Link funding to lab safety, Sheri Sangji’s sister says
“If laboratory safety is incorporated into the criteria for research funding, safety will instantly become the first priority of universities and principal investigators—as it should be,” Naveen Sangji writes in an email to Science Careers. “Scientists should care the most about the safety of researchers, and it is our hope that the scientific community will advocate for this change.” Naveen has been tirelessly making this argument ever since her sister Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji died in 2009, at the age of 23, from injuries sustained in a fire in the University of California, Los Angeles, lab of chemistry professor Patrick Harran.

Naveen’s latest effort is a call for the American Chemical Society (ACS) to press for rules making safety a condition of research funding. Sheri died in “a tragic, foreseeable, and completely preventable incident,” Naveen told a session at the annual meeting of the ACS in Boston, on 17 August, according to a transcript of her remarks that she shared with Science Careers. She sees some “hope that the future may be different for other young scientists” because of the efforts of many people devoted to improving lab safety, she said in her talk, but “even the most far-reaching and best-intentioned individual efforts can flounder in the face of grounded, institutional resistance to change.” As a physician now doing a surgical residency, she knows something about how scientific institutions work.

Given this reality, she sees “two main avenues for affecting change. The first is criminal prosecution” such as that brought against Harran, which yielded inconclusive results that disappointed the Sangji family. “The second, and possibly of greater relevance at this moment,” she continued, “is the tying of grant funding to the safety records of Principal Investigators [sic]. … In an environment where only 1 in 6 NIH [National Institutes of Health] proposals are getting funded, at a time [when] the NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins has called the NIH funding outlook the worst it has been in 50 years, why should these limited tax-payer funds go to those who conduct unsafe science? Are there not other scientists out there who are more deserving recipients of these funds?” Adding safety as an incentive would quickly raise safety standards in labs across the country, she said at the meeting. 
us_MA  laboratory  follow-up  environmental 
12 hours ago
What blew up in Conroe? Public can't know for sure
Nearly two weeks after an explosion at a drilling fluid supplier in Conroe, officials still aren't saying what caused the initial fire, what chemicals washed into a pond or what escaped into the air.

Both DrillChem Drilling Solutions and the city of Conroe say exemptions in the state's public information laws allow them to withhold the chemical names as a trade secret. The incident triggered shelter-in-place calls to 971 phone numbers in the area and kept firefighters at bay for about 40 minutes until they could figure out what chemicals were involved.

Adrian Shelley, director of the environmental advocacy group Air Alliance Houston, called the Conroe fire a "perfect illustration" of Texas' regulatory climate.

"We have facilities we don't know are there, we don't know what's in them, first-responders don't know how to respond. Regulators don't know they should be out there monitoring," he said. "We've gone in the wrong direction since West."

The catastrophic explosion at a fertilizer distribution center in West, which killed 15 people more than two years ago, triggered calls from lawmakers and President Barack Obama for better disclosure of chemical stockpiles in communities nationwide, but Texans remain mostly in the dark.
us_TX  public  follow-up  environmental  unknown_chemical 
12 hours ago
China detains 11 for alleged role in Tianjin explosions
The chairman and senior managers of Rui Hai International Logistics, who owned the warehouse in Tianjin, were among the 11 officials taken into police custody on Thursday, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. The detained persons also included the owners of Rui Hai, who came on national television last week and "confessed" to using government connections to obtain safety permits.
State lawyers said they were looking into officials from government departments, including transportation management, customs, and work safety as well as the president of a state-owned port company in Tianjin. The officials were found to have been irresponsible, negligent and lax in the supervision of the site, they added.
The Supreme People's Procuratorate, China's state organ for legal supervision, said in a statement that it was probing the accused for "abuse of power" and "dereliction of duty." In China, formal arrest follows a period of police detention, after which the case is transferred to prosecutors. A trial and conviction are considered highly probable.
China  industrial  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
12 hours ago
Nine injured in Chinese chemical plant explosion
The fire on Saturday night was put out after about five hours and authorities said no contamination has been detected, Xinhua said. The cause of the explosion is still unknown, and the area is still under investigation.

The explosion occurred at a factory of Shandong's Runxing Chemical company, according to the official People's Daily.

Environmental monitoring showed no excessive levels of pollutants in the air outside the exclusion zone set up around the blast site, but found excessive levels of cyanide in water on Sunday.

Earlier this month, 121 people were killed in Tianjin explosions. In the wake of the explosions, more than 100 chemical companies across seven provinces were told to shut down or suspend operations because of safety violations, Reuters reported.
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
12 hours ago
Chemical fire at WWU sends firefighters to hospital, cause unclear
Nearly a day after a chemical fire broke out in a third-floor chemistry lab at Western Washington University, crews were still waiting to enter the building to figure out what happened.

No one was injured when the fire erupted around 5:15 Tuesday evening, Aug. 25, but a dozen firefighters who were the first to enter the building were sent to the hospital that night after breathing in an unknown gas, said Rob Kintzele, assistant chief with Bellingham Fire Department.

When they arrived, they entered the building, and seeing no smoke, started walking down a hallway. Within a moment, they took a few breaths of a foul-tasting invisible gas and immediately turned around to get protective breathing equipment, Kintzele said.

“They thought they were well within a safe zone and found in just a quick moment that they were not” Kintzele said. “When the door got cracked, they noticed a foul taste and smell.”

The large number of chemicals inside the chemistry lab had the potential to make “chemical soup,” so the department had the firefighters evaluated at the hospital, Kintzele said. A few had complained of sore throats and headaches.

“The firefighters that went to the hospital last night are not suffering from any acute illnesses,” Kintzele said. “We’ll have to be paying attention over time to see if there were any ill effects from this.”

Because crews had not since re-entered the building, it was still not clear what caught fire and caused the third-floor lab to fill with white smoke from floor to ceiling.

The university has hired Belfor, an emergency recovery and restoration company, to inspect and repair the building. It was expected that workers could assess the damage from the fire and sprinklers as soon as late Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 26, but a set time had not been determined.
us_WA  laboratory  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
12 hours ago
Chemical fire erupts in WWU building
A chemical fire erupted in a Western Washington University chemistry building on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 25.

No one was injured, and the building was evacuated right after the fire broke out about 5:15 p.m., said WWU spokesman Paul Cocke.

Student Melany Fry was in room 370 of Morse Hall with six other students when the fire broke out.

“We heard a big bang and a whoosh,” Fry said.

Fry said the fire started by a dry-solvent pump, which keeps water out of solvents. She didn’t think anybody was working with that pump at the time.

The flames were initially about 15 feet high, Fry said. All of the students got out quickly while somebody else tried putting the fire out with an extinguisher.

Firefighters responded and saw a plume coming from the building. They set up a perimeter far from the building to keep everyone away as they tried to determine what chemicals were involved.

The building’s sprinklers put out the fire. Firefighters broke out windows to ventilate the building, and conducted a search for anyone who might still be inside, though the building had been cleared. They later ordered an evacuation of the nearby biology building.

A hazardous materials team was brought in to examine the lab and ensure the scene was safe.
us_WA  laboratory  fire  response  solvent 
Hazmat crews respond to small chemical spill at AkzoNobel
Hazmat crews and fire personnel responded to a small chemical spill Tuesday afternoon at AkzoNobel Chemicals Inc. following a chemical reaction from a product at the Cedar Springs Road plant.

Company officials say an ingredient used to make label adhesive self-reacted, generating heat and smoke. A hazardous materials team was called in as a precaution. The incident was reported just after 4:30 p.m.

A third of the drum self-reacted in an area where the chemical is stored, said Gary Hamblin, director of operations for Henkel Corp., located beside AkzoNobel.

Hamblin said Henkel worked with officials from AkzoNobel to contain the chemical.

Brian Owen, AkzoNobel site director, said both companies have trained together and have a joint hazardous materials team that responded to the spill. Owen said there was no one in the area where the spill happened, which was in an area especially designed for containment.

All employees were accounted for, both men said.

“There was no environmental impact,” Owen said.
us_NC  industrial  release  response  adhesives 
Scottish leisure centre evacuated over chemical spill fears
A Scottish entertainment centre has been evacuated after a suspected chemical leak, multiple causalities were reported.
Three fire engines and 15 ambulance service vehicles were called to the scene at East Sands leisure centre in St Andrews, Fife, shortly after 1pm on Tuesday.
Scottish ambulance service has said that the injured will be transported to hospital, with triage teams treating several people on site at present. Those affected are understood not to be in a serious conditions.
The Scottish fire and rescue service said the leak was believed to be sodium hypochlorite, a chemical compound which becomes bleach when it comes into contact with water.
The leisure centre, which has a swimming pool and flume rides, has been cordoned off and evacuated as the emergency services deal with the incident.
United_Kingdom  public  release  injury  bleach 
50 years ago: Fatal DuPont chemical explosion a turning point in Louisville TV coverage
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The DuPont chemical plant in Louisville's Rubbertown exploded in fire on August 25 1965.

