10939
Chemical at Van Buren facility sickens workers, sends 4 to hospital
Van Buren, NY-- Four workers were sent to the hospital after being poisoned by a cleaning chemical.

Employees at G&C Foods in Van Buren say they smelled a heavy chemical odor at the facility, and some began to feel ill. They reported irritated eyes and throats, and difficulty breathing.

Multiple ambulance crews responded to take a look at 23 workers, and decided four needed more medical attention. Two were sent to Upstate Hospital while two other were sent to St. Joseph's.

Lakeside Fire Chief Manny Falcone says the source of the sicknesses was a liquid chemical called Methyl Methacrylate. It was being used to remove a non-slip surface from the floor of the facility.

The building was evacuated, and none of the food inside was affected. Falcone said no clean up will be required, and that the building just needed to be aired out.
us_NY  industrial  release  injury  cleaners  methyl_methacrylate 
18 hours ago
Fire crews clear Huber Heights home after chemical incident
Two occupants of a Huber Heights home were taken to Grand View Hospital with respiratory issues.

Huber Heights Fire said an occupant was cleaning the bath tub with bleach, when the chemical was mixed with toilet bowl cleaner.

The four occupants of the house said they were concerned with breathing in the vapor the chemicals created and called 911.

The two occupants who went to the hospital are in stable conditions.
us_OH  public  release  injury  bleach  cleaners 
18 hours ago
Demon Core: The Strange Death of Louis Slotin
May 21, 1946, at a secret laboratory tucked into a canyon some three miles from Los Alamos, New Mexico, the birthplace of the atom bomb. Louis Slotin, a Canadian physicist, was showing his colleagues how to bring the exposed core of a nuclear weapon nearly to the point of criticality, a tricky operation known as “tickling the dragon’s tail.” The core, sitting by itself on a squat table, looked unremarkable—a hemisphere of dull metal with a nub of plutonium sticking out of its center, the whole thing warm to the touch because of its radioactivity. It had been quickly molded into shape after the bombing of Nagasaki, to be used in another attack on Japan, then reallocated when it turned out not to be needed for the war effort. At that time, Slotin was perhaps the world’s foremost expert on handling dangerous quantities of plutonium. He had helped assemble the first atomic weapon, barely a year earlier, and a contemporary photograph shows him standing beside its innards with his shirt unbuttoned and sunglasses on, cool and collected. Back then, the bomb was a handmade, artisanal product.

Slotin’s procedure was simple. He would lower a half-shell of beryllium, called the tamper, over the core, stopping just before it was snugly seated. The tamper would reflect back the neutrons that were shooting off the plutonium, jump-starting a weak and short-lived nuclear chain reaction, on which the physicists could then gather data. Slotin held the tamper in his left hand. In his right hand, he held a long screwdriver, which he planned to wedge between the two components, keeping them apart. As he began the slow and painstaking process of lowering the tamper, one of his colleagues, Raemer Schreiber, turned away to focus on other work, expecting that the experiment would be uninteresting until several more moments had passed. But suddenly he heard a sound behind him: Slotin’s screwdriver had slipped, and the tamper had dropped fully over the core. When Schreiber turned around, he saw a flash of blue light and felt a wave of heat on his face. A week later, he wrote a report on the mishap:

The blue flash was clearly visible in the room although it (the room) was well illuminated from the windows and possibly the overhead lights. . . . The total duration of the flash could not have been more than a few tenths of a second. Slotin reacted very quickly in flipping the tamper piece off. The time was about 3:00 p.m.
us_NM  laboratory  follow-up  death  bomb  radiation 
18 hours ago
It’s No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car ‘Crashes’ Instead
Roadway fatalities are soaring at a rate not seen in 50 years, resulting from crashes, collisions and other incidents caused by drivers.

Just don’t call them accidents anymore.

That is the position of a growing number of safety advocates, including grass-roots groups, federal officials and state and local leaders across the country. They are campaigning to change a 100-year-old mentality that they say trivializes the single most common cause of traffic incidents: human error.

“When you use the word ‘accident,’ it’s like, ‘God made it happen,’ ” Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at a driver safety conference this month at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“In our society,” he added, “language can be everything.”

Almost all crashes stem from driver behavior like drinking, distracted driving and other risky activity. About 6 percent are caused by vehicle malfunctions, weather and other factors.

Preliminary estimates by the nonprofit National Safety Council show deadly crashes rose by nearly 8 percent in 2015 over the previous year, killing about 38,000 people.

Dr. Rosekind has added his voice to a growing chorus of advocates who say that the persistence of crashes — driving is the most dangerous activity for most people — can be explained in part by widespread apathy toward the issue.

Changing semantics is meant to shake people, particularly policy makers, out of the implicit nobody’s-fault attitude that the word “accident” conveys, they said.
education  discovery  environmental 
18 hours ago
Chemical Breakdown part 2
Flames burned Anselmo Lopez’s arms and chest, and the explosion knocked back three co-workers whose eardrums burst.

Lopez had been doing maintenance last October, pumping inert nitrogen through pipes at the SunEdison plant outside Houston, to flush out a highly volatile gas called silane.

When his crew opened a valve, silane leaked and combined with air. The mixture ignited.

Though SunEdison over the years had paid thousands in fines from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, safety remained a problem. Lopez’s injury — which would require multiple skin grafts and lifelong care — was the fifth time in nearly a decade that the plant had a toxic release, fire or serious safety violation.

It’s unusual that OSHA inspectors had been there at all.

Most Americans don’t know about chemical stockpiles near homes and schools, and often, the government doesn’t, either. The U.S. regulatory system is poorly funded and has outdated, complex rules that go unenforced, leaving facilities that handle hazardous chemicals mostly to police themselves, a Houston Chronicle investigation found.

The result: A government that reacts only to the worst accidents and does little to prevent them, even though the same mistakes keep happening.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  injury  other_chemical 
yesterday
How One Senator Worked To Kill House-Approved Bill Banning Chemicals In Kids' Products
Every state legislator is a king or a queen when time is running out during the final days that the General Assembly is in session.

Republican Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown, is living proof.

Kane carried out a determined, solo effort to kill a bill banning a list of fire retardant substances in children's products that had easily won passage 111-29 in the House of Representatives on April 30. The measure enjoyed significant bipartisan support as 30 Republicans voted with 81 Democrats in favor of it.

Kane, however, saw the bill as an unnecessary threat to a chemical manufacturer with executive offices in his district, Chemtura Corp. — and although, as a member of the Senate Republican minority, he didn't have the votes to defeat the measure, he found another way.

He used one of the most effective and time-honored weapons available to a minority lawmaker: Kane loaded up the bill with 13 proposed amendments, calling for changes that included deletions and substitute language, or further study.
us_CT  industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
yesterday
FACT in a spot over ammonia leak, barge docked until safety audit
Summary: The disaster management team, which inspected the barge in the morning, has already prepared a report that will be submitted to the government. The collector will issue a directive to FACT to take a set of safety measures like — presence of an expert technician, a floating fire engine and light tower— while transporting ammonia. Meanwhile, FACT's spokesperson said the firm has constituted a task force — headed by safety manager K Rajaiah— to look into issue. We will conduct a safety audit in three days," he said.M T Raji, chemical inspector of factories and boilers wing said: "I had inspected the barge at Willingdon Island before it began its journey. A senior official in the disaster management wing said that FACT cannot transport ammonia on this particular barge till June and an order has been passed to this effect under section 33 of the Disaster Management Act and CRPC 144.Also, a decision was taken to reinforce safety measures while transporting such chemicals.
India  transportation  release  response  ammonia 
yesterday
Hotel deemed safe after visitors smell paint fumes
Fire rescue and hazardous materials teams declared a Williamsburg hotel safe after visitors said they smelled dangerous fumes Friday night, officials said.

The Williamsburg Fire Department responded to a call at the Clarion Hotel, on York Street, around 8:50 p.m., Williamsburg Fire Department Spokesperson Eric Stone said.

The smell was caused by a freshly painted area of the hotel, he said.

As a precaution, the state hazardous materials officer and the York County Hazmat team also responded to the scene.

The hazmat teams used equipment to take readings of chemicals in the air, but did not find any dangerous levels, Stone said.

