iPhone Envy May Have Felled Galaxy Note7
Samsung's desire to match the iPhone 7 Plus led it to implement an aggressive design and manufacturing approach that led to problems with its Galaxy Note7 -- including some instances of the smartphones bursting into flames -- and eventually its global recall, Instrumental reported last week.

Instrumental engineers tore down a Galaxy Note7, and found "evidence in the design of an intellectual tension between safety and pushing the boundaries," CEO Anna Shedletsky revealed.

Samsung engineers "designed out all of the margin in the thickness of the battery," she noted.

It "sits within a CNC-machined pocket -- a costly choice likely made to protect it from being poked by other internal components," Shedletsky speculated.

"For something that is innovative and new, you design the best tests that you can think of, and validate that the design is OK through that testing," she said.

However, battery testing "takes a notoriously long time, and thousands of batteries need to be tested to get significant results," Shedletsky pointed out. "It's possible that Samsung's innovative battery manufacturing process was changing throughout development, and that the newest versions of the batteries weren't tested with he same rigor as the first samples."
Republic_of_Korea  industrial  follow-up  environmental  batteries 
11 hours ago
China’s cabinet kicks off three-year review of handling of dangerous chemicals
China has announced a three-year nationwide inspection of the handling of dangerous chemicals following a series of deadly accidents that claimed hundreds of lives.
The government plan calls for a clear delineation of responsibilities among regulators and greater accountability to help ensure public safety.
Deadly Tianjin warehouse explosion: review leads to China moving 10 chemical plants

The survey will evaluate the risks of dangerous chemicals during their production, storage, transport use and disposal and draw up a risk distribution map before March 2018, according to a plan released by the State Council on Tuesday.
Hazardous chemicals like ammonium nitrate, nitrocellulose and sodium cyanide will be on a special watch list, while broader information on other chemicals will be shared among regulators.
The plan calls for dedicated industrial zones where chemicals can be produced or stored, and to set up an integrated platform to reduce risks, manage safety and environmental protection, and coordinate rescue efforts.
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
11 hours ago
English Schools Foundation closes sports pitches at five schools for ‘chemical safety testing’
Five Hong Kong schools run by the English Schools Foundation have closed their artificial sports pitches due to safety concerns over chemicals exceeding international health standards, the Post has learnt.

The ESF yesterday would not confirm the reason for keeping students away from the rubber-crumb, artificial pitches at Discovery College, King George V School, Renaissance College, Sha Tin College and South Island School, saying only that they were closed to “allow for ongoing safety testing and investigation”.

But a source told the Post: “The pitches are being tested due to safety concerns over chemicals exceeding international health standards.

“The problem is there are so many different standards.”

The ESF said no other pitches at its schools would be closed, and there was no suggestion that any other pitches across Hong Kong might be affected.
Hong_Kong  education  discovery  environmental  unknown_chemical 
11 hours ago
Engine Room Fires Are Never Merry
Engine room fires account for up to 50 percent of all fires on vessels with 70 percent of those engine room fires being caused by leaks from pressurized systems. Just this week, the chemical tanker Jo Kiri was inbound for a terminal in the Houston area when smoke was reported in the engine room. The Houston ship channel was blocked for about an hour before the vessel was moved to a berth. 

That engine room fires are so prevalent should come as no surprise as engine rooms contain all sides of the fire triangle in abundance - namely, the fuel and lubricants, the air containing oxygen that is being forced into the engine room in great quantities to supply the engines and of course the heat that is associated with engine rooms and machinery.

It's when these sides of the fire triangle are allowed to interact, such as the fuel leak on the dredge Arco Avon that came in contact with sparks from a grinding wheel in August 2015 that bad things happen. Bad things such as fire, that is! This was additionally seen on Gunde Maersk in December 2015 when a leaking o-ring sprayed pressurized fuel onto a hot exhaust manifold.  

Remember, the three sides of the fire triangle can coexist, as long as one side is adequately segregated from the others.
us_TX  transportation  follow-up  environmental 
11 hours ago
After Paulsboro criticism, railroads adopt federal standards for chemical spill response
WASHINGTON -- Freight railroads have agreed to rely exclusively on federal safety response recommendations, rather than their own guidelines for accidents involving dangerous chemicals, drawing praise from New Jersey lawmakers who sought that change after a Conrail derailment caused a toxic spill in Paulsboro in 2012.

The shift, the lawmakers said, will help eliminate confusion that might result from differences in federal recommendations and railroad protocols, and ensure that federal standards are used in the event of spills. The guidelines give emergency responders information about fire risks, immediate steps to respond to a spill and evacuation distances, among other information.

“When a train accident happens and every second counts, it makes no sense to have two sets of emergency response information on board — especially if that information is contradictory,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.).  “At best, it’s confusing for first responders.  At worst, less protective information could result in serious consequences for public health and human life."
us_NJ  transportation  follow-up  response 
11 hours ago
1 killed, 2 injured in accident at DAK plant in Calhoun County, SC
A Columbia man was killed and two others injured in an accident at a Calhoun County chemical plant Tuesday, officials said.

The accident happened around 12:15 p.m. at the DAK Americas plant on K Avenue, according to Calhoun County Coroner Donnie Porth. The man killed in the accident was identified as Alton Zeigler, 63, of Columbia. An autopsy is pending.

Site manager Mark Leonhardt said three employees were performing annual maintenance on a polymer pump. He couldn’t provide specifics on the incident or confirm if an explosion occurred.

“We have a very good safety record,” Leonhardt said. “This is just a very, very unfortunate incident. We’re all just heartbroken by this.”
us_SC  industrial  discovery  death  unknown_chemical 
11 hours ago
Fire aboard chemical tanker causes closure of Houston Ship Channel
The Houston Ship Channel, one of the world’s busiest waterways, was closed for an hour on Monday when a fire broke out on a chemical tanker, according to Reuters.

The 2003-built Jo Kiri, operated by Norwegian firm Jo Tankers, reported fire in its engine room while on its way north to the Vopak terminal in the Port of Houston.

It blocked traffic in the channel until it could be safely moved to a berth. No injuries or spillages were reported from the incident.

The vessel, which usually carries cargo of petrochemicals, was near Eagle Point when the fire happened.
us_TX  transportation  fire  response  petroleum 
11 hours ago
Chemical fire closed Crawford County landfill Monday
BUCYRUS - A chemical fire Monday morning at the Crawford County Sanitary Landfill closed the 5128 Lincoln Highway East facility for the day, according to Whetstone Township Fire Chief Mike Motter.

The landfill was re-opened Tuesday, according to an employee at the site. No one was injured.

Motter said fires at a landfill are not uncommon and usually stem from a hot load dumped at a site, but Monday's fire was calcium oxide or lime, that was dumped. The fire spread over about one-third of an acre at the landfill.

"When we arrived at the landfill, trash in the bin was openly burning," said Motter. Employees were trying to smother it, he added.

"It (calcium oxide) reacts with the ground and it started a fire," he said.

A third-party contractor was hired to come in and deal with it, Motter said.
us_OH  industrial  fire  response  other_chemical 
11 hours ago
‘Spontaneous Combustion’ Blamed in Tampa Scrap Metal Fire
TAMPA, FL — A Friday night fire that sent a plume of black smoke into the air above Port Sutton Road has been attributed to spontaneous combustion by Hillsborough County Fire Rescue officials.

The fire at Trademark Metals Recycling’s Port Sutton facility broke out around 5 p.m. Dec. 2. The first crews to respond found about 20 tons of metal on fire, county officials said. The fire was upgraded to a two-alarm blaze shortly thereafter and took an estimated 11 hours to clear completely; nine of which were spent getting the blaze under control.

“Great care was taken to protect all exposures surrounding the facility including several very large diesel fuel tanks located next door to the recycling facility,” a Monday email from fire rescue said. “Firefighters used a mix of foam and water to put the fire out.”

Once the fire was under control, investigators began looking into the cause. The county says interviews from the scene and thermal imaging surveillance cameras pointed to spontaneous ignition.
us_FL  industrial  fire  response  metals  waste 
OSCE helps Albania dispose of toxic chemical
TIRANA, Albania (AP) -- A European security organization says it has helped Albania's army dispose of 140 metric tons of hazardous military chemicals.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe office in Albania says Tuesday that 140 tons of two napalm components - aluminum oxide and xylenol - were packed and ready to be taken by ship to France for destruction.

OSCE Ambassador Bernd Borchardt urged other Western Balkan countries to follow Albania's model of demilitarization and "make best use of (its) existing infrastructure and experienced workforce."

The OSCE, with assistance from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway and Turkey, has helped Albania dispose of some 300 metric tons of toxic chemicals and excess ammunition.
Albania  public  discovery  environmental  explosives  toxics 
2 hurt in chemical spill near Biltmore Resort
MONTECITO, Calif. - Cleanup efforts continued after midnight at the Biltmore Hotel and Resort in Montecito following the spill of a sanitizing chemical in the loading dock area. Two people were taken to the hospital after the midday incident at one of the most prestigious hotels in the region.

