8254
U.S. Chemical Safety Board
October 30, 2014, Denver, CO – Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a safety bulletin called “Key Lessons for Preventing Incidents from Flammable Chemicals in Educational Demonstrations” based on three recent serious incidents in Nevada, Colorado, and Illinois where children were burned while observing laboratory demonstrations involving flammable liquid methanol.

The first incident described in the CSB safety bulletin is the September 3, 2014, accident at the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum, known as “The Discovery,” in Reno, Nevada, where thirteen people, most of them children, were injured. Two CSB investigators were deployed to the site and interviewed personnel who were directly involved. 
 
Just 12 days after the fire in Nevada, a second similar accident occurred on September 15th at the SMART Academy in Denver, Colorado, severely burning a 16-year-old high school student. Most recently, on October 20, 2014, less than five weeks after the incident at SMART, three Cub Scouts and one adult were injured during a demonstration using methanol at a Cub Scout event in Raymond, Illinois.
laboratory  follow-up  injury  flammables  methanol 
2 hours ago
UEA dispose of chemicals to prevent repeat of laboratory fire
A UEA spokesman said: “Following the incident in the Chemistry Building at UEA last week and as part of the university’s ongoing housekeeping in ensuring safety for all, the Science faculty is taking steps to minimise its holdings of certain chemicals and materials.

“The University frequently disposes of waste and unwanted chemicals using specialist contractors. Part of this process involved the disposal by specialists of some substances on campus grounds, early today (Wednesday 29 October) at a safe distance from buildings. This is a routine procedure for the specialist company, but exceptional for UEA due to the nature of chemical being disposed of.

“The relevant authorities were alerted ahead of the disposal as were staff and students.”

The disposal was carried out “a safe distance from buildings”.

As previously reported nine fire crews were called to tackle a fire at the chemistry lab.

They were called at 10.24am on Tuesday, October 21 and the building, on the main campus off Earlham Road, was evacuated.

A cordon was put up around the building. The fire is understood to have broken out on the third floor.

Fire crews from Carrow, Earlham, Sprowston, Hethersett, Wymondham, Wroxham, Long Stratton and Attleborough were called to the scene.

Two ambulances were called as a precaution but there are not believed to be any casualties.
United_Kingdom  laboratory  follow-up  injury  waste 
6 hours ago
Supreme Court rejects Chinese appeals over deadly chemical arms leaks
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Chinese plaintiffs seeking damages from Japan over a fatal poison gas leak caused when a cache of chemical weapons abandoned by the Imperial Japanese Army during the war was unearthed during construction in 2003.

The top court’s third petty bench, which made the decision Tuesday, rejected an appeal filed by 50 Chinese — including relatives of those involved — seeking to overturn a high court ruling that dismissed their claim.

The accident occurred at a construction site in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province, in August 2003, when poison gas leaked from old drums unearthed at the site, killing one person and injuring 43 others.

Also Tuesday, the third petty bench rejected a separate appeal filed against a high court decision that denied Japanese government redress sought by two men who were injured by poison gas leaked from abandoned chemical weapons in Dunhua, Jilin province, in 2004.
Japan  public  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
7 hours ago
Seventy firefighters tackle Hadleigh chemical warehouse blaze
A fire has ripped through a warehouse containing household chemicals on an industrial estate in Suffolk.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman said the force was called to the Lady Lane industrial estate in Hadleigh at 05:50 GMT. At its height, 70 firefighters were in attendance.

Earlier advice about keeping windows closed because of chemical smoke has been withdrawn, the spokeswoman said.

An investigation has been started to find out what caused the blaze.

One of the warehouses which was alight, owned by a company called Challs International, contained household cleaning products.
United_Kingdom  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
7 hours ago
HazMat called to Colton diesel spill
COLTON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — About 190 gallons of diesel fuel seeped into a creek following a semi-truck crash in Colton Wednesday, prompting HazMat and firefighters to respond to the accident and contain the spill.

Oregon State Police say truck driver David Tucker was attempting to pass a car on Highway 211 late Tuesday afternoon. That car, driven by Silverton woman Marlene Muhs, herself attempted to pass a slower-moving car and collide into the side of the semi in the process.

Muhs’ car then swerved back and into the road’s shoulder while Tucker’s semi was forced off the road and into a drainage ditch. Tucker sustained minor injuries and was treated at a nearby medical center and released; Muhs was not hurt.

