid fell off, and the agar fell onto my face . . . complete with unidentified bacterial snot.”

Flames and fumes

William Chan: “Nothing worse than setting your bench on fire when ensuring the ethanol is sterile during RNA extraction.”

Shyanne Page: “Lit an ETOH covered bead on fire to sterilize it and accidentally dropped it on a Kim wipe. Instant fire!”

Alexander Weixelbaumer: “An ex-colleague didn't secure the valve on his HCl gas bottle correctly. Over night the whole lab was gently flooded with the extremely corrosive gas. The ventilation wasn't strong enough and all electronic equipment was damaged beyond repair.”

Simon Wheeler: “Once inhaled way too much acetyl nitrate while analysing fatty acids. Like inhaling all the malt vinegar in the world in one go!”

Radioactive gaffe

Jacqui Lee Mendez-Johnson: “Spilled radioactive buffer while in the cold room spilling all over myself and shoes; panicked and ran down the hallway requiring the entire wing of the building being blocked off for days for decontamination.”

Lasting reminder

Marcel Kap: “Tried to dispose of H&E staining solutions. Dropped the 10L waste jerry can on the floor. Floor still purple.”
laboratory  follow-up  response  acids  corrosives  ethanol  HCl  hydrochloric_acid  radiation  waste 
Chemical spill forces evacuation of Bangor FedEx facility — Bangor — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine
BANGOR, Maine — A chemical spill at the FedEx facility on Godsoe Road caused a small fire and forced the building to be evacuated on Friday morning, according to officials.

Bangor Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Cyr said the fire was contained to a trailer. Firefighters moved the trailer away from the building and put out the fire after learning what chemical was burning. Cyr described it as an oxidizer. An oxidizer can be a solid, liquid, or gaseous chemical often used to facilitate the combustion of other materials, such as fuel.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 5 a.m., Bangor Assistant Chief Dennis Nadeau said later Friday, along with a hazardous materials team from the Orono Fire Department.

Nadeau said one employee who was using a forklift was exposed to some of the smoke and hazardous chemical, but was decontaminated at the scene. He was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for precautionary measures.

According to Nadeau, the drums in which the chemicals were being transported broke open, causing the fire.

“It’s unknown how they got broken open,” he said. “While removing [the chemical] there was some friction that caused something to catch on fire.”
us_ME  transportation  fire  injury  oxidizer 
Police Rule Out Drug Making in Appleton Chemical Investigation
Police and state officials continue to investigate toxic and potentially explosive chemicals found in an Appleton apartment complex after what initially was a report of a break-in.

Officers are not giving away the names of the chemicals while the investigation is ongoing. However, they say the substances are not readily available in the area. Investigators believe they were purchased online.

The chemicals are legal for purchase, but explosive if mixed.

Investigators have a search warrant to go through the suspect’s computers and devices.

At about midnight Thursday, Appleton officers were called to the 2600-block of S. Kerry Lane for a report of a man trying to break into a neighbor’s apartment.

According to police, the 32-year-old man under the influence of Oxycodone forced his way into an apartment where a woman and a child were sleeping, then tried to pull the woman out of her apartment. The woman and child escaped and ran out of the building. The commotion caused another neighbor to call 911.
us_WI  public  discovery  response  drugs 
2 days ago
Lowe’s scrutinized for selling potentially harmful flooring chemical
Mooresville-based Lowe’s Home Improvement is facing scrutiny about selling flooring containing potentially dangerous chemicals after rival Home Depot pledged to phase out the products by the end of the year.

The decision from Home Depot, the world’s largest home-improvement chain, came Wednesday after the company said it worked with consumer groups who warned about vinyl flooring that contains chemicals called phthalates.

The retailer is urging other suppliers to phase out their use of the chemicals, too, the New York Times reported.

A recent study from HealthyStuff.org, a research group affiliated with the Ecology Center, found that the majority of vinyl flooring tiles sold at major retailers, including Lowe’s, contain toxic phthalates, which are commonly found in flooring at levels exceeding U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission children’s product standards.

Researchers said the chemicals have been linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity and cancer.
us_NC  public  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Hotel employee injured from chemical spill on city's northwest s
Hazmat was called to the report of a chemical spill Thursday morning on Indianapolis' northwest side.

A worker at the Wingate by Wyndham at 6240 Intech Commons Dr was mixing pool chemicals and received some chemical burns to face, according to the Pike Township Fire Department.

The worker was transported to St. Vincent Hospital in stable condition.

Pike Township Fire called Wayne Township Hazmat to assist and make sure the chemical fumes had dissipated.
us_IN  public  release  injury  pool_chemicals 
2 days ago
Former UC Davis Chemist Ordered To Pay Restitution For 2013 Apartment Explosion
Former University of California, Davis, chemist David S. Snyder must pay nearly $100,000 in restitution to the university and a property management company as a result of a 2013 incident in his campus apartment.
The restitution deal concludes legal proceedings against Snyder that involved 17 felony charges, including possession of explosives and firearms and reckless disposal of hazardous waste. He pleaded no contest to the charges last year and was sentenced to two years and two months in county jail plus two years and two months out of jail under supervision by the county probation department.
Snyder received both of his chemistry degrees, a bachelor’s in 2004 and a Ph.D. in 2011, from UC Davis. He was working on a temporary research appointment at the time of the incident, UC Davis said in a 2013 press release. Snyder worked for UC Davis chemistry professor Mark J. Kurth on medicinal chemistry research.
Snyder injured his left hand in the Jan. 17, 2013, incident. Details of his injury were not revealed during court proceedings.
The chemist was doing a small-scale experiment in his apartment to work out a more efficient way to remove nitrate from water, says his attorney, Linda Parisi.
us_CA  public  follow-up  injury  explosives  illegal  waste 
3 days ago
Laredo Fire Department on the scene of potential hazmat spill
LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) - The Laredo Fire Department has identified the industrial chemical that spilled, causing several traffic delays in North Laredo.

The department says a truck that was carrying gallons of Cyclohexylamine fell off the truck in the 8400 block of Killam Industrial Blvd off Mines Road.

It's used in insecticides, dry cleaning soaps and rubber chemicals among other things.

The chemical is moderately toxic and can cause skin irritation, but the department says no one came in direct contact with it.

The Laredo Police Department was out on the scene directing traffic.

There were no reports of injuries and there's no word how the gallons fell off the truck.
us_TX  transportation  release  response  pesticides 
3 days ago
De-Icer Caused This Car To Explode And Burn A Woman Inside
On April 11, Matison Long, of Olympia, WA, went out to her car with a friend to enjoy her lunch. To give herself more leg room, she pushed the driver's seat all the way back. She never expected that moving the chair would cause her car to burst into flames.

As Long got comfortable, she unknowingly pressed the seat into a bottle of de-icer she had forgotten was in her car. Long said, "It was literally like a pop, like a helium balloon popping, and then it was silence. There was nothing for maybe 30 seconds." Reportedly, the electrical wiring of the power chair, combined with the liquid from the punctured chemical bottle, caused a fire to break out.

The 21-year-old quickly noticed that her own arms were ablaze, and she jumped out of the vehicle to quash the flames. "I did stop, drop and roll for maybe 30 seconds and then I got up," she said. Long looked down at her arms and body and could tell that she was severely burned, so she called 911. Shortly after, she was flown to Harborview Medical Center at the University of Washington in Seattle to be treated.
us_WA  public  fire  injury  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Mosaic worker burned after falling into 170-degree acid
A worker fell into a tank of 170-degree phosphoric acid and sustained thermal burns over much of his body at the Mosaic fertilizer plant in Riverview early Wednesday, officials said.

The worker, who has not been identified by authorities, was transported to Tampa General Hospital for treatment. “His family has expressed to us that he is doing fine,” Mosaic spokesman Richard Ghent said.

The man accidently fell into a 12-by-12-foot seal tank being prepared for cleaning about 3:30 a.m., Ghent said. The job involved walking along the edge of the tank, Ghent said.

Other employees saw the man fall and activated the facility’s “emergency response system,” said Robert Fredere, general manager of the plant. The man was immediately extracted from the tank, the acid was washed off and 911 was called, Fredere said.

