Person suffers from chemical fumes after Grays tanker spill
FIREFIGHTERS responded to a chemical (hydrochloric acid) spilling from a tanker in Grays yesterday morning (Friday).

Seven crews, including one new Hazmat unit, were called to the incident at 7.50am on Oliver Road, which had already been handled by site staff on arrival.

One casualty suffered the effects of chemical fumes. He was left in the care of the Ambulance Service by 8.14am.
United_Kingdom  transportation  release  injury  hydrochloric_acid 
21 hours ago
Teacher life-flighted after chemistry lab explosion at Slater High School
UPDATE: As of Saturday morning, the teacher, Katherine James, 33, is in fair condition at University Hospital. 

The teacher's husband, Joseph James, told ABC 17 News his wife was treated for chemical burns and had surgery to remove glass shards from the explosion.

ORIGINAL STORY: ABC 17 News has confirmed one teacher was injured after a chemical explosion at Slater High School Friday afternoon.

The Saline Co. Sheriff told ABC 17 News the 33-year-old teacher was life-flighted to University Hospital in Columbia. But hospital officials could not release the teacher's condition as of Thursday night.

School officials told ABC 17 there was an explosion in the chemistry lab.

No students were in the room at the time of the incident. It happened around 1:30 p.m.

School officials and Slater police did not know the exact cause of the explosion.

About 60 students were evacuated from the building as a precaution, according to Superintendent Dr. Terry Lorenz.

Many students and faculty heard a loud bang come from the lab, even from other parts of the building. 

"It was enough concussion to blow out a window across the room," Lorenz said. "There was, smoke filled that hallway. We evacuated the students off of that floor, pulled them all the way off of that floor and took them to other wings."

Several staff members rushed to the lab to help the teacher and put her under water quickly to stop any chemical reactions, according to Lorenz.
us_MO  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical  sodium_chloride 
21 hours ago
Fire razes three science laboratories at CRUTECH
Mystery fire has razed down 3 Science laboratories belonging to the Faculty of Basic Medical Science in Okuku, Ogoja campus of the Cross River University of Science Technology CRUTECH.

National Mirror learnt that the incident occurred at the early hours of last Tuesday. The fire also affected Histology, Biochemistry and Physiology Departments of the school. The inferno is said to have disrupted academic activities and at the moment, carcases of the burnt equipment were seen littered all over the place of the once adoring laboratory. However, about 20 expended cylinders of fire extinguishers used by the university community to tackle the inferno were seen around littering around the building. Students of the institution were also seen milling around the area counting the huge loss their school had suffered due to the fire incidence while lamenting how the incident is going to hamper their academic pursuit.

According a fourth year student, Christopher Adie, the pathetic situation was capable of retarding the progress of the academic calendar adding that the incident was a bad omen for them. However, the Dean of the school, Dr Esebonu Ugochukwu put the value of the loss at several millions of Naira stressing that the labs gutted by fire were demonstration facilities for 1st year students describing the inferno as the worst in the history of the institution. As at the time of filing this report, the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but there were speculations that the fire may have broken out due to electricity fault from public power supply.

Dr Ugochukwu averred it was unfortunate that all efforts made by the university community to quench the fire was to no avail as the fire service station complained of lack of equipment. Assessing the disaster, the DG SEMA Mr John Inaku described the disaster as very unfortunate and assured of govt intervention. However, the Vice Chancellor of the institution Prof. Anthony Owan who was contacted on phone via a text message to react on the issue, said that he is yet to lay fingers on the necessary details and as such he cannot comment on anything for now. His words; “I will be in Okuku on Monday to find out the true situation. I cannot place my fingers on anything at the moment. You will be contacted as soon as the facts becomes clear” The institution Vice Chancellor maintained.
Nigeria  laboratory  fire  response  fire_extinguisher  gas_cylinders 
22 hours ago
Three-Alarm Fire Breaks Out In Northern Butler County Plant
Emergency crews were called to the scene around 8 a.m., and the Butler Eagle reports that firefighters had the fire under control after about an hour, but were still at the scene around 10 a.m.

The building, located on Route 38, was a processing plant for Oxbow Activated Carbon, which acquired the plant from Superior Adsorbents in July 2015.

Firefighter Brady Louise strapped a GoPro camera to his fire helmet before climbing a ladder truck to force water inside the roof of the building.

There was concern that the fire would ignite thousands of wood pallets inside the building.

“The issue was hot embers falling down onto the pallets that’s why we used the aerial truck to peel the roof back,” Louise said.

At one point a propane tank exploded on the back of a forklift, releasing a large cloud of black smoke out of the building.

“Our crew happened to be in another portion of the warehouse not in danger of the explosion, but we backed out the crews to make sure there were no more explosions,” Louise said.
us_PA  industrial  explosion  response  propane 
22 hours ago
China probe identifies stored chemical behind Tianjin blasts
BEIJING (AP) — Deadly warehouse blasts that killed 165 people in a Chinese port city in August were triggered when a chemical stored in an unlicensed facility became too dry and caught fire, investigators announced Friday.

Twenty-five officials will face prosecution over the blasts on suspicion of dereliction of duty, abuse of power and bribery, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

An investigative team assembled by the State Council, China's Cabinet, said flames spread among stocks of nitrocellulose, a flammable compound used as a binding agent with medical applications and as an ingredient of lacquer. The flames then spread to illegal stores of the combustible fertilizer ammonium nitrate, touching off two massive explosions.

The 165 people killed in the Aug. 12 blasts in Tianjin included 99 firefighters who responded to the fire and 11 police officers. Eight more people went missing, and 798 were injured.

Investigators previously have ruled that regulators failed to enforce safety rules, including keeping hazardous materials at the Ruihai International Logistics warehouses a proper distance away from residences. Authorities arrested several dozen people, including warehouse executives and local government officials.

The investigators said stocks of nitrocellulose at the Ruihai warehouses became too dry because of the loss of humidifying agents, and began to heat up in the hot summer weather. The material then started to burn, they said.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  ag_chems  ammonium_nitrate  flammables  illegal 
Truck Accidents Keep Ohio Valley First Responders Busy
WHEELING -Reports of accidents involving large trucks related to the Marcellus and Utica shale industry continue, as a tractor-trailer carrying propane crashed along U.S. 250 in Wetzel County Thursday, just one day after a water truck wrecked in Marshall County.

Another tanker truck leaving a Utica Shale drilling site on McClainesville Road near Bellaire spilled 20 gallons of hydrochloric acid Saturday night.

According to West Virginia State Police First Sgt. James Stout, the driver of the propane truck lost control of the vehicle near the U.S. 250 intersection with Long Drain Road near Littleton Thursday. This caused the road to be closed for several hours, forcing motorists - including Wetzel County school bus drivers - to use detours.
us_WV  transportation  release  response  acids  propane 
Broken medical device leaks mercury, prompts evacuation
The Pocatello Fire Department responded to a hazmat situation Friday after a medical device broke and leaked mercury.

The incident occurred at a medical office 1151 Hospital Way Suite A Friday. According to the fire department's report a large sphygmomanometer, a blood pressure measurement device, broke and leaked out the mercury the device uses.

An employee initially tried to clean up the spill but then contacted Poison Control who directed them to contact the fire department. To prevent further contamination the building was evacuated.

Crews verified there was a mercury spill in one room of the building. Assistant Chief Williams called for Engine 2 to bring up testing equipment from the HazMat Truck and contacted the State Communications Center to initiate a Bridge Call with DEQ, State /Local health agencies, BHS, and the EPA.

All personnel in the building were tested and contaminated clothing and items collected for cleaning or disposal. Investigation revealed the potential of cross contamination to other sites. All known sites and clothing were tested and the contaminant was either mitigated when found or items were collected for disposal.
us_ID  public  release  injury  mercury 
2 men arrested after I-75 crash uncovers suspected rolling...
Two men were arrested Thursday after a single-vehicle crash uncovered a suspected rolling meth lab and led to northbound lane closures on I-75 that lasted for hours, the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office said.

About 6:25 a.m., the sheriff’s office learned of the accident, which occurred on southbound I-75 at Mile Marker 200, the agency said in an emailed statement.

The driver told officials he fell asleep and ran into a guardrail on the interstate, according to Channel 2 Action News. The vehicle ended up in northbound lanes of I-75. The driver and the passenger were not injured.

Police investigate an alleged rolling meth lab crashed on I-75 in Lamar County. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)
“Upon further investigation,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement, “officers found containers with possible hazardous materials inside which raised suspicions of a possible mobile meth lab.”