Emergency responders surmised the truck had ruptured its fuel tanks upon hitting a concrete culvert.
us_OR  transportation  release  injury  diesel 
7 hours ago
Don't touch debris! Antares explosion leaves highly toxic elements beyond hazard area — RT USA
​The explosion late Tuesday of the Antares rocket, on a mission from Virginia to deliver 5,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station, scattered toxic wreckage beyond a protected ‘hazard area’ that should be avoided, NASA has warned.

An unmanned Antares rocket exploded shortly after takeoff late Tuesday from Wallops Island, on Virginia’s eastern shore. Private company Orbital Science Corp.’s rocket was carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, which held about 5,000 pounds (2,200 kilograms) of food, supplies, and other equipment, all of which were destroyed within a fireball just above NASA’s Wallop’s Flight Facility.

NASA officials said any debris found near the crash site should be reported to the space agency, as the items may be contaminated with rocket fuel or other hazardous material.
us_VA  transportation  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
7 hours ago
OSHA issues 2 citations in Discovery museum flash fire
A Reno children's science museum has been issued two citations after a tornado demonstration last month led to a flash fire that injured 13 people.

Spokeswoman Teri Williams of the Nevada Occupational Health and Safety Administration says each of the citations issued to the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum carries a penalty of $1,050.

Reno fire officials said a three- to five-second blaze erupted Sept. 3 after an employee poured alcohol on a cotton ball that had been dusted with boric acid and partially ignited.

Nine people were treated at Renown Regional Medical Center. All were released within 24 hours.

OSHA says the museum didn't assess personal protective equipment for employees, and didn't train employees on using hazardous chemicals.

The museum didn't immediately comment on the citations Monday.
us_NV  public  follow-up  injury  other_chemical 
yesterday
2 Students Splashed By Chemical In Science Lab At Villanova U.
VILLANOVA., Pa. (CBS) — According to Villanova University, police and fire crews responded to the school after two students were splashed by a chemical on campus.
The University says a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide got splashed onto the arms of two students in a science lab. The students suffered skin irritation. They washed the affected area with soap and water and both declined medical transportation.
us_PA  laboratory  release  injury  hydrogen_peroxide 
yesterday
First responders in the Bay Area see rise in 'chemical suicides'
HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. (KGO) -- First responders cordoned off a Hillsborough neighborhood Sunday night after they found a young man dead in his car. He'd committed what's being called "chemical suicide." Authorities say it's a disturbing trend among young suicide victims.

Thousands of cases of chemical suicides have been reported in Japan. It became almost cult-like.

"It originated in Japan, and then turned into something that ended up being more significant," said Deputy Chief John Kammeyer with the Central Coast Fire Department. "So it was sort of copycat type of thing and it became significant by way of the Internet."

And now, they're on the rise in here. The latest happened Sunday night in Hillsborough.
us_CA  public  release  death  suicide 
yesterday
Police: Hazmat response to Wilmington Avenue the result of a hoax
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Hazmat response that forced police to shut down a stretch of Wilmington Avenue Tuesday night has ended.

The incident took place in the 900 block of Wilmington Avenue between Shroyer Road and Citation Street.

Police and medics were called around 9 p.m. They say a man said his brother had just returned from Liberia and was showing symptoms of the Ebola virus.

After investigating for about two hours, police determined the call was a hoax.

They say the man in question was at home in a different part of Dayton, had not been to West Africa and is not sick. Police are still trying to track down the person who made the call.

“We want people to know that this is going to be zero tolerance on a hoax like this. We can’t afford to have other people get hurt as the result of a prank or a hoax. So we are taking this very seriously and we’re doing everything we can to find this person,” said Dayton Police Lt. Andrew Booher.