Neighbors who live near the resort were disrupted as Hill Street was blocked and monitored during the cleanup.

More than 20 people from agencies including the Montecito Fire Protection District responded to the call just after 11:30 a.m. Monday. Other responding agencies included Santa Barbara's Fire Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire District.

About 30 gallons of "Oxonia Active" leaked from a 300-gallon container. According to online information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the substance is used to sanitize food processing equipment and utensils. It can be hazardous when inhaled or touched in concentrated amounts.
us_CA  public  release  injury  other_chemical 
8 injured in Tai Po lab chemical spill 丨 HK
HONG KONG – Eight people were injured in a suspected chemical spill at a lab in Tai Po Industrial Estate in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning.
Among them, one man had direct contact. He was injured in the face and ear. One woman felt sick after inhaling the gas leaked by the spill.

The two were sent to hospital around 13:15 pm after being disinfected in a mass decontamination pod. The other six felt unwell but recovered after they were given first aid.

A total of 112 people were evacuated from the building.

The Fire Services Department (FSD) had mobilized 13 fire engines and seven ambulances, according to a spokesman.

An investigation was launched in this regard, according to the department.

The police received a call at 11:33 am about a suspected chemical explosion on the second-floor lab of Beijing Genomics Institute-Hong Kong on Tai Fu Street, according to the spokesman.

He said it is suspected the incident was caused by a spill of expired hydrogen peroxide. Whether an explosion happened remains to be confirmed, the spokesman said.

Three medical workers were decontaminated after contracting injuries.
Hong_Kong  laboratory  release  injury  hydrogen_peroxide 
Chemical explosion at Auckland high school
Westlake Boys High School in Auckland has been evacuated after a chemical explosion in one of its laboratories.

Firefighters were called to the school shortly after 2pm after a jar of bromine exploded.

Fire Service shift manager Jaron Phillips said the chemicals had now been isolated inside a hazardous materials drum.

Fire crews were still at the scene, including a hazardous materials unit, which was decontaminating the area and airing the building.

Mr Phillips said there were no reports of injuries.
New_Zealand  laboratory  explosion  response  bromine 
Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê
110 workers got injured during an explosion that took place in Sulaymaniyah’s Bazyan neighborhood this morning. The injured workers were rushed to the hospital, and the site of the explosion continues to be examined.

No statement has been made on the reason for the explosion, but local sources say that chemical materials in a factory may have caused the explosion.
Iraq  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
West Virginia chemical plant cited for safety violations
A Northern Panhandle chemical plant where chlorine gas spilled from a leaking tank car has been cited for alleged workplace safety violations.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration issued $25,500 in fines against Axiall Corp.'s Eagle Natrium LLC subsidiary. The Aug. 27 spill occurred at the company's New Martinsville plant.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/2h0rCpo ) reports Westlake Chemical Corp. bought the plant in September and that the citations were issued last month.
OSHA says three citations involved rules for safely managing hazardous chemicals. A fourth was for communicating such hazards to employees.
A preliminary report issued in October by the National Transportation Safety Board described a crack on one end of the tank car that leaked.
A Westlake spokesman didn't immediately return an email seeking comment on the citations.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  response  chlorine  gasoline 
Hazmat investigation prompts evacuations, road closures in Woodbridge
WOODBRIDGE - A hazmat investigation in Middlesex County led to several evacuations and closed Route 1 for a time.

Officials say that a tanker belonging to Crestwood Energy had a partially open valve and was giving off a strong odor of fuel.

The Days Inn, Value City and the Ivy Stone Restaurant were evacuated.  Traffic on Route 1  shut down and diverted to Route 9, where the two roads split in Woodbridge.

Officials say a closer investigation of the tanker led to the realization that the tanker had already unloaded its fuel. There was no danger to the public.
us_CT  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
Train cars carrying flammable chemical derail in East Toledo
Part of a 187-car CSX train derailed early today near York Street and North Wheeling Street in East Toledo.

Two cars carrying toluene, a highly-flammable chemical, overturned. However, a Toledo fire dispatcher said neither car is leaking any fluid.

Toledo fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld said one of the cars caused damage to a tower supporting high tension power lines, which have dropped slightly. Toledo Fire and Toledo Edison are on scene.

Two homes in the area were evacuated as a precaution.
us_OH  transportation  discovery  response  toluene 
2 days ago
Like Working in a Refinery: Fracking’s New Chemical Hazards for Workers
Federal workplace watchdogs are warning that the boom in “fracking” is now exposing oilfield workers to hazards they can inhale. It’s an additonal risk for roughnecks and service company crews working in an industry that already has a much-higher-than average injury rate.
A “Hazard Alert” from government agencies OSHA and NIOSH has the industry scrambling for fixes.

“We’re working really hard to help engineer-out the hazard and protect these workers,” Rick Ingram told StateImpact. Ingram works for oil giant BP, coordinating rig safety programs with government regulators.

“We’re getting the word out any way we can about this potential hazard. This hazard alert has really helped us do that, it’s helping bring attention to it,” said Ingram.

Dangerous Dust

Rail cars bring tons of sand to Gonzales County
The Hazard Alert was for one threat in particular: silica, the chemical component in sand. Each well that’s “fracked” uses tons of sand that’s shot down the hole at high pressure, fracturing the shale rock formations thousands of feet underground. The sand particles act as tiny wedges, holding the rocks open, allowing natural gas and oil to escape.

So much sand is now being used in Gonzales County, 75 miles east of San Antonio—the heart of the mineral-rich Eagle Ford Shale—that a freight train company has built a new rail yard. On the site are enormous silos for sand operated by oilfield service companies including Halliburton. Trucks haul the sand to drill sites in Gonzales and neighboring counties. But as it’s off-loaded from those trucks, federal workplace investigators say the sand can create dangerous amounts of dust.
us_TX  industrial  discovery  environmental  dust 
2 days ago
Foam fills Center City street after PECO substation explosion
CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Firefighters responded to a hazmat situation in Center City Philadelphia, where a massive amount of foam covered an entire city block after it leaked from a PECO substation.

Several calls were made to police after 1 p.m. Saturday, reporting explosions inside a building around the 400 block of South Juniper Street.

Crews arrived to the find the fire suppression system had released a large amount of foam.

They say there was a problem at the substation, which caused a power outage, and then the foam began appearing.

"There was a fire alarm going on and I didn't really think anything of it, and then I was just chillin' in my bed and I heard this huge explosion," said Mark Deluca, witness.

"Then all of a sudden what looked like giant soap bubbles started floating down in front of our house," said Karen Saillant, witness.
us_PA  public  release  response  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Australian students recreate Martin Shkreli price-hike drug in school lab
A group of Australian high school students have managed to recreate a life-saving drug that rose from US$13.50 to US$750 a tablet overnight after an unscrupulous price-hike by former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli.

The Sydney Grammar students reproduced the drug, Daraprim, used to treat a rare but deadly parasitic infection, in their high school laboratory with support from the University of Sydney and global members of the Open Source Malaria consortium.

Dr Alice Williamson, a postdoctoral teaching fellow with the university’s school of chemistry, said she could not stop dwelling on the story of Shkreli, who acquired Daraprim last year through his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, and almost immediately and exorbitantly hiked the price. The drug is used to treat malaria and to prevent toxoplasmosis infection in people with HIV.

The move made him a public villain, a label he embraced as he also became known as “Pharma Bro”.
Australia  laboratory  discovery  environmental  drugs  pharmaceutical 
4 days ago
Two dead in explosives factory blast near Trichy (Lead)
Two persons died and several others were injured in a blast in an explosives factory near Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirappalli, said police.
The blast occurred at Vetrivel Explosives factory near Tiruchirappalli, around 350 km from here.

"The ground and first floor had collapsed and the debris have to be removed," G. Sathhyanarayanan, Deputy Director (In-Charge) of Fire and Rescue Services (Central Region), Tamil Nadu told IANS.

He said the total number of casualties is not yet known as it will be difficult to ascertain in a blast like this.

According to a factory official, around 15 persons were working inside at the time of the accident.
India  industrial  explosion  death  explosives 
4 days ago
Wastewater leaks at plant destroying chemical weapons
PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — About 450 gallons of hazardous wastewater leaked from a tank at a Colorado plant where chemical weapons are being destroyed, the Army said Friday.
There was no threat to workers or nearby communities from the Nov. 20 spill at the Pueblo Chemical Depot, officials said. The wastewater was confined to a containment area and cleaned up, site project manager Gregory Mohrman said in a written statement.
The wastewater was primarily salty water called hydrolysate, produced when mustard agent is neutralized with hot water and a caustic chemical, said Sandy Romero, a spokeswoman for Bechtel Corp., the lead contractor on the project.
The waste contained no mustard agent, she said.
The wastewater leaked when seals on a tank failed, Mohrman said. The plant shut down while the cause of the failure is investigated, and no startup date has been set.
The highly automated, $4.5 billion plant is destroying about 780,000 shells filled with 2,600 tons of mustard agent under an international treaty. The plant began operating this year and is expected to finish in 2020.
us_CO  industrial  release  environmental  mustard_gas  waste 
4 days ago
Three employees under observation after DOW chlorine leak releas
A small chlorine leak on the property of DOW Chemical in Plaquemine forced a shelter-in-place for certain residents of Iberville Parish.