Authorities shut down northbound lanes and traffic delays stretched up to 7 miles at one point, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
us_GA  public  discovery  response  meth_lab 
China probe says stored chemical caused Tianjin blasts
BEIJING (AP) — Deadly warehouse blasts that killed 165 people in a Chinese port city in August were triggered when a chemical stored in an unlicensed facility became too dry and caught fire, investigators announced Friday.
Twenty-five officials will face prosecution over the blasts on suspicion of dereliction of duty, abuse of power and bribery, the official Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
An investigative team assembled by the State Council, China's Cabinet, said flames spread among stocks of nitrocellulose, a flammable compound used as a binding agent with medical applications and as an ingredient of lacquer. The flames then spread to illegal stores of the combustible fertilizer ammonium nitrate, touching off two massive explosions.
The 165 people killed in the Aug. 12 blasts in Tianjin included 99 firefighters who responded to the fire and 11 police officers. Eight more people went missing, and 798 were injured.
Investigators previously have ruled that regulators failed to enforce safety rules, including keeping hazardous materials at the Ruihai International Logistics warehouses a proper distance away from residences. Authorities arrested several dozen people, including warehouse executives and local government officials.
The investigators said stocks of nitrocellulose at the Ruihai warehouses became too dry because of the loss of humidifying agents, and began to heat up in the hot summer weather. The material then started to burn, they said.
The official report did not explain the high casualties among firefighters, but Du Lanping, a leading investigator, told state broadcaster CCTV that firefighters were not informed of the existence of the 800 tons of ammonium nitrate.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  ag_chems  ammonium_nitrate  flammables 
An adorably earnest safety lab is going to start certifiying hoverboards
Last year was the year of the hoverboard. The non-hovering, self-balancing scooters seemed to be in the news just about everywhere as some new celebrity or other tried one out, made their own version, or fell off one. But the devices were just as often in the news for blowing up and setting houses—and people— on fire.
Shoddy manufacturing standards in an industry that sprang up pretty much overnight were likely to blame, but one very earnest safety lab in the US Midwest is trying to ensure that the next generation of hoverboards are actually safe to use at home.
US  public  discovery  response 
Springfield petroleum leak created explosion risk
An investigation is underway to find the source of petroleum that was detected in Springfield’s sewer system during Tuesday’s rainfall that created a risk of explosion near a busy intersection.

The smell of gasoline penetrated through several blocks of manholes near the busy intersection of Memorial Boulevard and Central Avenue at around 8 p.m. that night, prompting a quick response from fire crews to reduce the threat of petroleum fumes igniting.

Springfield Fire Chief Jimmy Hamill said fire crews sprayed a foam vapor suppressant into the sewers for three to four blocks surrounding the intersection.

“Just the flipping of a cigarette or a cigar, or even the spark from a machine could have been enough to ignite an explosion,” Hamill said. “Without flushing the system, the 100-pound manhole covers could blow up into the air and possibly kill someone. That’s in addition to a fire that could have affected any structures nearby.”

The fire department’s water hoses flushed the foam vapor suppressant into the sewer system, creating a film over the chemical, Hamill said
us_TN  public  release  response  gasoline 
Medical oxygen fueled cooking fire that caused man's death
The house fire that killed an elderly Mifflin Township man last month was cooking-related, and its spread was exacerbated by medical oxygen inside the home, investigators said.

Albert C. Hayes, 75, died in the Jan. 22 blaze at his home at 2434 Lindale Road.

Mifflin Township firefighters heard smoke detectors sounding when when they arrived, but the fire's rapid growth and Hayes' medical problems hampered his escape, investigators said.

"This fire is a critical reminder of the importance of the safe use of medical oxygen in the home, particularly with our elderly who are often less mobile and struggle with other medical challenges," Mifflin Fire Chief Fred Kauser said.

"While oxygen itself is not flammable, the heat triggers a chemical reaction between the oxygen and fuel," said Capt. Steve Welsh, Mifflin Township's fire marshal. "Even a small amount of increased oxygen in the home makes this critical element more available for the chemical reaction, meaning that any fire that occurs will burn faster and hotter."
us_OH  public  follow-up  death  oxygen 
3 days ago
Bankrupt chemical company gets fine for spill that they’ll never pay
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bankrupt chemical company responsible for a spill that contaminated a West Virginia river and fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 residents was fined $900,000 on pollution charges Thursday, with a judge noting that Freedom Industries likely could never pay it.

“I might as well enter the maximum fine,” US District Judge Thomas Johnston said. “It’s all symbolic anyway.”

Johnston said there were millions more in claims against the company than the listed assets of $2 million to $2.5 million. He said the fine would be collected only if those other claims are processed in full.

“There’s no way that fine will ever be paid,” he said.

The company also received five years’ probation.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Toxic chemical closes police building for several days
NIXA, Mo. (AP) – A southwest Missouri police building has reopened after a box of the potentially toxic chemical sodium cyanide was taken to a medical drop box there.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that a man took the box to the Nixa Police Department last Friday in an attempt to dispose of it. Lt. Jeff Lofton, of the Christian County Sheriff’s Department, says the man found the box after a move.

Whitney Weaver, of the Nixa Fire Protection District, says the man wound up taking the box with him when he left the police building.

Weaver says a clerk who handled a bottle in the box thought she felt ill effects. She and another clerk went to the hospital, but were OK. The building was closed for several days before reopening Wednesday.
us_MO  public  follow-up  environmental  sodium_cyanide 
3 days ago
Former CDC Contractor: Photos Reveal Bio-Safety Concerns
A labor dispute raised questions about how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta operates inside one of its most important buildings. And it's not a pretty sight.

The FOX 5 I-Team obtained dozens of photos and videos taken by a former worker inside Building 18, where the CDC handles deadly pathogens like anthrax and rabies. The pictures were from 2013 and 2014, but workers said they come across similar conditions  even now.

One video depicted two sealed test tubes scattered on the floor in the "clean area" outside the viral diseases laboratories at the CDC. A worker said someone had moved a refrigerator... and apparently forgot about the two vials.

Jack Turner said they had been there for a couple of days. So he took out his camera. Once again.

Former CDC Contractor: Photos Reveal Bio-Safety Concerns
"You can see vials just laying around, and nobody ever moved them or picked them up," the former CDC contractor told FOX 5 I-Team reporter Randy Travis. "One time we saw a big vial of blood. And that was really scary right there."
us_GA  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
3 days ago
Meth lab on wheels shuts down I-75 northbound
LAMAR COUNTY, Ga. -- A rolling meth lab bust shut down all lanes of I-75 Northbound near State Route 36 for over an hour Thursday morning.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, a car carrying hazardous materials crashed along the highway. Officials on the scene were wearing hazmat suits because they did not know what materials were in the suspect's car.

11Alive's sister station, WMAZ-TV, reports that 35-year-old Dustin McMillan and his passenger 31-year-old Jeremy Fulghum were charged with traffic-related violations. The sheriff's office said more charges could be filed.

All lanes have since reopened. Authorities continued to gather evidence into the crash.
us_GA  public  discovery  response  meth_lab 
3 days ago
Pasadena chemical plant explosion due to equipment failure, fire marshal says
The Harris County fire marshal said in a recently released incident report that faulty equipment caused an explosion at a chemical plant in Pasadena that killed one worker and injured three others.
Fire officials on the scene reported that a "piece of equipment attached to a vacuum truck had suffered some sort of failure and blew off of the truck injuring 3 workers and killing another," according to the incident report. 
The report does not detail what the equipment was, or how it blew off the truck.
The blast killed 63-year-old Rickey Giddens and is the latest in a series of fatalities at plants in the greater Houston area.
PeroxyChem officials said at a La Porte citizens advisory committee meeting Tuesday evening that an "active investigation" was ongoing and that they could not take any questions about the incident or the investigation.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Science building at UTSA evacuated for water leak
A science building at UTSA's main campus was evacuated because of a water leak.

Hazmat crews evacuated the building thinking they were dealing with a chemical spill, but it turned out to be water from pipes used to keep the floor warm.

They cleaning the mess up and will allow people back in as soon as they're done.


SAN ANTONIO-- Hazmat has been called to one of the UTSA science building on the north campus.

The call came in around 3:30 pm, Wednesday afternoon.

Witnesses at the scene say the entire building has been evacuated.
us_TX  laboratory  release  response  other_chemical 
4 days ago
Hazmat situation reported at Beacon St. and Bay State Road
A bottle of hydrochloric acid leaked inside a FedEx panel truck, triggering a hazardous materials response Tuesday afternoon, the Boston Fire Department said.

The incident occurred at Beacon Street and Bay State Road near Kenmore Square, authorities said.

Hazmat crews used a neutralizing agent on the spill and bottle, the department said. The incident was over at about 6:15 p.m.

The department received the call at about 4:45 p.m., said spokesman Steve MacDonald.

No injuries have been reported, the Fire Department said.
us_MA  transportation  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
4 days ago
Ford Conducting Tests After Chemical Found Outside Plant
Ford Motor Company is conducting tests at one of its Detroit-area facilities after finding vinyl chloride in groundwater outside the plant.

Samples with the chemical were found last summer at least 7 feet below ground on the east side of Ford's Livonia Transmission Plant, The Detroit News reported ( http://detne.ws/1VNnmEb ) Wednesday.

The Dearborn-based automaker told the newspaper that there is no health risk to people living in the area and that the plant gets its drinking water from the city of Detroit's system.

Ford also sent letters to area residents advising them of the situation and upcoming testing.

