Two plant workers taken to hospital after being exposed to chemical
Two workers are headed to the hospital after being exposed to a chemical at the Chemours Plant. 

FOX13 learned the Shelby County Fire Department got a call just before 9 Tuesday night to the plant in the 2500 block of Fite Road. 

Two workers were in precautionary gear transferring a chemical from one tank to another when they smelled the chemical and started feeling odd. 

Fire officials were not able to tell FOX13 what chemical it was. 

The workers were taken to Methodist North to be checked out. 

Officials said there is no threat to the surrounding area. 
us_KS  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical  waste 
7 hours ago
Backyard battery recycling is biggest chemical polluter for poorer nations
The backyard recycling of lead-acid car batteries is the number one source of chemical pollution in the world’s poorer nations and leads to millions of years of healthy life being lost, according to a new report.

The World’s Worst Pollution Problems, published by NGOs Pure Earth and Green Cross Switzerland on Tuesday, reveals the top 10 most polluting industries in low and middle-income countries.

Mining, leather tanning, rubbish dumps and the dye industry are among the most polluting activities harming health and causing early deaths. The NGOs estimate 200 million people are at risk in the 50 nations they analysed.

Old lead acid batteries are increasingly reused as some nations lack lead deposits and the rising number of cars is driving an upsurge in demand. However, in poorer nations the batteries are often opened with axes or hammers and the melting of the recovered lead takes places in homes.

As a result, lead is spread throughout homes and communities and the dumping of battery remnants pollutes local soil and water supplies. Children are particularly vulnerable to the lead pollution, which can profoundly affect their development. South-east Asia is a hotspot for informal lead-acid battery recycling, but it also occurs in Africa and Central and South America.
Switzerland  public  discovery  environmental  batteries 
7 hours ago
Quebec school board must pay boy who had chemical substance poured over his head
LAVAL, Que. - A Montreal-area school board has been ordered to pay $15,000 to a student who had a corrosive substance poured over his head in a chemistry class.

The boy was 15 years old in February 2015 when a friend of his sprinkled some sodium hydroxide into his hair as a joke.

The compound can be found in products used to clear drains.

While the boy did not immediately feel anything, he later felt a burning sensation and decided to ease the pain with ice and snowflakes.

That exacerbated the situation because sodium hydroxide becomes corrosive when mixed with water.

The boy was treated in hospital every day for about six weeks and had to undergo plastic surgery. The judge's ruling said the chemical product reached his brain.

The teenager who put the powder on his friend's head testified he did not know his gesture was dangerous. He said he saw their teacher touch the substance and tell the class it felt funny.

The victim's parents sued the school where the incident occurred and the Commission scolaire de Laval school board.

Quebec court Judge Richard Landry ruled the safety guidelines concerning the use of sodium hydroxide were not as clear cut as suggested by the teacher.
Canada  laboratory  follow-up  injury  corrosives  dust  sodium_hydroxide 
7 hours ago
China blast suspects 'confess' as 14 killed: state media
The toll from a powerful explosion in China rose to 14 dead and 147 injured Tuesday, state media said, as three suspects were arrested and admitted to illegally storing explosives.

Monday's blast in Xinmin, in the northern province of Shaanxi, tore through five prefabricated buildings, destroying or damaging 58 others, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Authorities on Tuesday censored discussion of the incident online.

An initial investigation found the incident was caused by illegally stored explosives, state broadcaster CCTV said on its website late Tuesday, adding that three people had been arrested.

"During the investigation, the suspects confessed to illegally producing and storing explosives," it said.

Pictures showed widespread damage, with windows blown out of buildings, a crater in the street, and bloodied victims lying on the ground.

Rescue efforts had concluded by Tuesday morning, and more than 100 of the injured were still hospitalised, Xinhua said, citing local authorities.
China  industrial  explosion  death  explosives 
7 hours ago
Tractor-trailer carrying ammonium nitrate catches fire on Arkansas highway
No injuries were reported after a tractor-trailer carrying 44,000 gallons of ammonium nitrate caught fire Tuesday afternoon on U.S. Highway 67 near Reyno, said a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management.

Whitney Green said none of the chemical escaped the truck and that only the truck’s tires, rims and brake pads caught fire. The emergency management department’s local coordinator reported the fire about 3:30 p.m., she said.

Firefighters from the Biggers-Reyno and Pocahontas departments helped extinguish the flames, Green said.

Brad Smithee, an official with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, said traffic had been blocked off a substantial distance away from the fire and that it was being diverted onto a county road west of the highway.

Ammonium nitrate is a component in some plant fertilizers. It’s normally a stable chemical, but when it’s exposed to fire, it can cause additional, uncontrollable fires or explosions, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.
us_AR  transportation  fire  response  ag_chems  ammonium_nitrate 
7 hours ago
German city tells residents: stay indoors after ammonia leak
BERLIN (AP) — Authorities in the southwest German city of Ludwigshafen are telling residents to stay indoors after an ammonia leak.
Officials warned people living within a kilometer (half a mile) of an ice rink Tuesday to keep their doors and windows shut and avoid going outside.
A notice on the city's website said public buses and trains were being diverted. It urged people who experience respiratory problems to seek medical help.
Ammonia is commonly used in liquid form in the refrigeration system of ice rinks. The strong-smelling chemical becomes a gas when released and can cause lung damage if people are exposed to high concentrations for extended periods.
The extent and cause of the leak weren't immediately clear.
Ludwigshafen was also the site of a recent explosion at a BASF chemical complex.
Germany  public  release  response  ammonia 
7 hours ago
Airlines adding 'fire suppression bags' following cell phone explosions
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) -- Following the discovery that some galaxy note 7 cell phones explode, several airlines are taking precautions to make sure defects like this won't cause them any problems.
Virgin and Alaskan Airlines now require fire suppression bags on all of their flights.
The bags are made up of several heat resistant materials that can withstand temperatures up to 3,200 degrees.
Alaskan Airlines first started requiring the bags on their flights last year after a credit card reader overheated and started a fire.
But after the cell phone explosions, airlines as large as Delta are even considering having the fire suppression bags on all of their flights.
Flight attendants are trained to first douse the flaming device with a fire extinguisher, then put it in to the containment bag and get it far away from passengers so the pilot has time to safely land the flight.
"Once a battery starts to implode on itself, it continues until all of the chemical has run out, and so it does take a lot of liquid in order to make sure that we try to keep the heat, reduce the heat, they burn very hot, they burn very fast, and it can be for quite a long period of time,” said VP of in-flight services for Alaskan Airlines, Andy Schneider.
The Federal Aviation Administration does have concerns about the fire suppression bags, warning in a 2009 safety alert that transferring a burning appliance into a burn bag may be extremely hazardous.
us_AK  transportation  follow-up  environmental  batteries  fire_extinguisher 
7 hours ago
Crews clean up chemical spill after train derailment near Superior
Hazardous materials workers from three major railroad companies secured the scene of a train derailment and resulting spill of a combustible chemical south of Superior on Tuesday morning.

“We have contained the single leaking rail car, which was hauling octene, a liquid solvent used in plastic production,” Union Pacific spokeswoman Calli Hite said in a statement to the News Tribune early Tuesday afternoon. Union Pacific owns and operates the train that derailed.

No injuries were reported as the result of the incident that started late Monday adjacent to Greenwood Cemetery, a few miles south of Superior on State Highway 35. Authorities closed a portion of Highway 35 while local fire departments responded to the four-car derailment and subsequent octene spill.