A series of blasts starting that morning would kill 12 employees and injure 70.

Bill Ritter of Sellersburg, Indiana, now 91 years old, worked there 36 years and remembers that day like yesterday.

"Everything shook, lights went out. I remember I fell down to my knees," he said.

The DuPont tragedy was also the first live broadcast for WHAS-TV and for that matter, any TV station in Louisville.
Ritter looked out of the window of his tool shop at DuPont and saw an unreal scene as the explosion ripped apart giant chemical tanks, "It blew the tops off of them. They looked like flying saucers in the air."
us_KY  industrial  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
SIUE student injured in science lab explosion
A student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was injured Tuesday afternoon when a mixture of chemicals he was working with in a science laboratory exploded.

The 23-year-old student was working with a beaker containing tetrahydroflorine and potassium exploded, causing a small fire.

The student suffered cuts to both of his hands. He was treated by emergency medical services and taken to Anderson hospital.

The university's new Science Building was evacuated after the explosion but is expected to re-open Tuesday night.
us_IL  laboratory  explosion  injury  other_chemical 
Pease concerns grow as blood tests show unregulated chemical
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. —Blood tests for people who may have been exposed to an unregulated contaminant in a well at Pease Tradeport have come back elevated, and many are wondering what to do now.

The well was shut down in May 2014 after a test showed the presence of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, one of a class of chemicals known as perflurochemicals, or PFCs.

Levels of the chemical were found to be 10 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency's advisory level. Five hundred people opted to be tested to see if the chemical was present in their blood. One of 108 children to be tested was Alayna Davis' 5-year-old son.

"My heart sank," Davis said. "It's scary."

Andrea Amico's two children and her husband all have elevated levels.
us_NH  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
2 days ago
Chemical reaction prompts call to NB’s fire department
A chemical reaction at a company that makes ingredients for personal care products in Comal County caused a bit of a scare Sunday evening.
Officials quickly controlled the situation at Boracay and no one was hurt and the environment suffered no exposure, the company’s chief executive officer said.
us_TX  public  release  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Taos hospital ER evacuated after patient dies from ingesting poison
Holy Cross Hospital in Taos evacuated staff and patients early Monday after a patient died from ingesting massive amounts of prairie dog poison, according to hospital officials. The hospital had reopened in its entirety and was offering all services as normal as of 3:30 p.m. Monday.
The patient's death resulted in the possible release of phosphine gas, prompting the emergency department to evacuate and seal off the rest of the hospital for several hours early Monday.
The Taos News reports the patient had consumed 1 1/2 pounds of prairie dog poison at his home in an effort to commit suicide. He was taken to the hospital by his brother.
All employees have been cleared of any contamination and are being monitored. No other patients were affected, according to officials.
The Rio Arriba Hazmat team responded to the hospital to assess the situation Monday afternoon. State police and the Office of the Medical Investigator also reported to the site early Monday.
The hospital had reopened in its entirety by 3:30 p.m. The Los Alamos Hazmat team and 64th Civil Support Team-WMD will remain at the scene and the tent erected earlier Monday to handle the situation with remain overnight.
us_NM  public  release  death  phosphine  suicide 
2 days ago
Fire involving solar car model breaks out at Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE - A fire broke out at Singapore Polytechnic on Tuesday (Aug 25) at about 10.30am.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that the fire involved a solar car model.

Three security officers suffered from smoke inhalation, and were taken to National University Hospital, SCDF added.

It is believed that the solar car model was in a laboratory in the school.

This is not the first time that there has been a fire at the tertiary institution. In July 2013, firefighters had to battle two fires there in three days. One fire involved a Malay food stall at a foodcourt. A 45-year-old stall assistant suffered minor burns to the right side of her face and arm and was taken to the Singapore General Hospital where she was treated. The other fire happened at an office of a teaching block. No one was injured.

In July 2012, an exhaust duct at another foodcourt at the polytechnic caught fire.
Singapore  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
US military warehouse near Tokyo rocked by explosion
A warehouse at a US military base in Sagamihara near Tokyo was rocked by an explosion and fire on Sunday.

The blast, however, did not lead to any injury as the warehouse was not storing any hazardous materials. A statement by the US Army Japan revealed that the building was housing canisters of compressed nitrogen, oxygen, Freon and air.

Sagamihara is a city about 25 miles southwest of Tokyo.

The country's national broadcaster NHK reported that around 580 people work at the 200h depot.

Japan has asked the US to launch an investigation and prevent future recurrence, reported Reuters.
Japan  industrial  explosion  response  freon  nitrogen  oxygen 
2 days ago
Judge denies motions to dismiss West explosion cases
The judge presiding over trials of lawsuits spawned from the 2013 West fertilizer plant explosion has denied defense motions seeking the dismissal of the suits.
Judge Jim Meyer of Waco’s 170th State District Court heard summary judgment motions last week from defense attorneys asking that the lawsuits be thrown out and from attorneys challenging each side’s proposed expert witnesses.
Meyer made 27 separate rulings in the case, issuing his orders late Friday afternoon.
Last week, the judge denied a defense motion to postpone the first trial until February.
Plaintiffs in the first trial, which is set to begin Oct. 12, include the families of Kevin Sanders, 33; William “Buck” Uptmor Jr., 45; and Kenneth “Luckey” Harris Jr., 52.
The three were killed in the blast.
Meyer has divided the plaintiffs into three trial groups.
The summary judgment rulings include denials on plaintiffs’ having failed to establish the cause of the explosion; on plaintiffs’ design defect claims; on plaintiffs’ marketing defect claim of “duty to warn”; on plaintiffs’ manufacturing defect claim; and on plaintiffs’ breach of warranty claim.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  ag_chems 
2 days ago
Robeson deputy confirms death of home beauty salon operator
FAIRMONT - One person is dead in Robeson County and four others have been treated today for exposure to an unknown chemical.
The Regional Hazardous Materials team in Fayetteville was called to the scene because of a strong odor, Thompson said.
The scene had been cleared by 6 p.m. The investigation, Thompson said, was only just beginning once the HAZMAT team completed its work late in the afternoon.
Three sheriff’s officials and one civilian, none of whom was injured, were sent to Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton out of precaution, Thompson said. A spokeswoman for Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton said people were brought to the hospital and decontaminated.
The chemical is believed to have been used in a home beauty salon, the spokeswoman said.
us_NC  public  release  death  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Man dies after chemical gas incident in Auckland hotel
Auckland: A man is dead following an incident involving harmful chemicals at an inner-city Auckland hotel.

St John ambulance spokeswoman Victoria Hawkins said the 58-year-old man was in a critical condition and was undergoing decontamination by Fire Service staff at the Grand Hotel Chancellor in Hobson St but died at the scene at 12.10pm on Tuesday.

Ambulance staff had assessed a further 10 patients at the scene who did not need to be taken to hospital.
It was too early to confirm whether it was a drug-making operation, Fire Service assistant area commander Dave Woon said. He said authorities were unsure what chemicals were used but that different chemicals had been combined together. The mixed chemicals created a gas, which formed a "rotten egg smell that you would typically find in Rotorua".

Mr Woon said it was a rare situation and he had never seen anything quite like it and said police were now leading the investigation
New_Zealand  public  release  death  hydrogen_sulfide 
2 days ago
Caged bunnies in Tianjin blast zone for chemical tests
Hong Kong (CNN)Caged rabbits, chickens and pigeons placed in the heart of the Tianjin blast zone by Chinese authorities to test for chemical exposure have drawn a mix of ire and ridicule on Chinese social media, as pressure builds for authorities to answer for the deadly blast that devastated the northeastern port city earlier this month.

According to a weekend tweet by the state-run People's Daily, the animals were placed in a "core" area of Tianjin to test for possible "chemical remains."