"This work is simply in an abundance of caution after a chemical — vinyl chloride — from past, historic manufacturing processes was identified in underground water ... while making upgrades at the plant," plant manager Robert Groden said in the letter.

Ford "will be aggressive in investigating this," Groden said.
us_MI  industrial  discovery  response  other_chemical 
4 days ago
Carcinogenic chemical in Greensboro city wastewater ‘not an immediate concern’
GREENSBORO, NC -- Thirty million gallons of water goes through Greensboro's wastewater facility every day.

And while the filtration systems can remove many chemicals, there's one they can't -- 1,4 dioxane.

The Environmental Protection Agency has labeled 1, 4 dioxane as a probable carcinogen. And it has now been found in water all across the state -- from Fayetteville all the way to Greensboro, Asheboro and Reidsville.

Steve Drew, water resources director for the City of Greensboro, said the chemical was found in the city's wastewater only and not its drinking water. The same is true for Asheboro and Reidsville.

Drew said the chemical was found because Fayetteville officials noticed it in their drinking water, and asked upstream cities to test their water to help locate the source of it.
us_NC  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
4 days ago
Hydochloric acid leaks on truck in Boston
BOSTON —A level-3 hazmat situation was declared in Boston late Tuesday afternoon after a bottle of hydrochloric acid began to leak on a FedEx truck on Beacon Street.

The incident was reported at the corner of Beacon Street and Bay State Road around 4:45 p.m.

Emergency crews advised people to avoid the area during the investigation, and Boston University told faculty, students and staff near the location to shelter-in-place until the situation was resolved.

Hazmat crews were able to safely neutralize the bottle of acid, and now the bottle will be placed into an oversized container and removed.
us_MA  transportation  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
5 days ago
Chemical spill in Broun Hall, no injuries
A chemical spill in Broun Hall caused the building to be evacuated, but there were no injuries, according to Chance Corbett, associate director of public safety and security.

The chemical caused a small fire, but it was quickly extinguished, according to Corbett. The smoke and heat activated the fire alarm, and the building was evacuated. The alarm automatically called the Auburn Fire Division, and they responded in a matter of minutes, according to Corbett.

"We're also going to make sure we get it cleaned up right before we let people back in the building," Corbett said.

Michael Hamilton, associate professor of electrical engineering, said approximately an eighth of a cup, or 10-25 grams of gallium chloride spilled and oxidized, causing the fire.

Hamilton said he is not aware of any injuries, and does not think any of the chemical got on anyone.

Shiqiang Wang and Ran Cheng, graduate students in electrical engineering, were in the lab when the chemicals spilled.

Wang said the chemical was in powder form in a glass tube, and the tube broke when it fell on the floor.

"I saw the bottle was broken, and I ran into the room and I asked our technician to deal with this," Cheng said.

Corbett said risk management will assess the building and people will be allowed back in in approximately an hour.
us_AL  laboratory  fire  response  other_chemical 
5 days ago
'Chemical' Odor Draws Hazmat Team to Rockville
Residents of a street in Rockville, Maryland, were told to stay indoors Tuesday night as a hazardous materials team and bomb squad searched for the source of a "chemical" smell in a residential area, officials say.
After an investigation that lasted more than three hours, crews determined the odor came from insecticides and other household items, a Montgomery County fire department spokesman said.
Rockville City Police conducted a welfare check about 6 p.m. on the 1900 block of Valley Stream Drive, the fire department spokesman said. When officers entered, they encountered a smell unusual enough to cause them to call for backup.
No one was home, the fire department representative said.
Neighbors were advised to shelter in place, however officials said they do not believe there is any danger to residents. Nearby streets were blocked during the investigation.
us_MD  public  release  response  pesticides 
5 days ago
Dana Point man mixes chemicals to unclog drain, igniting dangerous cloud
DANA POINT – A homeowner trying to unclog a sink mixed Liquid Plumber with sulfuric acid late Monday night, creating a chemical cloud that stunk up the neighborhood with a dangerous chlorine smell, officials said.

About 20 Orange County Fire Authority officials, including a hazmat team, responded around 11:15 p.m. after a man called to say he had mixed chemicals in the kitchen sink at his home in the 26800 block of Vista Del Mar, Capt. Steve Concialdi said.

“Right away, the chemicals made a violent reaction,” the fire captain said.

The man, in his 50s, ran out of the home after he was hit in the face with a powerful and toxic smell.

“When he mixed the Liquid Plumber and sulfuric acid, it immediately created a chlorine cloud that was extremely toxic,” Concialdi said. “Residents were asked to shelter in place in their homes and close their windows.”
us_CA  public  release  response  chlorine  sulfuric_acid 
5 days ago
Five treated in Melbourne chemical spill
Three men have been hosed down by firefighters after a chemical spill at a Melbourne factory.

Dozens of workers needed to be evacuated from the Sleepmaker Centre in Deer Park after three men inhaled a hazardous chemical - suspected to be carbon monoxide - on Tuesday morning.

Ambulance Victoria said it treated five people at the scene for chemical exposure.
Australia  industrial  release  injury  carbon_monoxide 
5 days ago
Chemical Factory Fire Kills 1 and Injures 1 More in Taiwan
BANGKOK – A fire broke out, followed by several explosions at an agricultural pesticides factory in Tatu in central Taiwan on Monday, leaving one person dead and one injured, and releasing a great cloud of smoke from the burnt pesticides.

The incident occurred at around 06:00 local time (2200 GMT) and the fire was brought under control three hours later, according to the fire department in Taichung, the third largest city in Taiwan.

Firefighters rescued two workers and took them to the Taichung Veterans Hospital, although one of them, who suffered burns to 90 percent of his body, succumbed to his injuries.

The other victim suffered minor injuries and is in stable condition.

A special team has been sent to the factory to inspect the scene after large amounts of pesticides had burned.
Taiwan  industrial  explosion  death  pesticides 
6 days ago
Train derailment, chemical fire in Brewster causes evacuations
Four railroad tanker cars derailed and one hauling butane caught fire about 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway, forcing an evacuation of 300 to 500 residents and closing a handful of village businesses.
Smoke and flames were visible from a distance only a short time after the accident, according to Brewster Assistant Fire Chief Jennifer Mohler, who was unsure about the significance of an explosion.
“Initially, it was a burst of fire with a plume of smoke,” she said. “After that, there was a small, spirally smoke and then not much.”
As of about 7:30 p.m. the fire, which was called in by an employee of the railroad company, was out.
us_OH  transportation  fire  response  butane 
6 days ago
Practice manager flabbergasted by response to chemical spill -
The practice manager of an Auckland medical centre evacuated in an emergency chemical spill callout has downplayed the incident, describing the big response as “totally unnecessary”.

Margie Geen from Dodson Medical Centre in Milford was astonished by the extent of the emergency response on Friday when a small amount of phenol solution was accidentally spilled in the surgery.

At least four fire trucks, a hazmat unit and a command vehicle attended the callout. Some fire fighters were dressed in full hazard suits, Dodson Ave was closed to all traffic and a decontamination unit with showers was set up in a nearby car park.

Five St John vehicles, including three ambulances, also attended. Three practice staff members were sent to North Shore Hospital, one with a burn on her leg.

Facts wrong

Ms Geen says some of the details about the incident reported in the media were wrong. One newspaper reported nine people had been hospitalised.

“I can’t believe how things get so twisted.”

She says the amount of phenol involved in the spill was 90ml, rather than the 300ml reported by the fire service. Phenol is used to treat ingrown toe nails.

A burn to the leg and fumes inhalation

A nurse who accidentally knocked the bottle of phenol out of a cupboard suffered a 2cm burn to her leg, Ms Geen says.
New_Zealand  public  release  injury  phenol 
6 days ago
Amount of hazardous materials traveling through Springfield increasing
A recent study in Greene County shows there are far more hazardous substances passing through than six years ago when the last Hazardous Materials Flow Study was done.

"We saw almost a 500% increase overall in the amount of hazardous materials flowing through the community.  The railroad probably saw the largest increase of transporting of hazardous materials," says Greene County Emergency Management Director Chet Hunter. 
us_MO  transportation  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Emergency services respond to drug-related fire
LITCHFIELD — Emergency crews from the Litchfield Fire Department, Litchfield Police Department and Reading Emergency Unit were dispatched to a fire at Riverside Apartments, just north of Litchfield on M-99, around 8:30 p.m. Friday evening.
The incident occurred in a downstairs apartment in building 814; reportedly, neighbors heard an explosion and when they stepped out of their apartment to investigate, they saw three people leaving.
The three that left have been identified by neighbors as Amy Persons, 29, of Allen, Jake Estil, 19, of Litchfield, and Jason Devaughn, 19, of Litchfield; all three reportedly left to seek medical treatment for Devaughn and Estil, who suffered burns.
The LPD was first scene at the apartment, followed by the LFD. Crews investigated the bathroom area of the apartment and feared that it was meth lab-related, based off of initial observations.
Neighbors were quickly evacuated to a safe distance, and several reported smelling "a strong chemical smell after the explosion."
A Michigan State Police trooper with specialized training in narcotics activities was dispatched to the scene and determined that it was not a meth lab, but rather the occupants were "cooking down marijuana to extract THC oils."
According to comments on social media, Estil and Devaughn were attempting to make "dabs," which is also known as butane hash oil.
us_MI  public  explosion  injury  butane  oils 
6 days ago
West Virginia: Probation Sentence in Chemical Spill
A former environmental consultant at a chemical distributor was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $10,000 Monday for a 2014 chemical spill that fouled the drinking water supply of 300,000 people. The consultant, Robert Reynolds, was the first of six former Freedom Industries officials to be sentenced. The spill of the coal-cleaning agent MCHM into the Elk River got into a water company’s intake.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Chemical-laden artillery shells found on joint base, report says
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST — Two World War I-era artillery shells that were discovered on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst late last year have been found to contain chemical agents, according to a Burlington County Times report Monday.