A coupler on one of the cars punctured a derailed tanker, causing the spill, said Town of Superior Volunteer Fire Department Chief Darryl Fiegle.
us_MN  transportation  release  response  solvent 
7 hours ago
One person injured in Hazmat situation at Wexford home
One person was taken to the hospital following an incident at a home in Wexford.
Hazmat was called to Cresswyck Court just after 2 p.m. Friday.
Channel 11’s Damany Lewis learned inside the home were the ingredients and precursors of a meth lab. It appeared to be in the beginning stages of a meth lab, Lewis reported.
us_PA  public  release  injury  meth_lab 
7 hours ago
Chemical Safety Board says multiple errors led to fatal accident
Errors in process management and equipment led to a 2013 fatal explosion at the Williams Olefins Plant in Geismar, La., an investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board concludes.
Two workers died, and 167 other workers reported injuries after hydrocarbons leaked from a plant operation, formed a vapor cloud, and ignited.
The facility produces ethylene and propylene that are used by the petrochemical industry, said CSB Chair Vanessa Allen Sutherland, who unveiled the board’s conclusions last week in Louisiana.
A “reboiler”—a heat exchanger that supplies heat to a distillation column—catastrophically ruptured and caused the accident, CSB says in its report on the incident. The reboiler that failed was one of two in the system that provided heat to the propylene fractionator—a distillation column that separates propylene and propane.
The second reboiler was a backup and had been offline for 16 months. Plant officials assumed the backup reboiler was clean and available for use. When the operating reboiler appeared to have fouled, plant operators began to shift operations to the idle reboiler.
The plant operators did not know that the standby reboiler contained hydrocarbons and its pressure relief system was not in proper order, CSB found.
us_LA  industrial  follow-up  death  petroleum  propane 
Tanker with suspected chemical effluents caught
A tanker was seized by the task force team of the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) while allegedly trying to transport chemical effluents. The officials intercepted the vehicle, which was supposed to carry septic tank waste, at Jeedimetla as part of the routine checks. Upon closer inspection, the officials found that instead of a strong stench emanating from the container, there were signs of chemical fumes. The vehicle was immediately confiscated.

According to the senior officials of the TSPCB, the driver revealed that the vehicle was plying from Hyderabad Chemical Industry situated in Jeedimetla. The driver said that he was asked to transport the chemical waste and dump it in the Musi nala. The officials have taken samples of the liquid found in the tanker for further investigations.

“For the first time, we have come across such an incident where a private tanker was transporting industrial effluents under the guise of disposing septic waste. Some of the industries are trying to dump the effluents at a lower cost by resorting to such methods. If the same amount of effluents had to be transported and treated at an Effluent Treatment Plant, it would have costed them 10 times more than hiring a private tanker and dumping the chemical waste in a nala or a lake,” said a senior scientist of the Board.
India  transportation  discovery  response  waste 
China’s Latest Deadly Industrial Explosion Spotlights Dire Workplace Safety
A suspected industrial explosion tore through a small town in northwestern China on Monday, leaving at least 14 people dead and almost 150 injured, while cleaving a crater several feet deep in the street and shattering the windows of a nearby hospital and kindergarten.

The blast rocked Xinmin township of Fugu county, Shaanxi province, at around 2 p.m. local time, reports state news wire Xinhua. Some of the wounded were seen fleeing the scene covered in blood, while six people were pulled from rubble in the explosion’s immediate aftermath, reports local news site Huashan News.

Investigators believe the likely cause of the blast was improperly stored chemicals in a steel hut used by a local construction crew. Police are questioning those responsible, reports local media.
“There are many coal mines around us and many people think some coal-mine boss stored the explosives in the building, which caused the tragedy,” Dr. Wang Xueming, who has worked at a health clinic in Xinming for 20 years, tells TIME.

Deadly industrial accidents are all too common in China, as the nation has embraced a process of rapid industrialization that is credited for hauling more than 600 million people out of poverty by prioritizing economic growth over environmental or health and safety concerns.

However, the government says it is addressing the problem as part of the next stage of national development. In the first half of this year, there were 13,723 work-related deaths in China — 75 every day — yet this still represents an 8.1% drop from the previous year, according to the State Administration for Work Safety. (By comparison, 4,821 American workers were killed on the job in 2014.)
China  industrial  explosion  death  explosives 
Temecula Eatery Temporarily Evacuated Following Hazmat Situation
TEMECULA, CA – A Temecula restaurant was temporarily evacuated and shuttered over the weekend when a carbon monoxide leak was discovered, fire officials report.

It all started around 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Chili's Restaurant in the 27000 block of Ynez Road, according to April Newman of the Riverside County Fire Department.

"Firefighters arrived on scene of a commercial building with no smoke or fire showing," Newman reported. "Upon further investigation firefighters located a malfunctioning carbon monoxide tank and isolated the leak."

She said it was a "nitrogen carbon dioxide" tank, which was "creating a hazard inside of the restaurant."

The building was subsequently evacuated and the restaurant was shut down while the Environmental Health department was called to the scene.
us_CA  public  release  response  carbon_dioxide  carbon_monoxide  nitrogen 
Tanker lorry skids, flips on its side on NSE, spills toxic hydrochloric acid
TAPAH: A tanker lorry laden with hydrochloric acid skidded and flipped on its side at Km324 of the North-South Expressway near here last night, and leaked some of the highly toxic chemical onto the road.

According to Perak Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahya Madis, the tanker lorry carrying 25,000 litres of hydrochloric acid flipped over and ruptured at about 11.15pm.

"The (rupture) caused the acid to spill out," Yahya said, adding that the department received a distress call at about 11.31pm and a team was despatched to the scene.

He said clean-up work was carried out by the Pasir Puteh fire station’s Hazardous Material (Hazmat) team and firemen from the Tapah, Gopeng and Simpang Pulai fire stations.
Malaysia  transportation  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
1 remains hospitalized after chemical spill in Kansas
ATCHISON — One person remains hospitalized a few days after a chemical spill sent a noxious chemical cloud over a northeast Kansas town.

The spill occurred Friday morning after two chemicals were inadvertently combined at the MGP Ingredients plant in Atchison. The chemical release created a chemical cloud over sections of Atchison and sparked evacuations.

Officials said dozens of people sought medical treatment Friday, largely for respiratory problems. Most had been treated and released by later Friday.

A spokeswoman for Atchison Hospital said Sunday that one person remains hospitalized in stable condition.

The Kansas City Star reports (http://j.mp/2eX4Pei) that the company said in a statement Saturday that MGP is working with regulatory agencies to “fully understand the cause and mitigate the chance of a similar incident occurring in the future.”
us_KS  public  follow-up  injury  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
HazMat crews called to Jarrell school
ARRELL — An old barometer caused a leak inside a science lab at Jarrell Intermediate School on Wednesday. Jarrell ISD school officials said that the Williamson County Hazardous Material Team was called after they learned that the barometer contained mercury.
The material was safely removed. The room was aired out overnight. On Thursday, during another check through the same hallway, HazMat crews found another classroom that had slightly higher levels of mercury in the air. The room was vacated.
Each classroom has self-contained air units, which do not allow air to travel outside the room.
District officials said they will not use any of the rooms until they are given the “all clear” from a remediation company that was hired to assist the district maintenance staff.  
us_TX  laboratory  release  response  mercury 
4 days ago
Decatur plant worker treated for burns
A Decatur plant worker is being treated for burns after a possible flash fire at Chemtrade Logistics.

Stacy Rose with Decatur Fire and Rescue said they received the call about an explosion at Chemtrade Logistics off Cedar Lake Road around 11:00 a.m. Friday morning.

Rose said a man was working at the chemical plant and received burns. He was flown to the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital for treatment.

According to Chemtrade CFO Rohit Bhardwaj, the injured employee has been working in maintenance for about two years. He said the employee was performing maintenance on the outside of one of their reactors when the flash fire occurred.
us_AL  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Garage demolition releases caustic chemical cloud in Saginaw
SAGINAW, MI – A caustic chemical cloud was released in a Saginaw neighborhood Friday afternoon, Oct. 21, when workers from Braddock Demolition were removing debris from an abandoned garage they had razed on Webber near Julius in Saginaw.

Jimmy Maul said he was operating a bulldozer when another worker struck the chemical with an excavator, releasing a caustic cloud.

"We didn't know what the stuff was," said Maul. "It smelled like ether and made my throat swell. We poured water on it but that made the cloud worse."

The Saginaw Fire Department was called to investigate the scene. Two firefighters, equipped with breathing equipment, approached the debris with the cloud still wafting into the air and identified the chemical as thionyl chloride from hand writing on its container, fire officials said.

The firefighters placed the chemical into a container and sealed it so it could be safely removed by a company with chemical disposal experience. ERG Environmental Services was called to take it away.
us_MI  public  release  response  thionyl_chloride 
4 days ago
Fire put out in Carus Chemical dust-collection equipment
Fire started in a piece of dust-collection equipment in one the two main chemical-process buildings at Carus Chemical in La Salle at about 4:40 p.m. Friday.

The fire went out on its own and firefighters did not have to use any water, said Kegan Pakula, spokesperson for Carus Corp.

“There was a small fire in our pilot plant. The fire is out. Everyone is safe and accounted for,” Pakula said.

She said at 5:20 p.m. firefighters still were monitoring for hot spots.