The move comes after images emerged last week of a large number of dead, rotting fish washed up in a local river, fueling local residents' fears over possible chemical contamination.
China  public  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
2 days ago
Chemical Spill Shuts Down Road, Sends Hazmat To Coraopolis
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A chemical spill created a big mess and shut down part of 5th Avenue in Coraopolis Monday.
The Hazmat team and EPA officials were called to the scene around 4 p.m.
Officials say a tractor-trailer started leaking fuel with a kerosene additive in the 700-block of 5th Avenue.
The road in that area was shut down for much of the evening.
Mayor Anthony Celeste wrote on Facebook:
“5th Avenue is shut down from family video down. A tanker truck spilled a highly flammable chemical all down the road. They are calling in hazmat. Please be careful and take another route.”
The fuel leak was contained.
us_PA  transportation  release  response  flammables 
2 days ago
Kutztown University Building Evacuated During Hazmat Situation
A Kutztown University building was evacuated during a hazmat situation Sunday afternoon.
Kutztown University Police received a report around 2:45 p.m. from custodians working on a basement floor of Deatrick Hall of fumes that were causing throat irritation and dryness. Police and firefighters responded to the scene and experienced similar symptoms.
Emergency officials and the Berks County Hazmat Team later arrived at the scene.
Most of Deatrick Hall's 300 residents were attending Welcome Week activities on campus at the time, officials said. Around 12 residents inside Deatrick Hall were evacuated and the Hall was closed until it was deemed safe around 6 p.m.
In all, 12 students, three custodians, two police officers and two firefighters were treated for throat irritation and dryness by medics at the scene.
Officials believe the symptoms were caused by a reaction to something in the trash. The hazmat team ventilated the basement of the building and the scene was cleared up by fresh air, officials said. They also removed and emptied dumpsters outside of Deatrick Hall as a precaution.
us_PA  education  release  injury  waste 
3 days ago
Large commercial laundry damaged by fire
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a fire in a commercial laundry at 14321 N.E. Whitaker Way early Sunday.

No one was injured in the fire, although additional resources were called in because of the potential for a large fire load due to the number of garments, towels, and chemicals — including detergents and cleaners — in such a business.

According to PF&R, initial reports at 6:12 a.m. were that smoke and flames had been seen inside the building and employees had evacuated it. Additional calls came in from neighboring businesses with reports of heavy black smoke coming from the roof.
Truck crews were able to ventilate the building efficiently by removing the sky lights on the roof of the building.

A PF&R Investigator determined has the fire to be accidental, caused by a laundry bin full of oil soaked rags that had a chemical reaction. This type of fire can occur when a oil soaked towel or rag is slowly heated to its ignition point through oxidation.
us_OR  industrial  fire  response  cleaners 
3 days ago
Tulsa Fire Department Stops Chemical Leak At Business
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Fire Department was called out to a large chemical leak west of downtown Tulsa on Sunday evening.
It was located at a business near Charles Page Boulevard and 25th West Avenue.

A cleaning crew noticed an odd smell and saw the fumes of what turned out to be Hydrogen Sulfide. They backed out and once firefighters arrived

Crews were able to stop the leak and the building was ventilated. No one was hurt.
us_OK  industrial  release  response  hydrogen_sulfide 
3 days ago
Explosions reported at U.S. Army facility in Japan
SAGAMIHARA, Japan, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- No casualties have been reported in a series of explosions that rocked a U.S. Army facility in Sagamihara, Japan.

The blasts occurred past midnight at the Sagami General Depot, a post of the U.S. Army's 35th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

Fox News quoted Pentagon spokesman U.S. Navy Commander Bill Urban as saying "base firefighters and first responders are currently fighting the resulting fire to prevent its spread to nearby buildings."

According to the U.S. Army, the 35th CSSB provides "depot operations and provides combat service support throughout the U.S. Army Japan and I Corps (Forward) area of operations."

The incident is under investigation, but Japan's Shingetsu News Agency tweeted that the explosions, which are reported to have occurred at 12:45 a.m. and continued for 10 minutes, may have been caused by an accidental fire in a warehouse filled with oxide cylinders.

It reported the U.S. military calling Japanese firefighters to the scene but putting restrictions on the use of water to douse the flames -- a precaution in fighting certain chemical fires.
Japan  industrial  explosion  response  gas_cylinders 
3 days ago
Hydrogen peroxide caused explosion: police
The police have identified that it was hydrogen peroxide, a chemical packed in a plastic container, that caused the explosion, killing a person on Talur Road on Saturday evening.

“Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical commonly used in bleaching, dyeing, and in paints, among other uses. However, its oxidation capacity is high and it explodes when it comes into contact with metal,” Vijay Dambal, Additional Superintendent of Police, told The Hindu . He added that the chemical was manufactured in Pune in Maharashtra.

Yerriswamy, a rag picker, died after the plastic container he reportedly found in a bush and tried to open the lid using an axe-blade exploded. The high intensity explosion blew off his legs and hands. Leaves in a couple of trees in the vicinity have withered because of the heat following the explosion.

According to Maremma, the victim’s wife, Yerriswamy, had returned home with the blue plastic container and wanted to empty the content to sell the container as scrap, when the explosion occurred.

Mr. Dambal said that three teams had been formed under the supervision of Suresh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ballari Rural, and Prasad Gokhle, Circle Inspector of Police, to find who had kept the container and for what reason. “The team will be primarily enquiring with the jeans washing units, paints factories in the city to ascertain whether their chemical stocks were intact or some containers were missing. The team would also verify from where they procured the chemical,” he said.
India  public  explosion  death  hydrogen_peroxide  waste 
3 days ago
State: Car wash chemical dangerous to workers
TUMWATER, Wash. (AP) - A chemical commonly used at commercial car and truck washes can be dangerous to workers, according to new research by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report Friday based on research from the agency, which looked at workers' compensation injury reports from 2001 to 2013. It found 48 workers suffered burns from hydrofluoric-acid-based car wash products, and one, a 38-year-old man, died after ingesting some - though it wasn't clear if the ingestion was intentional.

Hydrofluoric acid is often used in car wash products to brighten aluminum and break down road grime. The workers injured typically suffered burns to their hands, head or eyes, sometimes because they had holes in their gloves or failed to wear them at all. Seven needed to be hospitalized, three suffered third-degree burns, and two needed surgery, including skin grafts.

"Hydrofluoric acid is insidiously toxic at the low concentrations used in vehicle washing," Carolyn Whitaker, one of the researchers, said in a news release. "Initially, when it touches the skin there may be little or no pain. That means workers are often unaware of the burn until later and typically delay getting treatment."

That's what happened to one of the badly burned workers. He splashed his left leg while transferring a cleaning solution between containers, didn't wash the substance off and continued to work for about 90 minutes - with his pants and shoe soaked - before he noticed the burning sensation, the report said.
us_WA  industrial  discovery  death  cleaners  hydrofluoric_acid 
4 days ago
Fire at chemical plant in La Porte
Firefighters battled a blaze Saturday morning at a chemical plant in La Porte.
The fire broke out about 5 a.m. in a warehouse at South Coast Terminals in the 10900 block of Strang, said Kristin Gauthier, La Porte Emergency Management Coordinator. 
Gauthier said no injuries were reported and no chemicals burned. She said firefighters quickly got the upper hand on the flames and contained the fire to an area inside the warehouse.
Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the blaze.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
One Killed in Explosion at China Chemical Site
BEIJING — A fatal explosion at a chemical factory in eastern China on Saturday night has jangled nerves a little more than a week after a series of blasts killed more than 120 people at a chemical storage facility about 200 miles away, Chinese news media reported.

The explosion on Saturday, which tore through a chemical plant in Zibo, in Shandong Province, killed one person and injured at least nine others, according to the official Xinhua news agency. A microblog post by the Zibo Public Security Bureau late Saturday said the fire had been “basically controlled” and that the injured had been taken to a hospital. The explosion was caused when canisters containing a chemical used to produce nylon burst, the Shandong Fire Control Department said on its official microblog.

The blast heightened concerns about China’s growing chemical industry and what many say are lax regulations that can endanger residents. It follows two explosions at a chemical warehouse on Aug. 12 in the port city of Tianjin that killed at least 121 people, injured over 700 and left 54 still missing.
China  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Nitric acid exposure sends 3 to Albuquerque hospital
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Three people were sent to an Albuquerque hospital Friday after being exposed to Nitric acid.

It happened in the 10000 block of Research Road SE at the semi-conductor manufacturing plant.

The Albuquerque Fire Department says the three victims suffered burns but were they are expected to be OK.

AFD says the cause of the exposure is unknown at this time. The building was evacuated and will be closed for the rest of the day.
us_NM  industrial  release  injury  nitric_acid 
5 days ago
Chemical spills at River Road, St. Francis
Hazardous material teams contained a chemical spill after a container of flammable liquid fell off of a trailer on Friday afternoon.

At 3:46 p.m., the Amarillo Fire Department responded to reports of a hazardous chemical spill on St. Francis Avenue, just east of River Road.

Upon arrival, the first crew found a 300 gallon container of liquid had fallen onto the side of the roadway. The liquid was running downhill and had traveled about 100 feet.

Firefighters determined that the liquid was an emulsifier used at oil fields and contained a highly flammable chemical known as toluene. About 150 gallons of the chemical had leaked out.

A hazardous material team was called out and quickly created a dam to stop forward progress of the chemical. The team also created a 150-foot perimeter around the spill, closing two westbound lanes near the intersection of St. Francis Avenue and River Road.
us_TX  transportation  release  response  flammables  toluene 
5 days ago
Eleven indicted for hazmat explosion in California: Land Line Magazine
Nine individuals and two companies in California were indicted on Wednesday, Aug. 19, for numerous charges ranging from conspiracy to dispose of hazardous waste to causing great bodily injury or death by emitting an air contaminant, according to U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.