A 75-millimeter shell recovered on Nov. 23 tested positive for mustard agent and a Livens projectile canister found Dec. 2 contained phosgene gas, a base spokeswoman told the newspaper.
us_NJ  public  discovery  environmental  mustard_gas  phosgene 
6 days ago
Chemical used to replace BPA in plastic accelerates embryonic development, disrupts reproductive system
Companies advertise BPA-free plastic as a safer version of products ranging from water bottles to sippy cups to toys. Many manufacturers stopped used bisphenol A, a chemical that is used to strengthen plastic, after studies linked it to early puberty and a rise in breast and prostate cancers

However, bisphenol S, or BPS, a common replacement for BPA in plastics, has also been linked to health risks. New UCLA-led research demonstrates some of the mechanisms that make BPS just as harmful as BPA. The study found that BPS speeds up embryonic development and disrupts the reproductive system in animals.

Reported in the Feb. 1 edition of the journal Endocrinology, the study is the first to examine the effects of BPA and BPS on brain cells and genes that control the growth and function of organs involved in reproduction.

“Our study shows that making plastic products with BPA alternatives does not necessarily leave them safer,” said Nancy Wayne, the study’s senior author, a reproductive endocrinologist and professor of physiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Our findings are frightening — consider it the aquatic version of the canary in the coal mine.”
public  discovery  environmental  plastics 
6 days ago
Firefighters forced to hose down men sprayed with unknown chemical as HAZMAT incident unfurls in Deer Park
Fire crews have hosed down three men exposed to an unknown chemical at a workplace accident in Deer Park.

The men were reportedly working on a factory site when a pipe burst, showering them in an unknown chemical.

An MFB spokesman said the chemical is still unknown. 

An MFB spokesman said the chemical the men has been exposed to is still unknown. Photo: Channel 7
Five people were affected, but appear uninjured.

The premises has been evacuated.

Dramatic photos from the scene show the shirtless men being sprayed by firefighters from close range.
Australia  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Car drives over tanker hose, spills fuel in Centerville
An estimated 100 gallons of fuel spilled out of a tanker truck’s hose after a vehicle drove over it at the Kroger gas station on South Main Street in Centerville, according to Washington Twp. Capt. Ron Kern.
Firefighters used absorbant material and were able to stop the flow of gasoline before it reached the catch basin, Kern said.
The tanker truck had just hooked up hoses to fill the station’s underground tanks when the car drove through and hit it, dislodging the valve connection, Kern said.
No one was hurt and the driver was not cited because it happened on private property.
us_WA  transportation  release  response  gasoline 
7 days ago
Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News
PRAI: An overheated chemical gas tank at a factory here, yesterday, sent its workers helter-skelter.

They were sure that a leak was inevitable.

A fireman spokesman said the Prai station received a distress call from the plastic factory in Jalan Perusahaan 4 about 4.50pm.

He said the caller had alerted the station that the content of an industrial gas in the tank had dropped to below 20 per cent, far exceeding the average quantity.

"A thermometer showed that the temperature inside the tank had soared to 44 degree celcius and that this could lead to a potential leakage.

"Our team arrived at the scene to cool the overheated gas tank down. Nineteen firemen used seven sets of rubber hose to spray water onto the tank," he said adding that no one was injured in the incident.

The firemen wrapped up their operations in half an hour.

The cause of the overheating has yet to be determined.
Malaysia  industrial  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Man who dropped off dangerous chemical at Nixa PD found safe
Nixa fire officials say the man who tried to drop off chemicals at the Nixa Police Department Friday afternoon has been found. The man was not exposed and the chemicals have been disposed of safely.

Officials say the man had recently moved to the area and found the chemicals in a shed.  It was recommended by a friend to dispose of them in the medication drop box due to some of the chemicals appearing to be pills. 

He brought in the container for the used-medication drop box. It turns out it was sodium cyanide, a very dangerous chemical used in agriculture and mining.

Two employees had to be hospitalized for treatment.  They have both been released, and are doing fine.

The building was evacuated and cleaned.  Crews will be cleaning the building throughout the weekend.  For now, police are working out of Nixa City Hall.

Officials believe the man did not know how dangerous the chemical he found was. 
us_MO  public  follow-up  environmental  sodium_cyanide 
7 days ago
Huge fire starts at truck salvage yard in southeast Houston
HOUSTON - A large fire broke out Friday morning at a truck salvage yard in southeast Houston.

The fire was reported at GM Trucking salvage yard near Canniff Street and Easthaven Boulevard. Small explosions could be heard coming from the yard.

Houston Fire Capt.Gabriel Luke said the loud explosions were the sound of cleaning products and metal aerosol cans bursting and crews had to put out the fire with foam.

Luke said a slight wind pushed flames from a controlled fire into a pile of pallets. He said the pallets contained cleaning material. Firefighters applied foam until the flames were extinguished.

"Cleaning material, being a chemical substance, started to burn and spread underneath the trailer," he said.

Firefighters said the fire was subdued and no one was injured.
us_TX  industrial  explosion  response  metals 
8 days ago
Chemical fumes disrupt Capital Area Career Center
An opened bottle of a chemical forced students and faculty to rush away from a pair of classrooms at the Capital Area Career Center Friday.

At 12:45 p.m. Mason's fire department was called to the school on a report of a gas leak.

Students and staff members in two classrooms of the health careers area were experiencing coughing and irritation.

The fire department located a one-gallon container of acetone that was left open. Acetone is a colorless liquid commonly used as a cleaning solvent. The evaporation process created the fumes which were then noticed by staff and students.

Everyone was removed from the health careers area and sent to other non-affected areas of the building.

Five faculty members were evaluated for acetone fume inhalation. No students needed medical care. The chemical was removed and the fire department ventilated the area.
us_MI  education  release  injury  acetone 
8 days ago
Nixa police seek man who dropped off dangerous chemical; he, others may be in danger
NIXA, Mo. -
A man left a bottle of sodium cyanide at the Nixa Police Department on Friday afternoon and it endangered two clerks who work there.  Now police want that man to return so medical workers can see if he's in danger and whether he's endangered anyone else.

The Nixa Police Department is locked down and quarantined, and emergency officials don't know how long that status will remain.  The Nixa Fire Department and personnel from nearby fire departments are providing hazardous material assistance.   A tent was set up behind the police station so the two women could be decontaminated.   A hospital poison center also sent an antidote for them to take.  The employees then were sent to a hospital in Springfield.  A police department spokeswoman said both likely will recover.

The man who dropped off the bottle arrived about 1:30 p.m. with several old medicines.  He tried to put the sodium cyanide bottle in a used medicine disposal unit at the Nixa Police Department.  When it wouldn't fit, the two clerks tried to help him and the man left.  Shortly afterwards, the women began having trouble breathing, and fire and hazardous material crews were summoned.

"Hazardous chemical is something you can't jump into too fast. We want to take care of the patient. And when her symptoms increased is when we decided to pull her out and do the decontamination. Get her to the hospital as quickly as we could," said Nixa Assistant Fire Chief Whitney Weaver.

Police want to know more about where the sodium cyanide came from, and who has been exposed to it.  They say the man could call 911 if he can't return to the police station.  They believe the contamination was accidental, not malicious, and that the man didn't know what the chemical is.
us_MO  public  discovery  injury  sodium_cyanide  waste 
8 days ago
Fire causes chemical leak, environmental concerns
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Flames and black smoke lit up the night sky Thursday from the Flowood warehouse fire. A day later, blue dye containing herbicides and pesticides could be seen in ditches and waterways around the charred Flowood structure.

Officials with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality say several barrels of chemicals owned by herbicide company Red River Specialties Incorporated melted in the fire, causing the leak.

"This dye is going to look bad, it's going to be a color change. We could have a fish kill, said Ernie Shirley with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. "There's a possibility from that so we're monitoring the area but it could get a little worse before it gets better."

MDEQ officials estimate 2 thousand gallons of the chemicals leaked out. Contractors were called in to remove the chemicals and dye from a ditch that leads to a slough, that dumps in to the Pearl river. People in the area are being urged not to touch the water.