Fredere told reporters that the incident was under investigation and that safety meetings were slated for employees to review procedures.

“This is not a normal business event for Mosaic,” Ghent said.

Phosphoric acid, a preparation of sulfuric acid and phosphate rock, is used in the production of fertilizer, Ghent said.
us_FL  industrial  release  injury  phosphoric_acid 
3 days ago
Chinese Officials Blame Chemical Plant Bosses for Explosion
China's work safety watchdog on Wednesday blamed an explosion at a chemical plant in southeast China this month on the factory's management and failings in local government supervision.

The April 6 blast and ensuing hydrocarbon fire at the paraxylene plant in Fujian province left six people hospitalized and renewed discussion on China's social media about the potential dangers of factories that produce the toxic chemical.

Huang Yi, spokesman for the State Administration of Work Safety, told reporters Wednesday that the bosses of the Goure PX Plant chose the cheapest bidder to build the facility at the expense of safety. He said a furnace was too close to storage tanks, so when unspecified materials leaked into the furnace because of a broken tube, the blast tore into a tank and caused the fire.

Huang also said that the company and local government had failed to adequately carry out safety management and supervision, and that those responsible would be dealt with according to law.
China  industrial  follow-up  injury  xylene 
3 days ago
Lanes now clear after chemical spill in Bellaire
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- All main lanes on the Southwest Freeway are now open after a flammable chemical spill last night, but drivers heading inbound on the Southwest Freeway dealt with a major traffic problem Tuesday night.

Around 5pm, drivers honked to alert the driver of an 18-wheeler traveling northbound on 59 that his load was leaking.

The truck stopped near Bellaire and eventually all lanes of the Southwest Freeway northbound were shut down. A Houston Fire Department HazMat team responded.

Crews say they were dealing with three 55-gallon drums of Trimethylbenzene, a highly flammable substance that could be explosive and requires an evacuation of about 1,000 meters.

No one was hurt, though traffic inched through on one lane of the feeder road.
us_TX  transportation  release  response  flammables 
3 days ago
Chemical mishap killed hundreds of fish as Texas state aquarium
(Reuters) - Hundreds of fish were killed at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi after an industrial chemical was mistakenly introduced to a huge tank instead of a drug commonly used to kill worms and lice in fish, the aquarium said on Tuesday.

Some rare species were among 389 fish killed on April 14, said officials at the tourist attraction and conservator of sea life from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. Only two fish survived.

About 13 percent of its entire collection was killed, including a sand tiger shark and hundreds of fish in its 125,000-gallon (473,000-liter) Islands of Steel and 40,000-gallon (151,000-liter) Flower Gardens exhibits, the aquarium said.

Aquarium President Tom Schmid said fish began dying after employees introduced what they thought was a low dose of a drug used to kill parasites in fish.

Tests showed that a mislabeled container held an industrial chemical commonly used in film processing and in paint and fuel that is a poison and carcinogen, Schmid said.
us_TX  industrial  release  environmental  other_chemical  drugs 
4 days ago
Fire, hazmat crews keep large gasoline spill out of Lake Arlington
Gasoline from a large spill at an Arlington Heights gas station early this morning leaked into nearby McDonald Creek, but firefighters and hazardous materials crews managed to prevent it from spreading downstream to Lake Arlington, an official said.

Authorities blamed the spill on a pump left running overnight at the Citgo gas station at Palatine Road and Windsor Drive, on the village's northeast side.

A passer-by spotted the leak shortly before 5:45 a.m., Arlington Heights Deputy Fire Chief Pete Ahlman said.

"He hit the emergency shut off to stop the leak, which was very helpful," Ahlman said.

It was not known how long the pump had been running, but preliminary estimates indicate as much as 80 gallons of gasoline poured out of the pump before it was turned off, Ahlman said. The cause of the spill remains undetermined, and Arlington Heights police had not been called to investigate whether something criminal occurred.
us_IL  public  release  environmental  gasoline 
4 days ago
Georgia Tech lab explosion
ATLANTA (AP) – A laboratory explosion at Georgia Tech caused authorities to evacuate a building at the Atlanta campus.

WSB-TV reports a small explosion occurred one of the labs in the building Tuesday afternoon. Georgia Tech officials say no one was injured.

Atlanta firefighters emptied the lab building for a short time but it soon reopened as the fire department continued to assess the blast. It was not immediately known what caused the explosion.
us_GA  laboratory  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Blown heater causes explosion at Baytown plant
BAYTOWN, Texas - Firefighters say a blown heater caused a chemical fire at the Southern Metal Processing plant Monday night.

According to the Baytown Fire Department, crews have been out at the scene all night spraying down the flames with water and a special dry suppressant. However, the chemical that spilled, diethylene glycol, self-ignites like trick birthday candles.

Diethylene glycol is a cleaning agent used on filters in the chemical industry.

Investigators said two workers were inside the plant when the fire started but are OK. No other injuries or evacuations were reported.

Most of the damage seemed to be limited to a section of pipes at that plant.
us_TX  industrial  fire  injury  ethylene_glycol 
4 days ago
High School Science Wing Cleared After Chemistry Lab Spill
A student accidentally dropped a beaker of chemicals in a chemistry lab classroom at Manchester High School on Monday afternoon, resulting in the clearing of the science wing while hazmat crews cleaned up the spill, police said.

School administrators called police about 1:20 p.m. to report the spill, which occurred when the student dropped the 500-milliliter beaker on the floor and it shattered, Capt. Todd Malland of the Manchester Police Department said.

The beaker contained manganese (11) sulfate solution, silver nitrate solution 0.2l, lead nitrate solution, nickel sulfate, and cobalt chloride aqueous solution, 2.5 percent, school officials told police.

Police evacuated the science wing while members of the Berkeley Township HazMat Response Team decontaminated the scene, Malland said.

The teacher and five students who were in the room at the time did not report any injuries at the time of the spill, he said.
us_NJ  laboratory  release  response  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Lodi chemical cleanup at site of fatal blast nears end
Twenty years after the deadly explosion at the Napp Technologies chemical plant in Lodi, the site is in the last stages of a large environmental cleanup that local officials hope will finally rid the borough of an eyesore.

A proposal to begin construction on a gym and a pharmacy at the site this year would complete the borough’s effort to turn what was an industrial hub along Main Street into a long retail strip — one they hope will help the community move on from the tragedy.

Despite assurances by environmental regulators shortly after the explosion that the property would be a priority to remediate and redevelop, it languished for years, like scores of polluted sites across New Jersey. Bureaucratic inertia, feuds among property owners and proposed cleanup plans by Napp’s environmental consultants that the state Department of Environmental Protection deemed to be too lax all contributed to the slow progress, according to a review of government documents.
us_NJ  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
5 days ago
County authorizes more clean up at site of explosion
Ventura County officials said this week that they’ve issued an emergency use authorization to do more clean up at a site near Santa Paula where a truck exploded in November.

About 1,000 gallons of liquid organic peroxide spilled and burned after the rear of a vacuum truck exploded along the 800 block of Mission Rock Road, injuring two people.

Forty-four other people were treated at area hospitals for possible exposure to the substance.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  peroxide 
5 days ago
Chemical bombs found in Lyndeborough driveway
LYNDEBOROUGH — Four chemical bombs were defused by the New Hampshire State Police Bomb Squad on Sunday afternoon.

The bombs were found in a driveway at 3 Purgatory Falls Road and reported to police as suspicious items at 3:40 p.m. April 19.

The 1- and 2-liter soda bottles contained a dark liquid. The bomb squad determined they were chemical bombs.

“At first, we thought it was meth amphetamine, but that is white-colored and this was a dark color,” said Lyndeborough Police Chief Rainsford Deware.

Lyndeborough Police Officer Eric MacDuff responded and after inspecting the suspicious bottles, he contacted the New Hampshire State Police Bomb Squad, which responded immediately.

According to Deware, the bomb squad determined the bottles contained aluminum foil, batteries and toilet bowl cleaner of some sort.
us_NH  public  discovery  response  bomb 
5 days ago
Nuclear waste drums stable after fear of chemical reactions
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico -- Dozens of drums of radioactive waste at one of the nation's premier weapons laboratories are stable after some showed signs of chemical reactions over the past year, according to federal officials.