Lt. Booher says the caller will face criminal charges of inducing panic.
us_OH  public  discovery  environmental  illegal 
yesterday
Blog de Bioseguridad / Biosafety Blog: The post-normal science of precaution, by Jerry Ravetz
Science now finds itself in a new and troubled situation. The traditional optimistic picture is problematic and compromised at every turn. The scientific system now faces a crisis of confidence, of legitimacy and ultimately of power. We can usefully distinguish two sorts of science. The ‘mainstream’ is reductionist in style, and increasingly linked to industry. By contrast, the ‘post-normal’ approach embodies the precautionary principle. It depends on public debate, and involves an essential role for the ‘extended peer community’. It is based on the recent recognition of the influence of values on all research, even including the basic statistical tests of significance. It is the appropriate methodology when either systems uncertainties or decision stakes are high; under those conditions the puzzle-solving approach of ‘normal science’ is obsolete. This is a drastic cultural change for science, which many scientists will difficult to accept. But there is no turning back; we can understand post-normal science as the extension of democracy appropriate to the conditions of our age.
laboratory  discovery  environmental 
yesterday
UC Spent Nearly $4.5 Million To Defend Lab Death Case
The University of California paid nearly $4.5 million to outside law firms to defend itself and UC Los Angeles chemistry professor Patrick Harran from felony charges of labor code violations relating to the death of a staff researcher.
The numbers were released by the UC Office of the President in response to a public records request filed by C&EN.
Researcher Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji was using a syringe to transfer tert-butyllithium, which ignites spontaneously in air, when the plunger came out of the syringe barrel. Sangji was not wearing a flame-resistant lab coat, and her clothes caught fire. She died from her injuries on Jan. 16, 2009. She was 23 years old and had received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Pomona College in May 2008.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against UC and Harran on Dec. 27, 2011. The charges cited failure to correct unsafe workplace conditions and procedures in a timely manner, failure to require work-appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment, and failure to provide chemical safety training to employees.
us_CA  laboratory  follow-up  death  butyllithium 
2 days ago
Hazmat called to Eau Claire office building
AU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) The Eau Claire Fire Department says about a dozen people had to be evacuated from an area office Monday afternoon after mercury was dropped under their doorway.

It happened around 4:30 pm at the Teamsters Local Union office on Golf Terrace.

Crews say the same thing has happened more than once at the same office in the last few weeks.

It's unknown if anyone has been arrested.
us_WI  public  release  response  mercury 
2 days ago
Students at Pomperaug High School evacuated after mercury spill
SOUTHBURY, CT (WFSB) -
Pomperaug High School students were evacuated Monday morning after mercury was spilled in a classroom.

Officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said a student had an oral thermometer and it broke, and a very small amount of mercury was involved in the spill. The student who reportedly dropped the thermometer has been taken to the hospital as a precaution.

DEEP officials were expected to go into the classroom to test the area and clean it as necessary.
us_CT  education  release  response  mercury 
2 days ago
18-wheeler spills more more than 2K gallons of gas on Scenic Highway in Baton Rouge
At least 2,000 gallons of gasoline spilled out of an 18-wheeler Monday (Oct. 27) night on Scenic Highway in Baton Rouge. The spill shut down nearby Wyandotte Street west of Interstate 110 in both directions, according to Baton Rouge Fire Department officials.  

BRFD spokesman Curt Monte said just before 9 p.m. that the department's hazmat crews and fire trucks were on the scene. 

The 18-wheeler was hauling 8,900 gallons of gas, but only one of its multiple cargo compartments was "compromised," Monte said. The incident occurred near the 3700 block of Scenic Highway along an industrial corridor where a number of plants are located. 

Monte said the spill occurred after a four-inch pipe somehow sheered off the bottom of the tanker, causing between 2,000 and 2,600 gallons of gas to leak. 
us_LA  transportation  release  response  gasoline 
2 days ago
Honeywell probes chemical leak at Illinois plant
METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) - Honeywell says there’s no evidence that a weekend leak of a compound used in uranium enrichment at its southern Illinois plant escaped the building.

Company spokesman Peter Dalpe says no injuries resulted from the leak of uranium hexafluoride Sunday night at Honeywell’s site in Metropolis. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been notified.

The plant helps make nuclear fuel, and still is operating.

It was not immediately clear Monday how much of the uranium hexafluoride was released.

The leak comes at a time the company and union-backed workers at the Massac County plant are embroiled in a contract dispute. Employees have been locked out of the site since August.
us_IL  industrial  release  response  radiation  uranium 
2 days ago
Chemical leak in Riverside sends 11 people to hospital
Nearly a dozen people, including fire and police officials, were hospitalized early Monday after they were exposed to an unknown chemical leaking from a tank near Lincoln High School in Riverside.