The leak was stopped just before 6 p.m. Friday, Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi reported. Around 7 p.m., Sheriff Stassi confirmed the shelter-in-place has been lifted.

Around 7:15 p.m., Sheriff Stassi confirmed that the situation at the site has been contained and there is no detectable smell of chlorine.

DOW Chemical released the following statement around 8 p.m.:
us_LA  industrial  release  response  chlorine 
4 days ago
ACS journals enact new safety policy
American Chemical Society journals will have a new safety reporting requirement starting in 2017: Authors must “address and emphasize any unexpected, new, and/or significant hazards or risks associated with the reported work,” says an ACS Central Science editorial describing the change (2016, DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.6b00341).
ACS Publications editors and staff took a closer look at how the journals addressed safety after a “confluence of events” that included high-profile accidents and a survey of safety policies of chemical journals (J. Chem. Health Saf. 2016, DOI: 10.1016/j.jchas.2015.10.001), says Sarah Tegen, vice president for global editorial and author services at ACS. ACS also publishes C&EN. Previously, individual journals set their own safety policies.
The journals’ Peer Review Advisory Group (PRAG) developed the new wording to make it clear that good safety practice is vital while also being broad enough to be applicable across all the fields that the journals represent, Tegen says.
Reaction from journal editors has been positive. “There is a strong sense that this is the right thing to do,” says Inorganic Chemistry editor-in-chief and PRAG member William B. Tolman.
Beyond including the language in guidelines for authors and reviewers, ACS is leaving individual journal editors to decide how the new requirement is implemented. Tolman, for example, has already added a required check box in a form filled out by Inorganic Chemistry reviewers that asks whether authors have appropriately addressed safety. “It’s a simple and easy way to get the journal community to start paying attention to it,” he says.
us  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
5 days ago
Bomb squad carry out controlled explosion at Gwynedd school
The bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion of a chemical at secondary school.

The Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team were called out to St Gerard’s School on Ffriddoedd Road in Bangor at 3.30pm to safely dispose of the chemical which is used during A-level science lessons.

North Wales Police tweeted this afternoon: “In the next few minutes EOD will carry out a small controlled explosion on school grounds in Bangor to safely dispose of substance 2,4 DNP (dinitrophenylhydrazine).”
uk  laboratory  discovery  response  other_chemical 
5 days ago
LENAPAH — Students and staff at Oklahoma Union Public Schools received an extended Thanksgiving break this week, but not because of the holiday spirit.

An explosion and chemical spill at an aerosol factory just north of the Oklahoma-Kansas state line in Neodesha on Nov. 22 caused water woes for communities and rural areas downstream on the Verdigris River. The possible contamination to the river caused water service to be shut off along an over 60 mile stretch in Kansas and Oklahoma, from Neodesha to Nowata.

While water service has been restored and a boil order has been lifted for most areas, one rural water district near the Nowata-Craig County line has not yet passed a series of tests, causing the Oklahoma Union School District to cancel classes this week.

Oklahoma Union Superintendent of Schools Kevin Stacy said the water is on at the school complex and has tested safe, but there is still a concern because some of the water from the rural area may infiltrate into the area.

“All of the rural water districts in our boundaries pull from the Verdigris River,” Stacy said. “The water for us is treated in Coffeyville, Kansas, and then sent to the school from pipelines. Only one of the rural water districts within our boundaries still has an issue with possible contamination, so we had to cancel school after Thanksgiving week.”
us_ok  industrial  explosion  follow-up  environmental 
5 days ago
Woman injured, airlifted after detonation at Pacific Scientific
A female worker at Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company on the 3600 block of Union Rd. in Hollister was airlifted in serious condition to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center after apparently being exposed to lead oxide during a chemical explosion Thursday morning.

In a press release, the Hollister Fire Department reported that it "responded to an incident involving an injury sustained from a detonation. The incident was dispatched as a detonation with injuries."

Hollister Fire crews and American Medical Response deployed to the location treated a single injury and had the patient transported to an area trauma center.

According to NBCBayArea.com, the unidentified woman is in serious condition at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Its report said hospital staff "received a call from air ambulance provider CALSTAR of a woman they were flying in from Hollister for exposure to lead oxide and another substance containing lead, hospital spokeswoman Joy Alexiou said."

​San Jose firefighters and hazmat crews were dispatched around 10:40 a.m., after the patient — who was first decontaminated at Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company — was air-lifted to the hospital, NBCBayArea reported.
us_ca  industrial  explosion  injury  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Chemical spill causes afternoon evacuation
he La Crosse Fire Department's hazardous materials team responded to a liquid ammonium hydroxide spill Thursday at Davy Engineering, in the 100 block of South Sixth Street.

Fire and hazmat crews absorbed the spilled liquid and neutralized the residual contamination, according to the department.
us_wi  industrial  release  response  ammonium_hydroxide 
5 days ago
1 killed, 2 hospitalized when exposed to chemicals at Tallahassee store
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A woman has died after toxic fumes filled a craft store in Tallahassee on Thursday afternoon.

The Tallahassee Police Department confirms that 48-year-old Ada Skvereckas succumbed to chemical exposure and passed away at a local hospital.

Officials say Skvereckas one of five people exposed to toxic fumes around 2:30 p.m. at the Flying Unicorn craft store on Capital Circle SE, just north of Apalachee Parkway.

Two people were treated on scene, and two others remain hospitalized in stable condition.

Officials say the hazmat team found a hydrogen sulfate-type cleaner in a spray bottle.

Hydrogen sulfate is extremely corrosive. The National Institute of Health says breathing it in can cause choking, chest pains and shortness of breath.

Tallahassee Fire Department’s Mike Bellamy said, "I'm telling you, being out here at the scene, I could pick up some of that odor several hundred feet away from the actual business itself. I can suspect that was very concentrated in that room."
us_fl  public  release  death  other_chemical 
5 days ago
‘Mobile meth lab’ crash in Colwood snarls traffic
A motor vehicle collision involving a suspected mobile meth lab led to a commuting nightmare Wednesday afternoon and evening in Colwood.

Traffic was snarled, backed up and rerouted around Colwood during the evening crush of traffic as fire and hazardous materials crews dealt with the incident at Veterans Memorial Parkway and Sooke Road.

The crews checked on a small red car that collided with another vehicle. Chemicals found in the red car caused concern.

“The nature of the incident, the occupants of the vehicle did not stay on scene, the manner in which the materials were being transported, and there’s a few other indications that the RCMP are looking into ... led us to take an abundance of caution in this incident,” Colwood Fire Department Acting Chief John Cassidy told CHEK News.

West Shore RCMP did not return calls seeking comment.

Dave Rogers, president of B.C. Hazmat, said he had been told there may have been dangerous chemicals present at the scene.

His team was on standby while the Capital Regional District hazmat response unit dealt with the issue.

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/mobile-meth-lab-crash-in-colwood-snarls-traffic-1.3504104#sthash.Pje61D1S.dpuf
canada  transportation  discovery  response  clandestine_lab 
5 days ago
Thane: Fire breaks out at chemical factory, 2 dead
Thane: Two persons were charred to death when a major fire broke out at a chemical plant located in Taloja MIDC in neighbouring Raigad district this on Wednesday police said.

The chemical unit was also completely gutted in the blaze, fire brigade officials said.

"Two persons were charred to death in the fire at the chemical unit. The victims, who are yet to be identified, are suspected to be workers of the plant," Taloja police said.

An official from Taloja Fire Station said, "The blaze started at the chemical unit around 4.30 pm. Ten fire engines started at the chemical unit around 4.30 pm.Ten fire engines from Taloja and nearby Panvel, Kalamboli were rushed to the site and the fire was brought under control by around 6 pm."

The entire chemical unit was reduced to ashes in the incident, the official added.
India  industrial  fire  death  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
North-east gym to remain closed after chemical scare evacuation
An Aberdeen gym evacuated and sealed off for hours after a chemical scare has announced it will remain closed until further notice.

Six fire crews, including two specialist units, raced to David Lloyd Gym after the alarm was raised about 3.15pm yesterday afternoon.

About 30 people inside the gym were evacuated, and police set up an exclusion zone and diverted traffic away from the entrance on Garthdee Road.

Last night, it emerged sodium bisulphate and chlorine had been found in a pipe in the plant room during a routine inspection.

Staff at the gym confirmed last night via Facebook that the club would not be reopening tomorrow morning as planned but instead would remain closed while safety checks are carried out.