La Salle and Peru firefighters responded, and Utica firefighters manned the La Salle fire station.

Damage to the piece of equipment is being assessed.

The process in the building will not be restarted until everything is checked and OK.
us_IL  industrial  fire  response  dust 
4 days ago
After natural gas explosion, fire official recommends you check your home
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - More than two days after an explosion flattened a woman's home in Lincoln County on Wednesday, she remains in critical condition at a Wichita hospital. The Lincoln County Sheriff's office said Friday a natural gas leak caused the explosion, but fire marshals don't know where the leak came from.

That same Wednesday morning in Portland, OR, A natural gas leak caused a massive explosion that destroyed several businesses, and hurt seven people, including two firefighters.

Eyewitness News asked a local fire marshal how people can prevent natural gas leaks and explosions. The Andover Fire Marshall says there are some steps you can take to help keep your home safe and say you should get it checked by a professional on a regular basis.

"Seasonally, as we come into this cooler season, it's important to get your homes and appliances checked out, especially heating appliances when they've been sitting idle all summer long," said Mike Roosevelt, the Fire Marshall in Andover.

"If people have not been using their gas appliances, when you energize them that first time there's always that potential," he said.
us_KS  public  explosion  injury  methane  natural_gas 
4 days ago
London City airport declared safe after 'chemical incident'
London City airport was declared safe on Friday after hundreds of passengers had to be evacuated and two were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties in an incident that police suspect was caused by CS gas.

The airport was briefly closed as police and firefighters in protective equipment swept the terminal building of the airport with chemical detectors after several people were taken ill, some of them coughing violently.

"Two complete sweeps of the airport building were carried out jointly by firefighters and police officers ..," the fire brigade said. "No elevated readings were found and the building was ventilated, searched and declared safe."

Later, police said the incident may have been caused by CS gas, used for self-defense and crowd control.

"A search of the airport led to the discovery of what is believed to be a CS gas or spray. Whilst the cause of the incident has not yet been confirmed, officers are investigating if it was the result of an accidental discharge of this canister," police said in a statement.

"At this early stage, officers are investigating whether it may have been discarded by a passenger prior to check-in. There have been no arrest and inquiries continue," the statement said.
United_Kingdom  transportation  release  injury  tear_gas 
4 days ago
The Latest: 67 seek medical care after Kansas chemical spill
More than 60 people sought medical attention after a chemical spill at a distilling plant that released a noxious cloud in northeast Kansas.

The Kansas Department of Emergency Management says the cloud occurred Friday morning when two chemicals were mistakenly combined at the MGP Ingredients plant in Atchison. The department says people were allowed back into their homes after the cloud dissipated a few hours later.

Atchison Hospital spokeswoman T.C. Roberts says about 67 people sought care at the hospital's emergency room for upper respiratory discomfort. Roberts says one person remained in intensive care Friday afternoon and two others were admitted to the hospital. She says most of the others were treated and released.

MGP produces premium distilled spirits. It employs about 300 people at the Atchison plant, about 50 miles from Kansas City.
us_KS  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Chemical bike lock causes vomiting to deter thieves
Have you ever had a bicycle stolen? Well, a new company thinks it has a funky way to combat the crime - by creating a bike lock which spews foul-smelling gas.
The "Skunklock" is a U-shaped steel bicycle lock with a pressurised, stinking gas inside.
The gas escapes in a cloud if someone attempts to cut the lock.
The company claims its "noxious chemical" is so disgusting it "induces vomit in the majority of cases."
Even better, it claims, the gas causes "shortness of breathing" and impaired eyesight.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Road sealer identified as chemical in Caltrans haz mat fire
Two barrels of a chemical used as a sealer to coat bridges are what exploded into a ball of flames at a Caltrans yard in Santa Clarita Thursday, state and county officials told The Signal Friday.

A wind-whipped fire started a one-acre brush fire near Via Princessa in Canyon Country shortly after 11:45 a.m. Thursday, igniting the chemical-laden barrels.

Fire engines racing to the scene rolled through thick black smoke discharging from the scene as the flames about 60 to 100 feet high roared over the lanes of the freeway entrance.

“This was a chemical used to coat bridges,” Presierras said. “The fire started with a brush fire, the trajectory of where that fire went – because of the wind – went right through that (Caltrans) yard.

The barrels contained a sealer known as KBP204, said Mario Presierras, supervisor of the Health Hazardous Materials unit of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Each of the barrels containing the sealer was large enough to contain 42 gallons.
us_CA  industrial  explosion  response  other_chemical 
4 days ago
More than 50 evaluated in hospital hazard call
More than 50 people were evaluated after a chemical spill was reported Thursday afternoon at Ventura County Medical Center, officials said.

The incident was reported at 4:06 p.m. at the Ventura hospital, 3291 Loma Vista Road. Authorities said it appeared a small amount of chemotherapy drugs had spilled.

People were evacuated due to the odor, and the building's heating and cooling system was turned off, officials said.

"This is a small spill of a low-grade radioactive chemotherapy agent," the city of Ventura Fire Department said via Facebook. "This spill is contained to the facility and there is a spill protocol underway."

Authorities said 52 people were evaluated for possible exposure and three were to get hospital evaluation and/or treatment.
us_CA  public  release  response  drugs  radiation 
5 days ago
Wilmington fire crews help stop chemical leak in Wayne County
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The Wilmington Fire Department’s Regional Hazmat team responded to an overturned tanker in Wayne County last night.

WFD received the call for assistance around 9:30 p.m.

The fire department sent a full crew to the area of Seven Springs to help the Pricetown Fire Department. When crews arrived, they found a tanker with 6800 gallons of methanol in the ditch. The tanker was partially rolled over.

A WFD spokesman says the driver was trying to turn around to avoid flooded roadways when his trailer slid off into the ditch. Methanol was leaking from a 2″ pipe on top of the tanker.

The team was able to slow the leak significantly. Another tanker was brought in to transfer the product from the damaged tanker into it. The team was there throughout the night and returned to Wilmington this morning. It is estimated that approximately only 100 gallons of methanol escaped. No one got hurt.
us_NC  transportation  release  injury  methanol 
5 days ago
Eight die of asphyxiation after fire crackers go up in flames in Sivakasi
Eight persons died of asphyxiation and 13 others were hospitalised after they were trapped inside a diagnostic laboratory after fire crackers being unloaded from a truck suddenly exploded in flames in Sivakasi town of Tamil Nadu today.
The incident occurred around 1.30 pm when fire crackers were being unloaded by workers outside a shop ahead of the Diwali festival.
Virudhunagar District Collector A. Sivagnanam told NetIndian over the telephone that the thick fumes quickly engulfed the area, including  the laboratory, located right next to where the truck was parked on the Virudhunagar bye-pass road, where several people had come for various pathological tests.
Those killed included five women and three men, he said, adding that 13 others had been hospitalised for treatment of problems caused by suffocation and inhalation of the fumes.
"Those inside the laboratory had no chance to escape from inside as the entire area was engulfed by thick smoke," he said. He said none of the victims had suffered any physical injuries because of the explosion and fire.
India  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
5 days ago
U.S. Air Force Accidentally Spills Massive Amounts of Highly Toxic Chemicals Into Colorado Sewer System
The U.S Air Force said Tuesday that a Colorado base had released roughly 150,000 gallons of water containing elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) into the Colorado Springs Utilities sewer system and a nearby creek.

Officials at the Peterson Air Force Base, located in Colorado Springs, said an investigation was underway into the discharge from a retention tank, which was discovered Oct. 12. during a routine inspection. The spill happened at some point last week, they said.

The Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, which discharged about 150,00 gallons of PFC-tainted into the local sewer system.
Brian Bennett / Flickr

PFCs—found in firefighting foam used by the military—have been linked to adverse health effects including liver damage and development harm.

The Colorado Springs Utilities said the chemicals did not enter the drinking water system, but rather went directly to wastewater.

Utilities spokesperson Steve Berry said that no wastewater plant in the country is equipped to remove PFCs.
us_CO  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Chemical spill in West Chester result of ‘distracted’ worker
UPDATE @ 1:10 p.m. Oct. 20:

West Chester Fire Chief Rick Prinz said the 60,000 pounds of recycled lime that caused an evacuation of area businesses was the result of worker error.

SES is an environmental clean-up company that goes from contract to contract picking up waste water and bringing it back to its facility, where it pours it into a “very large trench,” Prinz said.