Fire officials have determined the blaze began in the adjacent Mud Predators ATV building, but they haven't narrowed down how.
us_MS  industrial  fire  response  ag_chems  dye 
8 days ago
Making sense of chemical safety reform
Last year, both the House and Senate approved bills to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Both bills make some improvements over the current law. But neither bill provides the protections the public deserves.  Now comes the hard part: Taking the best, and most protective, provisions from the House and Senate bills and coming up with the strongest possible final legislation. 

But another, scarier, outcome also is possible.  Senate and House negotiators may agree on a bill that combines the two bills’ least protective provisions, something some in the chemical industry would prefer.

The point of reform is to give the Environmental Protection Agency the authority it has lacked ever since the original TSCA was passed in 1976. As a consequence, only about 200 of the tens of thousands of chemicals in commerce  have been tested for safety.

What would a strong final TSCA reform look like?  Here are some of Union of Concerned Scientists' priorities:
public  discovery  environmental 
8 days ago
Fire: Students safe after reports of light smoke at UT lab
5:44 p.m. update: Students were allowed back inside a UT building after a hazmat team responded to reports of smoke, fire officials said.

A bottle of hydraulic oil left unattended in an oven produced light smoke that set the lab’s alarm off, fire officials said.

A hazmat team determined it was not hazardous, a fire spokesman said.

No injuries or damage to the building were reported, officials said.

Earlier: A hazmat team is responding to a report of smoke coming from a lab located on the third floor of a building at the University of Texas, Austin fire officials said Thursday afternoon.

The incident was reported at the 200 block of East Dean Keeton Drive around 4:40 p.m., officials said
us_TX  laboratory  release  response  hydraulic_fluid 
9 days ago
Hazmat teams called to Lakewood synagogue
LAKEWOOD - Hazmat crews were sent into a synagogue Thursday afternoon on Remon Lane after a chlorine leak.

The Point Pleasant and Berkeley hazmat teams responded to the reported leak Thursday at 11 Remon Lane, where a small synagogue is located. Police blocked off a section of the road as hazmat crews wearing large orange protective suits entered the building around 1:15 p.m.

Lt. James Finnegan confirmed the incident was a chlorine leak, he said authorities cleared the scene and there were no injuries.
us_NJ  public  release  response  chlorine 
9 days ago
Theme Park Employees Exposed to Chemical and Fire Hazards: OSHA -- Occupational Health & Safety
OSHA has cited Lake Compounce Family Theme Park in Bristol, Conn., for 18 serious violations of workplace safety standards. According to OSHA's news release, the company exposed employees spraying coatings on park equipment and working with caustic chemicals in the park's paint room to chemical, burn, and respiratory hazards.

Some of the hazards included failing to: train employees about hazardous chemicals, complete a hazard assessment for protective equipment needed by workers, and provide required eye- and hand-washing facilities for employees working with chemicals.

"These conditions exposed Lake Compounce Family Theme Park employees to serious burn, fire, chemical burn, electric shock, and eye, face, and hand injuries. The employer must act promptly to effectively eliminate these hazards before they injure its employees," said Warren Simpson, OSHA's area director in Hartford.
us_CT  industrial  discovery  response  paints 
9 days ago
DOW explosion first responders honored
Three weeks after a chemical explosion that injured several people at DOW Chemical, the first responders to that incident were honored by the Board of Selectmen and their chief.
At just before 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, emergency crews were called to DOW after a reported explosion in a lab.
“We had several alarms come into the radio box,” fire Chief Andrew Melnikas said. “If that happens, you know you probably have something.”
Fire departments from nearby communities helped on the scene, including Middleton, Ipswich, Methuen and Haverhill. The state's Fire Services Department and HazMat crews were there, as well as state and local emergency management agencies.
From North Andover, Deputy Fire Chief William McCarthy was one of the first on scene and found five injured people – one refused treatment and the other four were seriously hurt and taken to Lawrence and Boston hospitals.
The explosion was caused by Trimethylaluminum, which, when in contact with moisture can ignite into an inferno. A day after the explosion, investigators located a container of Trimethylaluminum, brought it to an undisclosed location and detonated it.
“This facility deals with a very hazardous process… it’s extremely dangerous,” Melnikas said. “I think the plus factor in all this is that not only were the Fire Department and police able to work together in a tremendous show of teamwork, but the fire marshal’s group – between the hazardous materials unit, the bomb squad from the fire marshal’s office, their investigators – everybody as a group did a tremendous job in a tremendous show of teamwork to make this incident far less serious than it really could have been.”
us_MA  laboratory  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
9 days ago
U.S. Chemical Safety Board approves final report of West Fertili
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board approved the final report on the West Fertilizer Explosion that occurred in 2013 after presenting it to the public in Waco.
One of the goals of the report is to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred in West.
Nearly 50 people attended the meeting and one of them got especially emotional when commenting about the findings.
Phil Calvin lost his son, Perry, in the West Fertilizer Explosion. Perry was a volunteer firefighter at two departments and that night he was responding to a medical call.
In one of the CSB findings, the lack of incident command system and lack of hazardous materials training were some of the factors that contributed to the fatalities of emergency responders.
Calvin, the Navarro Mills Fire Chief said it would have been hard for West to set up a command post with only five firefighters on the scene.
He said usually firefighters usually set up instant command once other agencies come in to assist.
"Being a firefighter, myself, you don't run away from the fire. Your first instinct is to go to the fire. If you ran from the fire, imagine how many lives would've been saved on September 11th. If the firefighters wouldn't have gone up in to the towers…hundreds. And that’s what these guys were doing,” said Calvin.
Other findings listed as contributing factors of the deaths of emergency responders, include lack of knowledge and understanding of the detonation hazards of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate.
us_TX  public  follow-up  environmental  ag_chems  ammonium_nitrate 
9 days ago
Nine people injured following Auckland chemical spill
One patient is being treated for chemical burns on one leg, and eight others were being treated for symptoms including tightness of the chest. 

Waitemata fire service incident controller Gavin Travers said one of the people being treated for breathing difficulties was pregnant.

"Extra precautions are being taken as a result," he said. 

St Johns ambulance were called to the scene around 1pm on Friday. 

Firefighters from Takapuna, Devonport, Birkenhead and Ponsonby were in attendance. 

Birkenhead fire station officer John Barlow said the substance - a 90 per cent phenol solution concentrate - was commonly used as a steriliser or antiseptic.

It could be lethal if inhaled.

Three hundred mls of the substance - which has now been absorbed by sand - was spilt. 

Fire Service communications said the premises had been evacuated and firefighters were suited in fully encapsulated chemical splash suits.
New_Zealand  public  release  response  phenol 
9 days ago
EPA: New York Village Should Test Water for Teflon Chemical
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is telling people in an upstate New York village to have their well water tested for a chemical used in making Teflon.

The agency on Thursday advised residents of Hoosick to have their wells tested for PFOA, which has been linked to cancer and other illnesses. It has been detected in municipal wells in Hoosick Falls, a village within the Rensselaer (rehn-suh-LEER') County town.

The agency says water with a level of PFOA higher than 100 parts per trillion shouldn't be used for drinking or cooking. That's a quarter of the EPA's current advised limit of 400 ppt.

An EPA administrator says the lower number reflects a new limit being developed by the agency.

Officials are investigating the extent of PFOA pollution in Hoosick Falls
us_NY  public  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
10 days ago
Erin Brockovich's Facebook page cites chemical in Fayetteville water; state narrows source of chemical
Environmental consumer advocate Erin Brockovich says her litigation team has been researching the same toxic chemical that has been detected in Fayetteville's treated drinking water.

The industrial chemical, called 1,4-dioxane, is widely used in paint strippers, varnishes, dyes and even some cosmetics. It has been classified as likely to cause cancer in humans but is not yet regulated by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Brockovich, who was thrust into stardom after actress Julia Roberts played her in a 2000 movie of her namesake, posted Wednesday on her Facebook page that "1,4 dioxane is a dangerous toxic chemical" that is an "emerging contaminant not yet regulated" in water supplies around the U.S.

Brockovich's posting includes a link to The Fayetteville Observer story first reporting the issue last year. Traces of the chemical have been detected leaving the Fayetteville Public Works Commission Hoffer water treatment plant, which draws from the Cape Fear River.

At the time, officials with the city-owned PWC and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality were taking samples up and down the Cape Fear River in an attempt to identify the source. Conventional treatment methods are ineffective at removing the chemical from tap water, and PWC officials have said the cancer risks are most likely at high doses over a long time. Scientists have not warned Fayetteville residents to stop drinking from their tap water.
us_NC  public  follow-up  environmental  toxics 
10 days ago
DuPont faces 40 trials a year over cancer tied to Teflon chemical
Chemical maker DuPont (DD.N) will face 40 trials a year starting April 2017 involving plaintiffs who say they developed cancer from a toxic chemical used to make Teflon that leaked from one of the company’s plants in West Virginia.

The schedule laid out by U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus in the Southern District of Ohio during a hearing Wednesday is aimed at pushing the parties closer to resolving more than 3,550 lawsuits.