The post said: “We are working hard to rectify the issue in our plant room however unfortunately the club will not be opening at 5.30am tomorrow morning.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  response  chlorine 
6 days ago
Controlled explosion of chemical takes place at school in Shrewsbury
A controlled explosion took place at Shrewsbury High School today, following a Government warning over a laboratory chemical that can explode if not stored correctly.

Police assisted Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers who carried out the controlled explosion.

It comes after a reminder was sent to schools by the Department of Education over how certain chemicals should be stored.

A chemical, known as 2,4-DNP, is used in chemistry lessons and can become dangerous if it is allowed to dry out.

It is supposed to be stored in a labelled jar which is then kept inside an outer jar topped up with water as a precaution.

An advisory note recently issued to schools said Cleapss had “recently received a number of calls regarding the chemical”.
United_Kingdom  laboratory  discovery  response  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Dow Chemical unit gets safety cites after explosion
A Massachusetts specialty chemicals manufacturer has been pegged a severe violator of health and safety rules and is facing $129,200 in proposed fines by federal health and safety regulators after four employees were injured by an explosion in January.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited North Andover, Massachusetts-based Rohm-Haas Electronic Materials L.L.C., a division of Dow Chemical Co., for eight serious, two repeat and one other than serious violations, the agency said Tuesday in a statement.

The explosion occurred while the employees were engaged in the trimethyl aluminum cylinder reclamation process, which involves purging the cylinders of residual amounts of trimethyl aluminum, according to the agency. An OSHA investigation found that Rohm-Haas failed to adequately design, inspect, maintain and operate the process to prevent oxygen from making contacting with and igniting trimethyl aluminum.

The plant lacked adequate precautions to prevent the ignition of flammable vapors during the process, did not protect the reclamation system against the probability of fire and explosion and stored flammable liquids improperly, among other violations, according to the statement.

Rohm-Haas also failed to fully assess the workplace to determine hazards and appropriate personal protective equipment for employees and did not provide and require the use of all necessary personal protective equipment — hazards the company was previously cited for by the agency in 2014.

The company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses resources on inspecting employers who, according to the agency, have demonstrated indifference to their Occupational Safety and Health Act obligations through willful, repeated or failure-to-abate violations.
us_MA  industrial  follow-up  injury  flammables  gas_cylinders  oxygen 
7 days ago
Carbon monoxide forces partial evacuation in Wauconda
A heater emitting carbon monoxide into a pool area caused part of a Wauconda health care facility to be evacuated to other areas of the building while emergency responders investigated, fire officials said.

Wauconda firefighters responded to an alarm at the facility at 6:46 p.m. that detected carbon monoxide in the therapeutic center in an area near the swimming pool, pool chemicals and pool heating equipment, fire officials said.

Because of the odor of chlorine and the possibility of an unknown chemical release, a still alarm was issued, bringing in help from additional fire departments.

Firefighters eventually determined that no chemicals were released and that a heater emitting carbon monoxide caused the alarm. Maintenance personnel shut the heater off, fire officials said. Firefighters left the facility at 9:15 p.m.
us_IL  public  release  response  carbon_monoxide  chlorine 
7 days ago
Chemical Plant Explosion Disrupts Chinese Railway
Services along the Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway line were disrupted during the morning of Nov. 29 after a nearby chemical plant explosion damaged the railway’s power supply, according to an article from the South China Morning Post. The explosion reportedly occurred at a formaldehyde factory in a village west of Jinan, the capital city of Shandong province. No casualties were reported and a fire at the facility was extinguished in half an hour.
According to the article, the blast again prompts scrutiny of the country’s questionable urban planning, which sees hazardous industrial facilities located close to homes or civilian infrastructure. Between January and August, according to Greenpeace East Asia numbers cited, China reported 232 chemical-related incidents resulting in 199 deaths and 400 injuries. The cause of Tuesday’s explosion is under investigation.
China  industrial  explosion  response  formaldehyde 
7 days ago
Hazmat Team Responds To Mercury Spill At Sapulpa High School
The Sapulpa Fire Department's hazardous materials team responded to Sapulpa High School Tuesday morning because of a mercury spill.Sapulpa Police Major Mike Reed said the mercury was spilled in one of the science labs and the lab is cordoned off.All of the students were at lunch and only the science lab was affected, he said. No students were hurt, he said.The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has also been called in, according to Major Reed.He said school officials don't know where the mercury came from, but think a student might have brought it to school. 
us_OK  laboratory  release  response  mercury 
7 days ago
Strong quake hits Japan, triggers Fukushima tsunami
A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit northeastern Japan on Tuesday, triggering tsunamis along the coast including a one-metre wave that crashed ashore at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.
National broadcaster NHK urged residents in the region to “flee immediately” to high ground, reminding listeners to heed the lessons of the “Great East Japan Earthquake”.
...“The biggest risk now is a case whereby contaminated water is carried away with the tsunami, which pollutes the environment,” TEPCO’s chief decommissioning officer Naohiro Masuda said at the televised press conference in Tokyo.
The national disaster management agency said there was a minor fire at a laboratory in Fukushima but that it was quickly put out.
NHK showed footage of what appeared to be sea water flowing up a river in Miyagi prefecture though none of it surged beyond the river’s banks.
japan  fire  laboratory  response  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Hazmat Team Called To Battle Fire
Sarnia Fire Rescue responded to a fire in a building attached to Sarnia Jail on Christina St. N. at around 6:15 Monday evening.

Fire officials say two barrels of chemicals used in the water boiler caught fire.

Firefighters had to don hazmat gear to extinguish the flames and were on scene until around 5am Tuesday when an outside hazmat contractor arrived to clean up the scene.

The cause of the blaze is not known. There was no smoke or hazard inside the actual jail building that houses prisoners.
Canada  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Explosion at chemical plant in Shandong in eastern China kills one, injures nine, state media says
An explosion at a chemical plant in east China has killed one person and injured nine, with 150 firefighters battling the resulting blaze, state media reported.

The incident occurred at a plant in Huantai county near the city of Zibo in Shangdong province, Xinhua news agency said, citing the official Sina Weibo microblog account of the Zibo public security bureau.

The fire was extinguished early Sunday, Xinhua reported. Earlier it said firefighters from neighbouring cities were heading to help tackle the blaze.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

The plant is a subsidiary of Shangdong's Runxing Group and produces chemicals including adiponitrile, a combustible chemical mainly used in the production of nylon, Xinhua said.
China  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Chino house fire caused by Honey Oil extraction lab explosion, police say
CHINO >> Police determined the cause of an explosion in a home Sunday was from a drug extraction laboratory mishap.

Shortly before 2 p.m. authorities responded to a house fire in the 4900 block of G Street.

Adrian Corona, 20, of Chino was taken to an area hospital suffering from severe burns to his face and upper body, police said in a written statement.

Police said a butane honey oil extraction lab used to manufacture marijuana hash oil exploded sending debris and flames into the air.

“Emergency personnel closed G Street for several hours while investigators processed the scene,” police spokeswoman Monica Gutierrez said in a written statement. “Investigators are seeking charges against Corona for his involvement in drug manufacturing.”
us_CA  public  explosion  injury  clandestine_lab 
8 days ago
Cement could be a helpful carbon sink
Making cement requires a lot of heat and releases large amounts of carbon dioxide. The heat helps transform limestone (calcium carbonate) into clinker, which is largely calcium oxide. This process, called calcination, is responsible for about 5% of global human-based CO2 emissions.
But the cement itself may help offset some of those climate-changing emissions, according to a new study. A team of researchers estimate that 43% of the CO2 released by cement calcination between 1930 and 2013 was reabsorbed by the cement created during that period (Nat. Geosci. 2016, DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2840).
Removing CO2 from the atmosphere, not just emitting less of it, is a significant part of what many climate scientists think we must do to avoid major consequences from climate change. “It’s not a small amount of CO2 that needs to be removed from the atmosphere,” says Phil Renforth, who studies carbon sequestration at Cardiff University. “But what is interesting about this study is that part of that requirement of removing CO2 from the atmosphere may already be happening by the unintended carbonation of cement. The challenge is designing and accounting for this in the life cycle of cement.”
public  discovery  environmental  calcium_carbonate  carbon_dioxide 
9 days ago
Asbestos Still a global menace
As a 7-year-old child in suburban Sydney, Australia, Serafina Salucci recalls playing with white wall sheeting material leftover from her dad’s renovation of the family’s garage. She used it like chalk to draw on the driveway, and threw chunks of it back and forth with her brothers. Little did anyone know at the time that the sheeting contained carcinogenic asbestos fibers that would later be blamed for giving Salucci mesothelioma, an incurable cancer attacking the lining of her lungs.