“They slowly mix lime into it to help neutralize that water and slowly make it a kind of a slurry, more of a solid, so they can put it into a truck and transport it to Rumpke for disposal,” he said. “In this particular instance, the driver of this truck that was holding the lime was dumping the lime into the pit and was distracted for whatever reason, I don’t know, but then inadvertently dumped 60,000 pounds all at one time instead of the small amount that they normally do.”
us_OH  transportation  follow-up  response  waste 
5 days ago
Fire at Raffles Girls' School at Anderson Road, no injuries reported, Singapore News & Top Stories
A fire broke out at Raffles Girls' School at Anderson Road on Wednesday (Oct 19) evening.

Singapore Civil Defence Force said the fire started in the science laboratory.

Seventeen staff were evacuated and no injuries were reported.
Singapore  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Chemical incident after container of poison handed into Carnoustie police station
The man is believed to have been redecorating his home when he found the tin and took it to Carnoustie’s police station on North Burnside Street.

The container stated it contained Cymag, a fast-acting poison which releases cyanide gas on contact with moisture.

The incident sparked a large-scale emergency response, including the Scottish Fire and Rescue’s specialist chemical-management Hazmat team.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said they were unsure of the tin’s contents but had taken a cautious approach.

He said: “A man came into the police station. He said he had been renovating a house and had found the tin.

“It looked like it was something pretty nasty – it has Cymag written on it – so we took the high ground and called in the fire service.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  response  cyanide 
6 days ago
Team removing 500 gallons of ammonia from Civic Center
Butte emergency responders are removing old ammonia that had been stored for several decades at the Butte Civic Center.

The Butte Fire Department with help from a HAZMAT team is removing about 500 gallons of ammonia from a storage tank.

The tank with the dangerous chemical was installed there in the 1950s for ice creation. The ammonia is being pumped into this tub where it is being diluted with water to make it less harmful and it will later be disposed of safely.

“The operation is going great, uneventful, not exciting, smooth, so it's exactly the way our HAZMAT team and fire department wanted it to go,” said Butte Communications Director Jeremy Gatz-Miller.
us_MT  public  discovery  response  ammonia 
6 days ago
Evacuations lifted after 3 crashes on I-95, multiple deaths reported
JOHNSTON COUNTY, NC (WTVD) -- An evacuation order was lifted early Thursday morning for Johnston Community College, Carolina Premium Outlets, and nearby homes after a fiery crash involving hazardous materials on Interstate 95 near Smithfield forced them out of the area.
Northbound lanes of I-95 from exits 81 for I-40 to 97 for US-70, between Kenly and Benson, were also reopened early Thursday. However, southbound lanes are not slated to remain reopen until 8 a.m. Friday.

Drivers going south can take US-70 West in Selma to U.S. 70 Bypass, and then go east on I-40 to return to I-95 at exit 81.

Johnston County Schools are operating on a two-hour delay Thursday because of the toxic fumes caused by the wreck. All town offices in Smithfield, including Town Hall and Smithfield Recreation and Aquatic Center will open at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The Wednesday afternoon crash prompted Johnston County officials to open shelters at Cleveland High School and Princeton High School to house residents within a 3-mile radius of the wreck site. Emergency services said there were about 40 people who sought shelter.
ABC11 has learned there were two fatalities in the crash that involved five vehicles.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said an RV was rear-ended by a moving van, causing the RV to lose control and it was struck by a second car. That car was struck by a tractor trailer - that was possibly hauling some type of corrosive chemical - which propelled the car into a second tractor trailer.
us_NC  transportation  release  death  corrosives 
6 days ago
German chemical plant explosion toll rises to three
Divers on Wednesday found the body of a man at a BASF chemical plant in western Germany where an explosion occurred on Monday, police said, bringing the death toll to three.

Prosecutors have ordered an autopsy be carried out on the remains, police in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate said in a statement.

BASF firefighters were caught in an explosion on Monday after responding to a small blaze near docks where tanker ships unload flammable liquids and liquified gases via systems of pipes.

Two firefighters were confirmed dead on Tuesday, with one person missing and more than 20 hurt, including six seriously.

The body found on Wednesday is believed to be that of the missing person.

"We have to assume that our fears have become a tragic certainty and lament a third death," BASF board member Margret Suckale said in a statement.
Germany  transportation  follow-up  death  flammables 
6 days ago
Explosion at S. Korea Chemical Plant Kills 1, Injures 4
An explosion in a silo at a South Korean chemical plant Wednesday killed one worker and left four others with injuries, South Korean news service Yonhap and Chinese state news service Xinhua reported separately.

A silo of Terephthalic acid, a raw material used to manufacture polyester, caught on fire at the Star Chemical plant in Gumi, South Korea as employees were carrying out a removal of the silo’s pipes at about 9:21 a.m. local time, according to Yonhap. Evidence suggests that the blast was caused by the explosion of an oxygen tank, reported Xinhua.

A worker was severely injured by the explosion and later died at an area hospital, Yonhap’s article said, four other employees received non-life-threatening injuries. The silo pipes were being removed as part of an effort to shut the plant down after it shuttered in January 2013 because of financial reasons, the South Korean news agency said.

The fire took 40 minutes to extinguish with the efforts of about 140 firefighers and 20 fire trucks, said Xinhua.
Republic_of_Korea  industrial  explosion  death  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Common chemicals hurt our health -- and cost us money
(CNN)Routine contact with plastic bottles, toys, food cans, cosmetics and flame retardants containing "endocrine-disrupting chemicals" results in ingestion, leading to a toxic buildup and potentially a variety of medical conditions.

Routine exposure to these chemicals adds up to annual costs in excess of $340 billion -- a whopping price tag that comes in the form of poor health, increased medical bills and lost income, according to researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center.
The largest single cost comes from chemical effects on children's developing brains, said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor at NYU Langone and lead investigator of the study.
Obviously, costs are not the main concern of families with growing children. According to Trasande, a few simple steps will limit exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the home
public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Chemical Spill in West Chester has officials asking people to stay indoors
WEST CHESTER, Ohio (WKRC) - The “shelter-in-place” order from emergency officials was lifted in West Chester after a chemical spill Wednesday evening, October 19.

The West Chester Fire Department asked people to stay inside because of a chemical lime spill. The West Chester Fire Chief told Local 12 News the situation was under control Wednesday night. Officials dumped a large amount of water on the lime and that brought the situation under control.

60,000 pounds of lime was accidentally dumped and it created a hazardous cloud. Lime can cause skin and eye irritation and respiratory issues. It happened around 5 p.m. at Superior Environmental Solutions Inc. "SES" collects waste water from other companies and treats it with lime. Officials were called after a worker accidentally dumped the chemical.

A “shelter-in-place” order was given. The fire department encouraged those in the area to remain indoors with windows and doors closed and HVAC systems off.
us_OH  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
6 days ago
University Prof. Recovering After Chemical Explosion
Dickinson, ND – A Dickinson State University chemistry professor is recovering from his injuries after what university officials are calling a small explosion earlier this month.
Students were evacuated from Murphy Hall on the DSU campus.
While Professor Ken Pierce was preparing a classroom demonstration in the chemistry lab, an incident occurred, resulting the explosion.
Pierce suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. He was initially transported to CHI St. Alexius Health in Dickinson before being transferred to Bismarck, according to a statement from DSU.
No students were injured in the incident. Three students indicated they were experiencing ringing in their ears due to the loud noise. They were evaluated and released by paramedics.
A message went out to students and personnel to evacuate the building, saying it was “not a drill.”
us_nd  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Buffalo man seeks compensation following lithium-ion battery laptop explosion
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Nick Jones was sitting on his couch like any ordinary Monday night when the unthinkable happened.

“My computer started to make a weird noise next to me on the couch it was off and charging then all of a sudden it started to pop and explode and there was this loud noise,” said Nicholas Jones of Buffalo.

He says within a matter of seconds, the couch was on fire.

“I put the fire out on the couch and after the fire was out the battery cells inside the computer started to explode,” said Jones.

Jones said that then ignited the rug and chair resulting in over $1,800 worth of damage. He also suffered first degree chemical burns on his hands and arms.

“I think stuff sort of sprayed at me cause I sort of went like this and I think that’s how I got the burns on my arm,” said Jones.