Green Compass Environmental Solutions LLC (Green Compass), Santa Clara Waster Water Company (SCWWC) and nine SCWWC officials and employees were investigated after an explosion of a vacuum cargo tank trailer containing hazardous waste last November. More than 1,000 gallons of chemicals spilled, caused a fire and resulted in several explosions.

People within one mile of SCWWC were evacuated and those within a three-mile radius were given shelter-in-place orders. Highway 126 and an elementary were also shut down. Dozens were treated for possible exposure. Two SCWWC employees and three firefighters were hurt. The firefighters who were hurt went on disability leave as a result.

Investigators found that SCWWC stored more hazardous materials than it was permitted. SCWWC officials tried to hide the excess material by relocating it to an off-site, unsecured truck just before an inspection. Hazardous materials were also disposed of through a wastewater pipeline to the city’s sewage plant and by trailers to a landfill.
us_CA  transportation  follow-up  injury  waste 
5 days ago
Сhemical reactor at Delaware oil refinery on fire — RT USA
A chemical reactor at an oil refinery in Delaware is on fire, billowing black smoke into the sky that can be seen from several miles away, local news reports. Rescuers are on the scene at the Delaware City Refining Company in New Castle County.
The fire, which began at 1 p.m. local time, was under control by 3:17 p.m., WPVI reported.

PBF Energy has confirmed a fire inside a catalytic cracker, which is used to convert crude oil into gasoline and other refined products. The refinery experienced “an operational incident that resulted in flaring” at about 12 p.m., the company said.
us_DE  industrial  fire  response  gasoline  petroleum 
5 days ago
Match Lit at Manhattan School Exploded a Laboratory in Renovation
The renovated laboratory was hailed as state of the art. One teacher even said it would be a “crown jewel” of the campus shared by several high schools in Marble Hill, its unveiling so eagerly anticipated that, one mother said, paper had been put up over windows to keep students from peeking inside.

“This lab was like a new Mercedes,” said Danny Steiner, a teacher at Bronx Theatre High School, one of the schools that share space once occupied solely by John F. Kennedy High School.

On Thursday, a construction crew spent hours installing a gas line for the lab when one of the workers lit a Bunsen burner to determine whether it was working, officials said.

The worker did not know the room had filled with gas fumes, officials said, and when he struck a match, it set off a blast that destroyed the lab and damaged the building badly enough that students will not be able to return to the campus when the school year begins on Sept. 9.

The damage forced school officials to find new places to house the 3,000 students who attend the seven separate schools on the campus in Marble Hill, a section of Manhattan that is on the mainland, bordering the Bronx. It is unclear how long they will be displaced.

The explosion blew out the walls of the sixth-floor lab, and shot debris as up to 200 feet away.
us_NY  laboratory  follow-up  response  methane 
5 days ago
Gas Line Explodes During Construction at a Manhattan High School
A gas line exploded during construction at John F. Kennedy High School in the Marble Hill section of Manhattan on Thursday night, injuring three workers, one critically, and heavily damaging three floors, the authorities said.

Seven people were working on a construction project in a science laboratory on the sixth floor shortly after 8 p.m. when the explosion occurred, the police said. The workers were draining gas from a main in the lab before starting their work but failed to drain it completely, setting off the blast, the police said.

The force of the explosion blew out windows on the sixth floor and shook a nearby apartment building, according to officials and witnesses. The police said that the blast “heavily damaged” the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the building, but that no serious fire lingered after the initial explosion.
us_NY  laboratory  explosion  injury  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Three injured at local plant
Three employees of Deepwater Chemicals were injured in an explosion around 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday night inside of a processing vessel on the plant located west of Woodward. 
Deepwater Chemicals is a manufacturing company specializing in fine iodine derivatives, according to the company's website.   
The injured employees were immediately given first aid by other employees, the plant's established safety procedures were then implemented and the Woodward Fire Department and the Woodward EMS were notified, according to a press release from the company. 
The injured were given medical care at a nearby hospital (AllianceHealth Woodward) and held overnight as a precaution, the release added, though all have now been discharged. 
...According to the fire report, a reaction occurred when employees poured red phosphorous - a reactive chemical commonly used on the strike plates of matchbooks - into a reactor at the plant. 
"Red phosphorous continues to burn as long as there is oxygen," Finley said. "If you put it in your hand and covered it with the other, it would still burn."
us_OK  industrial  explosion  injury  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Hazmat situation sends 13 people to hospital
COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Firefighters are trying to figure out what sickened 13 workers at a Cobb County recycling center called Rock 10.
Officials told Channel 2's Ross Cavitt a truck driver who dropped off a load of materials complained he had trouble breathing.
As the materials he delivered spread throughout the facility, more employees began complained they had trouble breathing.
Thirteen of 16 employees who complained of breathing problems were transported to local hospitals.
Firefighters are at the facility trying to identify what affected the employees and where it is in the building.
"We always think the worst so you have to remove your clothes and have to wash them off," Lt. Dan Dupree, Cobb County Fire Department, said. "You don't want to spread contaminate to the emergency room."
us_GA  industrial  release  injury  waste 
6 days ago
Hazmat team cleans up mercury spill at Bourne school
BOURNE — Firefighters and a state hazardous materials response team were called to Bourne High School Wednesday afternoon when a large mercury thermometer broke in a storage closet, according to Bourne Fire Deputy Chief David Pelonzi.
Just before 3 p.m., a staff member preparing for the upcoming school year heard a crash coming from a closet and discovered that a 4-foot mercury thermometer had broken and the chemical had spilled, Pelonzi said.
Bourne firefighters responded to the scene and secured the area before calling the hazmat team, which cleaned up about  three quarters of a cup of mercury from the closet, he said.
Members of the state Department of Environmental Protection team may return tomorrow with a cleanup team to remove any remaining mercury, Pelonzi said.
Nobody was exposed to the mercury and no students were at the school Wednesday, according to Pelonzi.
us_MA  education  release  response  mercury 
6 days ago
Chemical explosion highlights dangers of farming
Experts say the chemical involved in a deadly explosion is one that's primarily used to make cloth and paper.

The hazardous chemical known as sodium hydrosulfide is not considered an agricultural chemical, yet it was stored at Liquid Transfer Terminals in Bainbridge along with other chemicals that are used on farms and in farm products.

Farmers must go through training, take a test, and have a license to purchase restricted-use chemicals, like sodium hydrosulfide. Experts say farming can be a dangerous job. 

"A lot of the chemicals that farmers use do have dangers involved with them," said Lee County Extension Coordinator Doug Collins. "They're also urged to take care and to follow all of the label instructions."

Collins said farmers should wear protective clothing and follow the safety precautions specified on labels when handling chemicals and dealing with a spill.
us_GA  industrial  follow-up  death  sodium  hydrosulfide 
6 days ago
Four new fires at China blast site, widespread safety hazards found
Four new fires have broken out at the site where two huge blasts last week killed 114 people, state media reported on Friday soon after officials said safety hazards were found at almost 70 percent of firms handling dangerous chemicals in Beijing.

The explosions in a warehouse storing dangerous chemicals devastated an industrial park in the northeastern port city of Tianjin late on Aug. 12. More than 700 people were injured and thousands were evacuated because of the risk posed by chemicals stored at the site.

The official Xinhua news agency said on Friday rescue crews were rushing to the site after four new fires broke out. It said one of the "combustion points" was in a logistics site for automobiles near last week's blast.

The other three were within the central blast area, it said without giving any explanation of the cause of the fires.

State authorities have confirmed that more than 700 tonnes of the deadly chemical sodium cyanide were stored at the Tianjin warehouse that blew up.
China  industrial  fire  response  cyanide 
6 days ago
The first rainfall since Tianjin's warehouse explosions left behind this mysterious white foam
Last Wednesday, a chemical storage facility in Tianjin, a city in northeastern China, exploded. Several blasts occurred over about a minute, and the resulting fires burned throughout the weekend, leading to eight further explosions on Saturday. Over a hundred people were killed, and hundreds more are injured or missing. 

This, you'd think, would be bad enough – but as it turns out, chemical explosions have repercussions which reverberate beyond the initial massive explosions and raging fires.

