Fired science teacher did not have state license
DENVER – Three weeks ago, Daniel Powell conducted a science experiment that went so wrong, four students were injured, one seriously. He has now been fired and state records show he did not have valid teaching license.

"It's a horrible, unfortunate incident and our hearts bleed for the families and for those students," Nora Flood, president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, said.

Powell was a teacher at SMART Academy which is part of a network of charter schools called Strive Prep. He was trying to show students a chemistry experiment with fire and methanol when a fire started causing serious burns to one student.

"It could've been anybody at any school," Flood said.

In a search of the data base which shows records of teacher licenses, there is no listing of a Daniel Powell with a current Colorado teacher's license. Charter schools are not required to have licensed teachers in the classroom.

Flood says that's by design.

"There are always challenges in finding good teachers and so we're actually able to go outside the realm of the traditional teacher licensure program to try to find the best fit for our schools," Flood said. "It's one of the things we hold dear and that is, that it is up to the school to be able to determine for themselves whether they want to have that licensure piece."

Flood says that allows, for example, a science-based school to seek a professional engineer to teach students about engineering.

"You have to be an expert in the field you are going to teach," Flood said.
us_CO  education  follow-up  injury  methanol 
10 hours ago
Former Teacher Charged In Lab Explosion That Injured Students
DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Charges have been filed against a teacher who was fired after four students were burned, one seriously, when a fire erupted in a Denver high school chemistry laboratory.

According to Lynn Kimbrough with the district attorney’s office, Daniel Powell, 22, “has been served with a summons charging him with four counts of third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

Powell was conducting a demonstration with methanol when the explosion occurred on Sept. 15.

Three of the students are back in school and the fourth student, who was not identified, continues to improve.

“He has a long road ahead of him. We are providing counseling to students and faculty,” said Lindsay Neil, spokeswoman for the Science, Math and Arts Academy charter school on Oct. 7.

Powell suffered minor injuries to his hands and declined medical treatment, Neil said after the accident.
us_CO  laboratory  follow-up  injury  methanol 
10 hours ago
Fire at UI lab put out quickly; no one hurt
URBANA — Nobody was hurt in a fire at a University of Illinois laboratory on Wednesday afternoon.

Urbana Fire Marshal Phil Edwards said firefighters were called to Roger Adams Laboratory (600 S. Mathews Ave.) at 4:13 p.m.

“We got a call that somebody reported smoke and flames coming from a closet in one of the rooms,” Edwards said. “The person who saw it first grabbed a fire extinguisher, but he decided to pull the fire alarm and call 911.”

By the time firefighters arrived, the building’s sprinkler system had already put out the fire, he said.

Since the fire took place in an electrical closet, firefighters believe that electrical problems may have been the cause.

Everybody was evacuated from the building as a precaution.
us_IL  laboratory  fire  response  fire_extinguisher 
10 hours ago
OSHA cites Walgreens after New Haven chemical spill; proposes $77,000 in fines
NEW HAVEN >> The Walgreens pharmacy on York Street has been cited for three violations by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the store was inspected twice following a July chemical spill that sent four employees to the hospital.

The chemical spill occurred July 9 in the pharmacy area at the 88 York St. store and involved technicians working there, city officials said at the time.

PHOTOS: New Haven hazmat team responds to York Street Walgreens

OSHA has proposed fines totaling $77,220 as a result of the two repeat violations and one serious violation found during the inspections, which took place in July and August.

Walgreens by Oct. 30 must pay the fines and agree to abate the violations, schedule an informal conference about the violations or contest the violations.
us_CT  public  follow-up  injury  other_chemical 
10 hours ago
Beautiful Videos Of Chemical Reactions
Aside from its depiction in the hit series Breaking Bad, chemistry has long gotten a bad rap as the least sexy of the sciences. A new digital media project aims to change all that, starting with a series of eerily alluring videos that capture what happens when two chemical substances combine.

The scientists behind the project, which they've aptly named Beautiful Chemistry, used a special camera to zoom in on some of the most common chemical reactions — and provide a new perspective on what's really going on inside those beakers.

Say, for example, a researcher were to run a typical precipitation reaction — a run-of-the-mill test typically used to uncover a hidden element in a solution. Here's what she'd normally see in her test tube: A clear solution would turn cloudy when a few drops of another solution were added.


So, Chinese researchers thought, what would happen if someone were to take that everyday reaction and run it outside of a test tube, with a camera lens that could zoom in on all the action taking place at a super small scale?

That's precisely what they did, and the results are stunning.
China  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
10 hours ago
Cub Scouts hurt in chemical explosion getting better
RAYMOND — The three Cub Scouts injured in a chemical explosion in Montgomery County on Monday night are improving.
Dan O’Brien, Scout executive and CEO for the Abraham Lincoln Council in Springfield, said Wednesday that two of the Scouts were released from Springfield-area hospitals Tuesday and the third is expected to be released Wednesday.
“Full recovery is expected on all three of them,” O’Brien said.
A parent who was an observer also was taken to a Springfield hospital for burns but was not admitted, O’Brien said.
The Scouts and the parent were outside of a building in Raymond conducting an experiment that involved mixing boric acid and Heet antifreeze in a metal fire pit to produce a green flame when the substance exploded about 7:20 p.m. Monday, police said.
The three Scouts and the parent suffered burns to their faces, hands and arms. The Scouts were flown to both Memorial Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital. The parent was transported to Springfield by ambulance, police said.
Raymond Mayor Denny Held said Tuesday that neither the Scouts nor the adult were wearing eye protection. He said they had tried the experiment twice before but were unable to see any flames, so they may have moved closer to the fire pit and used more of each substance to try to produce a better result.
No further information was available Wednesday on what caused the accident.
us_IL  public  follow-up  injury  antifreeze  metals 
7 Firefighters Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals After Blaze at Abandoned Factory: FDNY
Fire officials say that seven firefighters were taken to the hospital in serious condition after being exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals during a blaze at an abandoned factory in Brooklyn early Thursday.
An unknown substance in a kiln stove caught fire in the two-story factory on Belmont Avenue in East New York at about 1:15 a.m., according to the FDNY.

Firefighters arrived on scene afterward and let the blaze burn itself out because of the possibility that dousing the substance with water could cause an explosion. The fire was brought under control at about 2 a.m.
A hazardous materials crew was then brought to the scene to identify the substance that caught fire, according to the FDNY.

While investigating, EMS workers with the HAZMAT crew determined that the seven firefighters who had been exposed to the chemicals should be taken to Kings County Hospital.
us_NY  industrial  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
After Rosedale derailment, NTSB calls for ban on phone use in vehicles
The freight train derailment and explosion that caused millions of dollars in property damage in Rosedale last year spurred National Transportation Safety Board officials on Wednesday to call for new laws banning the use of hands-free cellphone devices by drivers.

John Alban Jr., who was driving a commercial waste truck that collided with the train and forced the derailment, was using such a device at the time, the NTSB found. He had received a call 18 seconds prior to the collision.

"Current laws may mislead people to believe that hands free is as safe as not using a phone at all," acting NTSB chairman Christopher A. Hart said in a statement. "Our investigation has found over and over that distraction in any form can be dangerous behind the wheel."
us_MD  transportation  follow-up  response  waste 
Does White House moratorium on biodefense-related research have anything to do with Ebola?
The White House recently announced a moratorium on federal funding for research studies which involve altering disease pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, to make them even deadlier either by increasing their transmissibility or virulence.

Research studies designed to enhance the transmissibility and virulence of disease pathogens are called gain-of-function studies in official US circles. GOF studies have an essential dual purpose nature because the results are equally applicable for medical and bioweapons purposes.

The US government released a statement Friday asking all researchers in the field to stop ongoing GOF studies while the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Health and Human Services set up a "deliberative process" to assess the risks and benefits of GOF experiments and to work out a consistent policy for safety in future and ongoing research work.
public  discovery  environmental 
Temple: Firefighters Respond To Wal-Mart Hazmat Incident
TEMPLE (October 22, 2014) Firefighters responded to a hazmat incident Wednesday at the Wal-Mart distribution center in Temple involving a small anhydrous ammonia leak from the center’s cooling system.