The outcome could have a material impact on Chemours Co (CC.N), since liability for litigation connected with the chemical C-8 was passed on to the firm spun-off by DuPont in 2015.

The cases have been filed by individuals who say they developed one of six diseases linked to perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOA or C-8, which was found in their drinking water. Their cases are consolidated before Sargus.

The initial 40 trials will be selected from between 250 and 300 lawsuits brought by individuals who say they contracted kidney or testicular cancer from C-8.
us_WV  public  follow-up  environmental  toxics 
10 days ago
Investigators Say Marijuana Extract Production Cause for Trailer Fire
MEDFORD, Ore. -- UPDATE 12PM: Medford Police have confirmed that the trailer fire that injured four people yesterday was caused by a "BHO" Butane Honey Oil operation gone wrong.

Witnesses reported that they saw the subjects "franctically removing property from the trailer prior to fleeing the scene."

The fire was extinguished before emergency services arrived at the trailer. 

One man suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his face and hands and was transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center by ambulance.

The three others that were injured arrived at the hospital in their own transportation. One of them had burns on his face and hands. The other two had minor burn injuries. 
us_OR  public  fire  injury  butane 
11 days ago
Dangers remain three years after West explosion
Almost all Texas fertilizer plants like the one that exploded nearly three years ago in West - killing 15 people and injuring hundreds - are within a quarter-mile of a residence and little has been done to protect the public, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board says in a report to be released Thursday.

While the precise cause of the blast will probably never be known, the CSB's 265-page final report describes in painstaking detail a host of failures by the West Fertilizer Company, the government, fire officials, insurance companies and others that allowed tens of thousands of pounds of ammonium nitrate to detonate.

The blast destroyed homes, schools, apartments and a nursing home.

The board's litany of recommendations shows how little has been accomplished since the disaster, despite some state legislation and an executive order from President Barack Obama directing federal agencies to improve chemical facility safety. The CSB, an independent government agency, investigates chemical accidents but has no enforcement authority.

It called changes to state law in 2015 "not entirely adequate" to prevent future ammonium nitrate catastrophes, saying House Bill 942 mostly restated existing regulations. It did not add protections like prohibiting storage in combustible wooden bins.
us_TX  industrial  discovery  environmental  ag_chems  ammonium_nitrate 
11 days ago
EPA cleans up dangerous chemical stores at University Place, Tacoma properties
A local man who died last year left behind vast stores of dangerous chemicals in Pierce County that hazardous materials crews are working to get rid of, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

“There was really (potential) danger — fire, explosion, exposure, health hazards,” local EPA spokeswoman Suzanne Skadowski said this week. “We’re really glad we found out about them when we did, so that we could take care of them.”

The first cleanup started Jan. 19 when a University Place man called police about chemicals stored in his home on 44th Street West. He said he’d kept them for the late owner of the substances.

“He might have just taken a closer look at them and been worried,” Skadowski said. “He definitely did the right thing.”

More than 240 containers of unsafely stored chemicals — including sodium metal and hydrofluoric acid — were removed from the home.

When sodium metal mixes with water, it produces spontaneously flammable gas that can seriously damage skin and eyes, according to the EPA.

Hydrofluoric acid is corrosive, toxic, and can seriously damage lungs when inhaled.

Authorities also found chemicals at a Tacoma property on McMurray Road Northeast that the late owner of the substances rented.

The hundreds of different chemicals, some of which had spilled, spanned four derelict buildings and thousands of containers, and likely will take crews the rest of the week to finish cleaning up.

“There’s just so many,” Skadowski said.

She said it’s not clear what the late owner used the chemicals for, but that the man’s obituary stated he had an interest in chemistry and fireworks.
us_WA  public  discovery  response  corrosives  fireworks  flammables  sodium 
11 days ago
Fertilizer stores remain a risk to Texans, government finds
USTIN - Nearly three years after an explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco killed 15 people and injured scores of others, Texans still live with the threat posed by stores of ammonium nitrate, according to a government report issued Monday.

An analysis by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board criticized a range of local, state and federal agencies for their handling of the fire and explosion at West Fertilizer Co. on April 17, 2013. More than 160 people were injured, and hundreds of buildings were destroyed, in the city along Interstate 35 north of Waco.

The report criticized lax laws and ordinances that allowed a city to grow up around the fertilizer company. It also cited the fact that Texas has no fire code, nor has it adopted a model fire code, either of which "typically" would include provisions for storing hazardous materials and planning for emergencies involving those materials.

" … (T)he state still has no such code as of publication of this report," stated the document posted to the agency's website Monday.

The report and its wide-ranging findings precede a public meeting of the board on Thursday in Waco.

Texas is one of the top markets for ammonium nitrate in the United States, and the chemical remains the “fertilizer of choice” for crops such as coastal bermuda grass, State Chemist Tim Hermann said in an interview.

According to the Chemical Safety Board, 19 facilities in Texas store at least 10,000 pounds of fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate within a half-mile of a school, hospital or nursing home.
us_TX  public  follow-up  environmental  ammonium_nitrate 
12 days ago
Fire mishap in pharma company near Parawada, no casualty reported
Visakhapatnam: A fire broke out at Alivira Animal Health Limited, a subsidiary of Sequent Scientific Limited, at Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City near Parawada on Monday. The process laboratory block of the unit was gutted in the fire. The accident occurred at around 8.15 am on Monday and triggered panic among workers reporting for the morning shift at the factory, which produced medicines for animals. At the time of the incident, no one was present at the spot. Based on the information, fire tenders rushed to the spot and extinguished the flames by 11 am.
India  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Underground Rock Slide at French Nuclear Waste Site Kills 1
French authorities say a rock slide has killed one technician and injured another at a vast underground site slated to become a major repository of highly radioactive nuclear waste.

A rock face at an underground laboratory in northeast France collapsed Tuesday while the technicians were conducting tests, according to the regional French administration and Andra, the state radioactive waste management agency.

The regional administration said the laboratory at the site in Bure was evacuated and emergency workers and labor inspectors sent to the site. An investigation is underway by the regional prosecutor.

France is heavily dependent on nuclear energy. The country has been working for years to test the rock and prepare the site at Bure to hold radioactive waste. The Bure site does not hold any radioactive waste itself, but is a research and experimentation lab to help prepare the future site, Andra said in a statement.
France  laboratory  release  death  radiation  waste 
12 days ago
2nd hoverboard catches fire in Sonoma Co. this week
SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (AP) - Sonoma County has had its second hoverboard fire in a week, this house saved by an alert homeowner who sprang into action. 

"The whole hallway lit up bright orange and the light was coming from my daughter's room around the corner," described Petaluma homeowner Jim Beels, walking KTVU through the damage to his home.

Monday night, Beels heard an unfamiliar hissing sound and followed it to find fire spewing from a hoverboard on the floor, plugged in to an outlet.

2nd hoverboard catches fire in Sonoma Co. in a week
"Parts of the machine were ricocheting off the walls and the doors right past me here, " he recounted.

In thick smoke, he dodged flaming projectiles, pieces of plastic and battery that were flying across the room.

"Everything, everything that was shooting out of it was in flames," recalled Beels.

He threw the electrical breaker to the room, grabbed a fire extinguisher and yelled to his family to call 911 and get out.

Beels sprayed the hot spots, then turned to see the hoverboard flaring again.

"It went from being a cool toy to being an explosive device in ten seconds," Beels declared.
us_CA  public  fire  response  batteries 
12 days ago
MRI Patients Flush Gadolinium Into San Francisco Bay
Gadolinium contamination of the San Francisco Bay has increased significantly in the past decade, likely due to the element’s use in magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents, according to a water sample analysis (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04322).
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used to evaluate medical issues, such as knee injuries or digestive problems. But the imaging requires injection of a contrast agent, which is commonly a gadolinium complex. After the MRI is done, patients excrete the complex in urine and flush it to sewage.
Use of gadolinium contrast agents started in the late 1980s. Vanessa Hatje, now at the Federal University of Bahia, along with Kenneth W. Bruland and A. Russell Flegal at the University of California, Santa Cruz, looked for gadolinium and other rare earth elements in San Francisco Bay water samples collected from 1993 to 2013. In the southern part of the bay, which is surrounded by medical and industrial centers and receives their wastewater, all of the elements showed increases over the time period studied. Gadolinium in particular increased from 23.2 pmol/kg in 1993 to 171.4 pmol/kg in 2013.
Although little is known about rare earth element biogeochemistry and toxicology, the concentrations right now are low enough not to be much of a concern, the researchers note. However, the increases suggest that environmental regulators may need to consider new wastewater policies and treatment technologies.
us_CA  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Fire Restarts at Treatment Plant in Quincy, Massachusetts
Authorities are on the scene of a large two-alarm fire and hazmat situation in Quincy, Massachusetts. 
Thick smoke poured once again from the Nut Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Quincy, after a fire there rekindled. 
Firefighters faced a dangerous battle, flames underground in blackness, about 7 stories or 100 feet down.
Electricity had to be cut to the building. 
However, the situation at 147 Sea Ave., the site of Nut Island Headworks, a sewage screening facility, is contained.
A "scrubber" caught fire due to a malfunction, according to Quincy Police. There are chemicals within the "scrubber." 
Five male workers were down below doing what the Mass Water Resources Authority calls routine maintenance on a machine that eliminates odor from waste, when a fan ramped up, possibly causing the explosion, and subsequent fire. 
All five people have been transported to Boston Medical Center for smoke inhalation and eye irritation. 
us_MA  industrial  fire  injury  waste  water_treatment 
12 days ago
Injured refinery worker sues Marathon Petroleum for Jan. 11 fire
A contract worker who was injured in a Texas City refinery fire earlier this month is suing Marathon Petroleum, an equipment provider and a manager at the refinery for about $1 million in damages.