On Monday night, it rained in Tianjin for the first time since the explosion. The rain which left behind a mysterious white foam and reports of stinging skin and lips from those who came into contact with it. These pictures show the foam the rain left behind, on a public square and on what appears to be a car window: 

It's unclear what exactly the foam contains, but authorities have announced that the rainfall is safe. The local Bureau of Environmental Protection measured levels of cyanide in the foam and found it normal, while several officials stood in the rain for ten minutes and reported no stinging or itching. Bao Jingling, chief engineer at the bureau, told China Daily that local hospitals had reported no cases of poisoning thus far. 
China  public  explosion  environmental  cyanide 
6 days ago
Tianjin Blasts Kill 114 People
Chinese authorities have confirmed that at least 114 people have perished in the explosions involving hazardous chemicals that occurred in the port of Tianjin on Aug. 12.
Although authorities have also insisted that chemical releases into the environment were limited, local residents claimed falling rain caused skin burns and white foam formed on roads a few days later near the blast site. Some residents have also held demonstrations demanding compensation for property damage and more information on relatives unaccounted for in the disaster.
Despite the confusion and displacement of people living and working near the site of the disaster, authorities say the sprawling port resumed operations on Aug. 18. Chemical producers in the area say they are working normally.
Officials still haven’t indicated what they suspect as the cause of the explosions. However, they revealed that among the hundreds of tons of about 40 different chemicals stored at the Ruihai International Logistics hazardous chemicals warehouse at the center of the explosions were large quantities of ammonium nitrate. Commonly used as a fertilizer, ammonium nitrate is also explosive and the cause of numerous industrial accidents such as the 2013 explosion at West Fertilizer Co. in Texas that killed 15 people.
Officials’ main concern, however, has been disposing of hundreds of tons of sodium cyanide, which releases flammable and toxic hydrogen cyanide gas on contact with water or acids, that they said was stored at the warehouse. The chemical is used in the mining industry to extract gold and other precious metals.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  ammonium_nitrate  cyanide 
6 days ago
Deadly Chemical Concoction Kills Man In Atkinson County
The Region 8 Hazmat team was forced into action on Monday morning, August 17, after Atkinson County law enforcement officials discovered a deceased man in a pickup truck containing a deadly cocktail of chemicals.  

            Hazmat team members from the Douglas Fire Department responded to a two-lane dirt path off of Stokesville Church Road in Atkinson County where they discovered the body of a 26-year old deceased white male in a pickup truck.

            When Hazmat and law enforcement officials approached the vehicle, they noticed two notes, one on the driver’s side window and the other on the passenger window, that stated, “Warning: Carbon Monoxide.”

            After safely securing the scene, Hazmat officials worked to remove the man’s body from the vehicle and later determined he had combined two chemicals, Sulfuric acid and Formic acid, a deadly combination that reacted and turned into carbon monoxide and resulted in his death.

            Officials believe the man had been inside the vehicle since Friday, August 14.

            Suicide by way of deadly chemical cocktails is on the rise across the United States, especially over the last four to five years.
us_GA  transportation  release  death  carbon_monoxide  suicide  sulfuric_acid 
7 days ago
Spill at Colgate-Palmolive prompts evacuation, officials say
MORRIS TOWNSHIP – An evacuation was ordered after a substance used to make soap spilled while being transferred at the Colgate-Palmolive manufacturing plant Tuesday night.

The liquid, known as Stepan-ammonynx cetac-30, was being siphoned through a tanker truck hose into the East Hanover Avenue facility when the spill occurred in the loading dock area, Morris County Office of Emergency Management director Jeff Paul said.

No injuries were reported, Paul said.

"The clean up is being handled by the Colgate-Palmolive company in accordance with safety precautions and properly disposed of by an approved environmental contractor," the OEM director said.
us_NJ  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
7 days ago
China clearing blast site, military checking storage
TIANJIN, China — Chinese workers in protective suits began clearing wreckage on Thursday, including charred car bodies and crumpled shipping containers, from the site of a chemical warehouse that exploded last week, killing at least 114.

Officials have ordered nationwide checks on dangerous materials, and the Chinese military said it was inspecting storage measures for weapons, ammunition, and fuel as well as chemical, explosive and toxic materials, the official newspaper People's Liberation Army Daily reported.

Training in the handling of such materials and in executing emergency response plans will also be stepped up, the newspaper said.

Driving home the importance of such efforts, President Xi Jinping and other top leaders gathered in Beijing to hear a report on progress in investigating the disaster.
China  industrial  follow-up  death 
7 days ago
Hazmat crews respond to Longview fire at chemical tank
LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Fire and Longview Hazmat crews were called out to a Poly-tank fire shortly before 1:00 am Wednesday August 19th, 2015.

The tank was approximately 10’ by 12’ and contained a mixture of caustic chemicals at the time of the fire.

The fire was extinguished without any injuries, and the cause is under investigation.

Due to the containment system around the tank there was no runoff as a result of the fire. It was determined that the surrounding area was not at risk during the emergency.

The open sided metal building where the tank is located sustained some heat damage to the roof and roof supports.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Amazon warehouse evacuated after chemical leak; faculty now running as normal
PHOENIX - Some tense moments at an Amazon facility Wednesday morning after a 55 gallon drum filled with butane started leaking.

Firefighters said an Amazon employee was filling the drum with butane containers when it began to leak.

Employees called 911 and when firefighters arrived they noticed the drum had started to expand.

"Our biggest concern was that the drum could explode," said Cpt. Mark Vanacore with Phoenix Fire Department.

Officials evacuated the building and firefighters called in the Phoenix Police Bomb Squad.

Using a bomb robot, responders drilled a hole in the top of the drum and released all the pressure that had been built up inside.
us_AZ  industrial  release  response  butane 
7 days ago
WBNG-TV: News, Sports and Weather Binghamton, New York
Norwich, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A portion of Route 12 in Norwich was closed for several hours on Tuesday due to a chemical spill.
A chemical waste truck stopped quickly and spilled acid waste onto a vehicle and the ground, Jones told Action News. “The information we have is that truck's hatch was not closed all the way,” he said in a statement.
State Highway 12 reopened around 5:15 pm. No injuries were reported.
The Norwich Fire Department, Norwich Police Department, Chenango County Bureau of Fire and Chenango County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene.
Jones said the spill was cleaned up with the assistance of the Chenango County HazMat team.
us_NY  transportation  release  response  acids  waste 
7 days ago
Tie funding to lab safety, urges Sheri Sangji's sister
The American Chemical Society (ACS) and its members are being pressed to speak out against poor safety conditions in US academic labs, and to lobby the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to consider researchers' safety records when allocating funding. The call comes from the sister of the late Sheri Sangji, a 23-year-old research assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who died in January 2009 from injuries sustained during a dangerous lab experiment.
Sangji was a new hire who suffered third-degree burns to almost half of her body when working unsupervised with t-butyl lithium in the organic chemistry lab of Patrick Harran. She had been using a 60ml plastic syringe with a 1.5 inch needle on the end that was too short to reach to the bottom of the bottle containing the pyrophoric solution, and there was an open flask of hexanes nearby. The material caught fire when the plunger somehow came out of the barrel, and Sangji was not wearing a lab coat. Her family argued that she had received improper training, equipment, and supervision, and that she was carrying out Harran’s irresponsible orders.

‘Notably absent from this diverse group asking for justice and change are the academic scientists,’ the victim’s sister, medical doctor Naveen Sangji, told a session at the 250th ACS National Meeting & Exposition at Boston, US on 17 August. 
us_CA  laboratory  follow-up  death  butyllithium 
7 days ago
DuPont safety questioned after OSHA fines, deaths
DuPont has long been recognized as a safety leader within the chemical industry. Its people train other companies and industries in best practices for environmental and workplace safety.

Now, the company is facing heavy criticism from employee unions and government agencies after a series of high-profile accidents and deaths at plants across the country.

Eight workplace fatalities since 2007, numerous lawsuits, multiple federal regulatory agency investigations and millions of dollars in Occupational Safety and Health Administration fines have some wondering if DuPont's historically good safety record still exists.

In July, OSHA placed DuPont in a program for "severe" violators of workplace safety standards. Severe is the worst category, and companies are placed in it after repeatedly failing to address OSHA violations.

DuPont is the largest of the roughly 450 companies in the severe category. Smaller construction companies comprise the bulk of those businesses.

"That is really huge that DuPont got put into the severe violator program," said Celeste Monforton, a former OSHA analyst and now a professor of occupational health at George Washington University. "The companies on that list are the worst of the worst."

DuPont says the workplace deaths have overshadowed a still-strong safety record. Company representatives are quick to point out that DuPont's workplace injury rate is below average for the chemical industry.
us_WA  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
7 days ago
Investigators: Massive explosion at DrillChem plant in Conroe ruled accidental
CONROE, Texas -
Investigators have confirmed that a massive explosion at a chemical plant warehouse in Conroe on Friday was accidental.

The Conroe Fire Department said 12 employees worked at the DrillChem plant in the 4300 block of  North Loop 336.

According to investigators, the fire started in  the southern end of the northernmost building. Possible causes of the explosion include electrical, gas-powered equipment, and spontaneous combustion caused by disposal of oily rags.

Fire officials are working to determine a main cause and said there is no concern that the public's safety has or will be compromised.