The leak, which was in a valve in a stand-alone equipment room was reported just after 9 a.m. at the center at 9605 NW H.K. Dodgen Loop, did not require the evacuation of the center.

Once the leak was stopped, the area was ventilated and a crew remained on the scene while repairs were made.
us_TX  public  release  response  ammonia 
Can Better Design Stop Ebola? How Creative Minds Can Help
On just one day’s notice, almost 200 people crowded an auditorium at Columbia University’s engineering school on a Thursday evening in early October. Engineers, designers, and public health researchers were there to learn and brainstorm, and do so quickly. Every week has meant hundreds of new cases of Ebola in West Africa. Soon, that number could be thousands.

There are clearly no simple fixes to the Ebola outbreak. At a very basic level more money, gear and equipment, and medical workers are needed, and at the most high-tech, drug companies are now racing to test potential treatments and vaccines. But lower-level innovation is also in order--the kinds of simple design and engineering ideas that can make inroads quickly.
education  discovery  environmental 
Chemistry lab fire evacuates UD buildings
A small fire in a University of Delaware chemistry lab evacuated three campus buildings on Wednesday morning.
The fire broke out at 11:40 a.m. in a piece of lab equipment in Room 108 on the first-floor of Drake Hall on Academy Street, said John H. Farrell IV, spokesman for Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Co. Firefighters used two fire extinguishers to put out the fire.
The incident triggered a response by the New Castle County HAZMAT team and UD’s own HAZMAT unit.
“There are lots of chemicals in the building,” UD spokesman John Brennan said, noting that UD works with area fire departments to notify them of where chemicals and other dangerous substances are kept. “As soon as they know it’s a lab, they send everybody.”
Farrell said the lab was labeled with chemical and radiological warnings.
“Obviously, we entered with due care and caution,” he said. “We were very judicious with the number of people who went in.”
Even though air quality tests came back normal, all the firefighters who entered the lab went through a decontamination process afterward, Farrell said.
us_DE  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
A winter wonderland at Keene store
Winter came early to Cumberland Farms on Main Street in Keene late Tuesday morning.
The fire suppression system for the gas pumps accidentally went off while construction work was taking place on the site, said Derek R. Beckwith, a spokesman with Cumberland Farms.
What was released was a white baking powder-type material, which is safe, he said.
Left behind was a scene reminiscent of a fast-moving snow squall with vehicles, the parking lot, and the windows and part of the roof of the store building caked in white powder. The sidewalk in front of Cumberland Farms and the northbound lane of Main Street were also dusted.
The store closed down right after the incident happened.
Beckwith said Cumberland Farms has brought in a company to clean up the material, and expects to have the store reopened today by 5 or 6 p.m. 
us_NH  industrial  release  response  dust 
2 days ago
New study charts the fate of chemicals affecting health and the environment
n a new study, Rolf Halden, PhD, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, examines the trajectory of chemicals appearing as emergent threats to human or environmental health. 

Halden’s meta-analysis of 143,000 peer-reviewed research papers tracks the progress of these chemicals of emerging concern or CECs, revealing patters of emergence from obscurity to peak concern and eventual decline, over a span of 30 years. 

The study reveals that around 14 years typically elapse from the onset of initial safety concerns about a given chemical to the height of concern and appropriate action. This extended timeline implies protracted exposure to CECs for a large number of people. 
us_AZ  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
2 days ago
HAZMAT called to Humble post office after odor sickens 9
HOUSTON – A hazardous materials team was called out to a post office in Humble Tuesday because of an odor that caused an allergic reaction in nine employees, Assistant Fire Chief Al Taska said.

It happened at about 11 a.m. at 1202 First Street where a suspicious odor was reported emitting from a package.

Everyone was evacuated from the post office as a precaution. Employees were told to sit in the back parking lot as the HAZMAT team went in.

"They started to block everything off over here and clearing everything out. And asking everyone to leave," said Richell McKnight, who own the pet shop across the street.

After a complete screening, the package was determined to contain non-hazardous fragrance oils and eCigarettes.

Taska said nine people were transported to Northeast Memorial Hermann Hospital as a precaution. The individuals reported having itchy throats, along with coughing and sneezing.

The package was later picked-up by the intended recipient and all operations returned to normal, a USPS spokeswoman said.
us_TX  public  release  injury  oils 
2 days ago
One injured as fire burns at laboratory near Dexter
Editor's note: The story has been updated to reflect that this is not an official University of Michigan laboratory. Additional details about the fire have also been included.

Firefighters from several departments were called to the 6800 block of Marshall Road Tuesday afternoon to battle a blaze that engulfed research laboratory and residential home just south of Dexter. A least one person was injured in the fire.

The lab, MKP Structural design, employs nearly a dozen University of Michigan researchers, and the 13-year-old company "has been dedicated to the development of new technologies for simulating, designing, and manufacturing innovative structural and material concepts. These can be used for a wide range of applications, including next-generation air and ground vehicle systems," its website reads.

According to John Ren, a University of Michigan graduate student who works at the lab, the fire started in or near a bathroom inside of the facility as a man was in the process of replacing a toilet.

Ren said water may have sprayed onto some electrical components inside the bathroom, starting an electrical fire at 1:10 p.m.

The man suffered burns on his hands and smoke inhalation, and was treated by Huron Valley Ambulance before being taken to an area hospital.

Flames were still shooting into the air from the building as of 3:30 p.m., and firefighters had been evacuated from the building as a ladder was brought in to dump water onto the blaze. Nearby trees had also caught fire and rescue crews were battling to extinguish them as well.
us_MI  laboratory  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Cub Scouts injured in chemical explosion
RAYMOND, Ill. - Three Cub Scouts and their den leader were injured Monday when an experiment with chemicals exploded.

The incident occurred in Raymond, Illinois, about 20 minutes north of Litchfield in Montgomery County.

City of Raymond Mayor Dennis Held said the scouts were having a meeting outside The Living Center at A Community of Faith Church earlier in the evening. The group was conducting a yearly experiment, mixing borax and Heet anti-freeze over a fire pit, with the intention of creating a green-blue flame. An explosion occurred during the course of the experiment, burning the scouts and den leader.

One scout conducting the experiment suffered burns to his arms, face, and hair area. The other two suffered facial burns. The den leader was also burned.

The Cub Scouts were airlifted to a Springfield hospital. The den leader was also taken to a Springfield hospital, but by ambulance.
us_IL  public  explosion  injury  antifreeze 
2 days ago
Chemical Spill Closes I-75 For Hours In Madison County
Both south and northbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Madison County were closed from exit 90 to exit 97 due to a chemical spill for hours on Tuesday.

Officials say a truck carrying more than 3,200 gallons of ferric chloride solution leaked between KY 627 and Exit 97 (US 25) near the 96 mile marker around 10 a.m. It's not clear how much leaked.

The southbound lanes were reopened around 3:00 p.m. An hour later, the northbound lanes were reopened.

The trooper who pulled over the truck was taken to the hospital as a precaution. A shelter in place recommendation was issued for residents in the area, but it was called off by 4 p.m.

"That inhalation hazard could affect anyone traveling on the interstate," said trooper Robert Purdy. "If they have their AC on and brining in from the outside, if that chemical is in the air, then it can be an inhalation hazard and that's why we immediately shut down the interstate."

The traffic backup caused a headache for some people who aren't from the area and just happened to be driving through.

"We heard there was a hazmat spill, so we took a detour and it's put us behind on our travels," said traveler Brad Benett. "We're headed up north to Pittsburgh, so we're behind today because of that."
us_KY  transportation  release  response  ferric_chloride 
2 days ago
Man Catches Fire In Borough Park Home, Runs For Help Covered In Flames
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a dramatic scene on the streets of Borough Park, Brooklyn Tuesday afternoon, as a man caught fire and ran for help covered in flames.
Only CBS 2’s cameras have video from inside the building where the fire broke out around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.
As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, surveillance video showed the man running in a panic into oncoming traffic, trailing smoke and flames. A witness, Alex Mayer, ran to his aid.
“It was a very scary scene,” Mayer said. “I chased him. I told him to drop and roll, basically.”
Another Good Samaritan also helped with a fire extinguisher.
Witnesses said it all started with an explosion inside the building at 910 McDonald Ave. in Brooklyn.
“We heard a loud bang, and we started seeing, smelling smoke rushing up — upstairs,” a woman said.
Fire investigators believe the fire started in the basement, where the young victim was spraying some kind of flammable flavoring on some material that is used in hookah pipes.
us_NY  public  explosion  response  flammables 
2 days ago
11 Killed in Massive Explosion at Andhra Pradesh Fireworks Factory
Eleven people were on Monday killed, while seven others have sustained serious injuries when an explosion occurred at a firecracker manufacturing unit located in the village of Vakatippa in the coastal district of East Godavari.