The drums are being closely monitored after a chemical reaction inside a container with similar contents caused a breach in February 2014, resulting in a radiation release and the indefinite closure of the country's only underground nuclear waste dump.

Investigators with the U.S. Energy Department confirmed during a recent town hall that there have been chemical reactions in the containers stored at Los Alamos National Laboratory, but the gases building up inside have decreased over the past several months.

"That would suggest that the reaction, if it is occurring, is slowing down. It's reached a steady state, and it has stopped," said John Marra, chief research officer for Savannah River National Laboratory and one of the investigators who reviewed the cause of the 2014 radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico.

Officials test air in Los Alamos as fire spreads
us_NM  industrial  follow-up  response  radiation  waste 
5 days ago
I-70 reopens after chemical spill temporarily shuts down highway
The Missouri Highway Patrol said Interstate 70 in Warrenton has reopened after the highway was closed for roughly six hours to clean up a chemical spill.

At about 10 a.m., two 1,000-gallon tanks filled with anhydrous ammonia fell off a farm truck and ruptured on eastbound Interstate 70 near exit 193.

Fire crews from Warrenton and Wright City worked alongside Hazmat crews to stop the leak and clean up the spill.

During the closure time, traffic was divert onto side roads.
us_mo  transportation  release  response  ammonia 
6 days ago
Chemical spill quickly contained at Penn State
Firefighters responded to a building on Penn State’s campus Sunday morning after a reported chemical spill.

Alpha Fire Company and the Penn State Hazmat team were called to a room at the Millennium Science Building after a small leak of mercaptoethanol was reported, Alpha safety officer Stan Clouser said. The leak was quickly contained, fixed and cleaned up and posed no health or environmental risk, Clouser said.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2015/04/19/4709360_chemical-spill-quickly-contained.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
us_pa  laboratory  release  response  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Three firefighters hospitalized after chemical incident in West Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH (CBS12) -- Five people, including three firefighters, are in the hospital following a possible chemical spill.

The scene is at a gated apartment complex known as the Palm Club on Green Pine Boulevard, just off North Military Trail.

Firefighters tell CBS12 the call initially came in around 12:30 p.m. as a report of someone having trouble breathing.

The homeowner has been taken to West Palm Hospital in extremely critical condition.

Firefighters believe there may have been a mixup of some household items.  A battalion chief told CBS12 crews are testing the chemicals in the home, and one has come back as acid.

The homeowner told firefighters he was cleaning rocks when he started having breathing problems.

The injured firefighters complained of watering eyes, itching and sore throats.  They're hospitalized as a precaution.
us_FL  public  release  injury  other_chemical 
7 days ago
Fresno pipeline explosion closes Hwy. 99, injures 11
FRESNO, Calif. (KCRA) —A gas pipeline explosion near Fresno injured 11 people and shut down a section of Highway 99 for several hours Friday afternoon.

The Fresno Fire Department said that the area around the explosion has been secured and investigations will begin throughout the week.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said three of the people injured are in critical condition and one is in serious condition. They are at a burn and trauma center in Fresno.

The explosion happened at the Fresno County Sheriff's gun range, where a work crew including county jail inmates using heavy equipment apparently hit a pipe carrying natural gas, said Tony Botti, a spokesman for the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. One of the workers appeared to be in critical condition, he said.
us_CA  transportation  explosion  injury  methane  natural_gas 
7 days ago
Workers washing tank release chemical fumes in Lookout Valley
Chattanooga firefighters investigated reports of a strange odor in Lookout Valley that triggered burning eyes and respiratory distress in some peopleFriday night.

The firefighters were unable to locate the smell; however, John Schultz, an investigator with the Air Pollution Control Bureau, informed the fire department that he tracked the odor to a local business.

Schultz said employees of the Chattanooga Tank Wash on Pineville Road were cleaning out a tank that contained ethyl acrylate. The chemical fumes went airborne and spread through the area. Schultz said residents called the bureau complaining of burning eyes, respiratory distress and throat irritation. The Chattanooga Fire Department said that no serious injuries requiring emergency medical care were reported.

The company stopped cleaning the tank Friday night, and Schultz saidSaturday's sun and wind were likely to eliminate any remaining odor. Schultz said the bureau may pursue enforcement action against the company, and that the investigation is ongoing.
us_TN  public  release  injury  other_chemical 
7 days ago
U.S. House weighs in with its version of chemical regulation reform
The U.S. House of Representatives opened a new front this week in the emerging battle over overhauling the nation’s troubled system for regulating toxic chemicals, as lawmakers held their first discussion of a new proposal to revamp the system. The bipartisan House bill, which wouldn’t change the existing law as drastically as two bills introduced last month in the Senate, got mixed reviews at a 15 April hearing of a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

At issue is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which tasks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the job of assessing and regulating thousands of industrial chemicals. The House's TSCA reform bill, which has drawn bipartisan support as well as some industry backing but measured criticism from environmental groups, aims to make it easier for the EPA to assess risks and give the agency more power to impose restrictions on unacceptably risky chemicals.

The bill “does not attempt to realize the goal of a fully reformed TSCA with assurances that all chemicals in commerce are safe,” said Representative Frank Pallone (D–NJ), the top Democrat on the energy and commerce panel, at the hearing. “But it will give EPA tools to reduce risk now, in a package that I think has the potential to become law."

Most stakeholders and lawmakers agree that TSCA, which Congress has not comprehensively updated since lawmakers enacted it in 1976, is broken. Past efforts to update the law have failed, but many observers hope that the tide is finally turning.
industrial  discovery  environmental  toxics 
8 days ago
Trailer Flips Causing Fertilizer Spill on I-84
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Authorities were busy Friday morning on what potentially could have been a very dangerous hazmat situation.

At a little after 9 AM, a driver hailing two pup–trailers full of fertilizer lost control of the back trailer, spilling its contents along the I–84 ‘Exit 82’ westbound on–ramp.

Initially the Idaho State Police called out a hazmat team fearing the worst.

When the team arrived they determined the spill not to be a serious threat.

The drive of the truck was cited for a minor infraction for taking the turn too fast.

The company told ISP they already have a plan to clean up the spill.
us_ID  transportation  release  environmental  ag_chems 
8 days ago
The strange trend of Mexican thieves stealing radioactive material by accident
MEXICO CITY -- It's like a glitch in the Internet, a skipping needle on the vinyl of world news.

The same strange and very specific crime story keeps repeating itself in Mexico: Car thieves steal a load of dangerous radioactive material without knowing what they've taken, setting off a brief public health scare and a scramble to find the goods. For at least the third time in the past year and a half, Mexican authorities late Wednesday were warning that pilfered hazmats were on the loose.

An alert has gone out to five Mexican states after a container of Iridium 192 used in industrial x-rays was stolen from a truck in the southeastern state of Tabasco. If removed from its container, the material could cause burns or other injuries and "is very dangerous to people," Mexico's civil protection agency said in a statement. Extended exposure for hours or days could be fatal.

The theft occurred Monday night in the parking lot of a Soriana -- a Wal-Mart-like retail and grocery store -- in the town of Cardenas, said Alejandro Cortes Carmona, the deputy director of Mexico's nuclear safety commission.
Mexico  transportation  discovery  environmental  radiation 
8 days ago
Exclusive: Largo man accused of illegally dumping hazardous material
A man was caught on surveillance video throwing 100 bags of sodium hydroxide into dumpsters behind the Central Park Plaza, creating a hazmat situation, according to Largo police.

Largo police arrested Henry Lu, 46, on a felony charge of litter hazardous waste on Thursday.

According to an arrest report, Lu said he was closing his business called Citralabs located at 500 Seminole Boulevard unit C in Largo and did not have enough money to pay for the proper disposal of his sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, that he used to make spa supplies.

Sodium hydroxide is white solid mostly used as a strong chemical base, is highly corrosive and can cause chemical burns.

Lu loaded up the 50-pound bags into a rental van and transported them to the dumpsters at the strip mall, according to police.