DrillChem officials are not ready to release the names of specific chemicals stored and used in the facility.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Worker attacked with ‘caustic chemical’ at Santa Fe Springs social services office
SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A caseworker at Santa Fe Springs social office suffered burns to her arm after an unidentified man and woman threw an unknown caustic chemical on her Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

The attack was reported about 4:25 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services office, 10355 Slusher Drive, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.

The suspects approached the victim in the parking lot, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said.

“They threw an unknown chemical on her,” Scoggins said.

Paramedics took the woman to a hospital for treatment of injuries to her arms that were described as moderate, he said.

The woman washed off the substance and discovered it had left burns, Ellis said. It was yet to be been determined what the liquid thrown on the victim was.

The female suspect threw the substance, while the man drove their car, described as a blue or gray sedan, Scoggins said.
us_CA  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Man killed in Georgia chemical plant explosion
A man died Wednesday in southwest Georgia after a chemical tank explosion.

The incident occurred Wednesday morning at around 11:30 in Bainbridge at the Liquid Transfer Terminal fertilizer plant.

Investigators said a 1 million gallon chemical tank filled with a sodium chlorite liquid solution exploded.

People had to evacuate within a half mile of the plant.
us_GA  industrial  explosion  death  ag_chems  sodium 
7 days ago
Cop tried to cook meth at government science lab — here’s his lawyer’s explanation
A former police supervisor at a federal laboratory complex in Maryland has been charged with trying to make meth at the complex, where an explosion erupted last month during what his attorney described as an attempt by the officer to learn more about the drug.

“He was conducting an unauthorized training experiment, which failed,” said Steven VanGrack, an attorney for the officer, Christopher Bartley.

The latest twists in the case — the charge by federal authorities, the response by the officer — were revealed Tuesday. VanGrack said he expects his client to plead guilty by the end of the week.

“He feels very bad about what happened,” VanGrack said, “and he wants to move on from it.”

The incident occurred at the sprawling campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in Gaithersburg, better known for its Nobel Prize-winning research on atomic physics than methamphetamine manufacturing.

Bartley, 41, was charged with one count of “knowingly and intentionally attempt[ing] to manufacture a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine,” according to an information filing in U.S. District Court in Maryland.
us_MD  public  follow-up  response  meth_lab 
7 days ago
West Virginia: Guilty Plea in River Pollution
One of the last executives charged in a chemical spill that left 300,000 people without clean tap water for days pleaded guilty to federal pollution violations Tuesday. Dennis Farrell, a former Freedom Industries owner, pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston, joining the bankrupt company itself and four other former Freedom officials who had already pleaded guilty. The deal calls for a sentence of 30 days to two years in prison, as well as a maximum $200,000 fine. The former company president, Gary Southern, the final and highest-profile executive targeted for the spill, is expected to plead guilty Wednesday. In January 2014, a run-down Freedom tank in Charleston leaked coal-cleaning chemicals into the water supply for nine counties.
us_NY  industrial  follow-up  response  cleaners 
8 days ago
Tianjin blasts: Were 'hero' firefighters unprepared?
Beijing (CNN)Yuan Yuan's grief for her only brother is tinged with anger.

Seventeen-year-old Yuan Hai was the youngest of 50 firefighters killed in the deadly blasts that hit China's port city of Tianjin on August 12. Of the 57 people still missing, 52 are firefighters.

Her posts on Chinese social media after she learned of his death have wrenched millions of hearts.

"Why were you so heartless to leave our dad and mom for me to take care of?" she wrote on a widely shared post on Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter.

"We didn't expect you to accomplish great things; we only wanted you safe; we wanted you back, we wanted you back. It's too cruel for dad and mom to see you die before them."

Tuesday is the seventh day since the massive explosions, according to tradition a key time to mourn the dead, and thousands in the city took part in memorials.

The nation has revered the firefighters dispatched to the apocalyptic scene as heroes.
China  public  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
First rainfall since Tianjin explosion leaves city covered in mysterious white foam: Shanghaiist
The first rainfall to wash over Tianjin since a series of blasts struck a warehouse in the Binhai district last week has sparked a new wave of concern as an unidentified white foam has appeared on the streets.
Some who made contact with it are reporting a burning sensation on their face and lips, while others are reporting a stinging sensation on their arms. Some have said they experienced an itchy sensation, according to a NetEase News report.

Meteorological experts said Monday that rainfall would no longer pose direct danger to people's health, according to a CCTV News report.

However, authorities had expressed concern that the downpour, aside from hampering rescue efforts, would spread harmful substances across the city, after around 700 tons of sodium cyanide—a toxic chemical that creates a combustable substance when it meets with water—was found at the blast site.
Officials today said that at least 40 types of dangerous chemicals were detected at the blast zone, including 800 tons of ammonium nitrate and 500 tons of potassium nitrate, the Guardian reports.
China  industrial  follow-up  response  ammonium_nitrate  cyanide  potassium_nitrate  sodium_cyanide  toxics 
8 days ago
Chemical leak turns Wolf Creek blue; Barberton removing contaminant
NORTON: A chemical leak at Barberton’s water treatment plant off Summit Road turned Wolf Creek a turquoise color Tuesday.
The leaking chemical was aluminum sulfate, Ohio EPA spokesperson Linda Oros said. A coagulant, it is traditionally used to remove organic material from drinking water by binding it together and sinking it to the bottom for collection.
Norton officials temporarily closed Summit Road at the Barber Road intersection Tuesday morning after a citizen noticed the creek was “baby blue.”
Barberton Director of Utilities Jim Stender said the leak “is not an alarm situation” and the material is inorganic and “less harmful than shampoo.”
Oros said there were no signs of dead fish, but that the pH of the creek had fallen to an acidic 4.2 (neutral is pH 7) so there was some concern that level might stress fish. Dissolved oxygen levels were good, she added.
It is not known how much coagulant got into the creek, she said.
us_OH  industrial  release  response  water_treatment 
8 days ago
State Media: China Firm Used Connections for Hazmat Permit
The son of a former police chief is one of two silent owners of the warehouse for hazardous materials in Tianjin where explosions killed at least 114 people, and used his connections to help obtain licenses despite safety violations, Chinese state media reported Wednesday.

The other owner is a former executive at a state-owned chemical company who also used his connections to smooth the way for approval for the facility, the official Xinhua News Agency said in a lengthy report on the warehouse company Ruihai International Logistics.

The report supports the common perception that well-connected private Chinese companies use personal relationships with people in the government to override rules, a practice that can lead to disastrous consequences.

It also shed light on the murky ownership structure at Ruihai, which had been the focus of rampant rumors of potential high-level connections and cover-up since the Aug. 12 blasts, which also left 64 people missing and 674 hospitalized.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Christopher Bartley, Former Police Officer, Charged After Explosion at Federal Lab
WASHINGTON — A former federal police officer was charged with trying to make methamphetamine in a federal laboratory that exploded last month, injuring the ex-officer.

Christopher Bartley was charged Monday in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, with a single count of attempting to manufacture methamphetamine.

The explosion occurred July 18 on the campus of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, about 15 miles north of the nation's capital.

Bartley was a lieutenant and supervisor with the institute's police force, said institute spokeswoman Gail Porter. He resigned his position a day after the explosion, Porter said. He was treated at a hospital for injuries he suffered in the blast. No one else was hurt.

Authorities who responded to the explosion found pseudoephedrine, Epsom salt and other materials associated with the manufacture of meth. Police have said the chemical reaction that led to the explosion may have been caused by the manufacture of drugs.

No attorney is listed for Bartley in online court records, and a working telephone number for him could not immediately be located.

The building where the explosion occurred remains closed, but it will be available for experiments as needed, Burton said.
us_MD  public  follow-up  injury  meth_lab 
8 days ago
Tianjin explosion exposes toxic chemicals in China
(CNN)Apocalyptic scenes of the smoldering aftermath of successive explosions in Tianjin have once again illustrated the dangers of Chinese industry.

Lax safety procedures and oversight have been blamed for the blasts, which have killed more than 100 people and sent toxic fumes into the air, threatening even greater devastation.

President Xi Jinping has urged authorities to learn from the "extremely profound" lessons from the accident.

The State Council is rolling out a nationwide inspection of all businesses using dangerous chemicals and explosives. Meanwhile, China's public security minister says those found to be responsible for the Tianjin disaster "will be punished severely," according to state news agency Xinhua.

The problem is China has seen and heard it all before, and the accidents keep coming, though figures from the Bureau of Statistics suggest that the rate of lethal accidents is falling.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  explosives 
9 days ago
Officials report weekend sulfur dioxide leak so small that even chemical sensors didn’t catch it
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – 20 people were taken to Terre Haute Regional Hospital’s Emergency Department Saturday evening following a chemical leak on the south side of Terre Haute.

On Monday morning, safety officers from Hydrite Chemical Co. met to discuss the incident.