An senior police official who addressed reporters over the phone has confirmed that there had been a massive explosion at the firecracker manufacturing factory, and added that the police have so far come to know that eleven people had been killed.

The private firecracker unit is located in the village of Vakatippa in Uppada Kothapalli mandal close to Kakinada, the district headquarters town, located approximately 500 kms from Hyderabad. The workers had been working at the factory when the explosion had taken place in the afternoon today.

The police have said that there had been 18 workers present in the factory at the time of the explosion.
India  industrial  explosion  death  fireworks 
3 days ago
SAFETY: The drilling industry's explosion problem -- Monday, October 20, 2014 -- www.eenews.net
Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit froze the valve on the back of Greg Bish's frack truck. To thaw it, he fetched a blowtorch and put the 4-inch flame to the metal.

The explosion blew him 75 feet, over a 7-foot-tall barbed-wire fence, and killed him.

It might seem dangerous to apply a propane torch to the back of a large metal tank holding natural gas production waste, as Bish did that morning in 2010 just outside Elderton, Pa. But in the oil and gas industry, it's not unusual.

The oil and gas industry has more deaths from fires and explosions than any other private industry, according to an EnergyWire review of federal labor statistics. It employs less than 1 percent of the U.S. workforce, but in the past five years it has had more than 10 percent of all workplace fatalities from fires and explosions.
industrial  follow-up  death  natural_gas 
3 days ago
Blast rocks chemical plant in Donetsk, claims of tactical missile — RT News
A huge blast has rocked a chemical factory in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the city council says on its website. The blast wave reportedly shattered windows in houses in a radius of several kilometers.

The explosion reportedly took place at 12:10pm local time.

Local militia has said that the plant was targeted by a tactical Tochka-U missile (SS-21 Scarab).RT’s team in Donetsk is trying to verify this information.
Ukraine  industrial  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Chemical Leak Contained At Refinery In Linden, NJ
LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A chemical leak at a Phillips 66 refinery in Linden, New Jersey has been contained.
Police, firefighters and a hazmat team responded to the Infineum plant inside the Bayway Refinery Complex around 8:30 a.m. Monday on a report of a chemical cloud, Linden authorities said.
The plant shares part of the building with Phillips, CBS 2’s Ilana Gold reported.

In a statement on the company’s website, the plant said a 25 percent concentration of ethylaluminum dichloride in a hydrocarbon oil was released and plant employees were ordered to shelter in place.
Video from the scene showed crews dousing the area with water after a giant plume of smoke filled the air.
Jennifer Taylor, who lives just two blocks away, ran outside to see what was happening.
“I seen a whole big black cloud right over Exxon,” she said.
us_NJ  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
3 days ago
How Hospital Workers Are Supposed to Treat Ebola Safely
The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that worker safety guidelines were not followed at the Dallas hospital where a nurse became infected with Ebola in the course of treating a Liberian man who died from the disease on Oct. 8. The director, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, did not identify what the failure was, but suggested there should be further investigation of certain aspects of the care by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
public  discovery  environmental 
3 days ago
Officials: Teen made very sensitive homemade explosives
ROLFE, Iowa (KCCI) -- Officials said the state fire marshal and an FBI bomb tech from Omaha were called to the town of Rolfe after a student said he had homemade explosive materials at his house.

Ron Humphrey, of the state fire marshal's office, estimated officials obtained around a quarter of a pound of chemical-based explosive material known as TATP.

"He had the product, it was a good product," Humphrey said. "He could have, if he wanted to, cause some damage or injuries or hurt somebody pretty seriously, or himself or anybody else in the house."

Humphrey said the material was kept in plastic pill bottles around the house at 605 Garfield Street and was very sensitive.

He said an explosion could have occurred if a bottle was dropped or lid screwed on incorrectly.

Humphrey said crews gathered all the bottles and materials used in chemical-making processes, packed it in sand and transported it to a county property. They said crews would perform a controlled explosion to destroy the material.
us_IA  public  discovery  response  bomb  explosives 
5 days ago
Biosafety Expert: Nigeria Proves Ebola Can Be Stopped
A western African nation — Nigeria — that survived its brush with Ebola this summer offers lessons in how to derail a potential pandemic, says an American biosafety expert who worked on Nigeria's rapid early response as the disease hit nearby countries.

Debra Sharpe, president of Sharpe Solutions International in Georgia, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Friday that her experience training Nigerian health care workers against Ebola proved that governments can succeed — but need time and expert help to get it right.
us_GA  public  discovery  response 
5 days ago
3 Students Injured in Chemical Explosion at University of Rochester
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Hutchinson Hall was closed for hours while Rochester Fire Department’s haz mat crew cleaned up a chemical explosion inside a student laboratory in the basement of the building.

“This was pretty surprising, I'll say,” said Joe Bailey. He’s a senior at the university and spends some of his time in that basement lab. Bailey said he was alerted about the explosion through a friend.

"One of my friends heard about and he texted me to try and make sure I was alright," said the senior.

Bailey was okay, but three graduate students were not. Jared Kneebone, Kathlyn Fillman, and Malik Al-Afyouni were transported to Strong Memorial Hospital where they were treated for chemical burns and cuts after a container they were using exploded.

Captain Mark Alberts with the Rochester Fire Department said the three students were mixing three chemicals including hydro choleric and nitric acid. When the explosion occurred, students said a fire alarm sounded in the building and they were evacuated.

"I thought it was a false alarm like always,” said Michael Dyonisious. The U of R graduate student said the labs are typically safe.

“Everyone has to take the chemical safety training facility really enforce they chemical safety training on anyone that work on the lab,” said Dyonisious.

The Rochester Fire Department worked to make sure the building wasn't contaminated and made sure no other chemicals were involved. After about two hours it was determined the area was stable and safe for students to re-enter.

U of R Spokesperson Sara Miller explained that the university did not send a mass alert to student because the situation was contained to just Hutchinson Hall.
us_NY  laboratory  explosion  injury  nitric_acid 
5 days ago
After biosafety lapses, US halts funding for work modifying virus targets
Today, the White House announced a pause in a specific type of research on viruses. Rather than being a response to the recent Ebola infections, this dates back to events that began in 2011. Back then, researchers who were studying the bird flu put it through a series of lab procedures that ended with a flu virus that could readily infect mammals. Some members of the scientific community considered this work irresponsible, as the resulting virus could, again, potentially infect humans.

Similar research and a debate over its value and threat have continued. Now, however, the Obama administration decided to put it on hold. Prompted by several recent biosafety lapses (including the discovery of old smallpox samples at the National Institutes of Health), the government will temporarily stop funding for these projects. During the pause, the government will organize a "deliberative process" that will consider the value of the research and the appropriate safety precautions that will need to be followed if it's done. The review will be run by a combination of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and the National Academies of Science.

The funding pause will apply to any projects that can allow viruses like the flu, MERS, and SARS to either add mammals to the list of species they can infect, or to increase their virulence following infection. The government also hopes that any lab pursuing this research using private funding will voluntarily join in the pause. Researchers who are simply studying naturally occurring viruses without modifying them will not be affected by this pause.

The government's announcement can be read here.
laboratory  discovery  response 
6 days ago
UTMB Galveston agrees to dispose of Ebola medical waste
GALVESTON – Amid growing concerns about the transmission of Ebola, UTMB-Galveston announced it's agreed to accept medical waste from Ebola patients.

Patients' belongings have been collected, disinfected and then burned at a facility in Port Arthur.

But now state health officials have asked UTMB to dispose of medical waste from Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

The medical center in Galveston is home to some of the top Ebola researchers in the world and a level 4 biosafety lab called the Galveston National Laboratory where they've been researching Ebola and other infectious diseases. Now it says it's ready to dispose of the waste.