Jones said he ordered the replacement lithium-ion battery from Amazon for his Compaq Presario CQ57 laptop.
us_my  fire  public  follow-up  batteries 
7 days ago
Fire in TLS lab shuts down classes for the day
Just after 2 p.m. today, the UConn Fire Department responded to a call this afternoon for a fire in a basement laboratory of the Torrey Life Science Building (TLS). Everyone was evacuated and all classes for the remainder of the day were cancelled according to a UConnALERT sent at 2:59 p.m.

“The fire is out at Torrey and there were no injuries,” Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said. “We did call in mutual aid from Tolland and the cause has not yet been determined.”

“The fire alarm went off around 2:15-2:20 or so,” seventh-semester Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major Kwasi Wrensford said. “There was a fire on the ground floor in one of the laboratories. My class was on the first floor in one of the laboratories…as the alarm went off we caught a whiff of the smoke.”

Fifth-semester molecular and cell biology major Madie Adams was also in the building at the time of the incident.

“[The] firemen started arriving and told us it was an actual fire and we moved away and I went up to the physics building so I could look down and the whole ground floor is filled with smoke,” Adams said. “It looks like the fire started in the lab on the very right side of the ground floor if you are looking at TLS from the North.”

Adams said that students were blocked from re-enetering the building.
us_ct  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Lithium-ion battery fire threatens MTD facility in Santa Barbara
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Two Metropolitan Transit District employees received medical attention after being exposed to smoke and dry chemical powder from a bank of lithium-ion batteries that caught on fire Tuesday morning.

Both employees were seen by paramedics on scene and declined further treatment. However, their quick actions may have very well prevented the fire from reaching its full potential.

The incident occurred at 9:30 a.m. MTD employees noticed smoke coming from the batteries, and attempted to put the fire out using dry chemical extinguishers and a Class D Metal extinguisher.

Santa Barbara City firefighters and the Hazardous Material Unit were dispatched to the scene to assist with the highly reactive and flammable material. The fire was eventually put out by two Class D Metal fire extinguisher. These extinguishers were designed specifically to suppress flammable metal fires.

Fire investigators say the fire appears to have been caused by a small amount of water leaking through the metal roof and onto the batteries, which may have caused an external short between the battery terminals.
us_ca  industrial  fire  injury  batteries 
7 days ago
EPA begins $3-million cleanup at site of Maywood magnesium fire
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a cleanup this week of the Maywood metal yard that burned down in June, part of a two-month waste removal project at the closed business.

The EPA warned that clearing out hazardous debris may send noxious odors into nearby neighborhoods, an irritating reminder of a fire that displaced hundreds of residents and revived fears about the proximity of industrial sites to homes in southeast Los Angeles County.

In the early morning of June 14, flames tore through scrap metal recycler Panda International Trading Co. and a precious metals recycler operating on a portion of the company’s Fruitland Avenue property, Sokor Metals.

Investigators said at the time that about 10,000 pounds of magnesium fed the fire, which stubbornly burned for more than a day. Firefighters struggled to contain the flames because water would trigger explosions with magnesium. County fire officials had to use a dry chemical extinguishing agent.
us_ca  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
7 days ago
Oil-soaked rags can be a fire hazzard Household chemical safety
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Investigators have determined that stain-soaked rags caused the massive fire in a Taney County warehouse last week.
The public information officer for the Central Taney County Fire Protection District says a remodeling crew at VHC Brands threw the rags in a trash can and the fire started by combustion; the rags should have been discarded in an airtight container.
Firefighters say that can serve as a lesson to do-it-yourselfers who store oil-based wood stain and rags at their houses.
Nixa Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Whitney Weaver says linseed oil is very common for staining projects, but as it dries, it can turn rags to torches.
“It could be hours, it could be never. It depends on how those rags are disposed of,” said Weaver.
He says if you wad up a wet, stain-soaked rag and throw it aside, it can spontaneously combust.
“It basically heats to an ignition point. It causes so much heat as it evaporates so quickly… Most of our products that we use now are polyesters, or plastics, and when those heat up, they eventually start to melt, and can just catch fire,” Weaver said.
us_mo  public  fire  response  other_chemical 
7 days ago
Fatal explosion hits BASF’s Ludwigshafen site
A huge explosion and fire at BASF’s Ludwigshafen, Germany, site—one of the world’s largest chemical complexes—killed two company firefighters. Another employee is missing. Eight other BASF staffers were seriously injured and 17 slightly injured from the fire, which broke out on the morning of Monday, Oct. 17.
The explosion and resultant fire occurred among pipelines that connect the firm’s harbor on the Rhine River to the Ludwigshafen complex. Maintenance work was being carried out on the pipelines, some of which carry ethylene and propylene, at the time of the explosion. The fire burned for more than 10 hours before it was extinguished.
BASF shut down the site’s two steam crackers and closed or reduced output from a further 18 or so other plants. BASF uses ethylene and propylene at the site to make a broad range of products including insulating materials, solvents, and paints.
“We are deeply saddened that employees have died and several have been injured. Our deepest sympathy lies with the affected people and their families,” site manager Uwe Liebelt said.
Another explosion occurred at BASF’s Lampertheim, Germany, plastics additives plant on the same morning. Four workers were injured. BASF says the cause of that incident is not yet known. Production at the plant has been suspended.
Process safety incidents at BASF occurred at a rate of 2.1 and 2.2 per million working hours in 2014 and 2015, respectively, according to the firm.
CEFIC, a European chemicals trade association, has pledged its full support to BASF. “Given the sheer scale of operations and people involved at such plants, unfortunately incidents can still happen from time to time,” Director General Marco Mensink says.
Germany  industrial  explosion  death  solvent 
7 days ago
Putting a human cost on endocrine disruptors
Long-term, low-level exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals costs the U.S. $340 billion in annual health care spending and lost wages, according to a study of epidemiological data (Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2016, DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30275-3).
These compounds, commonly found in consumer products and their packaging and associated with pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical use, can interfere with hormone function and contribute to the development of a variety of diseases and health problems.
The estimated costs equal roughly 2.3% of the U.S. gross domestic product. By comparison, earlier this year the team estimated that the same cost for the European Union is $217 billion, or about 1.3% of its gross domestic product (Andrology 2016, DOI: 10.1111/andr.12178).
public  discovery  environmental  ag_chems  drugs  pharmaceutical 
8 days ago
HazMat team called to deal with faulty Zamboni
Burlington’s Fire Department spent Sunday afternoon at the Arena at the Mainway Rec Centre for two calls not related to each other.

The first call was about an injured athlete and the second was about a carbon monoxide detector.

The arena was cleared, including the injured athlete, when the detector went off and the HazMat team responded and ventilated the building.

The source was a faulty Zamboni, which has been taken out of service.
Canada  public  release  response  carbon_monoxide 
8 days ago
Hazmat call prompts 911 call center evacuation
(SAVANNAH) The workweek starts with an evacuation of the very room where emergency calls are answered in Chatham County. A hazardous materials situation gets the blame for emptying the Emergency Communications Center in Savannah Monday morning. Savannah firefighters responded to the county facility just before 9:30 a.m. when communications personnel started complaining about eye, nose and throat irritations. 14 personnel were treated by emergency medical personnel on scene. Two of the individuals were transported to St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital for further evaluation.

A suspected leak in the fire suppression system of the communications center forced the evacuation this morning of the Chatham County Annex at 295 Police Memorial Dr. Savannah Fire and Emergency Services(SFES) Hazmat crews entered the building and isolated the irritant to the fire suppression system. The chemical, Heptaflouropropane, is a compressed gas that is used to suppress fires in electronic equipment. “It’s a irritant, causes some throat, eye irritation, uh, we had a couple people, uh, that actually got nauseous.” said Mark Keller, Public Information Officer for SFES.

The Annex houses more than the 911 Call Center, scores of government employees work there. ” This is a fully functional, um, police precinct, so we have police officers in and out of the building. We have civilian staff, such as clerical staff, um that work in this building as well. the Chatham County TAG office is housed here, and again, our emergency communications center staff is housed in this building as well.” said Eunicia Baker, a public information officer for the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department.
us_GA  public  release  injury  irritant 
8 days ago
Chemical companies like Honeywell working on making cooling systems climate-friendly – Tech2
U.S. chemical companies including Honeywell and Chemours Co are ramping up efforts to produce alternative coolants used in air-conditioners and refrigerators, following a global pact to reduce planet-warming greenhouse house gas emissions. On Saturday, some 150 nations struck a global agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, on ways to phase down hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, which are currently used in air-cooling systems and refrigerators, and help curb the release of climate-warming emissions.