Police said Lu's illegal dumping created a hazmat situation involving the Largo Fire Department, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and SWS Environmental Services. The cost to clean up the approximately 5,000 pounds of sodium hydroxide, a class 8 hazardous material, was $10,000, according to SWS contractors.
us_FL  public  release  response  corrosives  illegal  sodium_hydroxide  waste 
8 days ago
Peekskill Middle School students treated after chlorine spill; school evacuated
PEEKSKILL – Nineteen students and five teachers were treated at a local hospital for headaches, throat irritation and other complaints after a delivery of liquid chlorine spilled outside the middle school Friday morning.

Students were initially moved to the high school, then dismissed just before noon as crews worked to clean up the mess, caused by a crew delivering the chlorine to the school's pool.

District spokeswoman Laura Belfiore said those treated had all been released as of Friday afternoon and the school had reopened. However, a dance that had been set for Friday evening was canceled. The school's Saturday Academy will take place as scheduled.
us_NY  education  release  injury  chlorine 
8 days ago
Firefighters snuff out garage fire in Lucas Valley
A blaze that broke out in a garage in Lucas Valley late Thursday night has been linked to the spontaneous combustion of oily rags.

Marinwood, San Rafael and Novato firefighters quickly doused the fire after it erupted around 10 p.m. at 212 Mount Shasta Drive, according to fire officials. Firefighters arrived to find smoke and fire coming from the garage of the one-story home.

San Rafael fire Chief Chris Gray said firefighters made a quick attack, limiting the damage to the garage, exterior wall and fence of the home. The damage is estimated at more than $50,000.

“Fortunately the firefighters were able to keep it from spreading into the house,” Gray said.

No one was injured in the incident.
us_CA  public  fire  response  petroleum 
8 days ago
1 injured in chemical explosion at Monroe plant
MONROE — A worker injured in a chemical explosion at a Reed Road manufacturing plant Friday afternoon was flown by medical helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
Multiple medical helicopters and fire and hazardous materials units from Monroe, Middletown and Liberty Twp. responded to Alfrebro LLC, 1055 Reed Road, a flavor manufacturing company.
The Monroe Communications Center received a 911 hangup call about 12:38 p.m. from the plant. When dispatchers called the number back and no one answered, they sent police to investigate. A minute later, dispatchers received automatic commercial fire alarms at the facility and dispatched fire crews to the scene. Additional hazardous materials units assistance was requested from Middletown and Liberty Twp.
Fire Chief John Centers said a worker was injured at the plant while transferring the chemical acetal from one 55-gallon drum into another 55-gallon drum when a chemical reaction created a flash fire and explosion in one of the drums, which ruptured.
Centers did not say the nature of the workers injuries, however Monroe police Lt. Brian Curlis said earlier, “We have some burn injuries. And there are hazardous chemicals at the site.”
Centers said the identity of the worker was being withheld until family could be contacted.
Acetal is a raw ingredient used in food flavoring, Centers said.
us_OH  industrial  explosion  injury  other_chemical 
8 days ago
West Palm Beach apartments evacuated after chemical spill
A man was in critical condition and three paramedics and a paramedic student were treated after a chemical spill Friday at Palm Club Apartments in West Palm Beach, according to West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Kevin Lewis.

Paramedics were called at about 12:30 p.m. Friday to an apartment unit in the 1100 block of Green Pine Boulevard, west of Village Boulevard, for a man who was having difficulty breathing.

“When they got there, they opened the door to get to the gentleman having difficulty breathing and they were overcome by a strong chemical vapor,” Lewis said.

The unidentified man was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. The paramedics were also taken for hospital treatment. Two paramedics and the paramedic student were treated and released, while one of the paramedics remained in the hospital Friday evening.

Fire rescue officials are not sure what caused the vapor, but say the resident mixed two chemicals together, causing an explosion. The apartment building was evacuated and sealed with crime scene tape as HazMat teams evaluated the scene.
us_FL  public  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Small explosion forces evacuation of U. chemistry building
SALT LAKE CITY — The Henry Eyring Chemistry Building at the University of Utah was evacuated Thursday after an unplanned chemical reaction caused a small explosion.

Salt Lake fire spokesman Jasen Asay said that about 11 a.m., several chemicals that were stored inside a specialized cabinet with sheet metal doors on the first floor caused a small explosion.

"It blew one of the doors off the cabinet. And somebody in the office directly above the prep room stated they felt the explosion," Asay said.

No one was in the prep room area when the explosion occurred and no injuries were reported. The building, however, was full of students and professors in other classrooms and labs. All evacuated the building safely.

When hazardous materials crews arrived, they detected ammonia, chlorine, sulfur, sulfur dioxide, and traces of hydrochloric acid in the air, Asay said. Crews spent the afternoon using large fans to blow the hazardous gases out of the building, where another crew was set up to monitor the air as the gases dissipated.

An overhead sprinkler system quickly doused a small fire caused by the initial explosion. The heat from the chemical reaction melted part of the cabinet, Asay said.

Overall, he said, the safety measures that were in place did what they were designed to do.

"The cabinet did its job," he said. "It's proof that those safety measures work."

What caused the chemical reaction inside the cabinet and the subsequent explosion was still under investigation Thursday afternoon.
us_UT  laboratory  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
9 days ago
West Texas Explosion Anniversary Still Hard on Survivors
April 16--WEST -- The second anniversary of the deadly West fertilizer plant explosion won't be an easy one for Coil Conaway.

It will stir up unpleasant memories of the April 17, 2013 blast that he and his wife, April, survived --while others around them died. The Conaways, he's a paramedic and she's an emergency medical technician, were outside the fertilizer plant when it exploded, but were shielded by the driver's side door of their ambulance.

Friday is also the day of a friend's funeral. Kevin Walters, 52, an EMT who died Tuesday from cancer, who was one of the first people Conaway saw after the explosion.
us_TX  public  follow-up  environmental  ag_chems 
9 days ago
Texas City remembers history's deadliest industrial disaster
HOUSTON - On April 16 of every year, Donna Spurlock Falco walks up to a stone memorial in a Texas City park and lays a flower beneath her uncle's name.

"Took us three days to find Uncle Joe," she said.

The park's centerpiece is a busted section of a 3,000 pound anchor that was blasted more than a mile and a half away from the S.S. Grandcamp, a ship carrying a load of fertilizer that ignited a catastrophic chain of explosions and fires now collectively and infamously known as the Texas City disaster.

On this date in 1947, longshoremen had spent the last five days loading onto the Grandcamp sacks of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that would later become notorious as the explosive agent used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. At least 2,300 tons had been loaded onto the ship when workmen boarded it and discovered a fire.
us_TX  transportation  follow-up  response  ammonium_nitrate 
9 days ago
Petrochemical Plant Explosion Vaporizes Government Safety Assurances
Opposing the construction of petrochemical plants making Paraxyline (PX), a key ingredient in plastic bottles and polyester clothing, has been one of the most common forms of environmental activism for China’s urban residents in the past decade.

On April 4, an explosion ripped through the Gulei PX factory in Zhangzhou, Fujian province, southeast China, leaving 15 injured, almost two years after a similar accident at the plant had prompted a local official to promise in 2013 that it would never happen again.

In response, central and local governments have made huge efforts to convince the public such projects are safe—but the second explosion at the plant in the space of two years has destroyed much of that work.

The two explosions at the same complex will mean the public becomes increasingly wary of PX factories, with the government needing to do even more to rebuild trust.

Media reports of the explosion described towers of flame lighting up the night sky, with acrid smoke and a pungent chemical odor creeping 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the plant. Both firefighters and a People’s Liberation Army anti-chemical unit were rushed to the scene, and some reports two days after the blast (April 8) suggested the fire took hold for a second time despite the attention of 800 emergency workers.
China  industrial  follow-up  injury  petroleum 
9 days ago
One dead, one seriously hurt in Tarpon Springs plant explosion
One person was killed and another was seriously injured in an explosion at a Tarpon Springs plant Thursday afternoon.

Fire crews were called to the apparent industrial accident at MagneGas Corp., 150 Rainville Road.

One person was found dead inside the plant, police said, and another was flown to an area hospital with serious injuries.

There is no word of damage to the waste to energy plant, which converts liquid waste into a hydrogen-based fuel that can be used like natural gas.