Salucci was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2007, 30 years after her likely exposure to asbestos. She has outlived her doctor’s prognosis and now spends her time raising awareness about the disease and the threat of asbestos in older buildings like houses, hospitals, and schools. If asbestos fibers become airborne, there’s a risk of exposure, she says. “We must safely get rid of it.”
In brief
More than 50 countries around the world have banned the use of asbestos, a known human carcinogen linked to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other diseases. But two Western industrialized countries—the U.S. and Canada—have not taken such steps. Anti-asbestos activists are ramping up pressure on regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere to stop the production and use of the fibrous material. Meanwhile, scientists would like to better understand the basic science of the substance in order to deal with remediation at hazardous sites and to treat those who are susceptible to asbestos-related diseases. An NIH-funded research center at the University of Pennsylvania is leading the charge (see page 32).
Salucci joined hundreds of other people seeking to eradicate asbestos exposure around the world at an Australian government conference earlier this month. Production and use of asbestos was banned in Australia in 2003, but approximately one-third of all homes in the country contain the substance. Australia had the highest per capita rate of asbestos use in the world from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Salucci, now 47, is one of hundreds of Australians diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. Like many other kids that grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, she never worked around asbestos nor did any home renovations herself. She was exposed to asbestos while playing as a child.
While Australia, like many other countries, faces huge challenges related to its former use of asbestos, more than 100 countries face even greater problems because they have yet to ban the fibrous material. The U.S., Canada, and many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, for instance, still allow some use of asbestos, despite the substance’s known adverse health effects.
Australia  public  discovery  environmental  asbestos  illegal 
9 days ago
Initial Report About SpaceX September Rocket Explosion Imminent
Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is expected to give federal authorities by early next month a preliminary investigative report pinpointing fueling procedures as the most likely cause of a September unmanned rocket explosion.

The report, according to people familiar with the matter, is part of the closely held company’s effort to resume launching before the end of 2016, following a fireball that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket and a commercial satellite during routine ground tests nearly three months ago.

SpaceX, as the Southern California company is called, heads the probe with assistance from various government agencies. But the anticipated tight timeline only gives SpaceX roughly three weeks to finish the final report, persuade government officials to sign off on its major findings and then obtain approval for operational changes intended to prevent a repeat of the catastrophic accident.

Investigators believe a complex interaction between supercooled fuel and carbon composite material wrapped around the outside of helium containers resulted in a breach in one of those pressurized bottles. Engineers have sought to re-create the exact combination of variables—including pressure, temperature and fill rate—suspected of causing the rupture.

The investigation also has scrutinized both design and quality-control issues, according to people familiar with the details, but there appears to be a consensus that problematic operational factors were the primary culprits.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
9 days ago
Barclays Closed Executive Floor in London After Chemical Spill
Barclays Plc temporarily closed the top floors in its London headquarters, including the offices of Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley, after discovering a chemical contamination late Thursday, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg News.
About 400 people were evacuated from the British lender’s Canary Wharf skyscraper after a mixture of cleaning products caused a chemical reaction and produced chlorine gas, the London Fire Brigade said in a statement on its website, without naming the bank. The accidental chemical spill isn’t being treated as suspicious, Metropolitan Police said in a separate statement.

The chemical contamination was found on the 32nd floor, according to the bank’s memo. Meeting rooms on the 30th floor and the executive suite one level up were closed on Friday morning as a precautionary measure but have since reopened, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Staley was out of the country at the time and the building is now back to normal operations, said the person, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
United_Kingdom  public  release  response  chlorine 
9 days ago
Scientists check gator meat for signs of pollution
Scientists who recently found soaring chemical levels in the blood of South Carolina alligators are trying to determine whether gator meat that hunters consume contains the same potentially harmful contaminants.

Researchers with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of Commerce are analyzing alligator flesh to see whether the meat is tainted by perfluoroalkyl acids, a group of chemicals of increasing health concern.

These acids once were used as ingredients in water repellant surfaces, frying pan coatings, plastics and other products, but they are being phased out as researchers learn more about the potential toxic effects on people.

“One of the reasons to do this study is to look at ‘Is this actually in the meat people would eat?’ ’’ said Jessica Reiner, a Commerce Department scientist in Charleston.

“We want to make sure hunters can hunt, eat the meat and be well-informed.”
us_SC  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
9 days ago
Airosol chemical plant explosion may contaminate OK water
NOWATA, OK (KSWO)- Parts of Oklahoma are now being affected by the Aersol Plant explosion in Kansas.

Residents of northeastern Oklahoma had their water service turned off because of possible contamination. Both Kansas and Oklahoma authorities are examining the water quality to see what chemicals may be contaminating the water. They are worried about runoff from the chemicals in the plant and the chemicals used to put out the fire.

Airosol, Inc., a chemical plant in Neodesha, Kansas, is still smoldering, but fire officials say the fire is fully contained.
us_OK  industrial  follow-up  environmental  runoff 
9 days ago
Site of chemical plant explosion had previous EPA violations / LJWorld.com
TOPEKA — A chemical plant in Neodesha that was the site of a dangerous explosion Wednesday had a history of violating federal environmental rules and paid a $10,000 fine in 2009 for using a banned substance in one of its products.

But a check of records from other federal agencies shows that Airosol Company Inc., which owns and operates the plant, had a clean record with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which inspected the facility twice in the last five years and found no workplace safety violations.

State and federal officials said Friday they are still investigating the cause of Wednesday's blast and its potential environmental impact.

The explosion forced a number of local water suppliers in Coffeyville, Independence and Neodesha to temporarily shut off water intake from the Fall River and Verdigris River because of contamination that resulted from the blast.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokesman Ashton Rucker said officials have identified some number of chemicals that were released into a nearby drainage ditch when firefighters responding to the blast sprayed water to put out the fire.
us_KS  industrial  follow-up  environmental  unknown_chemical  illegal 
9 days ago
Refrigerant Leak Prompts HazMat Response at Island Grocery Depot in Kahului
Kahului firefighters responded to a hazardous materials leak at Island Grocery Depot on Amala Place in Kahului at 9:40 p.m. Saturday Nov. 26, 2016.

Firefighters initially were called out to a fire alarm activation, but after meeting with a representative from the business, crews learned that an employee discovered some sort of foggy cloud or smoke within the building. The business was closed at the time and no one was inside the building.

A hazardous materials team was brought in to investigate. Using protective gear and Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses or SCBA, three firefighters entered the building and located a gas leak coming from the refrigeration equipment over the chiller boxes. Hazmat technicians were able to stop the leak with the guidance of a service technician who was outside watching their movements through a camera monitor.

The leaking product was identified as Freon 44A, a type of refrigerant. Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said the gas cloud formed by the leaking product caused the fire alarm system to activate.

After firefighters closed off valves and capped the leak, the building’s doors were opened and crews used large fans to ventilate the building for about an hour until it was safe to enter without special protective gear.

A service technician made temporary repairs so the chiller units could still be used until more permanent repairs could be done later.

A battalion chief, fire engine and a hazardous materials crew from Kahului responded to the incident.
us_HI  industrial  release  response  freon  hvac_chemicals 
9 days ago
Court Denies Municipality Access to Industry's Hazard Assessment Report
On October 13, 2016 the Saskatchewan Queen’s Bench in Consumers’ Co-operative Refineries Ltd. (CCRL) v. the City of Regina 2016 SKQB 335 held that information in a major instance hazard assessment report, prepared by Marsh Risk Consulting so that CCRL could obtain approvals from the City and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) to expand its refinery, should not be publicly disclosed.  CCRL had appealed decisions by both the City and the MOE to release redacted versions of the hazard assessment report to a journalist under both the Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act SS 1990-91,c L-27.1 and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act SS1990-91 c F-22.  These statutes, dealing with the rights and obligations of the City and MOE respectively, mirror access legislation both federally and in other provinces around the country.

The ruling has important implications for industries which supply technical information to regulators, particularly nuclear and chemical industries for whom security concerns must always be in the forefront.
Canada  industrial  discovery  environmental 
12 days ago
Cleaning up Low Level Radioactive Waste in Port Hope
As reported in Northumberland Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) recently held an update meeting for the public on the progress of cleaning up low-level radioactive waste in the Town of Port Hope.  The town is located approximately a 1-hour drive east of Toronto.

Five representatives of the CNSC and members of the public heard presentations on what has been accomplished to date on the facilities that will permanently house the historic low-level radioactive waste that originated from the Eldorado radium extraction facility that first started operations in the town in 1932.

Eldorado Nuclear Ltd. was a company wholly owned by the Canadian Government.  In 1988, Eldorado Nuclear and the Saskatchewan Mining Company were amalgamated and privatized to form Cameco.

The presentations included a discussion on how the scans for radioactivity of Port Hope properties and streets is going, in terms of finding low level radioactive waste in order to transport it to the facilities, and how the environment and people will be protected while it all takes place.

Concerns by the townsfolk about the cleanup were far ranging including the program’s impact on Lake Ontario in general and the Port Hope harbour, in particular.
Canada  public  release  environmental  radiation  waste 
12 days ago
TSB Rules that Derailment caused by ‘sudden and catastrophic’ Rail Failure
As reported by Alex MacPherson in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, a “sudden and catastrophic failure” of a 57-year-old rail that had been exposed to higher-than-expected traffic caused a fiery derailment east of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan two years ago, according to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada investigation released recently.