The leak prompted authorities to shut down the surrounding neighborhood of 130 homes and order residents to shelter in place, said Riverside Fire Division Chief Mitch Wesche. Students arriving at the high school were turned away.

The affected area includes from 10th to 14th streets and Victoria Avenue to Commerce Street.

Three police officers and a firefighter were among those taken to hospitals for observation, Wesche said. Seven residents drove themselves to hospitals.

A chemical odor was reported at 6:16 a.m. to be emanating from a 5-foot-tall welding tank in a resident's backyard, officials said.

Crews were able to stop the leak, but the neighborhood remained closed off.

Residents who sheltered in place were not allowed to leave or enter their homes.
us_CA  public  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Report: Chemical plant puts thousands of kids at risk
LAS VEGAS -- Twenty-six years after a major chemical explosion rocked Las Vegas, more schools than ever before are now at risk.

It was 1988 when the Pepcon explosion shook the valley.

A map shows dozens of schools in southern Nevada that are vulnerable to potential chemical catastrophe from just one plant in town.

The map is based on a report by the Center for Effective Government which found companies like Olin Chlor Alkali in Henderson which makes bleach, can be dangerous because of the amount of chemicals they process.

The report found 60 percent of schools in Nevada are close to a facility that uses chemicals.

Some people didn't know some of these companies are right down the street from where they live.
us_NV  public  discovery  environmental  bleach 
2 days ago
Site of explosion at alleged Nanticoke meth lab cordoned off
NANTICOKE — A methamphetamine lab is believed to have been the source of an explosion that blew two doors off their hinges at an apartment building here on Saturday night.


The State Police Bureau of Drug Law Enforcement posted and cordoned off the building on Lee Mine Street after the blast, which occurred at about 8 p.m.


The posting states: “A clandestine laboratory for the manufacture of illegal drugs and/or hazardous chemicals was seized at this location on 10/25/14 by the Pennsylvania State Police. Known hazardous chemicals have been disposed of pursuant to law. However, there still may be hazardous substances or waste products on this property either in buildings or on the ground itself. Please exercise caution while on these premises.”


Several people who allegedly were cooking meth inside the apartment building fled after the explosion. About a half dozen units in the building were evacuated. Emergency personnel in protective hazmat gear removed chemicals from the building.
us_PA  public  explosion  response  illegal  meth_lab  waste 
3 days ago
Police investigation on the Jaisalmer shop fire, seven dead
JAISALMER: Police is conducting a high level investigation on the fire that broke out in a cracker shop on Wednesday late night, near Shastri circle in Balotra town of Barmer district in which seven people died by burning. Six of the dead were from the same family. With the help of forensic experts, police are trying to find out the reasons of fire and have sent the remaining evidence from the spot to the forensic laboratory, Jaipur for investigations.

Barmer SP Hemant Sharma said that crackers kept outside the Mahamaya fancy story in the busy market of Balotra caught fire and later crackers in the godown too caught fire. To save the godown, people working in the shop downed the shutter and they took shelter behind the closed shutter, but with the explosions from the crackers, all of them died, burnt alive. Only after six hours, the fire could be controlled. It is yet to be known whether the shopkeeper had any license to sell crackers or not.

The SP said that on getting information, he and the district collector reached the spot and took stock of the situation.

On the other hand, as per the information, the fire was so severe that people gathered outside the shop on Wednesday late night and efforts were made to rescue the people caught behind the shutter but it proved futile. As per the information, there was a counter outside the Mahamaya fancy story and business was at the peak even at around 1 am. A customer was checking missile gun and when a flame from the gun fell on the crackers kept at the counter and it caught fire and crackers started exploding. The owner of the shop and staff, went inside the shop and closed the shutter so that crackers kept behind the shop, in a godown, do not catch fire. In the meantime, a few rockets flew inside the shop and the fire spread. People, who closed the shutters did not come out. Police, administration, ambulance and fire tenders were immediately called. The fire tender from Balotra reached the spot, but fire could not be brought under control. On the spot, additional SP, deputy SP along with force too reached. Barmer's Cairn energy fire tender was also called. By the time fire was controlled, everything turned to ashes.
India  public  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Liquid bombs thrown in Wentzville
WENTZVILLE, Mo. - Wentzville Police are warning residents to be on guard.