MagneGas owns patents to technology that converts liquid wastes, such as sewage, sludge and oil based liquids, into a gaseous, clean burning fuel, according to the company’s website.
us_FL  industrial  explosion  death  hydrogen 
9 days ago
Chemical spill causes evacuation at Health Center of Bloomingdale
BLOOMINGDALE - A worker at a local nursing home was hospitalized Wednesday morning due to a chemical spill that also caused a partial evacuation of the facility.

According to Police Chief Joe Borell, officers were dispatched to the Health Center of Bloomingdale at 255 Union Ave. on a report of a chemical spill at approximately 10:45 a.m. Personnel from the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department, the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad, and the Passaic County Hazmat Team were also dispatched.

A nursing home worker had taken the sick employee to a local medical facility prior to the police's arrival, said Borell.

"It was determined that a laundry product apparently mixed with bleach had spilled onto the floor, causing one employee to take ill from breathing in fumes," said Borell.

According to the chief, the first floor of the building was evacuated, and the facility's air systems were also shut down temporarily. Local firefighters remediated the spill with Quick Dry and water, and the county hazmat team was recalled.
us_NJ  public  release  injury  bleach  cleaners 
9 days ago
Fire fighters in hazmat suits called to Trinity College after acid spill
Dublin fire brigade was called to Trinity College today, after acid was spilled in a science lab.
Multiple units, including DFB’s hazmat pod unit and units from Dolphin’s Barn, Donnybrook and Dun Laoghaire were called to contain the substance.
The college say that there was a small spill, but that everybody is fine now.
“There was a small chemical spillage in a laboratory located in Trinity College’s zoology building earlier this afternoon. Dublin Fire Brigade was called and managed the situation within an hour. There were no injuries involved.”
laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
9 days ago
EPA ends HazMat cleanup following blaze at dentist's Ohio home
U.S EPA officials have finished cleaning up chemical hazards created by a fire on Feb. 4 that destroyed a home in Springboro, Ohio.

More than $200,000 has been spent on the cleanup of the home owned by local dentist Victor Dubel, who allegedly kept scores of containers with various chemicals at his home.

Air monitoring continues, although no air quality problems had been identified.

It’s unknown why the doctor was storing the chemicals, and the containers’ contents have yet to be identified.
us_OH  public  fire  response  various_chemicals 
9 days ago
Burley Firefighter Suffers Minor Burns in Fire
BURLEY • A Burley firefighter was recovering Wednesday after he was burned in an unusual chemical fire at Redox Chemicals LLC.
The chemicals were reactive to water, so firefighters used 15 fire extinguishers, including some from neighboring businesses, to quell the blaze.

Burley Fire Chief Shannon Tolman said the firefighter was treated and released from Cassia Regional Medical Center after he suffered a burn Tuesday night.

“He’s doing fine,” Tolman said.

The firefighter was wearing protective gear but was burned in the area of his coat sleeve.

A chemical mixer, which holds 700 pounds of chemicals, was on fire, Tolman said.

Burley firefighter Casey Harman said the fire foam on the truck could not be used because it is mixed with water. The fire trucks have extinguishers on board but crews had to request additional extinguishers from the station and borrow some from neighboring businesses.

The call reporting the fire at 130 S. 100 W. came to the station at 4:42 p.m., and firefighters called the sheriff’s dispatch, which routed the call back to the fire station.

The fire department sent out an engine, the command vehicle, a truck and a water tender.

When firefighters arrived smoke was showing at the door of the plant.

Casey Larson with Redox Chemicals said the chemical was Oxycom Calcium.

It causes skin and eye irritation and may cause respiratory irritation, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s safety data sheet.
us_ID  industrial  fire  injury  other_chemical 
10 days ago
ISP: Distracted driving blamed in fiery crash
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Southbound Interstate 65 was shut down for several hours on the north side of Indianapolis Wednesday morning while crews responded to a crash involving a semi that burst into flames.

According to Indiana State Police, it happened on I-65 southbound, just south of Cold Spring Road, around 5:30 a.m. That’s a section of I-65 that’s a bridge, and stretches over the White River.

Police say the southbound lanes were shut down completely and crews worked to direct motorists off of the interstate. Just before 7:30 a.m., those stuck in the back-up were allowed through, but then lanes were re-closed for any additional traffic. Northbound was not affected.

Police say the semi hit an abandoned vehicle that was on the side of the road. The car was tagged and ready to be towed away. Police believe the impact caused the semi to catch fire. The truck traveled 100 yards, while on fire, before it came to a stop. The driver was able to escape and was said to be OK. At this point, it’s unclear why the driver hit the car. 24-Hour News 8 crews at the scene described the semi as melted and charred.

Officials say the semi was carrying potassium hydroxide. They say 16,000-17,000 pounds of the chemical was spilled onto the roadway. The Indianapolis Fire Department and Wayne Township Fire Department’s Hazmat team were called in to assist the Pike Township Fire Department with the incident.

According to a spokesman for the Wayne Township Fire Department, officials evaluated whether or not there was a potential hazard with the chemical. The hazmat team deployed absorbent booms to prevent runoff as crews put water on the fire.
us_IN  transportation  fire  response  runoff 
10 days ago
Landfill, Hurricane and County Settle Chemical Suit
A landfill, the city of Hurricane and the Putnam County Commission have agreed to settle a lawsuit over the facility's acceptance of waste from a chemical spill site.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the County Commission approved the settlement agreement on Tuesday.

The county and the city sued Disposal Service Inc. and Waste Management of West Virginia in May 2014 after they learned the landfill had accepted liquid and solid waste from a Freedom Industries site in Charleston. A January 2014 spill at the site prompted a ban on tap water use for 300,000 residents for days.

The agreement includes monitoring the landfill in Hurricane for the coal-cleaning chemical MCHM for five years. The landfill would shut down its aeration process and leachate discharge if MCHM is detected.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  environmental  cleaners  waste 
10 days ago
Impact of Antares explosion blunted by quick cleanup
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- The country was mesmerized Oct. 28 by the launch of the Antares rocket at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, but not for what went right.

About 15 seconds into flight, the rocket came tumbling back to the ground in a fiery explosion. Something went wrong and operators hit a kill-switch, detonating the rocket, which was bound for the International Space Station carrying supplies and experiments.

Despite initial concerns, and ash that rained down in the area, a final report on the environmental impact of the explosion shows only two recommendations moving forward — a groundwater study and possible continued monitoring.

The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority report also details the steps taken after the explosion to contain any adverse impacts. While Virginia Eastern Shorekeeper Jay Ford said he was concerned immediately following the explosion, he was impressed with the federal reaction.

"They were right on top of it," he said. "They were as responsible as imaginable."

Unmanned Antares rocket explodes on launch

Some of the most serious environmental hazards were found in the 50-foot impact crater at the heart of the explosion, which filled with groundwater, according to the report.

Water and soil inside and around the crater were found to have levels of perchlorate (which is used to produce rocket fuel) that could adversely affect workers, the report said, as well as high levels of two other fuel-related chemicals. Perchlorate levels were initially more than 600 times the maximum contaminant level allowed for drinking water.
us_VA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
10 days ago
OSHA Recently Fined Company Involved In Explosion
Two men killed in an explosion Tuesday worked for Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services, which was fined for two "serious" OSHA violations in 2013.

Omaha police identified both men killed in an explosion near 2nd and Hickory Tuesday as Dallas Foulk, 40, and Adrian LaPour, 44.

WOWT learned OSHA issued two violations to the company in 2013 that were considered "serious." The first violation for noise and the second violation for keeping hazardous chemicals in a confined space. According to OSHA's website, the company paid more than $8,000 in fines the summer of 2014.

The reason for the blast is still under investigation. The Omaha Fire chief said he believed the explosion was caused by a chemical in the tank. That chemical kept fire crews from entering the tanker for hours due to dangerous air quality.
us_NE  transportation  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
10 days ago
Railroad officials investigating cause of Colorado Springs train derailment, chemical spill
Officials spent Monday investigating the cause of a railroad train derailment near the Martin Drake Power Plant in Colorado Springs and trying to quell concerns about the white chemical that spilled from the cars.