UTMB's president David Callender says they are willing to accept the patents and waste quite simply because they can handle the threat.
us_TX  laboratory  discovery  response  waste 
6 days ago
Employees fall ill from chemical spill at Summit Racing
The Tallmadge Fire Department reports this morning at 5:52 it responded to Summit Racing Equipment, 1200 Southeast Ave., for a report of two employees feeling sick. 

According to fire officials, employees had noticed a small chemical spill and proceeded to clean it up. The employees then became Ill and requested EMS. 

After the arrival of EMS, Battalion Chief Mike Passarelli was informed of four additional sick employees. By protocol, the building was evacuated and County Hazardous Materials commander was contacted. The Hazardous Materials commander was on scene at 6:05 a.m.

Mutual aid was received by the Summit County Hazardous Material Team and the Mogadore Fire Department.

By 6:27 a.m. the chemicals had been completely identified and isolated. One employee was transported to the hospital for evaluation. The other five employees were treated and released on scene.
us_OH  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Ebola hazmat suits difficult to remove
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Sometimes all that separates the nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak from contracting the disease is a few pieces of thin protective gear.

Story includes video demonstrating challenge of doffing high level PPE
us_DC  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
What city learned from Friday's Ebola scare
Hours after an Ebola scare began at a Zelda Road eye center, Baptist South Hospital announced "the patient did not have any symptoms whatsoever associated with the diagnosis of Ebola."

For the public the Ebola scare and the myriad procedures used to deal with it had ended, but for central Alabama officials it is just a beginning.

Rather than view it only as a false alarm, Mayor Todd Strange saw it as "a really good exercise" to see how the city handled an Ebola threat, and officials will gather in Montgomery early next week to review what happened and suggest improvements.

"What we will do is get everyone involved to see what we collectively think worked and where we might have done things better," Strange said Friday night.

He said the meeting would likely include Montgomery public safety personnel, such as fire and police officials, representatives from Baptist South hospital, where the patient was taken, and either Alabama Department of Public Health director Don Williamson or someone else from the department.
us_AL  public  discovery  response 
6 days ago
How To Report On Ebola: Journalists Find Hazmat Suits A Hindrance In Hot Zone
During the 13 days she spent covering the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, Guardian newspaper journalist Monica Mark took every precaution. She checked her temperature every morning, every night and at any moment she felt the slightest twinge or ache. She hired a driver to avoid a taxi that could have been contaminated with someone exposed to the virus. In-person interviews were conducted at a distance. Washing her hands and boots with chlorine became second nature. So did wearing long johns and long-sleeved shirts in West Africa’s blazing heat. Wiping sweat off her brow was out of the question.

“But it’s impossible not to touch people sometimes,” she said, remembering the day she was at Princess Christian Maternity Hospital in Freetown when a complete stranger wrapped her arms around her.

Mark was standing in a hallway of one of the wards when an older woman approached her. “I heard a woman yell, ‘Jessica!’” Mark, who is black, said describing the incident. The woman had clearly mistaken Mark for someone else, but before she could explain the mix-up, the woman gave her a massive hug.

“She kept saying, ‘I’m so excited you came. You must see my daughter,’” Mark said. At that point Mark knew if she had contracted the virus it was too late to do anything about it. She followed the woman to a room where she met the woman’s daughter who had just given birth.
Sierra_Leone  public  discovery  environmental 
6 days ago
Gupta Tests Ebola Hazmat Suits
WASHINGTON, DC (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- One of the nations most famous doctors is showing others just how easy it is for those health care workers to catch the virus off protective gear.
    Dr. Sanjay Gupta used chocolate syrup to demonstrate how difficult it is to get out of the protective where without having any bodily fluid touching you.
    Dr. Gupta was following CDC protocol on how to exactly remove the protective gear after use.
us_DC  public  discovery  environmental 
6 days ago
Jennie-O Turkey Plant in Willmar, Minn. Evacuated, Police Investigating Possible Chemical Leak
The Jennie-O Turkey Plant in Willmar, Minnesota, was evacuated Friday night around 7:30 after people there started getting sick.
Willmar Police say initially a few people were sick, vomiting and coughing. At last check, police say up to 30 people have been transported to the hospital with similar symptoms.
Police are investigating a possible chemical leak but haven't released the exact cause.
Jennie-O officials say they are working with local authorities to find out what is causing the illnesses. They say the fire department has not found anything unusual.
"The health and well-being of our employees is our top concern during this time," the company's statement said.
us_MN  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
North Haven High School students sent home as precaution after chemical spill
NORTH HAVEN >> The town’s high school was evacuated and students were dismissed early as a precautionary measure Friday after a small chemical spill, officials said.

Fire, police and ambulances responded to the 221 Elm St. school at about 11:20 a.m. No injuries were reported.

The students were dismissed at 1 p.m.

The chemicals spilled in a third-floor science laboratory, Deputy Fire Chief Dave Marcarelli said.

A science teacher told firefighters about a half gallon of nitric acid spilled out of a gallon drum, according to Marcarelli.

“We were able to go in with our meters and test the environment,” Marcarelli said. The department’s hazardous materials team neutralized the spill by putting a base on it, bringing it down to a safe level, he said.
us_CT  laboratory  release  response  nitric_acid 
6 days ago
Sheriff: Teen planned to blow up building in November
ROLFE, Iowa —A teen and his mother have been arrested and charged after officials found homemade explosive materials in their house in the town of Rolfe.

Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe told KCCI's Vanessa Peng that the boy had accumulated enough material to level a two-story building.

Lampe said the boy reportedly planned to blow up a building in November. He would not elaborate on how authorities know that information.

"There were no threats made to anyone in school or any specific person. This was something he was experimenting with and I think for a long time, and he finally perfected it," said Lampe.

Lampe said the boy apparently researched how to make the explosive materials and had reached the point where he had perfected the formula.
us_IA  education  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Green Chemistry: Green Chemistry Reagent Guides
While solvents may get all the limelight as being the largest input to pharmaceutical manufacturing processes, reagents, substances or compounds added to a system to create a chemical reaction, are also important components to focus on when taking the greener route.
Similar to the Solvent Guide, created by the ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable, which helps chemists choose safer solvents; the roundtable has created Reagent Guides. These guides were created to achieve three purposes, to provide a balanced assessment of chemical methods, to allow easy access to chemical literature or procedures for reagents that end up with a high score in the assessment, and to gain attention for new emerging green chemistry methods. When the first round of guides are complete there will be nine sections to choose from: oxidation to aldehyde and ketones, nitro reduction, n-alkylation, o-dealkylation, ester deprotection, epoxidation, amide formation, Boc deprotection, amide reduction.
industrial  discovery  environmental  drugs  pharmaceutical  solvent 
7 days ago
Hazmat truck leak closes part of Walden Avenue in Alden
A section of Walden Avenue in the Town of Alden is closed because of material leaking from a tanker truck that has split, emergency crews are reporting from the scene.

The closure is between Town Line and Wende roads. Hazardous materials teams from numerous fire companies are responding to the scene.

The material has been described as “pitch,” which is a hot substance used in roofing projects.
us_NY  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
7 days ago
Hazmat crew responds to Upper East Side condo after possible Ebola case reported 
First responders in full hazmat gear showed up at a ritzy Upper East Side condo Thursday on a report of a possible Ebola case, law enforcement said.

Paramedics, dressed head to toe in protective attire, were seen taking a woman from a pricey Park Ave. condo near E. 61st St. where living spaces sell for up to $5 million dollars, at about 2:30 p.m.

An FDNY spokesman said two people were transported from the address suffering from respiratory and cardiac distress.

Neither was listed as fever/travel patients, the FDNY's code for people suffering from Ebola-like symptoms.

One of the patients was taken to New York Hospital, the spokesman said. The second was taken to Bellevue Hospital, which has a special quarantine room in its emergency room along with an isolation chamber that can hold up to four patients, he said.
us_NY  public  discovery  response 
7 days ago
'Clipboard Man' Without a Hazmat Suit at Ebola Flight Explained
The man seen not wearing a hazmat suit while standing just feet away from the second nurse with Ebola as she was transported to Emory University hospital did not need to wear the protective gear, the medical airline said.