Hotel visitors were moved to the lobby of the building while firefighters ventilated the building with electric fans, although no one needed to be evacuated, he said.
us_VA  public  release  response  other_chemical 
yesterday
Hawaii lab explosion investigation results delayed to June
HONOLULU (AP) — The University of Hawaii is announcing another delay for the results of an independent investigation into what caused a laboratory explosion that seriously injured a visiting researcher.
The university said Friday the investigation will be finished by the end of next month. The school had initially planned for it to be completed by the end of April but later pushed the plan back to mid-May.
The school says the investigation won't be finished until unspecified materials are tested for investigators from the University of California Center for Laboratory Safety.
The explosion in April caused a visiting researcher to lose an arm. She told fire department investigators the blast occurred after she turned off a digital pressure gauge she was using to check the pressure in a gas cylinder.
us_HI  laboratory  follow-up  injury  gas_cylinders 
2 days ago
Toxic chemicals from fracking wastewater spills can persist for years
In North Dakota’s Bakken region, the fracking boom has generated nearly 10,000 wells for unconventional oil and gas production—and along with them, almost 4,000 reported wastewater spills resulting from the activity. A new study shows that these spills have left surface waters in the area carrying radium, selenium, thallium, lead, and other toxic chemicals that can persist for years at unsafe levels (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06349). Soils and sediments at spill sites also harbored long-lasting radium contamination, the study found.
In hydraulic fracturing, operators inject fluid into shale formations to release natural gas and oil. During production, the well brings up a brine that carries the fingerprint of the rock formation below, including naturally occurring toxic or radioactive elements like selenium and radium. This wastewater, called produced water, may be reused, injected underground for disposal, or processed—though not always successfully—in water treatment plants. But as fracking has increased in the Bakken region, so has the incidence of wastewater spills, often resulting from leaks in pipelines that transport the brine to injection wells.
To trace the impact of these spills on the environment, Avner Vengosh of Duke University and his colleagues analyzed four samples of produced water from shale gas wells in North Dakota, and chemical data on produced water from the U.S. Geological Survey. They also took water, sediment, and soil samples at sites of reported brine spills—including the two largest spills in the state’s history—which had occurred months to years earlier. In the largest of these, the Blacktail Creek spill of 2015, an underground pipeline leak introduced almost 11 million L of brine near the creek, which flows into a tributary of the Missouri River.
us_ND  industrial  release  environmental  toxics 
2 days ago
Metal detectors next step in Enka Lake explosion inquiry
Environmental investigators will use metal detectors to scan the shores of Enka Lake to determine if there are unknown hazards after a small explosion injured two firefighters April 26.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality mandated the investigation after a local environmental group reported the explosion, according to state records.

The Biltmore Lake Association, which owns the lake and manages the neighborhood that surrounds it, contracted Mountain Environmental Services to investigate, and the state will oversee the work.

The consultant and its subcontractors will use electromagnetic metal detection and ground penetrating radar surveys, according to the work plan Mountain Environmental submitted to the state.

Mountain Environmental will use an excavator to remove any metal objects it finds, according to the plan.

A representative of Mountain Environmental said work has not commenced, but it will take place during the "next couple of weeks."

After the April explosion, a hazmat team from the Asheville Fire Department tested the soil beside the lake — which is newly exposed due to maintenance dredging — and found phosphoric acid.

"As we lifted the dirt to put into a sampling tube, the dirt would catch fire and burn for a good amount of time before it ran out of fuel and self-extinguished," the fire officials wrote in an incident report. "Each time we exposed any of the contaminated dirt to air, it would burn freely. With a shovel, we unearthed all of the product we found in that one area, let it burn until it self-extinguished."
us_NC  public  follow-up  injury  metals  phosphoric_acid 
2 days ago
Chemical exposure forces tenant, non-profits out of building
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Chemical contamination from the site of a former dry cleaning business is responsible for elevated vapor exposure that has put an apartment tenant and two non-profits out of their spaces while state and federal officials look for solutions.
The Kent County Health Department on Thursday, May 19, issued an order prohibiting occupancy at 401 Hall St. SE, and 1168 and 1170 Madison Ave. SE due to tetracholorethylene levels that range from 4 to 8 times the acceptable levels for human exposure.

The readings were discovered this week when test results from May 5 sampling came back showing the risk from the cancer-causing chemical that was widely used at the dry cleaning site at 413 Hall St. SE.

The contamination was first discovered in January through soil sampling conducted when the property was sold. The Michigan DEQ installed four free-standing air filters in the basement and first-floor to try to mitigate the vapors.
us_MI  public  discovery  response  cleaners 
2 days ago
Chemical engineering hall reopens after chemical leak
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Purdue University Fire Department ordered the evacuation of Forney Hall because of a chemical leak Friday night.

As of late Friday, firefighters still hadn’t told News 18 what the chemical is. They worked with lab employees and Purdue Radiological and Environmental Management.

It started some time before 8 p.m. when building service personnel called 911 after smelling a chemical odor. When Purdue firefighters arrived, they detected a low reading of a chemical and triggered the fire alarm to evacuate the building.

They closed off the area for several hours.
us_IN  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Congress OKs overhaul of chemical regulations
Washington • A bipartisan agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators would set new safety standards for asbestos and other dangerous chemicals, including tens of thousands that have gone unregulated for decades.

A bill to be voted on as soon as next week would offer new protections for pregnant women, children, workers and others vulnerable to the effects of chemicals such as formaldehyde and styrene used in homes and businesses every day.

If enacted into law, the bill would be the first significant update to the Toxic Substances Control Act since the law was adopted in 1976.
public  discovery  environmental 
2 days ago
EPA Suggests Tighter Limits for Industrial Chemical in Water
Federal regulators announced tighter guidelines Thursday for human exposure to an industrial chemical used for decades in such consumer products as non-stick pans, stain-resistant carpets and microwave popcorn bags.

The cancer-causing chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA, has been found in the tap water of dozens of factory towns near industrial sites where it was manufactured. DuPont, 3M and other U.S. chemical companies voluntarily phased out the use of PFOA in recent years.

Also at issue is the related chemical perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, used in firefighting foam.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued the stricter guidelines for the chemicals after years of pressure from public health experts and advocacy groups. The agency said the new limits were prompted by recent scientific studies linking PFOA and PFOS to testicular and kidney cancers, as well as birth defects and liver damage.

"EPA will continue sharing the latest science and information so that state and local officials can make informed decisions and take actions to protect public health," said Joel Beauvais, the EPA's deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Water. "This is an important part of our broader effort to support states and public water systems as we work together to strengthen the safety of America's drinking water."
industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Container of chemicals dropped by driver, spills on Interstate-29 near Grand Forks
A leaking chemical container was found to pose little hazard after it was found Wednesday morning in the southbound lanes of Interstate 29 just north of Gateway Drive in Grand Forks.

The 250-gallon tote was reported to the North Dakota Highway Patrol around 10:30 a.m. after likely falling from a vehicle. Patrol officers arrived and found the container's cover dislodged and some contents spilled.

An assessment by the Grand Forks Fire Department determined the contents were agricultural chemicals, according to a news release. The department coordinated a cleanup, which closed the southbound entrance ramp of I-29 at Gateway Drive until completed.
us_ND  transportation  release  response  ag_chems 
3 days ago
Chemical plant safety plan deemed insufficient
Christine Todd Whitman, who ran the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under former President George W Bush, is warning that the plan the agency unveiled in February to improve the safety and security of US chemical facilities is inadequate. In a letter sent to the current EPA chief Gina McCarthy, Whitman urged the agency to ‘strengthen’ the rule, particularly by requiring numerous high-risk chemical facilities to transition to so-called inherently safer technologies (IST).  These technologies involve modification of plants’ chemical processes to reduce or eliminate hazards, rather than simply control them.

Whitman, who currently runs the energy and environmental consultancy Whitman Strategy Group, suggested that such a shift to IST is needed to reduce the public health and safety threat posed by the accidental or deliberate release of hazardous substances from chemical plants. She also called on the EPA to broaden IST analyses to more high-risk facilities, such as water treatment plants and all chlorine plants. In addition, Whitman argued that all of these analyses should be submitted to the EPA, and completed much sooner than the four years required in the agency’s proposed rule.

Furthermore, Whitman also advised the EPA to create a publicly accessible source that contains detailed information about safer chemical processes and substances, including details about the implementation, cost, efficacy and feasibility of such alternatives.