The accord is an amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which was aimed at stopping the depletion of the ozone layer. As part of a larger goal to globally reduce HFCs by 80 percent by 2047, signatories such as U.S., India and China have agreed to phase out the pollutants from cooling appliances starting 2019.

The agreement is a boon for chemical and equipment makers as it gives them “clarity and certainty” and will help speed up development and testing of HFC alternatives, which are already underway, Kevin Fay, executive director of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, a trade group that represents chemical and equipment manufacturers, said.
industrial  discovery  response 
8 days ago
Top lobby firm eyes new chemical law as big business driver
Holland & Knight, one of Washington’s most lucrative lobby shops, has hired two former top congressional aides who helped draft a sweeping new law that changes the way the government regulates chemicals — a signal that K Street sees the law as an opportunity to capture new business.

Ben Dunham and Dimitri Karakitsos were once adversaries who are now working under the same roof. Dunham was a top adviser to the late senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), after whom the law was named, and Karakitsos was his Republican counterpart, working as the senior staffer for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. For five years starting in 2009, as their bosses fought over what the bill should include, Dunham and Karakitsos worked together to organize hearings, briefings and meetings with industry groups to weigh in on the measure. They drafted an early version of what would later become the basis of the legislation that became law in June.
us_WA  industrial  discovery  environmental 
8 days ago
At least one dead in explosion at German BASF chemical plant
BASF, the world's biggest chemical company, said it now believed two of its employees died on Monday in an explosion and subsequent fire at its site in Ludwigshafen in Germany, where it is headquartered.

Six people were severely injured and two people are still missing, the company said in a statement.

The explosion occurred earlier on Monday, sending up plumes of smoke and prompting BASF to turn off some of its production facilities.

Black smoke rises from the scene of an explosion at the BASF chemical facility on October 17, 2016 in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
A fire that broke out following the blast sent up plumes of smoke, prompting BASF, the world's biggest chemicals company, and the city of Ludwigshafen to urge residents in the surrounding area to avoid going outside and to keep their windows and doors shut.

Measurements taken in the area so far have indicated no risk from toxic fumes, BASF said.

"We will of course do everything we can to clear the matter up," site chief Liebelt said.
Germany  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Police: 3 people hospitalized after explosion at Glenville asphalt company
GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Fire officials say a tanker truck exploded at Mohawk Asphalt Emulsions Monday afternoon after workers were mixing chemicals for road construction.

“They were offloading a combination of diesel fuel and kerosene mixed with tar into a tanker truck and that’s what caught on fire,” Thomas Corners Fire Department Chief Gregg Petricca said.  “I believe they were doing something to a valve on the tank and it created a spark and that’s what started the fire.”

Witnesses say just after 1 p.m. Monday, they heard four loud explosions then saw a plume of smoke filled the sky. Fire crews arrived just minutes after the first call went out and doused the fire with foam.

Police say three workers were injured in the explosion and fire, two of those were severely injured.

All of the workers have been transported to the hospital. The conditions of the workers are not known at this time.
us_NY  industrial  explosion  injury  asphalt  diesel  kerosene 
8 days ago
Louisiana National Guard plans to destroy remainder of chemicals after bunker explosion
CAMP MINDEN, La. (AP) - If the air is calm Monday morning, the Louisiana National Guard will use a robot to open a bunker door at Camp Minden and set up remote ignition of 820 pounds of an unstable, fast-burning chemical compound stored there.

It's by far the smallest amount of "clean-burning igniter" remaining after a bunker of it exploded Sept. 29.

Officials say a Defense Department team found that the three remaining bunkers of igniter are too dangerous to handle but should be quickly destroyed.

A magazine holding 114,000 pounds of igniter is scheduled for burning Saturday, with Oct. 29 for one holding 84,000 pounds of igniter and 40,000 pounds of M6 artillery propellant.

A bankrupt company abandoned 160 tons of igniter and 7,800 tons of M6 at Camp Minden in 2013.
us_LA  public  explosion  response  other_chemical 
9 days ago
South Korea begins investigating cause of Galaxy Note 7 fires with Samsung
Samsung and the South Korean government launched separate investigations last week to find the cause of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone that caught fire in several instances across the globe.

Yonhap News reported state-run Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL) was provided from Samsung five Galaxy Note 7 units that had caught fire in the country. KTL will use X-ray and computerized tomography to try and determine the exact cause of the explosion.

Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 in September and finally ended production last week after repeated fires. It has yet to determine the cause and is working to recall the handset from across the globe.

"We have handed over the phones (that caught fire) to KTL and will cooperate with their investigation, but we can't just sit and wait for its result," a Samsung Electronics official told Yonhap News. "We have been mobilizing all possible resources to find the exact cause of the problems as soon as possible."
Republic_of_Korea  laboratory  follow-up  environmental  batteries 
9 days ago
Clean up to resume Monday at site of Laurel chemical spill
Clean-up will continue Monday morning at the site of a chemical spill which happened Friday night at a business on the Laurel Industrial Parkway.  

Crews from a Jackson-based environmental services company temporarily suspended operations Saturday at around 4 p.m., after spending several hours cleaning up more than 5,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid, which leaked from a container at Baker Hughes. 

Jones County Emergency Management officials said there is no off-site contamination and no threat to the public.

They also said the company, which provides oil field services, will re-open for business Monday morning.       
us_MS  industrial  release  environmental  hydrochloric_acid 
9 days ago
Work to start on public water project after chemical found
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire environmental officials say work will start soon to connect 360 homes in Litchfield to a public water system after their private wells contained elevated levels of the chemical PFOA, which has been linked to cancer and other illnesses.
More than 170 are expected to be connected by the end of the year.
PFOA, used in non-stick coatings, was first found in wells in towns surrounding the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility in Merrimack, New Hampshire.
In May, Saint-Gobain agreed to fund the engineering design work by Pennichuck Corp. for the potential expansion of the existing public water system in Litchfield, in addition to funding bottled water for homes in the area.
us_NH  public  follow-up  response  plastics 
9 days ago
How the Chemical Industry Joined the Fight Against Climate Change
It might seem surprising to find the world’s chemical companies on the front lines of preventing climate change, fighting to disrupt their own industries.

But in a sweeping accord reached on Saturday in Kigali, Rwanda, companies including Honeywell and DuPont were among the most active backers of a move away from a profitable chemical that has long been the foundation for the fast-growing air-conditioning and refrigeration business.

The companies were driven less by idealism than by intense competition, and a bet that they could create more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Still, some environmentalists say the aggressive move away from hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, provides a template for other industries to follow.

“They learned that without a rule change, their new products couldn’t compete,” said David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in Washington, D.C. “They woke up and said, ‘The science is real.’”
us_DC  industrial  discovery  environmental  hvac_chemicals 
9 days ago
Good and bad examples of siting and building biosafety level 4 laboratories: a study of Winnipeg, Galveston and Etobicoke.
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate successful and unsuccessful examples of siting and building biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) facilities in North America. The paper shows that well thought-out risk communication strategies, that are proactive in nature, are needed to counteract both public trust and negative media amplification. The paper suggests that such strategies, which combine communication tools including media briefings, public fora, focus groups, tours of the proposed facility, open and frequent communication with the public as much as possible do work.
laboratory  discovery  environmental 
9 days ago
Mercury from WWII submarine wreck pollutes sediments off Norway
The German submarine U-864 was sunk in World War II off the Norwegian island of Fedje, loaded with 67 tons of metallic mercury. When the wreck was discovered in 2003, some of the mercury was found leaking from broken containers. Now, researchers show that this material has contaminated sediments surrounding the wreck. But surprisingly, the scientists think the marine food web may not be substantially affected by the pollution, based on their analysis of crabs sampled near the sub (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b02128).
Crabs and other seafood are often contaminated with neurotoxic mercury from industrial pollution and fossil fuel burning that is deposited from the air onto the ocean surface, making its way into the food chain. So when the mercury-laden vessel was discovered at a relatively shallow depth of 150 m, scientists, fishermen, and government officials were concerned. To determine the wreck’s impact, Norway’s Coastal Administration sampled sediments, and the National Institute of Nutrition & Seafood Research collected crabs near the site. Frank Vanhaecke of Ghent University and his colleagues then analyzed the samples with a variety of methods, including measuring mercury isotope ratios using multicollector inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.
“In some sediment samples we could see small droplets of mercury,” Vanhaecke says. The wet sediments had 60 to 24,000 mg/kg of mercury—in comparison, background levels in ocean sediments are 0.02 to 0.1 mg/kg. The isotopic composition of mercury in the submarine was similar to that in the sediments. Notably, crabs collected within a four-nautical-mile radius of the wreck did not have significantly different mercury concentrations than those collected from other areas along the Norwegian coast. However, the isotopic results indicate that crabs in the immediate vicinity of the submarine did take on some mercury from the wreck in their brown meat.
Norway  transportation  discovery  environmental  mercury 
10 days ago
Many hands required for meth lab cleanup, York County drug official says
Making methamphetamine may be a small-scale operation today, thanks to newer, more compact methods.