Mounds of ammonium sulfate pellets dumped from the derailed cars remained at the site of a 13-car Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train that derailed at 10:35 p.m. Sunday. Seven of the trains' cars fell on their side, said BNSF spokesman Joe Sloan. It is unclear how much of the ammonium sulfate, which was headed for Denver, spilled, Sloan said.

The mounds of the chemical were covered with tarps Monday as officials waited for a contracting company to arrive on scene to remove it, Sloan said. He expected the cleanup to continue into Tuesday, and did not have an estimated time of when the ammonium sulfate - which officials first said was ammonium nitrate
us_CO  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
11 days ago
Frederick day care center evacuated after chemical odor detected
FREDERICK, Md. —An adult was hospitalized and an early learning center and day care facility was evacuated Tuesday evening in Frederick.

Frederick County Fire Chief Clarence "Chip" Jewell told 11 News the Learning Bee Center in the 8300 block of River Run Road was evacuated around 5:30 p.m. Friday when people inside began noticing an odor of an unknown type of chemical cleaning agent.

Fire officials evaluated 27 people, including 19 adults and eight children. One adult was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital.

Fire officials have not yet identified the source of the odor.
us_MD  public  release  injury  cleaners 
11 days ago
OSHA cites Formosa for chemical exposuresVictoria Advocate
Formosa Plastics Corporation may have to pay $50,000 in penalties for health and safety violations that resulted in the hospitalization of 20 people, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Tuesday.

The violations stem from releases of sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid and chlorine gas during five incidents that occurred between Oct. 7 through Nov. 2, Diana Petterson, a spokeswoman for the agency, wrote via email.

The violations include not having adequate permits or conducting preventative maintenance.

The agency also found improper maintenance of equipment contributed to the release of the chemicals, and Formosa should have provided face shields and respiratory protection for the workers, according to an OSHA news release.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  chlorine  hydrochloric_acid  sulfuric_acid 
11 days ago
Chemical smell prompts calls to Hamilton County 911
WESTFIELD, Ind. - Westfield's fire department reports a release of the odorant used in natural gas near State Road 32 and Little Chicago Road.

The distinctive chemical smell is being reported in an area over 20 square miles, prompting dozens of calls to 911 in Carmel and Westfield.
Westfield FD reports that Vectren is aware of the issue and is in the process of neutralizing the odorant. They posted to Twitter that it will take a while for the odor to dissipate. 

Carmel FD says the chemical added to natural gas to make it smell spilled. There is no danger. The chemical is harmless but is causing concern across southern Hamilton County.
us_IN  public  release  response  other_chemical 
11 days ago
EPA: House bill could delay review of toxic chemicals 'indefinitely'
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned that a House proposal to reform the nation’s toxic chemical laws could “delay evaluations for some of the most dangerous chemicals indefinitely,” a top official said Tuesday.

Jim Jones, the assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said the draft of the bill introduced by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) allows industry groups to request chemical risk assessments, immediately starting a six-month clock for the EPA to complete a review.

“We’re concerned with the majority of risk evaluation resources going to completing requests from industry,” Jones said during a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.
Critics of the House bill argue that the review process could be exploited if businesses force the EPA to assess chemicals that aren’t much of a safety risk, leaving them without the time or resources to look at more dangerous chemicals. Industry would be required to pay for the assessments they request, howeve
industrial  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
Transylvania County Jail Evacuated Due to Chemical Gas
TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY, N.C. -- The Transylvania County jail was evacuated Tuesday night after a chemical reaction released a gas in the building.

The reaction happened after a detention officer tried to clean out a clogged shower drain with a chemical cleaning agent.

80 inmates were evacuated around 6 p.m. and held outside in the jail yard in restraints for two hours.

Authorities say that detention officer was transported to the hospital because he was light-headed and complaining of chest pains but was released a short time later.

"It can happen anytime you're using chemicals. You can have some kind of chemical reaction," Capt. Eddie Lance with the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office said. "We don't know what's down in the drain that's causing the clog. We don't know if the chemical reaction was two chemicals or something down in the drain, but we conduct an inquiry to determine what happened."
us_NC  industrial  release  injury  cleaners 
11 days ago
2 men dead after explosion at Omaha rail yard
OMAHA, Neb. —Two men are dead following an explosion in a tank car at an Omaha rail yard Tuesday.

Emergency crews were sent to the area of Second and Hickory streets around 1:30 p.m. First responders found Dallas Faulk, 40, lying on the ground outside the tank car. Faulk was taken in extremely critical condition to CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

"The flames were 30, 40, 50 feet in the air," Tornow said.

Tornow was working nearby when he felt the boom.

"I was just sitting here working on the fence, and I heard the percussion, felt it in my chest," Tornow said.

It took authorities about six hours to pull the second victim from a rail car. His identity hasn't been released.

Battalion Chief Tim McCaw said the explosion blew a ladder off the tank car that the workers had been cleaning, trapping a second worker inside.

"One person was on top of the tank car when the explosion occurred, blew that person off the tank car on to the ground," McCaw said. "It also blew the ladder they used to access the inside of the car out of the car, so there was still one person left inside the tank."

Fire crews were waiting for toxic limits to subside before entering the tank car. However, at this point, McCaw said it will likely be a recovery operation.
us_NE  transportation  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Police: 2 hash lab explosions within 15 minutes
The Arcata Fire Department responded to two explosions on Saturday, both caused by butane in a hash lab, authorities said.

The first incident occurred around 2 p.m. on the 2500 block of Alliance Road in Arcata. Fire crews responded and found the house on fire. One man, who police said was the only resident of the house, was injured in the explosion.

"The investigation will be ongoing, at the conclusion of that though, I do expect an arrest will be made," said Arcata Police Detective Sgt. Todd Dokweiler.

While crews were en route to the first explosion, another was reported on the 2200 block of Terrace Lane in McKinleyville. Blue Lake and Humboldt Bay Fire crews assisted at the scene. That investigation was later turned over to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

"Hash lab was in the garage at a house on Terrace Lane, McKinleyville when it exploded," said Lt. Wayne Hanson of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. "There was a couple of juvenile kids in the house, one received minor injuries due to the fire that was caused by the butane."
us_CA  public  explosion  response  butane  drugs 
12 days ago
'Chemical Reaction Event' Prompts Investigation At NFS
An “unplanned chemical reaction event” on April 4 at Nuclear Fuel Services has prompted a special inspection of the Erwin facility by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The inspection will begin Tuesday “to assess the circumstances” behind the event, according to the NRC.
The unplanned reaction occurred in a two-liter bottle stored in an access-controlled storage area.
“The bottle contained cleaning materials, some nitric acid and a small amount of uranium. There were no employee exposures or injuries during or after the event,” an NRC news release said.
The “potential” for a more serious outcome of the incident prompted the NRC special inspection, NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree said in a prepared statement.
“Although no one was injured and there were no employee exposures, it could have been worse had employees been in that area at the time,” McCree said.
“Based on that potential, we needed to inspect exactly what happened and what steps are necessary to prevent it from happening again.”
During the special inspection, the NRC will review the company’s response and investigation of the incident, develop a time line and determine the actual and potential safety significance of the incident.
us_TN  industrial  release  response  nitric_acid  radiation  uranium 
12 days ago
OSHA: Fort Edward firm endangered employees
FORT EDWARD  A manufacturer of “phenolic balls” used in the fracking process for extracting oil and gas from rock formations is facing 48 serious violations of federal workplace safety laws.
The firm, A. Hyatt Ball Co., located at 1 School St., faces fines of up to $105,200 for the violations, which stemmed from an inspection launched after a complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to a prepared statement from the federal agency.

“Our inspection identified a disturbing number of violations,” said Kim Castillon, OSHA’s area director in Albany. “A. Hyatt Ball lacks basic safety and health programs to prevent fires, explosions or an uncontrolled release of highly hazardous chemicals, including formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer and can cause allergic reactions to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.”

Among the problems found were the presence of combustible resin dust, flammable liquids improperly stored and transferred, the lack of an audible fire alarm and fire-suppression system and locked and obstructed exit routes.

“The company must correct not only the chemical, fire and explosion hazards, but also the wide range of violations that expose its employees to falls, crushing injuries, chemical burns, lacerations and eye and face injuries,” Castillon said.