While no one wants 20 people going to the hospital, the fire department did say that things could have been much worse. Of those 20 only six were admitted and five were quickly released.

The last patient was released on Monday.

The Terre Haute Fire Department did identify the gas as sulfur dioxide which is a heavy gas that makes it difficult to breathe, especially for those with COPD or asthma. The department’s hazmat director told News 10 that the leak was small, and at first, Hydrite wasn’t aware of the leak because it was so small.
us_IN  public  release  injury  sulfur_dioxide 
9 days ago
Fire Rips Through Torrington Carpet Factory
A three-alarm fire tore through a carpeting factory in Torrington on Sunday night and investigators are trying to determine what started it. 
The water flow alarm went off at the Alliance Carpet factory, at 180 Church Street around 8:20 p.m. on Sunday and neighbors reported a strange chemical smell, in addition to the smoke. 
Firefighters who responded to the scene saw smoke coming from the building and activated a third alarm because of the size of the building.
About six employees in the building at the time got themselves out and no one was injured, according to Torrington Fire Chief Gary Brunoli. 
Crews brought large bails of foam outside to extinguish them.
This was not the first time the building has caught fire. There have been several fires there in the past.
Some have been cases of arson, officials said, but most of the fires there have been accidental and all signs point to that being the cause again last night.
When the company grinds foam rubber used to make its carpets, it's easy to start a fire in the process, officials said.
us_CT  industrial  fire  response  dust 
9 days ago
Getup glitter 'stunt' sparks hazmat scare
All that glitters is not gold - just ask Craig Laundy.

Staff for the less-than-impressed federal Liberal MP were forced to call in a cavalcade of emergency services units on Monday after receiving letters containing what they thought was suspicious powder.

Turned out it was merely glitter.

The envelopes, sent to the MP's western Sydney electorate office, were from activist group Getup campaigning for marriage equality.

They had posted the sparkly substances on Friday to all coalition MPs they considered were blocking a free vote on same-sex marriage.

But it led to six police cars, six fire trucks and a hazmat unit being called out to Mr Laundy's office.
Australia  public  release  response  dust 
9 days ago
One hospitalised after chemical spill at University of Canterbury
One person has been taken to hospital after a chemical spill at the University of Canterbury.
The Fire Service says the small spill occurred in the ESR Science department at 1.20pm today.

Fire officers wearing hazardous materials suits stabilised the chemical.
Three people required medical attention, with one taken to hospital with minor respiratory issues.
The two others were able to return to work.
The Fire Service said the chemical involved was sulphuric acid.
New_Zealand  laboratory  release  injury  sulfuric_acid 
10 days ago
Hazmat crew clears embalming fluid spill in St. Paul's Hospital morgue
Specialized fire crews responded to a spill of an embalming chemical at the St. Paul's Hospital morgue Friday night. 

It happened at around 10:30 p.m. CST. A release from the Saskatoon Fire Department's Battalion Chief states the hospital called to say 3 litres of a chemical used in the embalming process called Formalin had spilled onto a ceramic floor. The room was locked and evacuated of any staff members. 

The hazmat crew donned protective gear and breathing equipment to go inside. The spill was traced to a leaking valve. Crews soaked up the spill, and closed the valve before ventilating the wing, the released stated.

No injuries were reported in the incident.
Canada  industrial  release  response  formaldehyde 
11 days ago
China blast zone evacuated over contamination fear; 104 dead
TIANJIN, China -- New small explosions rocked a disaster zone in the Chinese port of Tianjin on Saturday as teams scrambled to clear dangerous chemical contamination and found several more bodies to bring the death toll to 104 in massive blasts earlier in the week.

Angry relatives of missing firefighters stormed a government news conference to demand any information on their loved ones, who have not been seen since a fire and rapid succession of blasts late Wednesday at a warehouse for hazardous chemicals in a mostly industrial area.

The death toll in the ensuing inferno included at least 21 firefighters - making the disaster the deadliest for Chinese firefighters in more than six decades.

An unknown number of firefighters remain missing, and a total of 720 people were injured in the disaster in Tianjin, 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Beijing. One additional survivor was found Saturday.

Two Chinese news outlets, including the state-run The Paper, reported that the warehouse was storing 700 tons of sodium cyanide - 70 times more than it should have been holding at one time - and that authorities were rushing to clean it up.
China  industrial  follow-up  injury  sodium_cyanide 
11 days ago
“We’ve got everything under control…” Chemical spill on Erie Canal Road caused evacuation and sent many to hospital
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Vigo County Central Dispatch confirmed a chemical spill Saturday evening on Erie Canal Road on the south side of Terre Haute.

Officials told our crew on the scene that the exact location was 2400 Erie Canal Road which is the address for Hydrite Chemical Co. and near the intersection of Erie Canal Rd and E Voorhees Street. Originally they stated that the chemical was sulfuric acid – but firefighters on the scene reported later that it was sulfur dioxide.

Those in the area were evacuated and officials were blocking many streets near the area.

Callers were telling News 10 that they could smell and taste the chemicals. Many people were at the Terre Haute Quarter Midget track when the spill happened. Callers were stating that their lungs began to burn and as they were evacuating they had to use their shirts to cover their faces.

“…We’ve got everything under control at this time,” explained Joe Swan, Terre Haute Fire Department. “We believe Hydrite’s got everything shut down and there’s no leak at this time.”

Our crew on the scene was told that those needing medical attention were taken to Regional Hospital. 

Just before 10 p.m. Terre Haute Regional Hospital released a statement saying a total of 15 people were seen; of those only three had to be admitted for further testing and treatment. 
us_IN  industrial  release  injury  sulfur_dioxide 
11 days ago
Clean up underway after chemical spill on Elkhart River
Clean up is underway on the Elkhart River after a chemical spill from the Wolcottville waste water treatment plant released contaminated water into the river earlier this week.

Just a few days after more than 1,200 gallons of the chemical acidic ferric chloride was released into the river things are almost back to normal.

"From what they're telling me, the pH property of this is neutral, which is a good sign. We don't see any dead fish. We don't see anything. We did see some coloration in the river yesterday, it's greatly diminished now,” said Michael Newton with Noble County EMA.
us_IN  industrial  release  response  ferric_chloride  waste  water_treatment 
11 days ago
Explosions, fire rock Texas chemical plant
CONROE, Texas -- A series of explosions rocked an oil field chemical supply company north of Houston on Friday, setting off a three-alarm fire that sent a broad, dense column of thick, black smoke towering into the otherwise blue skies.

Authorities knew of no injuries from the explosions and blaze that erupted about 4:30 p.m., said Conroe Fire Marshal Mike Legoudes.

Firefighters took about two hours to bring the fire under control at the DrillChem plant on the eastern fringe of Conroe, about 40 miles north of Houston.

"The facility was empty at the time of the fire and we are thankful that no injuries have been reported," said DrillChem CEO Brandon Hayes in a statement. "We are working closely with local authorities to determine the cause of the fire and assess the extent of the damage."
us_TX  industrial  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Fire department responds to hazmat spill at Texas Tech
EL PASO,  Texas – Firefighters responded to a hazmat spill in south central El Paso.
The El Paso Fire Department said they worked to clean a chemical spil on the third floor of a building at the Texas Tech Health Science Center on 5001 El Paso Dr.
It happened around 4 p.m. Friday.
No injuries were reported but the building was evacuated and streets were blocked off, according to the fire department.
Officials said a research team of 20 people worked to clean up the spill and they were cleared to go home around 7:30 p.m.
us_TX  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
IIT teacher injured in hazmat situation
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Fire Department responded to a hazmat situation Friday evening on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on the city's South Side, officials said.

A teacher was mixing chemicals in the Life Sciences building at 3105 S. Dearborn St. when there was an explosion. The chemicals were non-toxic, officials said.

The teacher was transported to Northwestern Hospital in stable condition with minor injuries to the face.
us_IL  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
HazMat Situation Prompts Evacuation Of Bio-Chemistry Building At UC Irvine
IRVINE (CBSLA.com) — Four people were hospitalized on Friday after a chemical spill occurred in a laboratory at the University of California, Irvine.
Shortly after midnight, firefighters were sent to the bio-chemistry building located in the 500 block of Biological Court, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
Upon their arrival, authorities learned two students who were performing unrelated research noticed fumes in the building.
The third floor of the building was subsequently evacuated and facility management was called to the scene.
Two men and two women became overcome by the fumes, and experienced nausea and shortness of breath before calling 911.
Authorities said they were hospitalized for treatment of minor injuries.
Two of the students were able to recover on their own once outside of the building. They were not hospitalized.
us_CA  laboratory  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Death toll in blasts in China's Tianjin port rises to 85
TIANJIN, China (AP) - The death toll from an inferno and huge explosions in the Chinese port city of Tianjin climbed to 85 on Saturday, including 21 firefighters, with hundreds of people injured and some still unaccounted for.