Coincidentally, Whitman’s letter arrived the same day as investigators from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that the fatal explosion in the West Fertilizer plant in Texas was an intentional crime, and not an accident as was originally believed.
industrial  follow-up  environmental 
3 days ago
Ag Retailers Group Suing OSHA Over Exemption Removal
The Agriculture Retailers Association is challenging OSHA in federal court for its plan to do away with the agriculture retailer exemption from a safety management standard that deals with handling of dangerous chemicals. ARA’s Public Policy Counsel Kyle Liske says his group doesn’t feel OSHA followed proper administrative procedures when they did away with the exemption effecting anhydrous ammonia.

He says ARA wants OSHA to go through a rule making process before they’re rescind the exemption.

Liske says OSHA has pointed to a Texas chemical plant explosion three years ago for their reason for getting rid of the ag retailers exemption. He says anhydrous wasn’t even the main culprit in that Texas incident.

Liske says his group’s attorneys along with OSHA’s have already filed briefs in the case and are awaiting a Judge’s decision. He says both sides chose to forego making oral arguments.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response  ammonia 
3 days ago
No injuries after explosion in Valatie
VALATIE- The Columbia County Hazardous Materials Team rushed to the scene of an explosion on Upper Main Street in the village of Valatie on Wednesday night.
Five fire companies and the Valatie Rescue Squad responded just after 7 p.m. to an unknown, non-fire explosion and a chemical odor at 3087 Upper Main Street, according to Columbia County 911.
A reporter at the scene said the street was blocked off Wednesday night and no one was injured.
The Columbia County Fire Coordinator's Office and the Columbia County Cause and Origin Team were also requested to the scene, with state police investigating the explosion with the aid of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, according to Columbia County 911.
us_NY  public  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Idaho nuclear-plant contractor fined for 2015 electrical explosion
IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO
The federal government has fined a contractor for an Idaho nuclear plant after an electrical explosion there last year.

Battelle Energy Alliance will pay $60,000 and complete a number of safety assessments following the April 23, 2015 incident, reported The Post Register (http://bit.ly/1ssy8Xw ).

Three Battelle workers were performing regular maintenance on a circuit breaker at the Idaho National Laboratory when they triggered a type of explosion called an arc flash, according to U.S. Department of Energy documents. It knocked the workers to the ground, but they were uninjured, the documents said.

In a letter addressed to lab Director Mark Peters, the Department of Energy said the explosion could have been prevented.

The event "revealed deficiencies in BEA's hazard identification and assessment procedure, electrical safety program, protective equipment selection process, hazard prevention and abatement procedure, and safety training program," the letter said.

Power workers have made changes to improve safety, said Ed Anderson, the Idaho National Laboratory's chief operating officer for facilities and site services. He said they have compared training at the lab to other commercial utility workers and electric employees at other national labs.
us_ID  laboratory  follow-up  response 
4 days ago
Big Rig carrying hydrochloric acid leaking after crash on Interstate 5 near Fort Tejon
A big rig carrying hydrochloric acid is leaking after a crash near the Fort Tejon exit off Interstate 5.

At about 4 p.m., Kern County hazmat teams were sent to the area along Interstate 5 after the big rig crashed.

No evacuations have been ordered.
us_TX  transportation  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
4 days ago
Chemical spill reported in Lakewood
LAKEWOOD - Authorities responded to a chemical spill at Church & Dwight Company on Airport Road.

Township police Sgt. Michael Young said they got the call about 3:40 p.m. There were no reported injuries.

Sgt. Erik Miick said about 200 employees were present at the facility, they were sent home. He couldn't say what chemical was involved, but described a cloud or plume that formed after the spill.

A hazmat team from Berkeley responded to the scene, along with Lakewood EMS and firefighters.
us_NJ  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Teacher, students exposed to Nitrous dioxide during science experiment
BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Bennington Police say three people, two students and an instructor, were exposed to Nitrous dioxide during a science experiment at the Grace Christian School.

All three individuals were transported to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for treatment.

Police say the Bennington Fire Department set up a decontamination area while rescue squad personnel worked with people exposed to the chemical.  The Bennington Rural Fire Department assisted with the ventilation of the building.

All students and personnel were evacuated from the building and moved to a safe location during the incident.
us_VT  laboratory  release  injury  nitrogen_dioxide 
4 days ago
Business reopens after truck carrying pool chemicals crashes into side of building
MAITLAND, Fla. —
A pickup truck carrying pool cleaning supplies crashed into a building in Maitland Tuesday, causing a chemical spill, according to authorities.

The crash happened on State Road 17-92 and Spartan Drive at the The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The driver, Joseph Batsch, 28, of Winter Springs, told Channel 9 that another car cut him off while driving in the north lanes.

Pat Sauer, the owner of the superstore, said she was in total disbelief when she was told a truck crashed into her business. 

"We've been here many, many years. I've never seen anything like this or had anything like this happen," Sauer said. 
us_FL  transportation  release  response  pool_chemicals 
4 days ago
Effort targets emergency response after Texas fertilizer plant disaster
A planned federal regulation for emergency responder preparedness should require emergency service organizations to actively engage with local communities about chemical and other hazards to assess their vulnerabilities to and determine if they can and will respond to incidents such as the West, Texas fertilizer explosion, according to subcommittee members charged with drafting the proposal.

The April 2013 blast at West Fertilizer Co. killed 15 people, including 12 emergency responders, injured dozens and leveled large portions of the town, resulting in losses of $230 million. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced last week that the fire that led to the explosion was intentionally set and constitutes a criminal act.

In response to the disaster, a National Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health subcommittee is drafting an emergency responder preparedness regulation for OSHA to consider. The current proposal would require emergency services organizations to conduct a community vulnerability and risk assessment, including a written assessment of the hazards in its service area and coordinated planning with the whole community to respond to large-scale incidents.
us_TX  public  follow-up  environmental  ag_chems  explosives 
4 days ago
25 people injured in chemical spill
Toxic fumes from a chemical spill at a company in Steel Street in Polokwane‚ Limpopo‚ on Tuesday saw 25 people requiring treatment.

ER24 paramedics‚ along with provincial services‚ arrived on the scene at 8.30am after receiving reports of a number of patients experiencing breathing difficulties.

The building had been evacuated.

ER24 said in a statement that 25 people had inhaled the toxic fumes from the chemical spill. The patients were treated for their injuries and transported to a nearby hospital for further treatment.

"It is understood that a container of Formaldehyde had apparently leaked during the evening‚ causing the incident.

"Hazardous Material Teams as well as fire services were on scene to contain the incident as well as for further investigations."
South_Africa  industrial  release  injury  formaldehyde 
5 days ago
Hazmat team, firefighters respond to Wilmington scrapyard fire
Fire and hazardous materials units were called to the scene of a vehicle fire and antifreeze leak at the A-1 Parts and Sales scrapyard Tuesday afternoon in Wilmington, according to a city fire department spokesperson.

City firefighters from B-Platoon were called to 410 Garacshes Lane at 1:46 p.m. as a large plume of black smoke rose over the city's south side.

The firefighters arrived to find a forklift and a car being prepared for scrap engulfed in flames, according to a press release from spokesman James R. Jobes.

The flames impinged on a nearby building, causing the roof to ignite, he said.

The fire was quickly knocked down, and the building sustained minimal damage, he said. A small portion of the roof was cut away to ensure the fire did not spread.
us_DE  industrial  fire  response  antifreeze  waste 
5 days ago
Teacher sets student's hand on fire in science demonstration
A science teacher at the Hope Academy in Minneapolis went for the wow factor in front his students recently when demonstrating the flammability of methane.

The instructor invited a willing student to dip his hand in a container of methane-filled soap bubbles. The student's dad Steven Takata was on hand to see what happened next.

As the student held out his bubble-filled hand, the teacher held a lighter to it and a ball of flames erupted. The student walked away unscathed and amazed.