At least six liquid bombs were thrown in various places Saturday night, including the Bear Creek Subdivision and the police department.

As of Sunday night, no arrests have been made. KSDK spoke with a man who picked up one of the bottle bombs after it was thrown in his backyard, he did not know what it was. The bottle exploded in his hand.

The man says he suffered a mild concussion after the impact of the explosion knocked him against his hot tub. He was treated at a local hospital.
us_MO  public  explosion  injury  bomb 
3 days ago
Reported in the News Letter on October 25, 1929: Hollywood rocked by laboratory blaze
Hollywood, the hub of the American film universe, was shaken by four terrible explosions yesterday morning when the laboratory belonging to Consolidated Film Industries Inc became the scene of one of the most disastrous fires in recent years.

Although some 50 persons were at work in the building only one is known to have been killed, and it is believed that all the others escaped.

The damage is provisionally estimated at fifty million dollars (£10,000,000). The exact cause of the disaster is not yet known. Several million feet of film are stored in the laboratory, and it is thought that some form of combustion was responsible for the first explosion, the resultant fire from which caused the three explosions which followed.

The fire burned furiously but was prevented from spreading to nearby studios, to the saving of which the firemen concentrated their efforts. The laboratory, however, was wiped out. It is believed that 75 per cent of Hollywood’s film companies stored their master films in this laboratory.
us_CA  laboratory  follow-up  death 
4 days ago
Jewish Store Owner in Brooklyn Helps Save Man on Fire After Blast From Hookah Pipe Chemicals
A Jewish store owner helped save a man who was seen running down a street in Brooklyn with his clothes on fire following a small explosion from chemicals used for a hookah pipe, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.

The chemical fire broke out shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday inside a basement on McDonald Avenue in Brooklyn, across the street from a Jewish seminary. Neighbors said a 22-year-old was drying tobacco leaves using a mixture of acetone and coconut oil for a hookah pipe when fumes from the flammable liquids ignited with a water heater pilot light.

Surveillance cameras on McDonald Avenue caught the man running down the street with his clothes on fire while leaving behind a trail of white smoke, according to the Daily Mail. Witnesses said the man fled his building and raced across the street screaming for help before two people passing by were able to put out the fire.

Alex Mayer, the Jewish owner of a nearby camera shop, told 7Online. ”I hung up the phone and I started chasing him. And I’m like, ‘Drop and roll! Drop and roll!’ I caught up with [him] a half block up, when he finally dropped.” The victim was still burning until a truck driver named Claudio came and sprayed him with a fire extinguisher.
us_NY  public  explosion  response  acetone  flammables 
4 days ago
Roadmap For Chemical Release Prevention May Have Some Sharp Curves
A local environmental group is pushing for a Chemical Release Prevention Program for the Kanawha Valley.
People Concerned About Chemical Safety's executive director hopes the Freedom Industries chemical leak that tainted drinking water in nine counties this year will be the catalyst for implimenting earlier safety recommendations for the chemical industry.
Maya Nye says those recommendations from the Chemical Safety Board followed a 2008 explosion at Bayer CropScience that killed two workers and rocked a broad section of the Kanawha Valley.  The CSB called for a hazardous release prevention program. CSB suggestions included a local, independent agency that would identify risks.
State and local health and environmental officials attended today's meeting in Charleston. It is seen as the first step in creating a "roadmap planning team" for accident prevention. Kanawha County was represented by fire cooridinator C. W Sigman.
Sigman made it clear the county commission would have to sign off on any regulations or laws the "team" may eventually suggest. He found problems with the model the CSB recommended.
The group assumes some action by the legislature would be needed before major changes could happen.
The chemical industry was invited to take part. It did not.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  environmental  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Schenectady's SI Group fined 400K by DEC for pollution
One of the Capital Region's largest chemical plants has been hit with a $400,000 state pollution fine for a host of violations, marking the fifth such instance in less than four years.

SI Group, which makes chemical resins in its plant at Main Street in Rotterdam Junction, agreed to the fine under a settlement reached this month with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The company also agreed to hire an outside engineer to study how pollution control equipment is performing and how it can be improved. That study has to be given to DEC.

In an agreement signed by SI Vice President Daniel Tilley, the company also agreed to test its emissions stacks for levels of hazardous air pollution, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and soot. If tests show "additional controls are necessary," the company would have to provide DEC with a schedule to perform the work.