Samuel Salache, a foreman at the Texas City refinery, filed suit on Friday against Marathon Petroleum, refinery manager Ray Brooks and Texas-based Innovative Ventilation Systems Inc. in a Texas district court.

The suit, filed by Brent Coon and Associates, alleges that Salache suffered “severe smoke inhalation and other potentially serious injuries” during the accident as he ensured his crew moved out of harms way.

Salache also alleges that a piece of smog busting equipment provided by Innovative Ventilation Systems “caused the initial spark” that ignited fumes and started the fire.

Marathon Petroleum has not disclosed the cause of the fire yet.

The suit also claims that the defendants failed to “provide [the] Plaintiff with a safe place to work” and failed to comply with “proper safety monitoring and control practices.”
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  injury  petroleum 
12 days ago
Hazmat teams respond to nitric acid spill at UPS in New Hartford
NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. -  Hazmat crews have responded to what officials are calling a 'minor' spill at the UPS building in New Hartford.

The call first came in a little before five a.m., and since then the building has been evacuated. The New York Mills Fire Chief says at 3:30 a.m., nitric acid was spilled at the building. Five employees were sent to the hospital as a precautionary measure, as the chemical can be a lung irritant and cause respiratory distress, according to OSHA. 

Fire Chief Rick Ulinski, New York Mills Fire Department, says, “It's an acid, if you inhale the fumes from it can irritate the lining of your lungs cause respiratory distress. If it get on your skin it burns in higher concentrations. So we had to take every precautions even though it's a relatively small amount of product that was spilled.”

Crews will put the small container that was spilled into another bigger container. And then an environmental team will remove it from the location.
us_NY  transportation  release  response  nitric_acid 
12 days ago
Bomb squad called to handle chemical vials
CHILLICOTHE - A loud boom could be heard around the Yoctangee Park Annex on Monday afternoon.

Steve Gallagher, assistant chief of the Chillicothe Fire Department, said the noise was from the Columbus bomb squad, which came down around 3 p.m. Monday to dispose of some glass vials that contained a chemical similar to tear gas.

Gallagher said they called the bomb squad to ask how to dispose of the vials, and were told it would be best to “blow it up,” because the chemical could have become unstable.

The vials were found inside an old safe discovered by the fire department. Gallagher said it looks like a steel box inside the door of an old safe; and if someone tried to break in, they would activate the chemical. It is unclear how or where the safe was found, although it is believed the safe is from the 1930's.

The chemical inside the vials was developed during World War I as a deterrent to safecracking, but likely has not been made since the 1970’s, Gallagher said.

“It would be worse than any tear gas anyone would ever be exposed to today,” Gallagher said. “In an enclosed space it could cause lung damage."
us_OH  public  discovery  response  bomb  tear_gas 
12 days ago
Fire breaks out at chemical warehouse
VISAKHAPATNAM: A fire broke out at the warehouse of Deccan Chemicals at Rajavaram village in Payakaraopeta mandal of Visakhapatnam district on Sunday evening. People from the neighbouring villages panicked as dense chemicals fumes caused due to the burning of chemicals in the form of powder and solids, which were stored in the warehouse. Material stored at the warehouse was destroyed in the fire.Factories joint chief inspector Chandrasekar Varma said, "Nobody was injured in the fire. The warehouse is located at a little distance away from the factory.
India  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Tianjin to relocate chemical plants after devastating blasts
The authorities in Tianjin have decided to shift two chemical plants away from a densely-populated area this year to an industrial zone on the coast line, in a wake of the deadly blasts that shook the port city last year.

Two blasts had ripped through a chemical warehouse located in a residential area in Tianjin on August 12, 2015, killing 160 people.

The first explosion was equivalent to three tons of TNT, while the second was measured to be equivalent to 21 tons of TNT.

Chinese regulations forbid facilities storing hazardous chemicals from being located less than one kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) from public buildings and major roads.
Residents living nearby the warehouse that was the site of the explosions last year said that they had no idea that the facility was handling dangerous goods and posed a risk to them.
Following the explosions, China’s central government ordered local governments to conduct work security checks, especially targeting dangerous chemicals.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  explosives 
12 days ago
Federal report on West explosion faults plant, lack of training
WEST (January 25, 2016) A 265-page report released Monday by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board on the findings of its investigation of the deadly West explosion says the town’s fertilizer plant lacked safety features that could have prevented the blast and says first responders weren’t adequately trained on how to respond to the fire that triggered the detonation.

The April 17, 2013 explosion killed 12 first responders and three residents and injured scores of others.

The powerful blast damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings including three of West’s schools and a nursing home.

Damage was estimated at more than $100 million.

“The West Fertilizer explosion is one of the most destructive incidents ever investigated by the CSB,” the agency has said.

The board concluded “that the construction of bins and other building materials as well as the lack of an automatic sprinkler system plausibly contributed to the detonation.”

The investigation of the emergency response found that the West Volunteer Fire Department had neither planned for an incident at the West Fertilizer Plant nor trained there and “was unlikely unaware of the potential for (fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate) detonation and did not take appropriate training in hazardous materials response.”
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  ag_chems  ammonium_nitrate 
12 days ago
Buyer Beware Of 3-D Printer Emissions
As costs of three-dimensional printers drop and the devices increasingly make their way into offices, schools, and homes, users should consider how to limit exposure to emissions of particles and gases in the space where the printer is located. This caution stems from research by a team led by Brent Stephens of Illinois Institute of Technology and Neil E. Crain of the University of Texas, Austin (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04983). The researchers tested the emissions of five commercially available desktop 3-D polymer-extrusion printers for ultrafine particles, which have a diameter less than 100 nm, and volatile organic compounds, including caprolactam and styrene. They used the printers to make a standard part from nine different polymer filament starting materials. The emissions varied more by the type of material than they did by the type of printer. Modeling the emissions in a 45 m3 air-conditioned office, the team predicts that caprolactam and styrene would reach concentrations that could be harmful to health.
us_TX  laboratory  discovery  environmental  plastics  styrene 
13 days ago
A Spiffy Way To Clean NMR Tubes
Life in a chemistry lab isn’t always fun and games—chemists must also do their chores, including cleaning out used NMR tubes. Although commercial devices are available for the task, they are expensive glassware and typically only clean one tube or a few at a time. To remedy that problem, Thanh Binh Nguyen of the CNRS Institute of Natural Product Chemistry has devised an NMR tube cleaning system that can handle dozens of tubes at once and only requires a small amount of solvent and equipment already at hand in most labs (Org. Process Res. Dev. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.oprd.6b00001). First, Nguyen empties NMR tubes and places them upside down in a beaker containing solvent or cleaning solution. Nguyen then puts the beaker in a vacuum desiccator, which he evacuates and vents with air several times. The liquid rises and falls with each vacuum cycle, cleaning out the tubes. A final rinse with fresh acetone completes the cleaning. Nguyen says he came up with the idea when his research funds were short. “I had to optimize everything—time, chemicals, human power—and here is one of my solutions.” Early responses on Twitter to Nguyen’s OPR&D paper were mixed: Some commenters questioned publishing the work in an industrial process chemistry journal, noting that industrial chemists often consider NMR tubes as a onetime consumable and toss them out. Plus cleaning them creates more lab waste. But most admit it’s a clever idea.
laboratory  discovery  response  acetone  cleaners  solvent  waste 
13 days ago
An Intensive Training Program for Effective Teaching Assistants in Chemistry
We report an intensive graduate teaching assistant (GTA) training program developed at The University of Chicago. The program has been assessed and has been successful in preparing GTAs for effective discussion and laboratory teaching for both general and organic chemistry. We believe that this training program can provide insightful information to benefit other similar GTA training programs in the future.
us_IL  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
14 days ago
5 killed in factory fire in Bangladesh
At least five persons were killed and 10 others injured after a fire broke out at a chemical factory near the Bangladeshi capital, officials said today.

"We have recovered five bodies from the scene. One of victims was a woman passerby, who was school teacher," said Hasibur Rahmana, fire service station officer.

"Two bodies were burnt beyond recognition," he said.

The fire was caused by a boiler explosion yesterday in the factory located in Pubail of Gazipur near the capital.

Local ward councillor Bazlur Rahman said the factory melt old tires to manufacture a special kind of oil used along with pitch for carpetting roads.