Impressive, but once again, not something we recommend trying at home.
us_MN  education  fire  response  methane 
6 days ago
Sunbaked pavement sealcoat may release toxic compounds
New research adds to a growing body of evidence that a pavement sealcoat made from coal tar emulsions—commonly used east of the Rocky Mountains to give parking lots and driveways a smooth, finished sheen—could harm the environment and human health (Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00116).
Earlier studies have shown that compounds in the sealcoats known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of which are known or suspected carcinogens, can volatilize in warm weather or enter the soil and waterways from rain runoff. As a result, some communities have banned these sealcoats. Staci L. M. Simonich of Oregon State University and colleagues set out to examine not only a wider array of PAHs than those previously investigated, but their derivatives, too. They found that despite their presence in small concentrations, these compounds pose major risks.
The researchers measured concentrations of 34 PAHs and 56 PAH derivatives in two coal-tar-based sealcoats and an asphalt-based sealcoat, a type more commonly used in the western U.S. They obtained dried sealcoat samples from the U.S. Geological Survey that were collected for a previous study. To measure changes in PAHs and PAH derivatives over time, they also painted each sealcoat product onto a University of Texas, Austin, parking lot and scraped off samples after 1.6 hours, one day, 45 days, and 149 days. They then extracted the PAHs and PAH derivatives with a series of increasingly polar solvent mixtures and analyzed the 11 resulting fractions using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.
public  release  environmental  asphalt  solvent 
6 days ago
Officials investigate fire at east Tulsa chemical plant
people were taken to the hospital as a precaution early Sunday morning from the Cytec Solvay plant. Company officials said chemicals reacted and filled the facility with smoke.

Employee John McCay told FOX23 that he didn’t know what chemicals were involved but said they house many difference kinds.

Cytec Solvay has branches around the world and even had a hand in the solar-powered plane that made its way to Tulsa recently.

McCay said no one was injured and the public does not need to worry about the incident. They hope to have results from the investigation by mid-week.
us_OK  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Huffing leads to car fire, burn wounds
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — "It's an act that they created to get high on to see the end results. This is something that they're going to live with for the rest of their lives, with these burns."

Steubenville City Manager James Mavromatis spoke out after an incident near a local mall involving two juveniles.

Three people were burned after a vehicle fire near Fort Steuben Mall on Sunday morning. Police responded to the scene around 7 a.m.

Upon arrival, authorities said one adult and two juveniles were being treated by Ambulance Service, Inc. and the Steubenville Fire Department. During the investigation, Mavromatis said officials discovered the cause.

The three individuals were huffing, or inhaling chemical sprays, which eventually ignited the fire. Mavromatis said officials also found two pipes with marijuana residue in the car.
us_OH  public  fire  injury  drugs 
6 days ago
Massive Tire Fire Darkens Skies Over Madrid
Tire fires are incredibly dangerous things, with the fire releasing the chemical additives in a greasy, thick smoke that can cause anything from throat irritation to central nervous system damage to cancer. In addition to the dangerous smoke, burning tires are incredibly difficult to extinguish—they have been known to continue burning for months or years, with the tires continuing to burn when extinguished from the outside, and reigniting easily.

So, it is incredibly troubling that a huge pillar of toxic smoke rose above Madrid on Friday, as a fire raged in a tire dump 28 mies south of the city, near the city of Sesena. As firefighters and water-dropping helicopters battled the blaze, city officials said that the disaster was likely intentional.

“Everything points to the fact that this disaster was deliberate,” said Sesena Mayor Carlos Velazquez. Tire fires are difficult to start in any case—fires are sometimes started by lightning strikes, but otherwise require a lot of work to light—but in the case of this fire, the area had just been hit by several days of rain, further lessening the possibility of this being an accident. Authorities in the area have already evacuated much of the population of a nearby residential area, as the fire has spread across the 25-acre dump site.
Spain  public  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
State testing lab to pay fine, buy equipment for emergency responders
The state’s Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta will pay $100,000 in fines and equipment purchases to settle a claim that it violated state and federal hazardous waste laws.

The settlement was announced Monday by the New England Regional Office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

An EPA news release said the Maine laboratory will pay a $27,000 fine and buy $73,000 worth of equipment for emergency responders in Augusta and Waterville, including the fire departments in both cities, and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The equipment includes $25,000 worth of self-contained breathing apparatus bottles, $15,000 for propane heating systems and $9,000 for bulky equipment storage.

The federal agency said the state lab violated the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and state hazardous waste laws by “failing to properly identify hazardous wastes, failing to segregate incompatible hazardous wastes so that they are not stored next to one another, creating a potential for fire or explosions. The laboratory also failed to follow its own procedures for the treatment of certain corrosive laboratory wastes.”

Following the complaint, the state laboratory reviewed and complied with practices and procedures, the news release said.

Several people who serve as spokesmen for the state Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory, were unavailable to respond to questions about the settlement on Monday.
us_ME  laboratory  discovery  environmental  corrosives  illegal  wastes 
6 days ago
Nitrogen leak spurs hazmat response to Wayne building
WAYNE — A nitrogen leak at a building on Route 23 prompted a response by the township fire department and hazardous materials team Saturday morning, police said.


Nitrogen leak at Wayne building
A hazardous materials team responded to a nitrogen leak at a building in Wayne Township on Saturday, police said.
Officers responded to the building at 1123 Route 23 at 6:30 a.m. on May 14 on a report of a white-colored cloud and possible foam coming from the side of the building, Wayne police Capt. Laurence Martin said in a news release.

The white vapor was leaking from a nitrogen tank pipe fitting so repair companies were notified and responded.
us_NJ  public  release  response  nitrogen 
6 days ago
Fire crews put out 2-alarm fire at chemical plant in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY – Fire crews have put out a 2-alarm fire at a chemical plant in Salt Lake City near 2334 Directors Row in Salt Lake City.

Authorities have not said how the fire started.

No one was seriously injured.

It appears the fire started at the Brenntag Pacific building.

Here is an update from SLC Fire crews:

The fire originated in an add-on structure, connected to the main building. This area is used primarily for the storage of empty plastic drums, which had been used to store various chemicals. Several drums, ranging in sizes from 55 to 500-gallon, were damaged during the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire extended into the building, activating suppression sprinklers. Fire crews had the fire under control within 20 minutes of arrival, and completely extinguished shortly thereafter.

No injuries were reported. All 15 employees who were at the business at the time of the fire had evacuated the building prior to the arrival of fire crews.
us_UT  industrial  fire  response  various_chemicals 
6 days ago
Avondale gas explosion highlights gas leak dangers
AVONDALE., AZ - Avondale police say an elderly couple severely burned after a gas line explosion are still in serious condition.

Firefighters were called out to an explosion and house fire on Saturday morning. The fire spread to three other homes.  

Police said an uncapped gas line was the cause of the fire. ABC15 contacted Southwest Gas to find out how something like this could happen.  

Officials with Southwest Gas said, safety starts with the homeowner. The company will feed the gas up to the meter outside your home, once it gets into the lines connected to your appliances, it is your responsibility to maintain them.

Police are still trying to figure out why the couple's line was uncapped. They have not been able to talk to the couple yet. Firefighters said gas leaks and uncapped lines are extremely dangerous.
us_AZ  public  explosion  response  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Man dies in explosion at Phoenix-area home
A man making his own fireworks has died after a house explosion in a West Valley suburb.

Police in Surprise said Derek Baldwin, 38, died of injuries suffered Sunday night in the area of Greenway Road and 135th Drive.

When emergency units arrived, Baldwin was lying in the driveway, already in critical condition.

Crews evacuated neighbors until they could clear the home of any other hazards.

There were no other injuries reported.

Debris from the explosion landed several yards away.

After other fireworks-making material was collected, residents were allowed to return to their homes.
us_AZ  public  explosion  death  fireworks 
6 days ago
Perfluorinated chemicals taint drinking water
Remnants of past industrial chemical innovation linger in rivers and aquifers that supply drinking water to millions of people in the U.S., and more worldwide, potentially putting their health at risk. Dissolved in the water are perfluorinated compounds that gave rise to iconic household brands such as 3M’s Scotchgard and DuPont’s Teflon.

In places such as Parkersburg, W.Va., where a DuPont plant used perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) for decades, residents are turning to bottles of water rather than turning on unfiltered taps because of contamination of the local water supply. DuPont and other firms that made or used PFOA are likely to be on the hook financially for personal injury claims or cleanup for years to come.
PFOA, sometimes called C8, has been linked to disease, including high cholesterol, thyroid disease, and some cancers.
industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
7 days ago
U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from energy use fall
Energy-related U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide fell 12% from 2005 to 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Nearly 70% of these reductions were driven by electricity-generating plants shifting from coal to natural gas, which releases about half as much CO2 as coal when burned.
The rest of the decline was a result of energy efficiency in homes, industry, and transportation; growing use of renewable energy; and milder weather, says EIA’s Paul Holtberg. Overall, energy-related activities were responsible for more than 80% of U.S. CO2 emissions.
The drop in energy sector CO2 emissions came despite a 15% growth in the U.S. economy over the same period, EIA reports. In fact, U.S. CO2 emissions fell by 23% per unit of gross domestic product, says Holtberg, who credits transportation and home appliance efficiency as well as a general shift to less energy-intensive industrial production.
industrial  discovery  response  carbon_dioxide 
7 days ago
12 taken to hospital after possible chemical exposure at air base
Twelve Airmen from the Homestead Air Reserve Base were taken to the hospital Sunday afternoon as precaution after possible exposure to Hydrazine, a highly toxic chemical, according to a spokesman for the base.