The company was given 15 business days to comply with the OSHA findings, meet with Castillon or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
us_NY  industrial  discovery  environmental  dust  flammables  formaldehyde  resin 
12 days ago
Video shows how quickly nail polish remover can start flash fire
BELLAIRE, TX (KTRK) -- Ladies, chances are you have at least one bottle of nail polish remover in your home right now. But you may never look at it the same way once you see how easily it can catch fire without ever touching a flame.

The fire that started in the 19000 block of Poppy Grove Lane in Cypress Friday night was not intense enough to destroy the house, but it did send a 20-year-old woman to the hospital with third-degree burns to half her body.

The culprit, according to fire fighters, was a bottle of nail polish remover.

According to investigators, the woman was using nail polish remover near a candle when the vapors started a flash fire.

The Bellaire Fire Department showed us just how dangerous vapors and fumes from nail polish remover can become.

In this enclosed space, it takes only two minutes for enough vapor to accumulate to cause a flash fire.
us_TX  public  fire  injury  acetone 
12 days ago
Overturned tanker spills hazardous chemical
HARRIS COUNTY - A truck carrying a large tank with hazardous material has overturned on De Zavalla at Channelview drive, according to the Channelview Fire Department.

Hazmat is currently on the scene as the chemical is spilling from the tank.

Authorities said there is a shelter in place for 11 residents in the area as well as an elementary school nearby.

The tanker was carrying 6900 gallons of a highly flammable chemical, officials said.

There is no environmental hazard and the clean up is expected to last several hours.
us_TX  transportation  release  response  flammables 
12 days ago
Hingham: Man Connected to Norwell Explosives
A 27-year-old Hingham man is expected to face charges for allegedly possessing homemade explosives.

Benjamin R. Young of 18 Back River Road will be summonsed to court by the Hingham police after illegal explosive materials were found and seized from his garage.

Sgt. Steven Dearth said in a press release, “It does not appear the explosives found in the home were made with the intention to harm anyone. There is no danger to the public.”

Jennifer Mieth, a spokesperson for the state fire marshal’s office, said in a phone call Monday afternoon that the state police bomb squad and the regional hazardous materials, or hazmat, response team were all investigating the scene.

The discovery is part of a multi-jurisdictional investigation that began with an explosion in a car in Quincy Saturday night and led investigators to Young’s home on Monday afternoon. A number of residents were evacuated from the Back River town homes after police found the explosive materials. Investigators then set up a staging area to evaluate the materials at the nearby Beale Street ball field.

According to Hingham Fire Chief Mark Duff, Hingham police received a report this incident could be connected to the Quincy explosion, which led to a discovery of explosive materials in a Norwell home Sunday morning.
us_MA  public  explosion  response  bomb  explosives  illegal 
12 days ago
Fire breaks out at chemical godown in Hyderabad
A major fire broke out at a factory in Jeedimetla on Sunday morning resulting in loss of property worth lakhs of rupees. The fire personnel doused the flames fighting for over five hours.

According to M. A. Shareef, fire officer at Sanathnagar fire station, the fire broke out at Cimteche Systems Private Limited Company located at the Industrial Area Jeedimetla. Three fire tenders from Sanathnagar, Jeedimetla and Kukatpally rushed to the spot.

Huge flames continued to erupt from the factory for about two hours even as fire personnel battled the blaze. “It is not exactly known what chemicals were stored in the barrels kept inside the factory, but the barrels exploded for around an hour creating panic in the area,” Mr. Shareef said.

Noticing the intensity of the blaze more fire tenders from Moula Ali and Secunderabad fire stations were pressed into service. Finally at around 3 p.m. the fire personnel could control the fire. The cause and extent of the damage in being ascertained, fire officials maintained.
India  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
One after the other: Six men fall to their deaths in chemical tank
The bodies of at least six men were found from inside an underground chemical tank at a pickle factory in Korangi Industrial Area on Sunday.

When one of the factory workers came to work, he realised what had happened. His screams attracted the attention of the neighbours who called the police helpline 15 and told them that several bodies are lying in the underground tank.

Rescuers from different welfare associations also reached the site along with the law enforcers and retrieved the bodies. “Some parts of the bodies had turned black and blue because of the chemical reaction,” said Asif Khan, one of the rescue workers. “Some kind of foam was also coming out of their mouths.”
Pakistan  industrial  deaths  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Muffled bang marks beginning of shell destruction at Pueblo Chemical Depot
PUEBLO - The beginning of the end came with a heavily muffled bang.

"It's more a whumph," said Pueblo Chemical Depot worker Jonathan Miller, who helped set off the explosive charge last week to destroy the first three shells of what will be a multiyear effort to rid Colorado of nearly 800,000 mustard gas rounds.

The lack of a big bang, though, didn't disappoint. Workers say after years of delays they're happy the end of the Cold War-era chemical weapon stockpile is underway.

"We're working ourselves out of a job," depot worker George Roberts said with a smile.

The mustard gas is banned by a 1993 chemical weapons treaty signed by the U.S. and 64 other countries. A deadline to the destroy the weapons was set for 2007 and extended to 2012 as the Pueblo shells sat in bunkers during years of wrangling over their fate.

Depot leaders now say the end is finally at hand.
us_co  industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
13 days ago
Truck carrying toxic, flammable chemical hijacked in Mexico
PUEBLA, Mexico: Armed men hijacked a truck with a trailer filled with a toxic, highly flammable chemical in central Mexico, officials said Sunday.

The hijackers "may not have the least idea what they have," said a source with the public security office in the state of Puebla.

Local media reported that the truck was carrying 20 tonnes of paraformaldehyde, a chemical used to make resins for textiles and furniture, when it was hijacked late Friday in the municipality of Cuautlancingo.
Mexico  transportation  discovery  response  illegal  paraformaldehyde 
13 days ago
Charges against Denver teacher dismissed
Last fall, a Denver teacher, Daniel Powell, was charged with four counts of misdemeanor assault after a classroom fire seriously burned a student. Powell had lit a small pool of methanol to demonstrate its flame properties, then tried to add more methanol from a 4 L container, Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board investigators said in September. The fire flashed back into the container, then jetted out to hit the student in the chest. Other students sitting nearby were also injured.
The charges against Powell have been dropped, says Lynn Kimbrough, communications director for the Denver District Attorney‘s Office. “As the case moved forward, further review of the facts led the prosecutor to the conclusion that we did not a reasonable likelihood of conviction – and once that conclusion was reached we had an ethical obligation to dismiss the case,” Kimbrough says.
A search for either the school’s or teacher’s names does not find any civil filings in state courts, says Rob McCallum, a public information officer for the Colorado Judicial Department.
us_co  laboratory  follow-up  flammables 
13 days ago
Hash lab explosion in McKinleyville leads to arrest
The dangers of hash labs were on full, fiery display Saturday afternoon in McKinleyville.

An explosion and subsequent structure fire led to the arrest of a man on suspicion of felony child endangerment and possession of clandestine narcotic equipment.

Christopher Newcomb, 25, was arrested after an explosion in an apparent hash lab inside a garage started a fire and drew the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Arcata Fire District to the residence on the 2200 block of Terrace Lane.

Six people were reported to be in the residence at the time of the explosion, but all sustained nothing more than minor burns.

During a warranted search of the residence by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, agents located and seized approximately 109 pounds of marijuana, concentrated cannabis, 12 tubes used in the hash extraction process, a vacuum dehumidifier, a handgun, a shotgun, a rifle and U.S. Currency, according to a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Agents also observed hundreds of empty canisters of butane inside and outside the residence.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant George Cavinta said hash labs are “very common” in Humboldt County and can be as dangerous as meth labs.
us_ca  public  explosion  response  drugs 
13 days ago
Propane tank containing ammonia triggers Sandwich hazmat response
SANDWICH, Mass. —A hazmat team responded to a Sandwich hardware store Saturday morning for reports of a propane tank containing ammonia. 

Sandwich firefighters also responded to Anchor Hardware at 267 Cotuit Road at around 10:30 a.m. 

A hazmat team was requested to the scene shortly after for reports of a propane bottle containing ammonia inside the store.

More propane tanks were found in Sandwich Sunday at different locations, according to fire officials.

Firefighters, a hazmat team and Massachusetts State Police responded to those locations.