The nurse, identified Wednesday as Amber Vinson, was flown from Dallas to Atlanta on medical airline Phoenix Air.

She was seen being transported to and from the ambulance by three people in full-body hazmat suits, but the fourth person by her stretcher was wearing plainclothes and holding a clipboard.

The airline confirmed to ABC News that the man was their medical protocol supervisor who was purposefully not wearing protective gear.

"Our medical professionals in the biohazard suits have limited vision and mobility and it is the protocol supervisor’s job to watch each person carefully and give them verbal directions to ensure no close contact protocols are violated," a spokesperson from Phoenix Air told ABC News.

"There is absolutely no problem with this and in fact ensures an even higher level of safety for all involved," the spokesperson said.
us_TX  public  discovery  environmental 
7 days ago
Fire engulfs factories in Revesby
A massive fire that engulfed a factory containing thousands of litres of flammable liquid could burn for days in Sydney's south-west.

NSW Fire & Rescue Superintendent Ian Krimmer said the fire in an industrial zone in Revesby was now under control but not yet extinguished. 

"The factory is all collapsing onto itself so it could burn for a couple of days," Superintendent Krimmer said. 

Thick black smoke fills the sky as a blaze burns in south-west Sydney. Photo: Nick Moir
One hundred firefighters worked to contain the blaze, which started in an a car parts factory on Marigold Street about 11am.

When firefighters arrived at the scene they were faced with huge columns of black smoke, explosions and a fast-moving fire.

NSW Fire & Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins said chemical solvents in the car manufacturing plant had caused explosions that sent huge balls of fire shooting into the sky.
Australia  industrial  explosion  response  flammables 
7 days ago
Incident at Yeager Airport result of personal hygiene products
A chemical leak at Yeager Airport late Wednesday that sent two airport workers to the hospital and closed the airport for about three hours was an accident, airport officials believe.

Yeager Airport Director Rick Atkinson said the substance released when a Delta Air Lines staff member opened a piece of luggage was the result of two personal hygiene products mixing together.

“Somehow the stuff just got tossed around and maybe broke or something,” he said. “A little bit of it is fine. A lot of it in a concentrated space is going to irritate your nose and eyes.”

Terry Sayre, the airport’s assistant director, said the bag had been reported missing from a flight the day before and had arrived at the airport as a lost bag.

Sayre said the bag had been sitting at Delta for about 12 hours when a staffer decided to open it to confirm the owner. When the bag was opened, the substance was released, he said.

About 45 minutes later, two Delta employees started having breathing problems. Two airport staffers were decontaminated at the airport and two were sent to CAMC General Hospital for decontamination “out of an abundance of caution,” airport spokesman Mike Plante said Wednesday.
us_WV  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Penn State student hurt in laboratory explosion
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Penn State's department of environmental health and safety has been investigating a small explosion at a campus laboratory that burned a student.

School officials aren't identifying the student who was doing a tissue culture in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building when the explosion occurred in an exhaust hood about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Svend Peterson, the assistant safety officer of the Alpha Fire Company in State College, says investigators are trying to determine if alcohol being used for sterilization could have caused the blast.

University officials say there didn't appear to be damage to the building, though they were still attempting to determine whether any lab equipment was damaged.

The student was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center, where information about the student's condition was not immediately available Thursday.
us_PA  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Traffic restricted after Hazmat team called to RUH
Traffic to Royal University Hospital was restricted Thursday after a Hazmat team was called to a reported chemical spill.
Saskatoon fire crews, including a hazardous materials team, were called to a laboratory on the third floor of the hospital at 2:45 p.m.
“We got the call of an odd smell on the third floor of RUH in the lab. We sent out a Hazmat team to investigate. We did testing for numerous chemicals and have found nothing at this time,” said assistant fire chief Morgan Hackl.
Only the lab was evacuated, according to Hackl.
Saskatoon police controlled traffic to RUH for about an hour. The restriction led to some congestion on College Drive, Hackl said.
Canada  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Italy fire opens seedy side of Chinese migrant labour
There was no fire alarm fitted at the garment factory outside Florence where Chen Changzhong worked and lived.

Heat finally startled him awake on the morning of December 1 last year. Before him was a wall of burning fabric. He raced through the building and became the only worker to survive.

Seven people died at the Teresa Moda factory in Prato, a largely Chinese manufacturing district in Tuscany.

It was the deadliest in memory, exposing the true costs of cheap clothes and the pursuit of profit over safety in the thriving, illicit economy that has grown out of Chinese immigration to Italy.
Italy  industrial  follow-up  death  illegal 
7 days ago
UCLA's legal fees in fatal lab fire case neared $4.5 million
After UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran walked out of court in June, his lawyers issued a news release hailing the "first-of-its-kind" deal that all but freed him from criminal liability in a 2008 lab fire that killed a staff researcher.

The "deferred prosecution agreement" that allowed Harran to avoid pleading guilty or no-contest to any charge might have been a novel resolution, as his attorneys said.

But it certainly didn't come cheap.

Top-tier law firms hired to defend him and the University of California against felony charges in the death of Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji charged more than 7,700 billable hours and nearly $4.5 million in fees, according to documents obtained by The Times through a California Public Records Act request.

We defended ourselves and our faculty member as was our right and obligation, using funds in a systemwide self-insurance program.

Nearly five dozen defense attorneys, paralegals and others billed for work on the case, the records show. One attorney charged $792,000 in fees and at least four other lawyers billed more than $500,000 each — all for pretrial work.

The University of California paid the fees out of its publicly funded pocket. UCLA said in a statement Wednesday that the expense was justified.

"We defended ourselves and our faculty member as was our right and obligation, using funds in a systemwide self-insurance program," it said.
us_CA  laboratory  follow-up  death 
7 days ago
Removing gloves and other protective equipment
One of the things highlighted in the news this week is the risks of contamination from removing—”doffing”—personal protective equipment. “Meticulous removal, or doffing, of PPE is as important as its meticulous donning,” wrote infectious disease physician Amesh A. Adalja in “Ebola Lessons We Need To Learn From Dallas.”
Most chemists don’t need to fear Ebola, but they do wear PPE to protect from chemical exposure. I asked Iowa State University lab safety specialist Ryan Wyllie and biosafety specialist Amy Helgerson what chemistry researchers should keep in mind when removing their PPE.
us_IA  laboratory  discovery  response 
8 days ago
Meth making blamed for Muncie motel fire
MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities are blaming methamphetamine makers for starting a fire at a Muncie motel.

Muncie Fire Department investigator Robert Mead says crews found items associated with manufacturing meth after the fire Saturday night at the Budget Motel on the city's south side.

Mead tells The Star Press (http://tspne.ws/1v53nFX ) that the chemical reaction from the meth ingredients started the fire, which gutted the room and damaged part of the motel's exterior and roof.

Mead says no injuries were reported and that the meth makers had fled before emergency crews arrived.
us_IN  public  fire  response  meth_lab 
8 days ago
Meth City: Neigbours tell of devastation of backyard drug cooks
Ian and Samantha King still regret renting out their Bertram home.

They cannot let their children play barefoot in the yard because of tiny shards of glass that still litter their lawn more than two years after an exploding methamphetamine laboratory tore apart their Lilac Pass house.

“A friend called saying our house was in flames, that a big fireball blasted out the front window and the whole roof kind of collapsed in on itself,” Mr King said.
Australia  public  follow-up  environmental  meth_lab 
8 days ago
Hazmat units respond to industrial accident at Midland business
Hazmat officials responded to an industrial accident Wednesday afternoon that put a man in the hospital, according to a city official.
Midland emergency personnel responded at about 5:27 p.m. Wednesday to AES Drilling Fluids in the 4000 block of Business 20.
A man at the facility came into contact with a chemical in the biocide group, according to a city official. Noone else was exposed to the dangerous chemical, and the incident was quickly contained.
The man was transported to Midland Memorial Hospital to be checked by medical staff, but he is in stable condition, the official said.
us_TX  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Employees at Yeager Airport "decontaminated" after exposure to u
According to Airport Director Richard Atkinson, when airport employees investigated an unattended bag sitting in the terminal, the bag released an unknown chemical that caused symptoms similar to tear gas. 