The Airmen were doing routine maintenance on an F-16 when they may have come in contact with the chemical, said Senior Airman Frank Casciotta.
us_FL  industrial  release  injury  hydrazine 
7 days ago
Five labourers die after inhaling chemical fumes at Karachi factory
KARACHI: Five labourers in Karachi lost their lives on Sunday after they reportedly inhaled chemical fumes while trying to clean an underground tank at the factory in Korangi Industrial area.

The bodies were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) where Dr Seemi Jamali, head of the emergency department, confirmed the deaths.

Police sealed the factory, which belonged to a privately-owned company, following the incident and arrested the guard (chowkidar) at the factory.

According to workers at the site, the owner of the factory had called 11 labourers today to clean the underground tank.

Six workers initially entered the tank but they soon lost consciousness due to the fumes. The workers were taken out of the tank and brought to the Jinnah hospital by rescue workers.

Five of the workers were pronounced dead at the hospital, while one was still under treatment.
Pakistan  industrial  release  death  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Surprise fire officials: 1 dead after fire, explosion at home
One person is reported dead at the scene of a house fire involving an explosion Sunday evening at a Surprise home, fire officials said.

The fire occurred near Point Parkway and Greenway Road, said Battalion Chief Julie Moore of the Surprise Fire Department.

Surprise police said neighbors have been evacuated until they determine when it is safe.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known, Moore said.

Firefighters originally were dispatched to the house on a hazardous situation call at about 7:25 p.m., Moore said. Firefighters at the scene reported there was an explosion at the residence, Moore said.

Moore said firefighters believe the fire could be "chemical related" but the exact cause was under investigation.

"We have a large investigation on our hands," Moore said, adding there were no other injuries.
us_AZ  public  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
UPDATE: Hazmat team called to UTEP for spilled rubbing alcohol
The hazmat team arrived around 6 p.m. Sunday.

A fire dispatch operator says it was a "small spill" which was turned over to Environmental Services and UTEP Police.

 UTEP's officials  released the following state: '"A small amount of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) was spilled. The substance was not toxic and not hazardous. The situation was handled by UTEP staff."
us_TX  education  release  response  propanol 
7 days ago
Pool service worker burns self with chemicals, officials say
A pool service worker was hurt Saturday when chlorine chemicals exploded in his face as he was mixing them, fire officials said.

The Dix Hills Fire Department was called to a home on Bayard Drive at 3:10 p.m. to help the 20-year-old man, who had chemical burns on his face and chest.

The Dix Hills Rescue Squad took the man by ambulance to Commack Middle School, and he was transferred...
us_NY  public  explosion  injury  chlorine 
7 days ago
Tulsa Solvay Plant Evacuated After Chemical Reaction
TULSA, Oklahoma - Several workers at an east Tulsa chemical plant evacuated early Sunday morning after firefighters say chemicals reacted and filled the air with smoke.
EMSA took several workers here at the Cytec Solvay Plant to the hospital for precautionary reasons, according to Tulsa Fire Department. Workers evacuated the plant safely and called TFD around 2 a.m.

Firefighters say a slight chemical reaction in the plant caused smoke to fill the air. Tulsa Fire came in and ventilated the plant.

Tulsa's Hazmat Unit also responded because of the chemicals used inside the plant.

Solvay is one of the main manufacturers of the solar plane Solar Impulse 2 which landed in Tulsa on Thursday night. Solvay makes advanced composites used to make the ultra light weight plane fly across the world.
us_OK  industrial  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Massive fire in chemical factory in Delhi's Anand Parbat
New Delhi: A massive fire broke out at a chemical factory in Delhi's Anand Parbat Industrial Area early Saturday morning.
 
At least 12 fire tenders reached the spot and the furious flames were doused over two whole hours. The damage has not yet been ascertained.
 
As per current reports a printing press caught fire, and a clothing factory was nearby that had workers present who managed to control the fire from spreading.
 
No causalities have been reported so far. Authorities are investigating the entire incident.
 
A similar fire took place at a chemical factory near Mallapur Industrial area, Nacharam, Hyderabad at around 8 AM on Friday. The fire broke out in the Salislait Chemical Factory when the reactors exploded. The chemical factory had highly inflammable and explosive material that was combustible.
India  industrial  explosion  response  flammables 
8 days ago
Man in hospital after 'drug lab' explosion
A man is in a stable condition in hospital after an explosion in a suspected illegal drug laboratory in Sydney's west. 

The explosion occurred at about 10.15am on Saturday, in a shed in the backyard of a house in Blewett Road, Marayong. The 26-year-old man, who was initially treated by paramedics at the scene, was admitted to Westmead hospital with burns to his face, chest and hands. A woman in her 20s, who was also at the scene, was treated for smoke inhalation and is now helping police with their investigation. 

It is unknown what kind of drugs were being processed at the lab. The man remains in a stable condition at Concord Hospital. 
Australia  public  explosion  injury  illegal  meth_lab 
8 days ago
EPA moves to cut methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations
In a move to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency on May 12 issued its first-ever regulations to reduce methane releases by the oil and natural gas sector.
The new regulations apply to new, modified, and reconstructed oil and gas operations. Similar rules for millions of existing oil and gas drilling and production facilities are on hold as the agency collects additional information.
Under the new rules, operations are expected to capture some 460,000 metric tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, by 2025, EPA says. The benefits to the climate will be worth $690 million in 2025, the agency claims, and will outweigh the regulations’ costs of $530 million. In addition, the regulations will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds, which are precursors to ground-level ozone or smog, and toxic air pollutants, EPA adds.
In addition to natural gas operations, the Obama EPA rules cover hydraulically fractured oil wells that hold large amounts of natural gas—which is mainly methane—along with oil. The regulations require these operations to phase in technologies to capture methane.
The rules call for more frequent inspections for leaks. Inspections must occur quarterly, twice per year, or annually, depending on the type of oil and gas operation and equipment. They allow use of portable inspection devices and optical infrared cameras.
industrial  discovery  environmental  natural_gas 
9 days ago
Spain Evacuates 9,000 from Massive Tire Fire Near Madrid
Spanish officials ordered 9,000 people evacuated Friday night from a large apartment complex after a raging fire at a sprawling tire dump sent spectacular, toxic clouds of black smoke into the sky.

About 8,000 apartment dwellers had already left their homes in Sesena, a central town near Madrid, as the thick smoke poured out from the fire that started before dawn, the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha announced.

It said ambulances were being sent to the complex to evacuate people with health problems who could not leave on their own.
Spain  public  fire  injury  wastes 
9 days ago
Chemical factory gutted in massive explosion
HYDERABAD: Several residents of Nacharam industrial area had to be evacuated to safety after a major fire broke out in manufacturing unit of Salicylates and Chemicals Private Ltd located in the industrial area early Friday morning. Thick black smoke enveloped the area as chemicals stored in drums burst into flames while fire fighters struggled throughout the day and could control the flames only by evening. Fire department personnel douse the fire at Mallapur industrial area in Nacharam in Hyderabad on Friday | a suresh kumar While no one was injured in the fire, the intensity was such that some burning material from the factory blew up and landed in adjoining areas leading to chaos. "Drums filled with chemical materials including methanol, sulphuric acid, caustic potash and phenol were kept in godown. Fire broke out from the manufacturing unit due to severe heat inside the premises. Some drums filled with chemicals exploded and landed in nearby areas leading to chaos," said Ranga Reddy district fire officer T Mahender Reddy. Meanwhile, fire fighters who had a tough time controlling the fire, said, "The temperature inside was almost 1,500 degrees and we suspect that the reactors may have exploded.
India  industrial  explosion  response  methanol  phenol  sulfuric_acid 
9 days ago
Bush EPA Head Says Obama Chemical Safety Plan Is Too Weak
Former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman (R), who headed the EPA under President George W. Bush, has written to President Obama’s EPA head, Gina McCarthy, to argue that the EPA’s proposed regulation to reduce the risks of explosions at U.S. chemical plants is too weak.  Whitman writes that her purpose is “to urge the EPA to strengthen” its rule “to increase the safety of the American people,” particularly by requiring numerous high-risk chemical facilities to move to inherently safer technologies (IST).