Canadian National (CN) railway officials “far exceeded” inspection requirements, but visual and ultrasonic checks failed to reveal the defect in the rail, which deteriorated faster than expected, Transportation Safety Board officials said recently in Saskatoon.

“Unfortunately, this one just kind of fell through the cracks,” said Rob Johnston, who oversees all TSB rail safety investigations in the federal agency’s central region, which runs from Cornwall, Ont. to the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.

Clouds of black smoke darkened the sky and about 50 people were evacuated from Clair, which is about 190 kilometres east of Saskatoon, after the Oct. 7, 2014 derailment.  No one was injured. About 650 feet of track was destroyed.

“I’ve seen derailments, but this is a pretty bad one,” a local resident who visited the scene told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “When I got there, there was a small explosion. The smoke is too thick to see what cars are involved.”
Canada  transportation  follow-up  response 
12 days ago
HazMat team, state officials remain at scene of partial train derailment
But the peracetic acid that spilled from a 330-gallon tote when a truck struck it in the parking lot of Case Farms on U.S. 30 Tuesday afternoon did stream into the storm sewers "and partly into the creek," Henderson said. Peracetic acid is typically used in a sanitation process.

Crews were still at the rail yard when the hazmat team was called at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday to Case Farms, he said.

The hazmat team, Ohio EPA workers and cleanup crews from SunPro and EnviroServ responded to address that spill, Henderson said.
us_OH  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
13 days ago
Plain Township, OH, Firefighters Deal With 25K Hazmat Spill at Rail Yard
Nov. 23--PLAIN TWP. -- Township firefighters had to suppress a hazardous situation Tuesday afternoon when gallons of a chemical compound known as tripropylene spilled out of a ruptured railcar at the Norfolk Southern Railway yard in the 4100 block of Louisville Street NE.

"They were moving railcars around and one was damaged from that," said Chief Chuck Shalenberger of the township Fire Department. "One (car) was pushed into another. That chemical is flammable. So our first concern was a fire threat."

There were no injuries. Firefighters responded at about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday.

"It was fully loaded, and the estimate is about 25,000 gallons," Shalenberger said. "It stayed pretty much localized to the area around the rail car. We used foam to suppress the vapors."

Other agencies called included the Stark County Hazardous Materials team, or Hazmat. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency also was notified. The railroad company is to have a contractor clean up the site.
us_OH  transportation  release  response  flammables 
13 days ago
Live: Chemical leak at the Heineken brewery
A chemical alert has broken out at the Heineken brewery in Manchester .

Specialist HAZMAT (Hazardous Material) crews were called to Denmark Road in Hulme at 10.12am on Wednesday to reports of a chemical leak.

The brewery was evacuated before fire crews arrived, and a spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue said there is no risk to nearby homes or businesses.

Follow live updates below
United_Kingdom  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Melbourne airport chemical spill mopped up
A shipment of acid that leaked at Melbourne Airport has been cleared.
Eight people were hospitalised after hydrofluoric acid cartons in the freight area of the airport began leaking on Wednesday morning.
Ambulance Victoria said one person came into contact with the chemical and all eight were later sent home.
Airport and MFB firefighters moved the containers to hazmat drums.
No flights or terminals had been affected by the spill, an airport spokesman said.
Worksafe Victoria and the EPA were notified.
Hydrofluoric acid is used for cleaning, metal treatment or car detailing, and in strong concentrations can cause severe burns to skin and airways.
Australia  transportation  release  injury  hydrofluoric_acid 
13 days ago
How to keep your drinking water free of cancer-causing chemical
HOUSTON - There is a cancer-causing chemical found in Houston's drinking water. The levels we found on average are more than 30 percent higher than the state of California recommends.

"It has the potential to cause increased risk of cancer," said Dr. Qilin Li, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University.

Chromium-6 is a cancer-causing chemical that can be naturally occurring or come from industrial pollution.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reviewed test results across the Houston area. Channel 2 discovered ZIP code 77099 had levels 300 times more than California's health goal. 

The movie "Erin Brockovich" documented the deaths of California residents exposed to high levels of chromium-6.

So what can you do to keep your drinking water safe?
"There are multiple technologies that can take out chromium-6 from drinking water," Dr. Li said.

Li said a fairly proven method to remove chromium-6 is to use reverse osmosis filtration systems. Some can be installed under your sink. They'll cost you anywhere from $100 to $1,000.
us_TX  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
13 days ago
Chemical leak at Altona Mobil plant
FIRE crews are working to contain a chemical leak at the Mobil plant in Altona this morning.

The MFB received a call around 3.00am and expect to be on the scene for some time yet as the leak cannot be isolated.

The leak was identified as a mixture of Hydrogen and Naptha, a general term used for many flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixtures.

Extra appliances were requested including specialist Hazmat crews.

Mobil crews are working to replace the contents of the pipe with Nitrogen which would allow the leak to be sealed.

Almost 30 firefighters in breathing masks are working to disperse the product with water sprays.

Crews expect to be on scene for an extended period of time.
Australia  industrial  release  response  flammables  hydrogen  naphtha 
13 days ago
Package explodes in Philadelphia apartment; 1 injured
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man was injured in an explosion when he opened a package containing medication for an inhaler in his downtown apartment Tuesday morning, police said.
Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the city’s bomb squad were trying to determine if it was an explosive device or caused by a chemical reaction from the medicine.
The 62-year-old, whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital with injuries to his hands and chest. and he was in stable condition.
“As far as I know, there were no threats prior to this and no threats since,” Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. “There is a possibility this was just an accidental explosion. We’re not certain at this point whether it was intentional or accidental.”
The package was delivered on Monday and the man opened it in his kitchen of the apartment he shares with a roommate around 4 a.m. Tuesday, Small said.
us_PA  public  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
14 days ago
Small chemical leak at Aliso Canyon facility ‘dissipated quickly,’ SoCalGas says
A “small chemical release” caused by a malfunctioning tool at Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon storage facility on Monday prompted the temporary evacuation of six contractors but no injuries were reported, according to state emergency and Gas. Co. officials.

Up to one cubic feet or about 7 gallons of bromine trifluoride, which is a pungent smelling and hazardous chemical, was released as vapor at the site of a natural gas well that was being inspected as part of a state-mandated comprehensive safety review, SoCalGas spokesman Chris Gilbride said Tuesday.

The chemical, a cutting agent akin to “chemical scissors,” was being used to cut an unidentified underground well’s inner tubing that was being removed and replaced as part of the inspection process of 114 natural gas wells at the SoCalGas facility above Porter Ranch. That process was triggered by a massive, nearly four-month natural gas leak that was detected in October of last year, officials said.
us_CA  industrial  release  response  bromine  natural_gas 
14 days ago
1 worker hurt in explosion at Kansas chemical plant
NEODESHA, Kan. — Federal safety inspectors are investigating an explosion and fire at a southeast Kansas chemical plant that injured one employee.

The explosion occurred about 7 a.m. Tuesday at the Airosol, Inc., plant in Neodesha, a town of about 2,500 residents. It was still not contained early Tuesday afternoon.
A 57-year-old male employee was taken to a hospital with burns. Cassandra Edson, spokeswoman for Wilson County Emergency Management, says his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it has begun an investigation.

Several blocks around the plant were evacuated and the town's schools closed for the day. Residents also were asked not to drink city water.

The plant, about 100 miles southeast of Wichita, manufactures and packages aerosol, liquid and other specialty chemicals.
us_KS  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
14 days ago
Riggin closure to remain until Monday
MUNCIE, Ind. — Riggin road will remain closed though the holiday weekend and into Monday according to John Coutinho, deputy director of Emergency Management in Delaware County. The stretch of East Riggin Road between North Broadway Avenue and the Muncie Bypass has been closed since a tanker truck carrying about 7,000 gallons of ethanol overturned Sunday afternoon leading to ground contamination from the leaking tanker.

Muncie and Hamilton Township firefighters were first on scene at the wreck, with their crews damming the leaking fuel. Fuel that escaped the tanker was vacuumed up later Sunday while the tanker was drained. Due to fuel escaping prior to the damn and seeping into the ground, HAZMAT teams had dug up areas near the field to locate agricultural drain tiles that were siphoning fuel away from the contaminated area.

Environmental Remediation Services will be on scene working to clean up contaminated ground from the accident. Riggin Road will remain closed due to a large hole which has been dug to remove contaminated soil. ERS will continue testing and back-fill the land before re-opening the section of road according, to Coutinho
us_IN  transportation  release  response  ethanol 
14 days ago
Brown University student hospitalized after mercury spill on campus
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Brown University student was hospitalized and a hazardous-materials team called in after an undisclosed amount of mercury was spilled on campus.
The university said a student in the Champlin Hall dormitory broke a thermometer and that several beads of mercury spilled out.
The Department of Emergency Management responded to the incident at about 11 p.m. Monday night to assist with hazardous cleanup.
One floor of the dormitory was evacuated while the mess was cleaned up. Students returned by 2 a.m.
The student was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
us_RI  education  release  injury  mercury 
14 days ago
Eight people hospitalised after chemical leak at Melbourne Airport
Eight people have been treated by paramedics after being exposed to hydrofluoric acid at Melbourne Airport.