Two employees drove themselves to a hospital, while two more were treated by HAZMAT teams at the scene. According to Atkinson, the bag is believed to have been in the terminal since yesterday, Oct. 14, and probably came aboard a United or Delta flight. Security video is currently being reviewed to find who left the bag. 

13 News reporters at the scene say National Guard, HAZMAT, troopers, Charleston Police, and the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office bomb squad were on the scene. 

Flights are running as usual, but are being unloaded in an area away from the main terminal. According to the State Journal, information is being collected from all incoming passengers "out of an abundance of caution."

Authorities stress that the incident at Yeager Airport is in no way related to Ebola
us_WV  transportation  release  response  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
5 exposed to ammonia leak at frozen-food warehouse
Five people were exposed to ammonia from a leak at a frozen-food warehouse in northwest Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said its hazardous materials teams were called to Southeast Frozen Foods near Northeast Sixth Avenue and Northeast 183rd Street on Wednesday morning.

Hazmat teams were able to cap the leak.

All five people were taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
us_FL  industrial  release  injury  ammonia 
8 days ago
Texas A&M Student In Critical Condition After Ingesting Sodium Cyanide
TEXAS A&M - A 20-year-old Texas A&M student is in critical condition after ingesting sodium cyanide. The chemical releases hydrogen cyanide gas, a highly toxic chemical asphyxiant that interferes with the body's ability to use oxygen and exposure can be deadly.

University police and the College Station Fire Department's Hazmat Team were called to Rudder Plaza around 3:30 p.m.

A Texas A&M ambulance transported the student to St. Joseph Regional Health Center.

The Bryan Fire Department's Hazmat Team responded to the hospital. Tim Ottinger with St Joes says Bryan FD set up special, inflatable tents outside the hospital where they could decontaminate the student before admitting him to the ER. Six emergency workers who treated him were also decontaminated and held for observation.

The entrance to the ER was blocked off and the hospital was put on diversion until 6:40 p.m. That means no other ambulances could be sent there during that time.

Texas A&M officials tell News 3 the University did not issue a code maroon because, in their words, there was no imminent danger. The University says first responders were able to secure the scene and keep students, faculty and staff at a safe distance.
us_TX  education  release  death  cyanide 
8 days ago
Second Texas worker with Ebola took flight before falling ill
Frieden said the critical period at Presbyterian was the first three days of Duncan’s care at Presbyterian before he was confirmed to have Ebola and before the CDC team arrived in Dallas — Sept. 28, 29 and 30. Both Pham and Vinson had extensive contact with Duncan at that time, and both had interacted with him while he was producing a large amount of fluids from vomiting and diarrhea.

Although officials have not yet determined how the two nurses became infected, they were focusing on their use of personal protective equipment, known as PPE.

“We see a lot of variability in the use of personal protective equipment, and when our team arrived, the same day the case was diagnosed, we noticed, for example, that some health care workers were putting on three or four layers of protective equipment in the belief that this would be more protective,” Frieden said. “But in fact by putting on more layers of gloves or other protective clothing, it becomes much harder to put them on and much harder to take them off, and the risk of contamination during the process of taking these gloves off gets much higher.”
us_MA  public  discovery  response 
8 days ago
Explosion at Moonachie chemical factory injures 4
MOONACHIE - A volatile mixture of hydrogen and oxygen set off a large-scale explosion at the Crest Foam Industries headquarters late Monday afternoon, injuring several workers and forcing an evacuation of the factory, fire officials said Monday.

Four employees of Crest Foam Industries at 100 Carol Place suffered minor head injuries when an explosion broke out at the center of the factory just after 4:30 p.m., according to Moonachie Fire Lt. Justin Derevyanik.

The explosion was so loud it could be heard in the neighboring town of Little Ferry.

“It almost knocked us off our feet,” said Derevyanik, who was three blocks away when the explosion occurred at the insulation factory.

A total of 17 employees were able to evacuate themselves. The three injured workers suffered concussions and are being treated at Hackensack University Medical Center, Derevyanik said.
us_NJ  industrial  explosion  injury  hydrogen  oxygen 
9 days ago
Ebola panic and overreaction: Hazmat suits and negative air pressure are unnecessary.
week ago a man with an apparent flu-like illness and a recent travel history to Liberia entered my emergency department. Before anyone realized he was an actor in a New York City Department of Health-mandated Ebola-readiness drill, he was isolated in a negative-pressure airborne pathogen isolation room. His providers donned the appropriate personal protective equipment upon entry to his room, and doffed it correctly when they exited. My colleagues passed this test.

The day before, two passengers on a flight arriving to Newark Liberty International Airport from Brussels were pulled from the plane on the tarmac and dramatically evacuated to a local hospital by hazmat-suited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials to be evaluated for suspected Ebola infections. 

These two seemingly encouraging examples of vigilant medical responses may actually be harbingers of an emerging problem: the overutilization of medical resources in response to widespread panic, and not to genuine medical needs.
us_NY  public  discovery  response 
9 days ago
ExxonMobil blames fire on cleaning companies
After a company cleaned equipment at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont refinery, a fire erupted, causing substantial damage, according to a recently filed lawsuit. 

ExxonMobil Corp. filed a lawsuit Sept. 9 in Jefferson County District Court against Zurich American Insurance Co., American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Co., Lexington Insurance Co., Signature Industrial Services, Clean Harbors Industrial Services and Brock Services.

In its complaint, ExxonMobil says a fire broke out at its Beaumont refinery on April 17, 2013. The fire originated in the refinery’s catalytic hydro desulfurizor 2 unit, which contains equipment that removes sulfur from certain hydrocarbon feeds, according to the complaint.

Before the fire, ExxonMobil had hired defendant Clean Harbors to clean the exchangers in an attempt to purge all hydrocarbons from the system, the suit states. It also hired defendant Signature to remove bolts from the exchangers after the initial clean was completed, the complaint says.

“The day before the fire, Clean Harbors declared the chemical clean complete,” the suit states. “It is now apparent, however, that the chemical clean was not complete. Despite ExxonMobil having hired Clean Harbors to purge all hydrocarbon from the system, an estimated 30-60 gallons of hydrocarbon were released from the channel head flange as bolts from the flange were being removed by Signature. Signature used a cutting torch — as opposed to an impact wrench — to remove the bolts, and the flame from the torch ignited the residual hydrocarbons.”
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response 
10 days ago
Hazmat Team Called Out to Location of Former CTS Plant
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- A Hazmat team from the Asheville Fire Department responded Monday night to a location on Mills Gap road just up from the former CTS plant. 

Several people complained of headaches from water runoff coming from a CTS remediation site on private property next to the plant.

"People who have gone down there (to the water), as soon as they take a good whiff of it, are backing out of there with headaches," activist Tate McQueen said.

"It's just a cover up, more cover up," Terry Rice said, who owns the property with his Mother Dot Rice.

Rice, who's still living on his land, said he experienced a headache Monday morning. His friend Bob Taylor said fumes from the water at the culvert site across the street are strong.
us_NC  public  release  response  runoff 
10 days ago
Nurses Union Threatens to 'Picket Every Hospital in This Country' over Ebola Hazmat Suits
The nation's largest union and professional association of nurses said it will rise up in protest if hazardous-material suits are not in every hospital soon.
"I'm angry about this," said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United. "We want the first line of defense to be the most prepared. Our hospitals are resisting us. The CDC doesn't say that we need hazmat suits. If this doesn't change dramatically, we will picket every hospital in this country if we have to." 
The uproar over hazmat suits is merely the latest clash between Nurses United and the CDC. Bonnie Castillo, a National Nurses United disaster relief expert, blasted CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden for blaming the second Ebola victim in the U.S.--an unnamed nurse who helped the Liberian man who brought Ebola to America--on a "protocol breach" that led to her contracting the deadly virus.
"You don't scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak," said Castillo. "We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct."
public  discovery  environmental 
10 days ago
How does an American nurse contract Ebola? With directions like these.
Here's what's scary about the Dallas health-care worker infected with Ebola: she knew she was treating an Ebola patient.