A chemical plant disaster could result from accident, natural disaster, or deliberate attack.  The EPA has identified 466 chemical facilities in the U.S. that each put 100,000 or more people at risk.

Whitman submitted her comment to the EPA on Wednesday, the same day that investigators with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that the April 2013 explosion at the West Fertilizer Company plant in Texas was intentionally set and not, as previously thought, an accident. That Texas explosion, which moved President Obama to speak at a memorial service for the 15 people who were killed, triggered a White House executive order aimed at reducing chemical plant dangers, which in turn led to the new EPA proposed rules.

But Whitman made clear in her letter to McCarthy that the new draft rule did not do enough to prevent future tragedies. “It would be most regrettable,” she wrote, “if in the closing months of the Obama Administration EPA did not use the opportunity that President Obama’s Executive Order provides to expand the use of IST, when economically and technologically feasible, to reduce the vulnerability of high-risk sites to terrorist attack and to better protect the American people in the event of either an accidental or deliberate release.”
us_NJ  industrial  follow-up  death  ag_chems  explosives 
9 days ago
Hazmat Team Contained Leaky Shipping Container
WILMINGTON, CA - Firefighters contained a corrosive substance that leaked from a shipping container at Terminal Island on Thursday.

The leak was reported at 3:20 p.m. at Berth 406 near Navy Way, according to Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

A hazardous materials crew entered the container and took samples of the unknown substance, which was slowly leaking from drums on pallets inside a 40-foot container, Scott said.

The crew contained and stopped the leak then wrapped the container so it could be m
us_CA  transportation  release  response  unknown_chemical  corrosives 
10 days ago
Commentary: How a gag order, closed doors and hush money further twist transparency pledge at U of L
Insider Louisville recently obtained an email exchange between University of Louisville paralegal Carcyle D. Barrett and former Biosafety Committee member Art Williams. It begins with notification of a lawsuit by two laid-off employees of the university’s biological safety program — whistleblower Karen Brinkley and her boss, Carol Whetstone — and urges parties who “may have relevant information” not to discuss the claims with “anyone other than the University’s inside or outside counsel.”

But similar claims were publicized long before the suit was filed. In December of 2014, Williams vacated the Biosafety Committee after 13 years as he decried violations of National Institutes of Health guidelines, incident reporting delays, retaliation, no-bid contracts and potential conflicts of interest.

As former director of the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District and as a former state environmental commissioner, he routinely partnered with the press to educate the public on vital concerns. Consequently Williams, a soft-spoken scientist with a law degree, bristled when he read, “This memorandum should be treated as attorney-client privileged and confidential, and its contents should not be shared with others.”

His reply doesn’t resonate as that of a client: “You may not appreciate how anxiety producing and disturbing it is suddenly, with no notice, to receive what purports to be a gag order … with no legal authority behind it. It makes me very angry — and further disappointed [that] U of L … would seek to prevent me from even consulting my own counsel …”
us_KY  laboratory  follow-up  environmental 
10 days ago
100 people have been evacuated after a 'chemical incident' in London
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) rushed the crowds of people from their workplace, along London Wall, after a fridge leaked ammonia. 

The fire service responded to the incident by sending two fire engines, two fire and rescue units as well as specialist chemical response units, including scientific support vehicles and officers. 

Workers were evacuated for their own safety after the leak, and two women were treated at the scene by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) after they came into contact with the substance.  

A spokesman for the LFB said: "It was a chemical leak in an office block of ammonia leaking from a fridge from an office on the third floor. 
United_Kingdom  public  release  injury  ammonia 
10 days ago
West Texas Fertilizer Blast: 'Criminal Act' Ruling Deepens Mystery
Federal investigators opened a captivating new chapter in a deadly West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion when they announced that someone deliberately set the fire that sparked it.

But, as with many mysteries, the revelation raises more urgent questions.

Who did it? How? Why? And how do authorities know it was arson?

Anyone wanting answers to those questions immediately will have to wait. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it is still investigating the April 17, 2013, blast at a West Fertilizer Co. plant, which killed 15 people — including a dozen emergency workers — injured 260 and leveled 120 houses, two schools and a nursing home.

The fire was reported about 20 minutes before the detonation, which was fueled by the plant's massive stockpile of ammonium nitrate.

Related: Deadly West, Texas, Fertilizer Plant Explosion Was 'Criminal Act': Feds

The partial destruction of the city of 2,800 people — marked by a crater 90 feet wide and 10 feet deep —was largely lost in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, which occurred two days earlier, as the nation remained gripped over the hunt for the killers.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  ammonium_nitrate  illegal 
10 days ago
Avon Fire Marshal: Oily Rags Spontaneously Ignited, Sparking Fire At Derrin House
AVON — The fire that badly damaged the historic Derrin House on Wednesday started when oily rags that had been thrown in a garbage can spontaneously ignited, the town fire marshal said Thursday.

The fire marshal, James DiPace, said members of the Avon Historical Society were working in the house Tuesday and threw oily rags they used in a garbage can rather than laying them out separately to dry. DiPace said a chemical reaction from the oils caused the rags to catch fire, which then spread to other parts of the house.

"It was just improper disposal of oily rags. It was an accident," DiPace said.

He said he commonly advises people who plan on putting an oil-based stain on woodwork to dry out rags used for cleanup separately before throwing them away.

The extent of the damage to the house has not been fully determined. DiPace said there is extensive fire damage to one room while other areas sustained heat and smoke damage.
us_CT  public  fire  response  petroleum  waste 
10 days ago
Oxnard’s Del Norte solid waste and recycling facility reopens after small chemical spill
A small chemical spill Thursday temporarily shut Oxnard's Del Norte Regional Recycling and Transfer Station.

No one was injured, Oxnard Fire Chief Bryan Brice said.

The building at 111 S. Del Norte Blvd. was evacuated as a safety precaution as hazardous material teams investigated. It later reopened.

The staff at the facility, which handles trash and recycling services, did a "great job getting the area isolated and everybody safe and accounted for," Brice said.

The substance was apparently brought in with a load of recyclables or waste.

The plant accepts recycled materials and trash dropped off by customers as well as loads hauled in by the city's sanitation fleet.
us_CA  industrial  release  response  waste 
10 days ago
Evacuation after chemical leak at Stockholm lab
UPDATED: Five hundred people were escorted from a building near the Karolinska Institute following a chemical leak.

Eleven people were cared for by ambulance staff after experiencing dizziness and facial numbness, said police.

The affected premises in Solna municipality in Stockholm county house both the Karolinska Institute and the Royal Institute of Technology as well as several privately-owned companies, wrote Aftonbladet.

The Swedish tabloid reported that the leak was believed to have started on the seventh floor of the building in a laboratory area used by a biochemical company which also is located in the building.

"There has been a discharge of gas in this room. It is probably the chemical toluene. In concentrated form it constitutes a fire and explosion hazard," police spokesperson Sven-Erik Olsson told the newspaper.

Police and emergency services examined the building, which was cordoned off between 1pm and 3pm.

One of the individuals affected by the incident was Sci Life Lab safety officer, Erik Malm.

"It's OK now, it was something chemical," he told news agency TT. "There was a strong chemical smell on a couple of floors, but we haven't been able to locate a source," he added.

Police later said that there was no longer any risk of explosion and no suspicion of any criminal activity.