Emergency services were called to the airport around 9.30am after receiving reports of a “chemical incident”, Ambulance Victoria Regional Health Commander Jon Byrne has confirmed.

It's understood airport staff working in the cargo area sounded the alarm after noticing damaged boxes containing hydrofluoric acid.

"Two ambulances, an ambulance bus, an ambulance vehicle with extra protective equipment and a health commander were sent to the airport," Mr Byrne said.

Mr Byrne said paramedics treated eight people at the scene.

A person who came in direct contact with the chemicals was taken to The Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition.

The other seven patients were taken to The Northern Hospital in stable conditions.
Australia  transportation  release  injury  hydrofluoric_acid 
14 days ago
Fire at ExxonMobil refinery leaves four workers critically injured in Baton Rouge
Four workers were injured in a fire at the ExxonMobil refinery Tuesday and taken to a Baton Rouge hospital's burn unit.  

The patients were all in critical condition, Meghan Parrish, a spokeswoman with Baton Rouge General Medical Center, said about two hours after the fire. 

Curt Monte, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Fire Department, said EMS and fire trucks responded to the facility around 4 p.m. after a fire was reported inside the plant. It was extinguished by Exxon's internal fire team, he said. 

Mark Northcutt, the plant manager, said the team quickly put out the fire, which he described as occurring inside an "operating unit" in an isolated area. Neither Northcutt nor Monte said they knew the cause of the fire. 

"We really don't know at this point," said Northcutt, adding that the facility will start an investigation. 
us_LA  industrial  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
14 days ago
Natural gas leak prompts evacuation at N. Spokane Safeway
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane Fire Department said a natural gas leak prompted evacuations on Tuesday morning at a Safeway store in Spokane.

According to officials, around 5:47 a.m. they were dispatched to the Safeway grocery store located on 933 East Mission Avenue for a gas leak.

Employees of the store reported smelling gas and called authorities. Crews were able to evacuate about 40 people that were in the store at the time. They shut off the gas supply and began ventilating the building.

Crews worked with Avista to systematically check the structure to pinpoint the location of the gas source. They discovered a leaking joint in one of the supply lines to the heating system. The line was isolated and a private contractor will be brought in for repairs, fire officials said.
us_WA  public  release  response  natural_gas 
14 days ago
Dams increase mercury exposure for Canadian indigenous communities
Canada has 22 hydropower dam projects under consideration, part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A new study suggests this development will substantially increase the exposure to neurotoxic methylmercury of indigenous people living nearby (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b04447).
Mercury occurs naturally in soil and is deposited from the air through fossil fuel emissions, especially burning coal. Damming floods the soil, mobilizing organic carbon that feeds microbes that can then convert elemental mercury into more toxic methylmercury. Methylmercury bioaccumulates in food webs, exposing people who eat local birds, fish, and other marine animals to higher levels of the neurotoxin. All currently proposed Canadian dams are within 100 km of indigenous communities, which rely on these foods.
Local Inuit and others have protested the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador because of these concerns. Harvard University scientists Elsie M. Sunderland, Ryan S. D. Calder, and colleagues built a model to predict methylmercury accumulation in the river above the dam and in the estuary downstream. Then they estimated the increased mercury exposure for wildlife and local residents, relying on data from earlier studies and baseline methylmercury measurements from hair samples of 571 Inuit in the area, about 20% of the total Inuit population in the region.
Canada  public  discovery  environmental  mercury 
15 days ago
Lessons Learned Database
Discussion: During a mercury amalgamation experiment, an unexpected temperature increase occurred. As part of the testing, two one-gallon (greater than 5% full) cans were loaded under a hood with radioactive elemental mercury sludge, sulfur, and milling balls. As a spill prevention measure, each can was placed in two zip lock bags and an outer airtight polymer bag prior to placing on a paint shaker for an expected 2 hour test duration. The experiment was designed to replicate an amalgamation experiment that was performed by Y-12 Development in the 1990s.

After a sulfur smell was detected 40 minutes into the run, the shaker was turned off and the Waste Engineer and Radcon Technician paused the experiment and left the trailer. A HEPA ventilation unit continued to run. After approximately 15 minutes, the workers re-entered the trailer and the Radcon Technician checked the outer bag of the cans for contamination. There was no radioactive contamination detected but the workers noticed that one of the inner plastic bags had melted from heat on one of the cans. This can was pulled off the shaker and placed in a ventilation hood.

The Waste Engineer then decided to resume the testing of the second can, which was not hot to the touch. He intended to shake the can in 10-minute increments followed by a temperature check to ensure it did not overheat. About 8 minutes into this run the shaker was stopped because the outer bag exhibited expansion and the plastic bags started to smolder. The workers stopped the paint shaker, left the trailer and notified PSS, who notified the fire department and other management.

The Y-12 Fire Department responded and performed a visual inspection of the can and area. They gave the all clear--no smoke and no fire were seen. The facility was left in a stable condition and posted to prohibit entry pending development and execution of a re-entry plan.

The work team investigation identified that work was performed outside the authorized work control system and the test plan was not followed as written. The testing was re-started even though there was an unexpected temperature increase during the first run.

Mercury Sludge Different Than Pure Elemental Mercury -
The presence of water in the mercury sludge was not recognized as a significant variant from the original test protocol that used pure elemental mercury. When heating occurred, the water fraction vaporized and caused the expansion in the outer bag.
laboratory  release  response  mercury 
15 days ago
How do you keep track of tons (literally) of potentially toxic stuff? 
Keeping track of inventory is the worst part of any business. Now imagine that the inventory might be explosive, flammable, radioactive or corrosive – and is surrounded by college students.

This is the situation at UNH, which like all research universities has hundreds of people handling toxic materials of all sorts, both for classes and for research projects. Happily, the school has developed a system for keeping track of it all that is so good that it has been sold to a couple of biotech firms as well as two dozen other schools and pays for itself.

The system, known as CEMS – for chemical environmental management system – was born from turmoil. It was created after the EPA found violations of the school’s chemical inventory and safety practices in 1997. UNH paid a fine of $49,000 but, as part of the settlement, also agreed to set up an information system to keep track of the use and storage of chemicals, taking advantage of the newish technology still known as the World Wide Web.

The interface and user experience – developed to keep tabs on which maybe nasty stuff is stored where – has proven useful for everything from keeping track of employee training to helping researchers share materials (not just chemicals but equipment, even fume hoods) so they don’t have to buy, or throw out, as much. There are now 9,048 active accounts on CEMS, just at UNH.

“Over time, based on needs of UNH Environmental Health and Safety department, and of other schools, CEMS has just kind of grown and grown, feature-wise,” said Phil Collins, lead developer for the system.
us_NH  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
15 days ago
10 years after massive blast, Massachusetts neighborhood is stronger than ever
DANVERS, Mass. — You have to know where to look to find evidence that a massive explosion at an ink and paint plant ripped apart a Massachusetts riverside neighborhood the day before Thanksgiving 10 years ago.

The more than 20 homes that were destroyed in that Nov. 22, 2006, blast have been rebuilt and many of the neighbors have moved back into new homes. A new boat yard occupies the site of the explosion, where the CAI Inc. and Arnel Co. factory was destroyed, and new commercial buildings line the street where old ones had been blown apart. A large settlement and improved safety regulations and protocols also came in the wake of the explosion.


An aerial view of the neighborhood as it looks today in 2016, 10 years after the explosion.

Photo By Ken Yuszkus | The Beverly, Massachusetts Salem News
Still, the blast changed forever the lives of those who lived through what former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney termed “a Thanksgiving miracle in Danvers,” because — despite the widespread destruction — no one was killed.
us_MA  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
15 days ago
Hazmat crews return to Rome water treatment plant after second chlorine leak
LEE, ONEIDA COUNTY – A second chlorine leak at the City of Rome's water treatment plant has Stokes Lee Center Road near Route 26 shut down Monday morning.

Stokes Elementary School was also closed, prior to the entire Rome City School District closing due to weather conditions.

Rome mayor Jackie Izzo tells NewsChannel 2 around 5:30 Saturday evening 30 pounds of chlorine leaked inside the new water treatment facility. Crews were on the scene then, and have been monitoring the situation for two days now.

Izzo stressed to NewsChannel 2 Monday morning that no chlorine has leaked into the water supply, the there is no danger to the city's water. She says a chlorine tank leaked on Saturday, and a safety valve leaked Monday morning. She says the leak has been contained to the building, but it is possible area residents may smell chlorine in the air as building is ventilated.