That's not supposed to happen. We've been told that Ebola can be stopped using modern medical protocols. An American health-care worker who is part of a team that knows it's treating an Ebola patient is supposed to be able to protect herself. So what happened?

READ MORE: 18 things you should know about Ebola

The simple answer is that the Ebola treatment protocols are complicated. It helps to look at this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention checklist. These are the instructions the federal agency gives caregivers for how to take off the protective gear that workers wear when treating patients with deadly diseases, like Ebola.

It is 21 items long. There are full sections on the gloves, and the gowns, and the face mask —each with multiple steps. Imagine trying to keep all this in mind while also trying to treat a patient:
us_TX  public  discovery  response 
10 days ago
Small chemical explosion rocks Irondale business
IRONDALE, Alabama - A small chemical explosion rocked an Irondale company Monday morning, but authorities reported no injuries and no fire inside the building.

Police and firefighters received a call at 10:33 a.m. of an explosion at Professional Service Industries Inc., a geotechnical engineering and environmental testing company. The business is located at 2800 Commerce Square East.

Employees said something exploded inside the safety storage cabinet in the warehouse. Ten people were quickly evacuated from the building, but no one was injured.

"It was a pretty good jolt,'' said project specialist Tad Nelson. "We knew it was something outside the ordinary."

Irondale police said it appears a drum fell off of a shelf and exploded when it hit the ground. It left behind a pool of liquid on the floor.

Firefighters refused to comment on the extent of damage inside, but police Det. Michael Mangina said it didn't appear to be widespread.
us_AL  laboratory  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
10 days ago
Seattle’s Tesoro Rail Facility Was Leaking a Flammable Oil Byproduct Into Stormwater System
Seventy miles north of Seattle, the Tesoro Anacortes rail facility—which daily offloads some 50,000 barrels of Bakken crude from tanker cars—was releasing a highly flammable oil byproduct into a stormwater system that lacked “required controls” for at least a year before state regulators were made aware of the potential hazard.

A faulty pipe connection was the source of the problem, according to a Northwest Clean Air Agency enforcement report obtained via an open-records request. As a result of the flaw, hydrocarbon vapors were being produced in the rail facility’s stormwater system that could have ignited under the right conditions, experts say.

Tesoro officials insist there was no risk of fire.

Yet state regulators never inspected the rail facility to assess the fire risk because it appears those charged with ensuring public safety were caught up in a maze of Catch-22 rules that work against timely assessment of potential worker-safety and fire hazards.

NWCAA inspectors did not visit the rail facility until five months after Tesoro had disconnected the problematic pipe. Still, the agency’s enforcement report indicates that vapors containing “volatile organic compounds” were still being released from numerous points in the company’s stormwater system, parts of which are located a stone’s throw from the crude-oil railcar staging area.
us_WA  transportation  discovery  environmental  flammables 
11 days ago
Los Alamos Blamed For Repository Fire
Failure of Los Alamos National Laboratory operators to properly package waste may have caused a fire and radioactive release early this year at the nation’s only operating underground nuclear waste storage facility, concludes a recent report. The incident in February injured several workers and shut down the Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a Carlsbad, N.M., repository for transuranic waste from DOE nuclear weapons facilities including the Los Alamos lab. The repository is not expected to reopen until 2016.

In the report, DOE’s independent inspector general finds that incompatible or potentially incompatible materials—cellulose-based kitty litter sorbent and liquid acid neutralizers—were placed in drums with radioactive nitrate salt waste. This may have resulted in a chemical reaction that led to the fire, the report says, adding that the exact cause has not been determined. WIPP stores large volumes of transuranic waste consisting mostly of radioactive clothing, rags, tools, and other material, some of which is combustible. The shutdown will delay cleanups at many DOE facilities and will cost tens of millions of dollars, the report says.
us_NM  industrial  follow-up  injury  radiation  waste 
11 days ago
First US Ebola infection result of 'protocol breach'
(UPDATED) Top US health officials have said a breach of protocol was to blame for the new Ebola patient – the second person infected outside Africa and the second diagnosed in the United States
us_TX  public  release  response 
11 days ago
Hazmat crews complete "Phase 1" of clean at Ebola patient's apar
Hazmat crews spent much of Sunday inside the apartment of a health care worker who has tested positive for Ebola.

This is the 2nd Ebola case in the City of Dallas, and the first transmitted in the U.S.

The nurse's identity has not been released, but we know she lived at an apartment in the 5700 block of Marquita Avenue.

No one has been allowed to enter the complex with several separate apartments without protective gear.

Officials also knocked on every door in that block and reached out to everyone within a 4-block radius to explain that they are safe since the patient only came in contact with one other person while showing symptoms, and they are being monitored.

Zach Thompson with Dallas County Health and Human Services says he made it a priority to get on the ground pretty quick.

Fort Worth-based company "The Cleaning Guys" was sent to the apartment and conducted “phase one” of the cleaning process. It is the same crew that cleaned the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan stayed.
us_TX  public  discovery  response 
11 days ago
Chemical Waste Management confirms Ebola victim's belongings to
The ashes of belongings of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Texas man who died from the Ebola virus, will be buried in a hazardous waste landfill in Carlyss, Louisiana. 

Additional Links
State AG seeks to block Ebola waste disposal in Carlyss
Chemical Waste Management, Inc. confirms that it will accept incinerator ash from a Veolia Environmental (Veolia) Port Arthur, TX Facility, which had incinerated some decontaminated belongings from an Ebola patient's apartment located in Dallas, TX.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have acknowledged that “Incineration as a waste treatment process is effective in eliminating viral infectivity.”

Veolia operates a permitted hazardous waste incinerator in Port Arthur, TX, which the appropriate governmental officials regulate. Veolia has been a long-term CWM-LC customer of good standing. CWM-LC was informed that all of the patient's belongings were treated and decontaminated prior to being received at the Veolia facility, and then belongings were incinerated in the high temperature incinerator (2100 degrees Fahrenheit). The resulting ash presents no risk to human health or the environment.
us_LA  industrial  discovery  environmental  waste 
11 days ago
Man treated for acid leak from chemical plant in Nowra
A worker from south Nowra has suffered minor burns as a result of a chemical spill.

An ambulance and four fire trucks were sent to the Nowra Chemicals plant in south Nowra shortly before seven o'clock Monday morning to treat a man with suspected burns to his head.

Fire and Rescue media says two to three litres of sulphuric acid leaked out.

The man was decontaminated on site then transported to Shoalhaven Hospital in a stable condition.

He was discharged from hospital later in the morning.

The owner and manager of the factory, John Lamont, says the spill was due to a pipe rupture.
Australia  industrial  release  injury  sulfuric_acid 
11 days ago
Woman jumps off cab to avoid chemical spray
MANILA -- A woman jumped off a moving taxi after she allegedly felt bad due to a chemical sprayed inside the car.

According to the 27-year-old female victim, she boarded "Angel of J" taxi at a mall in Makati City at around 8:40 p.m. Friday. She was supposed to go to Pasig City.

The victim said she immediately noticed that the plate number and other details painted on the taxi's door were erased. This prompted her to ask the driver for information. The driver then told her that the taxi's plate number is PXF-966.

While they were plying the flyover, the woman said she felt dizzy and found it difficult to breathe.

When they reached Buendia area, she told the driver to pull over so she can get off the cab. The driver, however, ignored her and continued driving instead.

The driver also allegedly refused to unlock the taxi's door. She then jumped off the cab through the door on the left side which was apparently left unlocked.

The woman said the driver then alighted the cab to collect P200 for her fare. The driver insisted that what she smelled was the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) inside the trunk.
Philippines  public  discovery  response  propane 
12 days ago
Workers at high health risk for toxic chemicals
The rampant use of toxic chemicals at almost every workplace is putting the huge number of the country's workforce at high health risk, as according to a survey, at least 21 people die in Bangladesh every month due to use of such chemicals.

"Indiscriminate use of chemicals at almost every workplace is a common phenomenon in our country. Hundreds of people die annually thanks to their hazardous work, particularly in ship-breaking, tannery and chemical industries as well as farming, which are in the top death ranks," said National Expert on Chemical Safety Shahriar Hossain.

According to a survey conducted recently by Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE), at least 21 people die in Bangladesh due to toxic chemicals each month.