"An unknown person had spilled or thrown the substance in a bin. A cleaner had then brought the substance into the room," confirmed police spokesperson Albin Näverberg to TT.
Sweden  laboratory  release  response  toluene 
10 days ago
Arkay reopens after fire injures 2
rkay Packaging employees went back to work Wednesday less than 24 hours after a fire broke out at the company’s Botetourt County manufacturing facility.
Company spokeswoman Ruth Rugoff said about 75 employees returned for the plant’s second shift at 2 p.m.
“There’s been no delay in our productivity, in doing the work we need to do,” Rugoff said.
Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the facility in the EastPark Commerce Center when they arrived Tuesday about 5:30 p.m. A fire alarm was sounded and the building had been evacuated before crews arrived.
Botetourt County Fire and EMS Battalion Chief Andrew Moore said investigators later determined a press machine in the building caught on fire, injuring two employees who were working nearby.
“Some chemical came in contact with a heat source around the machine, and that’s how we think the fire got started,” Moore said.
Officials initially reported that the employees were exposed to hazardous chemicals because two chemicals that were kept close to the machine ignited. Moore on Wednesday said those employees were not exposed to the chemicals, but were injured by the fire alone. They were taken to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and later moved to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
us_NC  industrial  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Turner calls for tougher oversight of hazmat facilities
Mayor Sylvester Turner called Wednesday for the city to conduct more regular building inspections, including those that store hazardous materials, saying that eight years had elapsed since the fire department last examined the Spring Branch warehouse that erupted in flames last week, spewing chemicals more than 2 miles downstream in a nearby creek.

Turner added that the city should implement more stringent reporting requirements for companies that store potentially dangerous materials and impose harsher penalties on those who fail to report accurately.

Officials have yet to determine whether Custom Packaging and Filling Company, home to last Thursday's fire, violated any city ordinances by not obtaining a hazardous material certificate of occupancy.So far officials have compiled only a partial list of chemicals stored at the facility.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Partial list of what was burning in warehouse fire released
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Nearly a week after fire ripped through Custom Packaging and Filling plant in Houston's Spring Branch neighborhood, we finally have some idea of what exactly was burning.

The city made available a Material Safety Data Sheet of the chemicals stored on the site. However, it is not a complete list because the company never reported to the state what they stored. In addition, city officials also don't know the amount of each chemical on site, because there is no proper paper trail.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
11 days ago
Red chemicals from Spring Branch fire flushed from creeks, bayous
SPRING BRANCH, Texas - The Environmental Protection Agency is using extra water from fire hydrants to help flush out what's left of red chemicals that darkened the Spring Branch Creek after last week’s deadly warehouse fire. 

The EPA said roughly 3 miles of the creek were turned red by the chemicals.

Since Thursday, crews have been gathering samples from the water to determine what the chemicals are and to pump out the mess.

According to the EPA, there is also boom to prevent oil in the water from continuing to flow downstream. EPA officials said 100,000 gallons of oil and oily water have been collected.

The cleanup and the flushing are expected to last until the end of the week.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  petroleum  runoff 
11 days ago
Investigators: 2013 West fertilizer plant blast a 'criminal act'
WEST, Texas - A deadly 2013 fertilizer plant blast in West, Texas was a criminal act, investigators said Wednesday.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made the stunning announcement during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. The ATF said the initial fire which caused the blast was “incendiary,” meaning it was set.

"We have eliminated all reasonable accidental and natural causes," said special agent Robert Elder. "This was a criminal act."
us_TX  public  follow-up  environmental  ag_chems  explosives  illegal 
11 days ago
2 taken to hospital in Glendale hazmat situation
Glendale fire crews responded to a second-alarm hazmat situation at Gil Enginering near 53rd Avenue and Camelback Road on Tuesday.

Glendale fire tweeted that there were five patients, two of whom were taken to the hospital to be checked out.

An employee pulled a hazard alarm due to acid fumes.

According to fire officials, employees were resealing a nitric acid container when the container started reacting with the nitric acid. 

Glendale fire crews evacuated the building and has taken three employees to be evaluated for precautionary reasons.
us_AZ  industrial  release  injury  nitric_acid 
12 days ago
Hazmat Incident Hospitalizes Multiple People in Barkhamsted
Litchfield County dispatch said crews responded to a call around 1 p.m. from state police about hazardous materials on 47 Lavander Road. DEEP is accompanying Litchfield officials at the home, where people still may be inside. 
Texas Kid Drank Dr Pepper With Rat in Bottle: Grandfather
DEEP said people became ill from fumes created from a a mixture of household cleaning products. Litchfield County dispatch said the incident involved Pine Sol and bleach. 
Multiple people were transported to the hospital via ambulance but it is unclear how many. 
us_CT  public  release  injury  bleach 
12 days ago
Steele County Times, Dodge County Independent and News Enterprise
A rural Ellendale woman escaped serious injury after a minor explosion at her residence Tuesday night. 
Ellendale Fire Chief Mark Lee said that the unidentified woman was treated and released by the Ellendale Ambulance at the scene. Lee said she suffered minor injuries including singed hair and burnt clothes.
The explosion occured when the woman was cleaning her bathtub with bleach and causing a chemical explosion, according to Lee. A door in the house was damaged, but is unknown if it was a result of the explosion. 
Steele County Shierff's office assisted at the scene. 
us_MN  public  explosion  injury  bleach 
12 days ago
On a mission to put a lid on chemical accidents
KOZHIKODE: Against the backdrop of increasing accidents involving chemicals and inflammable gases, the Fire and Rescue Services Department is preparing a database on the hazards of chemical accidents in each district. The department will study and document the possibilities of accidents in a particular district and the volume and nature of chemical substances transported through the state.

“Growing industrialisation in the state has resulted in increased use of chemical and other inflammable gases; thus the need to deal with any such accident has become important. As part of improving response mechanism, all  chances of accidents in a particular district are studied and documented. Besides, the volume and nature of chemical substances manufactured, stored and transported through the state will be documented,”  Fire and Rescue Services Director- Technical, E B Prasad, said.

“A number of factors, including human errors, could spark off chemical accidents which have the potential to become chemical disasters. The danger is sometimes compounded due to the location of ‘major accident hazard’ industries closer to densely populated areas,” said the official.

As many as 42 factories in the state have been classified as major accident hazard (MAH) units, of which 50 percent are in Kochi.
India  industrial  discovery  environmental  flammables 
12 days ago
How Do You Put Out A Subterranean Fire Beneath A Mountain Of Trash?
The Bridgeton Landfill, about 20 miles northwest of St. Louis, is in many ways a typical pile of trash. Bridgeton is a layer cake of garbage and dirt at the bottom of an old limestone quarry, all of it covered with a frosting of clay, plastic liner, soil and grass. But for the last six years, there’s been something wrong at the core of Bridgeton — a wrongness that has led to lawsuits, angry neighborhood activists and national media attention. It’s confusing and scientifically strange — and all those problems are exacerbated by the nearby presence of a big old pile of nuclear waste.

Down beneath the layers of trash bags, banana peels, Chinese takeout cartons, diapers and dirt, the Bridgeton Landfill has become very hot. Normally you’d expect the process of decomposition to heat the interior of a landfill to around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Parts of the Bridgeton landfill, in contrast, have reached temperatures as high as 260. That 120 degrees is the difference between a healthy landfill, decomposing merrily along, and one in which the systems of safe waste management are falling apart.

Whenever a landfill develops a hot spot deep down, it’s a problem for people who live nearby, for the surrounding environment and for the operator of the landfill. High temperatures damage the plastic liners and the pipes that keep trash-infused water called leachate from seeping into local groundwater. High temperatures decompose trash differently and result in leachate that’s harder to treat and make safe, even when it is being properly captured. And high temperatures release dangerous (and malodorous) gases that cooler trash doesn’t. Those gases can find their way out of the landfill more easily because the hot spots tend to collapse, leaving cracks in the layer cake’s smooth surface.
us_MO  industrial  fire  response  waste 
12 days ago
Firefighters responding to hazmat spill at UW
Seattle firefighters were called to the University of Washington for a hazardous materials spill or leak.

KIRO 7 first heard about the incident at 9:52 a.m. on Monday.

The location, 3749 Mason Road Northeast in Seattle, is Wilcox Hall, the university's materials science and engineering building.

Seattle fire said students dropped a small amount of hydrochloric and nitric acid on the floor of the lab. When mixed, those chemicals create a potentially dangerous gas. 
 
The floor where the spill occurred was evacuated and a hazmat team cleaned up the spill. 
 
No one was sickening or injured.
us_WA  laboratory  release  response  hydrochloric_acid  nitric_acid 
13 days ago
Garbage truck fire in Seneca on Julian Dr.
A garbage truck caught on fire according to an Oconee Co. Hazmat Team’s Facebook post.

They say they were called to help Seneca Fire Department with with a city front loader.

It happened just before noon on Julian Drive in Seneca.

Seneca Fire Department says the driver remembers hearing a pop and it started smoking.

No one was hurt.