Emergency and Hazmat personnel were on the scene well into Sunday, and Monday morning Hazmat crews from Utica and Rome were called in again for another leak - according to Oneida County Emergency Services.
us_NY  industrial  release  response  chlorine  water_treatment 
15 days ago
Cordon around dangerous chemical leak at Napier Port
A hazmat team has set up a 100m cordon around a shipping container at Napier Port that was leaking a hazardous chemical.

Hazmat truck
The chemical is methyl ethyl ketone, otherwise known as butanone. 
Butanone is a common solvent, used in items such as whiteboard pens and in the manufacture of plastics.
Port of Napier communications advisor Breanna Cullen said the chemical is flammable and considered hazardous.
Four fire crews including a hazmat unit were called to the scene just after 10am.
New_Zealand  transportation  release  response  mek 
15 days ago
South Side fire brings to light meth lab operation
A South Williamsport couple remains in prison this morning after fire department officials responded to a basement fire in a house Saturday that turned out to be a residence serving as a laboratory manufacturing methamphetamine.

Michael E. Harris, 37, and Courtney P. Long, 29, of 534 Childs Drive, a street that dead-ends near the Little League complex, were arraigned before District Judge Jon Kemp on multiple charges filed by state police and jailed in Lycoming County Prison in lieu of  $200,000 each, South Williamsport Police Chief Robert Hetner said Sunday evening.

Firefighters responded to the cellar fire about 7 p.m. and in the process of dealing with putting the fire out noticed what they suspected could be chemicals that could be used to manufacture the drug.
us_PA  public  fire  response  clandestine_lab 
16 days ago
2 taken to hospital after chlorine spill at water treatment plant
LEE — Two workers were taken to a local hospital Saturday after a "significant" amount of chlorine spilled at the Rome City Water Treatment Plant in the town of Lee, officials said.

Oneida County Emergency Services Director Kevin Revere said between 150 and 200 pounds of chlorine spilled both inside and outside the facility, and that crews would be working throughout the night to clean up the chemical.

"Much less can really hurt somebody so we take every precaution possible," Revere said.

"The thing about hazmat situations is they're very methodical," he added later. "They want to take their time so they don't make a bad situation worse."

The two people taken to the hospital were taken as a precaution, he added, and not due to any specific injuries. The spill won't affect drinking water in the city of Rome or neighboring wells, he said.
us_NY  industrial  release  injury  chlorine  water_treatment 
16 days ago
Riggin to remain closed after ethanol truck crash
MUNCIE, Ind. — An overturned tanker truck carrying about 7,000 gallons of ethanol resulted in Riggin Road being closed to traffic between the Muncie Bypass and Broadway throughout Sunday and into Monday.

The truck rolled over in an accident early Sunday, leaving it on its back with one of the three tanks damaged and leaking the flammable liquid when HazMat crews arrived around 6:30 a.m., according to John Coutinho, deputy director of Emergency Management, on the scene Sunday.

Muncie and Hamilton Township firefighters were the first on scene, with their crews damming the leaking fuel. Fuel that escaped the tanker was vacuumed up Sunday morning while the tanker was drained.

By 1 p.m., the last of the three tanks were being drilled and emptied out before the truck could be turned back over and removed. Emergency responders estimated Riggin Road would remain closed another hour to hour and a half.
us_IN  transportation  release  response  ethanol 
16 days ago
Evidence-based biosafety: a review of the principles and effectiveness of microbiological containment measures.
Abstract We examined the available evidence on the effectiveness of measures aimed at protecting humans and the environment against the risks of working with genetically modified microorganisms (GMOs) and with non-GMO pathogenic microorganisms. A few principles and methods underlie the current biosafety practice: risk assessment, biological containment, concentration and enclosure, exposure minimization, physical containment, and hazard minimization. Many of the current practices are based on experience and expert judgment. The effectiveness of biosafety measures may be evaluated at the level of single containment equipment items and procedures, at the level of the laboratory as a whole, or at the clinical-epidemiological level. Data on the containment effectiveness of equipment and laboratories are scarce and fragmented. Laboratory-acquired infections (LAIs) are therefore important for evaluating the effectiveness of biosafety. For the majority of LAIs there appears to be no direct cause, suggesting that failures of biosafety were not noticed or that containment may have been insufficient. The number of reported laboratory accidents associated with GMOs is substantially lower than that of those associated with non-GMOs. It is unknown to what extent specific measures contribute to the overall level of biosafety. We therefore recommend that the evidence base of biosafety practice be strengthened.
laboratory  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
17 days ago
UH staff and student honored by Honolulu Fire Department
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- Honolulu Fire Department ceremony awarded UH Manoa public safety officers and a student Certificates of Commendation for their role in rescuing a researcher in a laboratory explosion last March.

On March 16, 2016, University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Department of Public Safety Sergeant Bridget Evangelista-Gouveia, Officers Savannah Alpuro and Irenio San Nicolas and student Jan Kealoha came to the rescue of 29-year-old postdoctoral fellow Thea Ekins-Coward after the lab she was working in exploded. The explosion was likely caused by an electrostatic charge and Ekins-Coward lost her arm.

“There was somebody alive that needed help, so. I mean you need to help, right?” said Bridget Evangelista-Gouveia at the award ceremony.

“At that very moment, you're not thinking exactly what you're running into, what to expect. All I know is somebody is in distress and needs help and I am going to try my best to help them," said Savannah Alpuro after she received his award.
In the award ceremony two Medals of Valor and 18 Certificates of Commendation were awarded.
us_HI  laboratory  follow-up  injury  other_chemical 
17 days ago
Reps. Maxine Waters, Ted Lieu press for federal probe into Torrance refinery fire
Federal safety regulators agreed Friday to investigate this week’s fire at the PBF Energy-owned Torrance refinery following a request from South Bay Reps. Maxine Waters and Ted Lieu for a probe into the “cause and potential consequences” of the blaze.

In a letter to Vanessa Allen Sutherland, chairwoman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board in Washington, D.C., Waters and Lieu requested that investigators already looking into a 2015 explosion at the former ExxonMobil refinery include Tuesday afternoon’s fire in its probe and report.

“As has been reported by the Torrance Fire Department and local media, the fire burned dangerously close to the alkylation unit of the refinery,” the representatives wrote. “This is especially alarming because the alkylation unit utilizes hydrofluoric acid, which is regulated as a highly toxic chemical with the potential to kill tens of thousands of people in the surrounding area if accidentally released.”

The South Coast Air Quality Management District, Torrance Fire Department, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and refinery officials are investigating the fire and any potential impact on the community. By the end of the day Friday, the CSB, an independent federal agency that looks into the root causes of industrial chemical accidents to make recommendations to improve safety, said it also would investigate.

“The CSB is continuing its examination of the February 2015 incident at the then ExxonMobil now PBF Energy-owned refinery in Torrance, California, and intends to include additional details on the Nov. 15, 2016, fire in its final report,” spokeswoman Hillary Cohen said in a statement.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  response  hydrofluoric_acid  toxics 
17 days ago
High school evacuated after chemical odor from gym cleaning
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Police say a high school in Manchester, New Hampshire, has been evacuated after a chemical odor was smelled throughout the building.

Police say the custodial staff was working in the gymnasium at Manchester High School West with a solution that could be detected throughout the school. The school was evacuated at about 11:15 a.m. Friday. Due to poor ventilation, some students reported nausea, headaches and other symptoms.

The Manchester Fire Department and American Medical Response Ambulance also were on the scene.

Police said several students were being treated at school and the situation was under control. It wasn't known when students would be allowed back into their classrooms.
us_NH  education  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
18 days ago
Carcinogenic smoke was high during Bethlehem fire, DEC data shows
In the hour around noon last Thursday, the air at the Bocce Courts on Madison Avenue in Lackawanna contained 180 times more carcinogenic benzene than background levels, according to air quality monitoring data.

The data -- which also showed elevated levels of the suspected carcinogens vinyl chloride, butadiene and styrene and higher levels of toluene at air monitoring devices in neighborhoods near the fire -- was revealed Wednesday by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

DEC and state health officials said the results were not unlike what would be expected to occur in the air nearby a large industrial fire like the one that erupted at the former Bethlehem Steel plant coal mill on Route 5 in Lackawanna.

"They found what we expect to be typical constituents of fires," said Dr. Nathan Graber, of the state health department's Center for Environmental Health. during a conference call Wednesday.
us_NY  industrial  follow-up  response  benzene  styrene  toluene 
18 days ago
Leaking fire retardant creates foam sea outside airport
SAN JOSE, Calif. – A sea of foam has spilled out of a hangar at Mineta San Jose International Airport in California and onto an adjacent street.

San Jose Fire Capt. Mitch Matlow tells The Mercury News (http://bayareane.ws/2g51sig ) the foam is a chemical used as a fire retardant and is coming from the hangar’s fire prevention system. Matlow says the retardant discharged accidentally.

By Friday afternoon, the foam had surrounded two tanker trucks and spilled onto the street. Crews were on the scene.
us_CA  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
18 days ago
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