However, the response by law enforcement and health officials to remove those labs – like the one busted this week across from Winthrop University – is much larger and more expensive.

Older, more obselete forms of making meth involved items like pots and hoses, and the drug was actually cooked on a stovetop or hot surface, according to Marvin Brown, commander of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit. The newer “one-pot” or “shake and bake” method involves mixing the ingredients in a plastic 20-ounce bottle, causing a chemical reaction that makes methamphetamine.
us_SC  public  discovery  response  meth_lab 
10 days ago
Serious crash near Cannington causes massive fuel spill
BROCK TWP. -- Hazmat crews remain at the scene of a horrendous crash on Simcoe Street near Cannington last night that involved a tanker trailer hauling 55,000 litres of fuel and a car.

According to Brock Township Fire Chief Rick Harrison, both of the drivers were trapped in their vehicles following the accident, which occurred shortly after 8 p.m.

“The driver of the car suffered critical injuries and has been taken to a hospital in Toronto,” he said.

“The truck driver was OK but we was covered in fuel. The truck was hauling 30,000 litres of fuel in one tank, 25,000 in the other.”
Canada  transportation  release  injury  other_chemical 
10 days ago
Countries Agree To Limit A/C & Refrigerator Chemical Harmful To Environment: Gothamist
Over 170 countries have agreed to limit global emissions from a powerful chemical used in air-conditioners and refrigerators, following a climate change summit in Kigali, Rwanda this week.
Hydrofluorocarbons—or HFCs—are chemical coolants that trap heat in the atmosphere, making them thousands of times more potent and harmful than greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Air-conditioners, which typically employ HFCs, have been determined as the chemical's biggest disseminators—HFCs previously replaced chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which contributed to the erosion of the ozone layer.
Still, HFCs do their own damage, and the deal reached early this morning will require developed countries to reduce HFC emissions by 10 percent by 2019, and then by 85 percent by 2036. Less developed countries like China and some African nations will begin phasing out HFCs by 2024, and further developing countries like India, Pakistan, and Iran will begin the process in 2028, eventually reducing HFCs by 85 percent by 2047.
Over the last seven years, negotiators have had trouble convincing underdeveloped countries like India to reduce HFCs, since the chemical has made air-conditioning cheaper and more attainable for poorer nations. India has argued that swapping out HFCs for less harmful coolants will hurt them. "There are issues of cost, there are issues of technology, there are issues of finances," Ajay Narayan Jha of India's environment and climate change ministry said, before the deal was announced. "We would like to emphasize that any agreement will have to be flexible from all sides concerned. It can't be flexible from one side and not from the other."
public  discovery  environmental  carbon_dioxide  ozone 
10 days ago
Second controlled blast carried out at Clifton College Bristol after more explosive chemicals found
A second controlled explosion has been carried out following the discovery of more dangerous chemicals at Clifton College in Bristol.

Safety teams from Avon Fire and Rescue carried out a controlled blast on the playing fields this afternoon.

It comes after an earlier controlled explosion at about 7.30am this morning, after a small amount of the volatile chemical picric acid was found in a school science lab.

Picric acid is safe in its liquid form, but if it dries out it becomes hazardous.

A witness said the substance was 'covered in sandbags to reduce the effects of the explosion' on the playing fields.

"The explosion resulted in one large bang and a cloud of smoke," the witness said.

The chemical was covered in sandbags and destroyed on the school's playing field

A spokeswoman for the college said the incident has 'concluded safely' and no more picric acid is inside the school. The school has said it will carry out a full investigation into how the chemical came to be inside the school.
United_Kingdom  laboratory  discovery  response  picric_acid 
11 days ago
Chemical spill closes south Auckland road
A portion of a main road in the south Auckland suburb of Penrose has been shut off after a chemical spill in the area.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 6:50pm after a suspected carbide spill, Fire Service shift manager Paul Radden said.

"Upon getting wet, carbide can turn into a very flammable acetylene-type substance," Mr Radden explained.
New_Zealand  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
11 days ago
Staff, 3 students of Seberang Perai Polytechnic exposed to mercury
BUKIT MERTAJAM: A staff and three students of Seberang Perai Polytechnic, were exposed to mercury pollution after a blood pressure testing equipment broke in a lecture room at the polytechnic today.

The male staff in his 30s and three 20-year-old female students were sent to Seberang Jaya Hospital and their conditions were reported to be stable.

Penang Fire and Rescue Department media relations officer Mohd Azman Hussin said they received a report on the incident at about 8.37am.

“The device fell on the floor before breaking causing the mercury to spill,” he said here today.

Eight members of the Hazardous Materials Unit (HAZMAT) cleaned the mercury spill using sulfur and bleach, he said.
Malaysia  education  release  response  mercury 
11 days ago
Chemical spill on Industrial Parkway
Hazmat crews are still on the scene of a chemical spill on Industrial Parkway in Laurel, but has now been contained to one area.

According to Caleb Worrell, Public Information Officer for the Jones County Fire Council, the chemical spill scene has been secured to just the property of Baker Hughes. Fire sources have been released and the roads are now open.

Worrell said 6,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid leaked into the air at the corner of Indian Springs Road and Boots Smith Road near Howard Industries. 

The first report of the spill came in around 9 p.m. on Friday.

According to Worrell, units from Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department were the first to respond, followed by several other emergency services from across the state.
us_MS  industrial  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
11 days ago
Health chief: No apparent danger from smoke release
COMMERCE CITY - Colorado's public health director says officials don't know enough yet about what was in the smoke released from a Denver-area refinery after a power failure to determine if it was hazardous.

However, Dr. Larry Wolk says authorities are reassured that Friday's release from the Suncor Energy, Inc. refinery was brief. He says it doesn't appear to pose any immediate threat to people nearby.

Heavy smoke was seen coming from the Suncor Refinery in Commerce City on Friday. The Denver Fire Department responded to assist Adams County with a hazmat incident in the 5600 block of Brighton Boulevard.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Xcel Energy was working on repairs at the plant. An incident occurred causing a power outage at the refinery around 12 p.m. 

The refinery went into automatic shutdown. The orange and black smoke clouds seen around the metro area were the result of a "type of clay" used in processes at the refinery. 
us_CO  industrial  release  environmental  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Peak Sound Pressure Levels and Associated Auditory Risk from an H2–Air “Egg-Splosion”
The noise level from exploding chemical demonstrations and the effect they could have on audiences, especially young children, needs attention. Auditory risk from H2–O2 balloon explosions have been studied, but no studies have been done on H2–air “egg-splosions”. The peak sound pressure level (SPL) was measured for the first time and compared to the recommended SPL limits and some recently published work. All peak SPL results ended above 125 dB, some greater than 150 dB. The SPL results exceeded the World Health Organization (WHO) safe limits of 120 dB for children and 140 dB for adults.
education  discovery  response  hydrogen 
12 days ago
Chemical reaction sparks fire, temporary evacuation
ANGLETON — A half-mile radius surrounding an 18-wheeler trailer cleaning company in the 28300 block of FM 2004 was evacuated for nearly five hours Thursday after a chemical reaction sparked a fire and threatened a nearby liquid petroleum gas tank.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  petroleum 
12 days ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 problems leads airlines to add 'fire containment bags'
Some airlines are taking extra steps to prevent a disaster in case a passenger's device powered by a lithium ion battery catches fire during flight.

At least three U.S. airlines are adding new fire-suppression equipment to fleets in case a cellphone or laptop battery overheats, catches on fire and can't be extinguished.