Hazmat was able to prevent 75 gallosn of hydraulic oil from getting into a nearby stream.
us_SC  transportation  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
ATF to reveal cause of West Fertilizer Company plant explosion
WEST, Texas - The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will reveal Wednesday what agents believe sparked a massive fire at the West Fertilizer Co. three years ago.

Channel 2 reported last month that the ATF had reached a conclusion about what caused the fire. Fifteen people died and 160 were injured when ammonium nitrate exploded on April 17, 2013.

The ATF report, which has been finalized, will say whether the fire was intentionally set or whether it was it was an accident. The full report will not be released, Channel 2 Investigates has learned, but details contained in it will be discussed at a news conference at noon Wednesday in West.
us_TX  public  follow-up  death  ammonium_nitrate 
13 days ago
Officials: Chemical in Anamosa water deemed harmless
ANAMOSA, Ia. — Officials lifted a bottled water advisory in Anamosa on Monday evening after determining a chemical mistakenly added to the water supply was harmless at low concentrations.

The Department of Natural Resources lifted the advisory after determining the chemical was triethanolamine, used mostly in the cosmetic and drug industries. One to three gallons of the chemical were mixed into about 750,000 gallons of water storage, which diluted the chemical to a harmless level.

Officials had advised people to drink bottled water while they determined what chemical was mixed into the water. The employee shut down the pump but an automated system allowed a small amount of the chemical to mix with the city's supply.

The DNR began working to identify the chemical after a city employee noticed the chemical mixture that treats the water looked different Friday afternoon.

The chemical supplier, Viking Chemical, of Rockford, Illinois, determined the chemical was triethanolamine based on the look, feel and smell of the substance, according to the DNR. The chemical was mistakenly added because it was in a container that was mislabeled at Viking's distribution plant, the DNR said.
us_IL  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
13 days ago
Wrong-way I-5 driver hits truck with hydrochloric acid
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (KOIN) — A wrong-way driver slammed into a semi-truck carrying hydrochloric acid on I-5 north of Grants Pass in the very early hours of Sunday.

The crash happened around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, ODOT said. The crash caused the acid to leak onto the road and hazmat teams were called in from Medford.

Traffic was slowed in the area until 8:30 a.m.

The wrong-way driver, 27-year-old Ashley Whipple, was hospitalized with minor injuries. She was reportedly intoxicated at the time of the crash, according to OSP.

Whipple was cited for DUII and released.
us_OR  transportation  release  injury  hydrochloric_acid 
14 days ago
Fire breaks out in forensic lab at Sagar, no damage
SS Parmar, director of the lab, told reporters that around midnight, guard informed him about the fire. The incident took place at the recovery room where bullets are recovered after test fire, he said. "Generally important documents are not kept in this room," he said. Luckily, it did not spread at parts of the lab where important things are exhibited, Parmar added.
India  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
14 days ago
Feds to study potential chemical attack on NYC subway system
NEW YORK - (AP) -- New York City commuters could face delays this week as federal authorities test the vulnerability of New York City's subway system to a possible chemical attack.

Beginning at 11 a.m. Monday the Department of Homeland Security will be releasing low concentrations of a harmless, non-toxic gas into several midtown Manhattan subway stations.

Officials say data from the five-day drill will help first responders better understand how airborne contaminants travel through the subway system.

There is no health risk to the public.
us_NY  public  discovery  environmental  unknown_chemical 
14 days ago
Firefighters tackle chemical plant fire in Winterhay Lane, Ilminster (From This is The West Country)
FIREFIGHTERS took nearly three hours to extinguish a property fire in Ilminster that involved a chemical plant.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was called to a property fire on Winterhay Lane in the south Somerset town, shortly after 7.30pm.

Two crews from Taunton and Crewkerne were initially mobilised to the incident, along with an incident command unit from Honiton.

Firefighters got to work using two breathing apparatus, a main jet and a thermal imaging camera as they tried to put out the fire, and confirmed the fire involved a chemical plant.

Another appliance from Axminster was requested just before 8pm as firefighters battled to control the fire as it continued to rage.

More than two hours later, at 10.16pm, firefighters confirmed that the fire had been fully extinguished.

The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental.
United_Kingdom  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
14 days ago
Chemical tanker explodes in Nanjing, two missing
A chemical tanker exploded at the anchorage area near a petrochemical terminal operated by Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical in Nanjing yesterday.

According to local media reporting, the explosion happened during maintenance work on chemical tanker Su Dong You 0020, with the vessel anchored next to it Su Dong You 0021 also suffering damage. There was no chemicals loaded onboard the two vessels when the explosion occurred.

The fire on the two vessels has been put out, and six of the eight crew onboard them have been rescued, however another two crew members are missing.

Authorities have started investigations into the accident while search and rescue operations are ongoing.
China  transportation  explosion  injury  petroleum 
14 days ago
In Addition To Saint-Gobain, 43 Companies In N.H. Have Used Perfluorinated Chemicals
Saint-Gobain is not the only company using perfluorinated compounds in New Hampshire. New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services has identified 44 companies in the state that likely use or once used this water-contaminating compound in their products.

Perfluorinated compounds include PFOA, found earlier this year at Saint-Gobain’s Performance Plastics plant in Merrimack, and PFOS, found two years ago in well water on the former Pease Air Force base.

The companies are located across the state, and include Texas Instruments in Merrimack; Foss Manufacturing in Hampton, Sealpro in Manchester, and Sturm Ruger in Newport.  

DES has alerted all of the companies, and is surveying most for addition information. In the meantime, says spokesperson Jim Martin, the state is testing water for contamination at a few sites about which they have specific concerns.

DES posted the list online, Friday. It was published as an act of transparency, says Martin. The department does not assume all of the companies are sources of contamination. 
us_NH  industrial  discovery  environmental  plastics 
15 days ago
NTU laboratory belches smoke after suspected gas leak
Taipei, May 7 (CNA) Heavy smoke was seen pouring from a building at National Taiwan University Saturday afternoon, after what was believed to have been a gas leak in the school's Department of Physics, police said.

Fire trucks and an ambulance rushed to the scene after receiving an emergency call at around 2 p.m. but did not find any fires, police said.

Firefighters suspected, however, that a gas leak had occurred while some students were conducting an experiment in a laboratory on the first floor of the Department of Physics building, police said.

The students and faculty in the building were evacuated and it was cordoned off for safety reasons, police said.

Two firefighters and a teacher donned protective gear and entered the laboratory to turn off the gas valves, police said.

It was not clear what had caused the smoke, police said, adding that three types of gas -- fluorine, helium and krypton -- were kept in the laboratory.

No one was injured in the incident, according to police.
Taiwan  laboratory  fire  response  fluorine  helium  krypton 
15 days ago
Chemical leak leads to evacuation at Port Everglades
The BSO Department of Fire Rescue hazardous materials team's action centered at a warehouse, 4300 McIntosh Road, west of the Stranahan River and east of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  

BSO Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said a port employee noticed a sodium cyanide tank was leaking.

The report prompted the evacuation of some 65 workers about 7 p.m. Sodium cyanide is poisonous and may be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Jachles said the crews determined the substance that was in the tank that had just returned from the Dominican Republic was not a hazardous chemical. Authorities suspect the leak may be liquid left over from when the tank was cleaned out after transporting sodium cyanide. 
us_FL  transportation  release  response  cyanide  sodium_cyanide 
15 days ago
Contamination Fears Remain After Houston Chemical Warehouse Fire
May 07--Yolanda Rios woke up the morning after the fire with a pounding headache.

She pulled out a mask she normally wears to scrub the bathroom and gave it to her 12-year-old son, David, as he prepared to leave for school.

Rios, 51, lives just a few homes away from a warehouse that caught fire Thursday and sent black, acrid plumes of smoke into the air, leaving a fine ash on much of her Spring Branch neighborhood. On Friday morning, as she took David to school, firefighters battled spot fires. Nearby, dead fish floated in a bayou stained blood-red by the fire run-off.

"They need to do a very hard cleaning," Rios said.

So far, she said, authorities have been unable to answer some of her most pressing questions, particularly what chemicals people near the fire may have been exposed to.

There have been no reported injuries, caused by inhalation or otherwise, said Jay Evans, a Houston Fire Department spokesman.

Firefighters evacuated a Houston school after a 4-alarm fire erupted at a warehouse in the Spring Branch neighborhood on Thursday. Houston Fire Department warned nearby residents to shelter in place and avoid runoff after the fire swept through a unit sto
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  runoff 
15 days ago
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