Sandwich police said part of the area near the hardware store had been evacuated for safety while crews work to remove the hazardous canister. 
us_MA  public  discovery  response  ammonia  propane 
14 days ago
South Carolina Train Derails, Spills Ammonium Nitrate
An evacuation order has been lifted for all but four homes following a 39-car train derailment in rural South Carolina on Friday night, officials said.

Derrick Becker, public information officer for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, said no one was injured following the crash, which happened at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Trenton, but precautionary evacuations were made after officials confirmed one of the Norfolk Southern tankers was carrying anhydrous ammonia and one was carrying ammonium nitrate, according to Becker.

In total, 15 cars derailed and ammonium nitrate has spilled, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's Twitter account. No harmful spills were detected by Aiken County Hazmat officials who responded to the scene, Becker said.
us_SC  transportation  release  response  ammonia  ammonium_nitrate 
14 days ago
Officials OK Ohio township’s water after chemical spill
WARREN, OHIO: State officials say the water in a northeast Ohio township is safe to drink after a chemical spill at an injection well facility left residents relying on bottled water for a week.
State Rep. Sean O’Brien says the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has assured him that tests on the water in Vienna Township indicate there’s no contamination from last week’s chemical spill.
Officials had been testing the water after residents last week reported dead animals near a local pond and a sheen on the water’s surface. The Warren Tribune Chronicle reports many relied on bottled water for a week while awaiting test results.
Inspectors traced the spill to a Kleese Development Associates facility, which operates five saltwater injection wells. The facility was ordered last week to cease operations.
us_OH  public  release  environmental  petroleum 
14 days ago
Crews respond to HAZMAT situation at hotel on Jefferson Road
Firefighters and emergency personnel were on the scene of a HAZMAT situation at a hotel on Jefferson Road Friday afternoon.
We're told six people were transported to the hospital as a precaution. The Monroe County fire coordinator says quick work on the part of firefighters helped minimize what could have been a serious situation.
We're told around 1 p.m. a worker accidentally mixed some cleaning liquids with chlorine and it off-gassed and created a vapor cloud in an area of the hotel as well as a strong odor. The worker moved the liquids, covered them, and then ran from the building.
We're told these were ordinary cleaning products, but when mixed with chlorine became dangerous. The Henrietta Fire District responded and evacuated workers and guests.
us_NY  public  release  response  chlorine 
15 days ago
Hazmat Situation at Water Plant is being Cleared
The city of Weslaco made an agreement with the chemical manufacturer to remove the chemical mixture. That truck will arrive Friday evening or Saturday to remove the chemical mixture from the tank. Once they remove the chemical mixture, the tank will be cleaned and the original chemical replaced.

No chemical or gases escaped from the tank, so there was no danger to the staff or public.

Salinas said they erred on the side of caution and put their emergency response plan in place. He said the plan was successful. The fire department was contacted and the staff evacuated.
us_TX  industrial  release  response  water_treatment 
15 days ago
Lessons Learned from Recent Process Safety Incidents
These five incidents demonstrate how seemingly small mistakes or temporary lapses in judgment can result in disaster.

Failures of process safety management (PSM) systems are deadly and costly. Major accidents have emphasized the need for process safety within the chemical and petrochemical industries. For example, the founding of the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) was a response by industry to the methyl isocyanate release at Bhopal, India, in 1984 that killed over 2,000 people and injured tens of thousands. A fire and explosion at a PEMEX LPG terminal in Mexico City, also in 1984, killed more than 600 people and injured around 7,000.

Major environmental damage has also been caused by process safety incidents. The firefighting efforts during a fire in a Sandoz warehouse in Basel, Switzerland, in 1986 caused the release of many different chemicals, including pesticides, because responders failed to contain the water runoff. The release caused massive destruction to aquatic life in the Rhine River as far as 250 miles away; fishing was banned for six months. The environmental consequences of the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 and the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 have been well-documented.

Engineers and students can obtain safety incident reports from several sources. One useful source is the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). The CSB is a government agency charged with investigating chemical accidents at industrial facilities. The reports of their investigations are available for download from the CSB website (www.csb.gov). Additionally, the CSB has created a series of videos about many process safety incidents.

The CCPS book Incidents that Define Process Safety (I) discusses many more events. The book also describes events from industries other than chemicals and petrochemicals, demonstrating that many PSM concepts are universal in their relevance to safe operations.
industrial  follow-up  environmental 
16 days ago
Michigan's meth incidents surge to all-time high
LANSING – When Tim Haney saw yellow police barrier tape surrounding a building in downtown Charlotte two years ago, he joked to himself that a methamphetamine lab must have gone bad.

It only took a few minutes for this former addict — now 11 years clean — to find out that a real meth lab had exploded and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage near City Hall and the Fire Department.

"You know there are addicts," said Haney, a 47-year-old married father of two. "But I just had no idea that something going on here was on the same level as bigger cities."

Since 2013, Michigan police officers have found more than 1,500 meth labs and dump sites for lab equipment and the dangerous chemical byproducts that come from producing the highly addictive stimulant.

The number last year, 861, was a record and adds to the Great Lakes State's reputation as one of the fastest growing areas for production and distribution of the drug.
us_MI  public  follow-up  environmental  meth_lab 
16 days ago
Hazmat Level 3 team called to UBC for 'routine' emergency
Vancouver Fire and Rescue's highest level hazmat team was called to UBC Thursday afternoon after ingredients mixed in a test tube shattered and a small cloud of vapour was released into the air.

The incident happened in a classroom in the 2300 block of East Mall Road.

Spokesman Brian Hutchinson said the fire department deals with this type of situation on a regular basis ​when chemicals are mixed in labs. In this case, he said it's believed nitric acid was mixed with methanol.

One patient was transported to hospital in a routine manner, Hutchinson said, meaning without lights and sirens.

The building was temporarily cleared, but no one was evacuated.
Canada  laboratory  release  injury  methanol  nitric_acid 
16 days ago
2 Hospitalized After Chemical Exposure Inside Burlington County Apartment
A Burlington County, New Jersey apartment building was evacuated and two people were taken to the hospital after being exposed to an unknown chemical, officials say.
Firefighters evacuated eight apartments inside Building P at the Edgewater Manor Apartments along the 100 block of Elm Street in Edgewater Park around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, county dispatchers tell NBC10.
Northern Liberties Bar Closing
The evacuations were ordered after two people came in contact with a chemical inside one of the units. Both were taken to an area hospital.
Firefighters donned hazmat suits as they investigated the incident. The type of chemical and reason for the exposure remains unclear.
us_NJ  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
16 days ago
Fracking Activities Pollute Nearby Air With Carcinogenic Hydrocarbons
Hydraulic fracturing activities to extract natural gas can release carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into the air, a new study shows (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, DOI: 10.1021/es506095e). In some cases, the estimated exposure of nearby residents to these compounds exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum acceptable risk level for cancer.
Many researchers and community leaders are concerned about the human health impacts of air and water pollution from hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking, and the limited environmental regulation of the industry in the U.S. Fracking can release carcinogens such as benzene into the air along with other volatile organic compounds that are precursors of smog, which can contribute to asthma and other respiratory illnesses (Sci. Total Environ. 2012, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.018).
But few studies have examined the impact of fracking on airborne PAHs, larger molecules that are also linked with cancer and respiratory illness (Atmos. Environ. 2008, DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2007.12.010). The compounds are present in fossil fuels and are also products of their combustion—for example, they’re found in the exhaust of truck traffic near fracking sites.
industrial  discovery  environmental  benzene  methane  natural_gas 
17 days ago
Section of Lex-Springmill still closed
MANSFIELD – Lexington-Springmill Road between Cook Road and Marion Avenue was closed all day Wednesday due to a gasoline spill.

A commercial gasoline truck spilled 222 gallons of fuel at 4:39 a.m. Wednesday in and around an area of Lexington-Springmill Road.

Mike Bailey, director of the Richland County Emergency Management Agency, said fortunately a truck carrying fertilizer did not lose its product in the two-vehicle crash.

From the scene, it was apparent the fuel tanker had a hole on the driver's side of the tank.
us_OH  transportation  release  response  gasoline 
17 days ago
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