A rapid succession of explosions late Wednesday - one equal to 21 tons of TNT - were sparked by a fire at what authorities said were shipping containers containing hazardous material at a warehouse, and they struck a mostly industrial zone late at night - otherwise the death toll could have been much higher. But the warehouse was close enough to residences to appear out of compliance with safety regulations, raising questions about whether the facility had properly been authorized.

The toll included at least 21 firefighters among the more than 1,000 sent to the disaster, local officials told a news conference Saturday. Firefighters initially responded to a fire at the warehouse and many of them apparently were killed by a series of explosions triggered 40 minutes after the fire was reported.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  explosives 
12 days ago
Huge Explosion Rocks Chinese Port City
Two massive blasts at a hazardous chemical storage warehouse in Tianjin’s harbor killed at least 50 people and injured hundreds of others on Aug. 12. Victims were primarily firefighters and employees of cargo handling firms operating in the Chinese harbor.
Beijing Daily Group, a media group based in Beijing, reported that the first explosion had a force equivalent to 3 tons of TNT. The second blast, far larger, represented the equivalent of 21 tons of TNT. Chinese state media reported that windows were shattered on buildings miles away from the accident. Chinese TV news showed images of huge plumes of flames shooting into the sky.
The accident occurred in Binhai New Area at the company Ruihai Logistics, a freight handler that according to state media reports is authorized to manage dangerous goods. Authorities took in several of the company’s employees for questioning. The firm’s website became inaccessible after the blasts.
With a population of 15 million people, Tianjin is one of four cities directly managed by China’s national government. In a statement, Tianjin’s government said China’s President Xi Jinping had taken control of the situation. Xi issued several directives, notably ordering that the fire be rapidly put down and that those responsible be severely punished.
China  industrial  explosion  death  explosives  tnt 
13 days ago
Pacific Steel concerned about injured employees after hazmat incident
SPOKANE, Wash. -
Confusion and questions remain at Pacific Steel and Recycling a day after a container that contained chlorine gas ruptured, sickening eight employees, leaving several of them in critical condition.

The incident happened Wednesday morning when a metal container ruptured and released chlorine gas into the air. By the time the gas settled more than two dozen people were affected by exposure to the gas, and several were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Pacific Steel and Recycling President and CEO Jeff Millhollin said Thursday in his more than 15 years in the business, he's never seen anything like this happen, and his company is now working to figure out what the chemical was, why it was at the plant and to look after the workers injured in the accident.

“Something back in our scrap metal processing area ruptured and we do know it was a yellowish greenish puff of something came up int he air. How it got opened or what it was, none of that stuff we don't know yet,” he said.
us_WA  industrial  follow-up  injury  chlorine  metals  waste 
13 days ago
Fire hits chemical factory in northwestern Czech Republic
PRAGUE (AP) — An official says firefighters in northwestern Czech Republic have been battling a blaze in a chemical factory that broke after an explosion.

Firefighter spokesman Lukas Marvan said the explosion of propylene took place in the Unipetrol plant near the city of Litvinov Thursday morning.

Marvan said firefighters managed to get the conflagration under control after about four hours. Czech public television showed a huge fire and massive clouds of black smoke.

The broadcaster said one person and four firefighters had to be treated by emergency services.

Local authorities in Litvinov said no dangerous substances have been released but have recommended people to close windows and stay inside.
Czech_Republic  industrial  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
As China Blast Toll Hits 50, Fears Mount Over Chemical Contamination
An environmental expert says evacuation of the area around Wednesday’s mammoth warehouse blast in the Chinese port city of Tianjin is the “main priority,” and warned of the explosion’s long term consequences.

His words came as the death toll continued to rise, with at least 50 people dead and over 500 hospitalized, of which 71 are in critical condition, officials said Thursday. Several of the dead are reportedly firefighters.

“With a blast like this, normally you would expect the transport [of particulate matter] to be along the wind gradient or contours, but a blast this big must push it beyond that in the opposite direction,” Ravi Naidu, Director of the Global Centre for Environmental Remediation at the University of Newcastle Australia, told TIME. “Not just people but animals and other organisms would be exposed to certain chemicals.”

Rescue operations have been temporarily suspended while chemical teams scan the area for harmful materials as fears of airborne toxins mount.

“We are concerned that certain chemicals will continue to pose a risk to the residents of Tianjin,” Greenpeace Asia’s Beijing office said to TIME in an emailed statement. “According to the Tianjin Tanggu Environmental Monitoring Station, hazardous chemicals [that may have been at the blast site] include sodium cyanide (NaCN), toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and calcium carbide (CaC2), all of which pose direct threats to human health on contact. NaCN in particular is highly toxic. Ca(C2) and TDI react violently with water and reactive chemicals, with risk of explosion. This will present a challenge for firefighting and, with rain forecast for tomorrow, is a major hazard.”
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental  calcium_carbide  cyanide  sodium_cyanide  toluene  toxics 
13 days ago
China Explosion Could Trigger More Blasts Miles Away
People up to 20 miles away from the site of the chemical explosions that devastated the Chinese port city of Tianjin could be in danger from the fallout.

“People within the first couple of miles [surrounding the blast] could be severely endangered from poisonous gas,” says Rick Hind, legislative director of Greenpeace’s toxics campaign. Investigators have set up 12 air-quality monitoring stations that have shown levels of toluene, used in solvents and gas to improve octane ratings, that surpass the national standard. Prolonged exposure to the chemical can harm the central nervous system or respiratory system.

“It would be harmful if you breathe in [this toxic air] for a long time,” Wen Wurui, the head of Tianjin’s environmental protection bureau, told the BBC. “But at present, it has not exceeded [the standard] too much based on our monitoring.”

Hind says the bigger risk in the world’s 10th-largest port—beyond airborne chemicals—are any other petrochemicals being stored and transported in the area. “The first mile or two is key. As we saw in video, whole buildings collapsed a mile away. If there was another tank of poisonous gas, like chlorine, then more people could be at risk.
China  public  follow-up  response  chlorine  petroleum  solvent  toluene  toxics 
13 days ago
Widnes chemical spill alert is over
A chemical alert on a Widnes industrial estate is over.

Roads were closed and residents warned to stay indoors and keep their windows and doors shut after chlorine leaked into the drains of the Hale Bank estate at around 11am today.

Ambulances stood by and for a while the police helicopter circled overhead. Cheshire Fire Service confirmed there had been a release of chlorine into the drains but it was confined to the surface water drainage system and there was no risk of it reaching the mains water supply.

Just after 5pm a spokesman said fire fighters had safely flushed the drains and it was confirmed there was no longer any trace of the chemical. All road closures and restrictions are lifted.
United_Kingdom  industrial  release  response  chlorine 
13 days ago
DuPont and the Chemistry of Deception
much about chemicals like C8. One of tens of thousands of unregulated industrial chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA — also called C8 because of the eight-carbon chain that makes up its chemical backbone — had gone unnoticed for most of its eight or so decades on earth, even as it helped cement the success of one of the world’s largest corporations.

Several blockbuster discoveries, including nylon, Lycra, and Tyvek, helped transform the E. I. du Pont de Nemours company from a 19th-century gunpowder mill into “one of the most successful and sustained industrial enterprises in the world,” as its corporate website puts it. Indeed, in 2014, the company reaped more than $95 million in sales each day. Perhaps no product is as responsible for its dominance as Teflon, which was introduced in 1946, and for more than 60 years C8 was an essential ingredient of Teflon.

Called a “surfactant” because it reduces the surface tension of water, the slippery, stable compound was eventually used in hundreds of products, including Gore-Tex and other waterproof clothing; coatings for eye glasses and tennis rackets; stain-proof coatings for carpets and furniture; fire-fighting foam; fast food wrappers; microwave popcorn bags; bicycle lubricants; satellite components; ski wax; communications cables; and pizza boxes.
us_WV  industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
14 days ago
EPA monitoring runoff after intense Jacksonville chemical fire
The Jacksonville Fire Marshall’s Office and the EPA have been investigating the cause of a large industrial fire, which led to multiple explosions early Wednesday morning. Those explosions could be seen from miles away.

The fire began around midnight at Century Industrial Coating off U.S. highway 69 in Jacksonville.

One Jacksonville resident says from a distance, she thought what she heard could have been a gun shot, until the sound repeated itself.

“I'm partially deaf so I really don't hear a lot of anything in my right ear, but yes, it was roaring,” said resident Jammie Cody. 

One nearby facility supervisor said he and his employees were forced to evacuate as the fire gained strength. 

“Everybody's reaction was ‘what's happening’ ‘what's going on?’” said Maintenance Supervisor Marshall Whiteley. “It was pretty shocking.” 
us_TX  industrial  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
14 days ago
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