As per an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, about two million people die annually across the world due to chemical related diseases while about 160 million people are affected by such diseases.
Bangladesh  industrial  discovery  environmental  toxics 
12 days ago
UPDATE: Staff member burned by chemical leak at Orpington sorting office (From News Shopper)
A staff member suffered burns after a highly acidic chemical from a parcel leaked onto his leg at an Orpington sorting office.

The male staff member, who does not want to be named, was injured by the unknown package received through the post on Friday (October 10).  

It is thought to have contained drain cleaner which is 91 per cent sulphuric acid.

He was taken to hospital suffering from burns to his leg but has since been discharged.

Police and the London Fire Brigade confirmed they were called at around 1.30pm to reports of a chemical leak at a business premises in Vinson Close.
United_Kingdom  public  release  injury  cleaners  sulfuric_acid 
12 days ago
Berry farms' neighbors fuming over use of chemical
DOVER — Country dwellers in eastern Hillsborough County have for generations embraced the strawberry farms that dot their community. But a rancid-smelling pesticide some of the farmers used this year and last threatens to rupture that relationship.

Dozens of those residents have hired a lawyer to fight against use of the fumigant Paladin, a man-madesulfur-containing compound they think is causing them repeated bouts of bronchitis, shortness of breath, chemical burns in their noses, severe headaches and the need to use inhalers.

The fumigation period for strawberries is over, but that has not slowed the volume of complaints over Paladin's use. And those who think they were affected are demanding answers and action.
us_FL  public  discovery  response  ag_chems  pesticides 
12 days ago
Hazardous leak at factory isolated
An ammonia leak at a Hamilton meat factory has been successfully isolated following a mass emergency services response involving up to 40 firefighters this morning. 

Firefighters from 10 brigades, including Hazmat and water tankers, were called to the Goodman Fielder meat processing factory in the industrial area of Frankton after the smell of ammonia was reported about 10.15am. 

Fire Service Waikato Area Commander Roy Breeze said there was initially a "reasonably strong" reading of the gas leaking from the annex of the main storage building at the rear of the grounds.  

It had been reported by a Goodman Fielder contractor at the site Sunday morning. No one else had been in the grounds at the time, said Breeze.

 ''We have been working to establish how big the leak is for about an hour and a half now and we have just had reports that it has been isolated and we are starting to get the system bled. From here we will work out the best way to ventilate it.''
New_Zealand  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
12 days ago
SUN CITY: Subway restaurant evacuated after chlorine gas scare
Three people at a Subway sandwich shop in Sun City were sickened and hospitalized Friday, Oct. 10, when chemicals were accidentally mixed, releasing chlorine gas, officials said.
Riverside County Environmental Health's hazardous-materials unit responded to 26926 Cherry Hills Blvd. just before noon when several people reported becoming ill because of a strong chemical odor.
Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department determined that someone was using a concentrated sulfuric acid-based cleaner to clear a floor drain. At the same time, an ice machine drain was being cleaned using household bleach. The substances combined in a floor drain, creating the chlorine gas.
The shop was evacuated, and three people were taken to Menifee Valley Medical Center.
The drain was flushed with water, and the air was cleared by giant fans. Employees were told to throw out all food not inside closed containers such as refrigerators.
us_CA  public  release  injury  chlorine 
12 days ago
In Fairfield's woods, a bunch of bottles is an 'emergency' but no threat
Police, fire and state bomb squad personnel descended on the Cascades area of the Lake Mohegan open space last Friday afternoon to investigate a "suspicious" discovery in the woods.

But the assemblage of plastic soda bottles and heavy-duty tape turned out to be harmless, police said.

The discovery -- 16 plastic bottles attached to a piece of cardboard with black electrical tape -- was determined by emergency responders to pose no threat, and possibly was someone's abandoned attempt to fashion a small raft. One side of the cardboard was covered with duct tape.

However, "You cannot be too careful in this day and age," police Lt. James Perez told the Fairfield Citizen about the investigation.

The object was removed from the town-owned woods and tested with pH strips and a hand-held chemical detector by Assistant Fire Chief Eric Kaliper.

Those tests were all negative, but police called in the state bomb squad to make sure it was OK to dispose of the object.
us_MI  public  discovery  response  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Toxic gas leak at Eureka wastewater plant capped
Local fire and Hazmat officials were able to quickly shut off a small toxic gas leak at the Eureka Wastewater Treatment Plant on Friday afternoon with no injuries or exposure reported, according to Humboldt Bay Fire Chief Ken Woods.

"There's no more leak and there's no more hazard," Woods said at the scene.

Humboldt Bay Fire received the first report around 3:30 p.m. of a sulfur dioxide leak at the plant located on the 4300 block of Hilfiker Lane. Three Humboldt Bay Fire incident command cars, two fire engines and one engine from the Humboldt/Del Norte Hazardous Materials Response Authority (Hazmat) responded.

Though he described the leak as "very small," Woods said that the exposure of the gas poses an "inhalation and absorption risk" to human health. No one was injured during the incident.
us_CA  industrial  release  response  sulfur_dioxide  water_treatment 
13 days ago
Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development 
Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development
Every day, in hot, humid, and extremely difficult environments, health care workers in Ebola-affected countries are performing critical tasks that save lives and prevent the spread of the virus. Personal protective equipment (PPE) offers critical protection, but also is the greatest source of discomfort and stress for the workers. While PPEs protect health care workers, they cannot be worn for more than 40 minutes in hot climates, severely limiting the time health care workers can care for their patients.

In response to this challenge and the unprecedented Ebola outbreak, USAID is partnering with the White House Office of Science and Technology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other U.S. agencies and the Government of Sweden to launch Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development to help health care workers on the front lines provide better care and stop the spread of Ebola.
public  discovery  response 
13 days ago
OSHA talks strategies to prevent toxic chemical exposures
WASHINGTON—The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching a national dialogue with chemical manufacturers and users on methods to prevent illnesses caused by workplace exposure to hazardous substances, the agency has announced.

OSHA Administrator David Michaels unveiled the program in a teleconference Oct. 9. Further details of the program—including a 180-day comment period—will be released in a notice soon to be published in the Federal Register, Michaels said.

Tens of thousands of airborne substances exist in U.S. workplaces, according to Michaels. But only about 500 have permissible exposure limits set by OSHA, and most of those are dangerously out of date, he said.
industrial  discovery  response 
13 days ago
Eastman reports accidental chemical discharge into Holston River
Eastman Chemical Company reported a discharge of acetic anhydride into the South Fork Holston River on Friday morning.
Company officials tell WCYB it was an accident. No employees were injured, but approximately 15 to 20 dead fish were found in the river.
Eastman does not expect this release to have any further adverse impact on the River. All appropriate government agencies have been notified.
us_TN  public  release  environmental  acetic_anhydride 
13 days ago
Chemical leak forces evacuations in South Philadelphia
SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Employees were evacuated after dozens of gallons of chemicals leaked from a plant in South Philadelphia.

It happened just after 7:00 p.m. at the Ashland Chemical Company in the 2800 block of South Christopher Columbus Boulevard.

Authorities say approximately 100 gallons of a non-toxic oil based chemical, with a temperature of 550 degrees, sprayed from a broken pump.

About 10 employees were evacuated from the building. No injuries were reported.
us_PA  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
OSHA launches national dialogue on hazardous chemical exposures and permissible exposure limits in the workplace
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today announced it is launching a national dialogue with stakeholders on ways to prevent work-related illness caused by exposure to hazardous substances. The first stage of this dialogue is a request for information on the management of hazardous chemical exposures in the workplace and strategies for updating permissible exposure limits.

OSHA's PELs, which are regulatory limits on the amount or concentration of a substance in the air, are intended to protect workers against the adverse health effects of exposure to hazardous substances. Ninety-five percent of OSHA's current PELs, which cover fewer than 500 chemicals, have not been updated since their adoption in 1971. The agency's current PELs cover only a small fraction of the tens of thousands of chemicals used in commerce, many of which are suspected of being harmful. Substantial resources are required to issue new exposure limits or update existing workplace exposure limits, as courts have required complex analyses for each proposed PEL.
public  discovery  response 
14 days ago
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