DEC officials were not available late Friday to comment on the agreement and pollution fine, which is one of the largest imposed by the regional DEC in recent years.

In four earlier DEC agreements since March 2011, SI Group paid a total of about $275,000 in fines against the Rotterdam plant for air and water pollution violations.

On Friday, company president and CEO Frank Bozich said the latest violations and fine were "completely unacceptable and inexcusable to me ... We are moving in a very positive direction to make sure that this doesn't happen again. I am confident that we are headed in the right direction."

Among the latest violations, during an August 2013 inspection by DEC, staffers were splashed with liquid from a rooftop pollution control unit that ran off the roof, down a wall, onto the ground and into a gutter leading to an "industrial sewer drain." Tests found that the liquid contained five hazardous air pollutants, according to the DEC agreement.
us_NY  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
4 days ago
Truck holding six chemical barrels catches fire
Fire and hazmat teams were called to Saskatoon’s North Industrial area Saturday morning after a truck holding six chemical barrels caught fire.
Crews responded to the blaze in the 800 block of 43rd Street East just after 9:30 a.m. A vehicle containing barrels of isocyanate, a chemical used to make foam insulation, was on fire.
Firefighters were able to control the fire within seven minutes and before any product sparked or escaped the barrels.

One barrel had expanded due to the heat and crews remained on scene using a thermal camera to monitor the product. Water was used to lower the product’s temperature.
Canada  transportation  fire  response  other_chemical 
4 days ago
Fireworks explosion rocked Conneaut 25 years ago today
CONNEAUT — Twenty-five years ago today, a series of fireworks-fed explosions devastated a Conneaut neighborhood and altered the lives of hundreds of Conneaut residents.
Today, 909 Main St., is an empty lot that fronts busy Route 20. A quarter-century ago, the parcel contained a large, white house and garage that basically vanished amid smoke and fire at 11:40 a.m.
At that moment, homeowner Donald A. “Danny” Rossi, 57, was inside the garage, mixing chemicals he planned to use to make illegal fireworks, specifically M-80s (equivalent to a quarter-stick of dynamite) and M-500s (up to a half-stick). Something went wrong and the blend detonated with terrible force. Flames would eventually ignite an estimated 500 pounds of finished product stored in the garage and basement of the house.
The toll was heavy: Two dead, including Rossi and next-door neighbor June Riddle, 61, of Cummins Avenue, who had just exited her car and entered her home when the first explosion occurred. More than 70 homes and buildings sustained millions of dollars in damage from concussions that broke windows a mile away and were reportedly felt in Albion, Pa.
us_OH  public  follow-up  death  explosives  fireworks  illegal 
4 days ago
2nd LD Writethru: Explosion in Germany kills one, injures 21
BERLIN, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- At least one person was killed Thursday in a powerful explosion in the southwestern German city of Ludwigshafen, German media Focus Online reported.

Local police said the blast happened at around noon local time (1000 GMT) at a construction site located close to the factory facilities of BASF, a leading chemical company.

At least one person was killed and 21 others were injured, two of them seriously, according to the police.

The exact cause of the accident is still not clear, but early investigations showed that a gas pipe at the construction site had burst, causing a big explosion and huge flames in the area.

At least 25 apartments are now uninhabitable and local authorities are seeking shelter for those affected, according to reports.
Germany  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
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 
6 days 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 
6 days 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 
6 days 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 
6 days 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.

Snore.

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 
6 days 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 days ago
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 
7 days ago
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 
7 days ago
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 
7 days ago
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 
7 days ago
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 
7 days ago
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 
7 days ago
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 
8 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 
8 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 
8 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 
8 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 
8 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 
8 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 
8 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 
9 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 
9 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 
9 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 
9 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 
9 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 
11 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 
11 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 
11 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 
12 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 
12 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 
12 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 
12 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 
12 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 
12 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 
12 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 
12 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 
12 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 
12 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 
13 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 
13 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 
13 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 
13 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 
13 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 
13 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 
13 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 
13 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 
13 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 
13 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 
14 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 
14 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 
14 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 
14 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 
14 days ago
5 exposed to ammonia leak at frozen-food warehouse
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. -
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 
14 days ago
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