"Authorities had in the past asked the factory management several times to shut it down because of the risky process of burning and melting tires. But the management paid little heed," Bazlur said.

Around 30 people were working in the factory at the time of the explosion. Many workers came running out.

TV channels said two injured were being treated at a nearby government hospital while three others were rushed to a specialised burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

The police said owner of the factory went into hiding but a manhunt has been launched to find him.

Gazipur Deputy Commissioner S M Alam said a three member- probe committee has been formed to probe the incident. The committee has been asked to submit its report in three days.
Bangladesh  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
14 days ago
4000 gallons of chemical spills at Prospect water treatment plant
PROSPECT, NY - Oneida County Hazmat crews reported to the Mohawk Valley Water Treatment Plant in Prospect this afternoon at about 3:15 for a chemical spill.

Officials say about 4,000 gallons of hydrofluorosilicic acid leaked from the holding tanks onto the floor of the building, but was contained to that specific area.

We spoke to Oneida County Director of Emergency Services, Kevin Revere, who has been on site this entire evening, who says the chemical did not go into the water, and the spill has been contained.

Officials also say in low doses the chemical is not dangerous, and that it's actually used in the water to help protect teeth enamel.

They do, however, say in concentrated levels, it can be hazardous, but all EPA and Health Department regulations are followed.

"We evacuated the building based on recommendations of HazMat. They're on scene now and are directing operations. The treatment plant is functioning as it should be so there are no issues from a treatment standpoint. It's an unfortunate incident, but we're taking all appropriate  measures. There is no danger to the public from the drinking water side or within the surrounding area of the treatment facility," said Phillip Tangorra the Director of Water Quality for MVWA.
us_NY  industrial  release  response  other_chemical  water_treatment 
14 days ago
Brief: Hazmat incident leads to warehouse evacuation in Ojo Caliente
Authorities evacuated the area around a warehouse in Ojo Caliente after a gas leak Friday evening, but police said Saturday that the area along U.S. 285, from mileposts 346 to 353, was found to be safe.
An investigation found hydrochloric gas emitting from the warehouse, says a news release sent by New Mexico State Police Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo.
A hazmat team cleared the building, and meter readings later determined the area was safe, the release says.
Two people who complained of exposure to the gas were treated, according to the release, but no major exposure problems or injuries were reported.
us_NM  industrial  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
14 days ago
Estimating The Environmental Impact Of Southern California’s Great Methane Leak
Over the past three months, more than 87,000 metric tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, have spewed into the atmosphere from a catastrophic leak in a failed natural gas well in Southern California. Southern California Gas Company, the well’s owner, announced Jan. 18 that it hopes to stop emissions from the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility in northern Los Angeles by late February.

This infrared video shows methane leaking into the atmosphere from the Aliso Canyon well in Southern California.
Credit: Environmental Defense Fund
But the leak, one of the largest of its kind in U.S. history, will have a lasting environmental impact on local, state, and perhaps federal levels.
More than 2,500 households in the Porter Ranch neighborhood near the facility have been forced to relocate because of noxious odors from pollutants such as mercaptan, which is added to odorless natural gas for safety purposes. Some recent reports have also suggested that SoCalGas may have underestimated the amount of benzene, a carcinogen, which has been released during the leak. Timothy O’Connor, director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) oil and gas program in California, says it may be difficult to know how much benzene exposure has occurred because of a variable emissions rate and a lack of extensive testing when the leak first started.
On Jan. 6, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) declared a state of emergency and ordered increased regulations and inspections on gas facilities in the state. The leak could thwart California’s ambitious goals to cut greenhouse emissions statewide.
In addition to footing the bill for relocating people and addressing the leak, SoCalGas faces lawsuits from the city and local residents claiming that the company failed to properly maintain its facility.
Starting in mid-November, SoCalGas tried to plug the well but failed. So the gas company began drilling a relief well on Dec. 4, expecting to reach its target, 2,600 meters below the surface, in February. The company also proposed to divert and incinerate some of the methane, but that plan has been scuttled because of concerns about potential explosions.
us_CA  public  release  environmental  methane  natural_gas 
15 days ago
Barriers To Pollution Prevention
Many industrial facilities aren’t acting to prevent the release of toxic chemicals because they aren’t aware of less hazardous alternatives, according to new data released by the Environmental Protection Agency.
This could mean opportunities for researchers developing greener chemicals or cleaner technologies, says Caitlin Briere, who works on EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program.
It could also indicate that the operators of a facility simply don’t know about commercially available and economically viable substitute chemicals or less-polluting technology, adds Steve Witkin of the TRI program. This could signal an opportunity for those making or selling greener chemicals or technologies to “educate” industrial decision-makers about the availability of those alternatives, he says.
EPA asked industrial facilities about the barriers that hinder them from adopting pollution prevention practices as part of the TRI data collected for 2014. Under federal law, facilities in the U.S. that release any of hundreds of toxic chemicals must report on air emissions, water discharges, recycling, and disposal of those substances each year. EPA collates those data and then releases them to the public.
industrial  discovery  environmental  cleaners  toxics  waste 
15 days ago
U Of M Building Reopened After Chemical Spill
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A building on the University of Minnesota campus that was closed due to a chemical spill has reopened.

Just before 8 a.m. Friday, the University of Minnesota said a chemical spill at Smith Hall prompted the closure of the building.

In the alert posted to Twitter Friday morning, the university said the building is closed until further notice.

Roughly 45 minutes later, the university tweeted that the building had reopened.

The Minneapolis Fire Department is on the scene investigating.
us_MN  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
15 days ago
Nampa explosion raises marijuana 'wax' concerns
BOISE -- An explosion at a Nampa trailer home earlier this week is raising questions about a form of marijuana called "wax."

Nampa Fire Investigators say two people were making the product when butane gas vapors ignited.

"This is a way to produce marijuana to make it even stronger which produces even a bigger high," said Rob Stevenson, executive director of Drug Free Idaho. Drug experts say marijuana wax is highly potent, and very dangerous to make.

The substance is highly concentrated and has a strong effect when the vapor is inhaled.

"This stuff gets up to 95 percent concentrate THC so it's 95 percent versus that 12 percent that we see on the streets," he added.
us_ID  public  explosion  response  butane  drugs 
15 days ago
Spill in UW chemistry building causes hazmat response
SEATTLE — A Seattle Fire Department hazmat team is responding after a chemical spill occurred in the University of Washington chemistry building.
UW police found the spill on the fourth floor of the building. That floor has been evacuated.
The hazmat team is preparining to make entry into
us_WA  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
15 days ago
Police: Hazmat situation leads to evacuation in Ojo Caliente – ABQJournal Online
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police evacuated everyone within a mile of a warehouse in Ojo Caliente due to a hazmat situation Friday evening, according to a spokeswoman for the New Mexico State Police.

Officers were called to the warehouse, near milepost 348 on US 285, because it was emitting smoke, said Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo. Milepost 346 to milepost 353, was closed while officers dealt with the situation.

“The local fire department and Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Office deputies were initial agencies on scene and determined gas emitting from the warehouse may be highly flammable,” she said.

Two individuals said they may have been exposed to the gas and were treated on the scene, Armijo said. No major injuries were reported.
us_NM  industrial  release  injury  flammables 
15 days ago
Brampton firefighters don HazMat suits to cap ‘small’ ammonia leak
Brampton firefighters donned HazMat suits to enter a local food manufacturing plant and stop an anhydrous ammonia leak Wednesday night.

There were no injuries to workers at Olymel Galco Food Products on Orenda Road, or to firefighters who responded to the report of a leak around 9 p.m.

A strong smell of ammonia alerted workers to the leak. A Hazmat team consisting of three fire trucks, three pumper trucks and a district chief responded.

The leak was traced to the roof of the building and was determined to be small.

There were approximately 200 employees on site, but contrary to initial reports, a full evacuation was not needed, according to Brampton fire officials.

Instead, employees were directed to the back of the plant and followed their “protection in place” safety procedures, according to Brampton fire.

The site was ruled safe after firefighters dealt with the leak.
Canada  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
15 days ago
Tarkington students warned of dangers of meth
Fifth-graders at Tarkington Intermediate were treated to an eye-opening program on the dangers of methamphetamines on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Members of the Cleveland Rotary Club hosted the “Don’t Meth with Me” program, which is designed to inform students about the dangers of drugs and the consequences of bad choices.
The youngsters gasped in horror at many of the images shown to them throughout the program, which were included to help illustrate both the physical and emotional toll of methamphetamines on the lives of the individuals who use them.
Rotarian Jennifer Bergman led the students in a catchphrase, “I am the future. Don’t meth with me,” which the students yelled in unison during the program.
After Bergman explained the many roles of the Cleveland Rotary Club within the local community, fellow Rotarian Scott Lambert explained methamphetamine to the students.
With the help of an individual in a Hazmat suit, Lambert informed students of the dangerous ingredients that can be found in the drug, including toilet cleaner, lye and fertilizer.
us_TX  public  discovery  environmental  cleaners  meth_lab 
15 days ago
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