The issue has taken on new urgency following incidents of overheating Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, including one on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this month.
transportation  discovery  response  batteries 
12 days ago
4 Washingtonians sue for e-cigarette explosions
Four Washingtonians filed separate lawsuits against e-cigarette manufacturers Thursday claiming they suffered injuries from e-cigarette battery explosions.
The plaintiffs, from Seattle, Kelso, Vancouver and Spokane, each suffered severe burns when the lithium-ion batteries in their e-cigarette burst.
The battery-powered smoking devices are thought by many to be safer than conventional cigarettes or help people quit smoking, though the FDA has not approved that approach and the substance consumed in e-cigarettes still contain nicotine.
The e-cigarettes in these cases contained lithium-ion batteries -- the same type linked to exploding hover boards and Samsung Galaxy phones in the past year, both of which prompted recalls.
"Lithium-ion batteries have an inherent risk of fire and explosion that is dramatically increased when combined with an e-cigarette's heating element and cylindrical shape," according to a statement put forth by the attorneys ahead of Thursday's lawsuit. "There are different methods to protect against these batteries, but weak regulation and absent testing requirements leave protections up to e-cigarette manufacturers."
us_WA  industrial  follow-up  injury  batteries 
12 days ago
Bomb squad called and Bristol school evacuated after explosive chemical discovered in science lab
Clifton College and the roads around it have been evacuated and cordoned off after just one test tube with a hazardous chemical inside was discovered at the back of a store room.

A major incident emergency was declared by fire and police after they were contacted just before 3pm today, and a 50m cordon was imposed around the science block of the college in Guthrie Road.

The Army's EOD bomb disposal squad were called and are understood to have arrived shortly after 5pm.

Police and fire service bosses reassured members of the public that it was not a suspicious incident, and the cordon was precautionary.

The emergency services were called by staff after a small amount of the chemical picric acid was discovered dried out in the bottom of a test tube in the school's science block.

Picric acid is not hazardous in its usual liquid state, but if allowed to dry out it becomes highly explosive and unstable if moved abruptly.
United_Kingdom  laboratory  discovery  response  picric_acid  time-sensitive 
12 days ago
UPDATE: I-71N reopens in Carroll Co. after crash, chemical spill
CARROLL COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - Northbound Interstate 71 in Carroll County reopened hours after a hazardous materials crash involving a FedEx tractor-trailer and a second big rig early Thursday morning.

Kentucky State Police said the FedEx truck, marked as carrying hazardous materials, began leaking after overturning and being hit by the second tractor trailer. The accident happened about 5:30 a.m. Thursday at the 50 mile marker on I-71N.

Authorities identified one of the chemicals leaking from the FedEx truck as hydrochloric acid. 

Complicating the situation was the FedEx truck's entanglement with a cable barrier.
us_KY  transportation  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
12 days ago
No Answer Yet for Hallucination Symptoms in Coos County
COOS COUNTY, Ore. -- Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay has given the all-clear after tending to four patients with hallucinogenic symptoms, but the Coos County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

This began early Wednesday morning when a woman claimed to see people vandalizing her car. Deputies responded, found nothing, and were called out a few hours later for a similar instance. They then took the woman to the hospital to be monitored.

The deputies and the woman's charge came down with similar symptoms, and were also examined at the hospital.

When the HazMat team was called to examine the situation, they found no evidence of anything that may have caused the symptoms, but there were some medication patches in the residence that the Sheriff’s Office thinks may have played a role.

“The best we can tell at this point, and this is all speculation, it was some type of contact contamination. The leading candidate for potential is possibly fentanyl, but we won’t know until we get more lab work done,” said Sheriff Craig Zanni.
us_OR  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
UPDATE: Lewiston hazmat scare caused by dog repellent
LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB)- The aerosol irritant that caused seven postal workers in Lewiston to get sick was dog repellent, according to postal inspectors.

The repellent comes in a canister, which started to leak; most postal workers are issued repellent for their safety if they need to deliver mail outside.

A source tells News 4 the affected workers are all doing fine. They were initially taken to the hospital and quarantined while haz-mat crews investigated.

The Niagara County Haz-Mat Unit entered the Lewiston Post Office Wednesday in three two-man teams.

Crews’ meters picked up a reading from the repellent in the area where the mail is processed.

They weren’t exactly sure what it was, only that it wasn’t toxic.

“It wasn’t sprayed. In other words, no one accidentally or intentionally or inadvertently caused this to happen,” said postal inspector, Raymond Williams.
us_NY  public  follow-up  injury  repellent 
12 days ago
No Injuries Reported After Hazmat Incident in Chinatown Apartment Building
No injuries were reported Thursday morning after high levels of carbon monoxide were detected in a Chinatown apartment building.
Shortly after 5 a.m., firefighters were going door-to-door in approximately 100 units in the seven-story building in the 2200 block of South Princeton, trying to confirm the source of the high carbon monoxide reading, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
Fire officials said the leak may have happened because of a new heating unit.
Peak carbon monoxide readings were reported at 130 parts per million and a Level 2 HazMat response was called, fire officials said. The department’s Mobile Ventilation Unit worked to vent the building and all heating in the unit was shut down.
us_IL  public  release  response  carbon_monoxide 
12 days ago
Muskegon County hazmat team avoids budget chopping block
MUSKEGON, Mich. – The hazmat team in Muskegon County was nearly disbanded following a county budget crisis.

Muskegon County currently provides hazmat support to 13 other counties. If the team had been disbanded, the county would have to rely on other counties to respond to hazmat calls.

"In those certain situations where chemicals are released, biological substances are found, these guys can come out with advanced equipment and tell us what the substance is," said Sgt. Dan Stout, the emergency manager for Muskegon County.

The county funds part of the hazmat program with the rest coming from federal grants. It costs $80,000 a year to fund the program, and up until a few weeks ago, they were $45,000 short.

To make up the deficit, a majority of commissioners elected to donate their annual pay raises to help fund the team.
us_MI  public  discovery  environmental 
12 days ago
EPA expedites action on five chemicals
EPA is taking quick action to reduce exposure to five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals. Rather than conducting a full risk evaluation for the chemicals, the agency will immediately work to identify where they are used and how to limit the public’s exposure. The move marks the agency’s first major step to control such chemicals as required under the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The new TSCA, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, was signed into law in June. It gave EPA sweeping new authorities to control chemicals that people are exposed to everyday. PBT chemicals are known to be some of the worst for the environment and public health.
“The threats from persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals are well documented,” says Jim Jones, assistant administrator in EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention. “The new law directs us to expedite action to reduce risks for these chemicals, rather than spending more time evaluating them.”
The following five chemicals will get swift action:
• Decabromodiphenyl ethers (DecaBDE), a flame retardant
• Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), found in rubber and lubricants and used as a solvent
• Pentachlorothio-phenol (PCTP), a chemical that softens rubber
• Tris(4-isopropylphenyl) phosphate, a flame retardant
• 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol, a fuel or lubricant additive
public  follow-up  environmental  toxics 
13 days ago
CHEMICAL LEAK on Alaska Airline flight left passengers without luggage
A passenger had checked in two closed buckets filled with fish and a chemical called formaldehyde on board an Alaska Airlines flight, without alerting customer service agents to the hazardous chemical.

Formaldehyde is a chemical that is used as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories as well as industrial disinfectants.

Reports suggest that one of the buckets may not have been sealed properly and leaked into the cargo hold.

The incident occurred on Friday on a flight from Barrow to Fairbanks.
us_AK  transportation  release  response  formaldehyde 
13 days ago
Scientists in N.J., Germany Support 'No Safe Level' of Teflon Chemical in Drinking Water
PFOA, a carcinogenic chemical formerly used to make DuPont's Teflon, contaminates drinking water for at least 7 million Americans and is in virtually everyone’s blood.

The Environmental Protection Agency has failed to set a legal drinking water limit for PFOA, but last spring significantly lowered the unenforceable health advisory level. Now, new health assessments from government scientists in New Jersey and Germany show that the EPA's research is flawed, its health advisory is still far too weak and there may effectively be no safe level of PFOA in drinking water.

In June, a month after the EPA lowered its advisory level, the New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute proposed what it calls a health-based maximum contaminant level for PFOA in water of 14 parts per trillion, or ppt – five times lower than the EPA health advisory of 70 ppt. (The EPA advisory level is for the combined level of PFOA and the related chemical PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M's Scotchgard.) If New Jersey legislators adopt the recommendation as a drinking water standard, it will be the only legal limit on PFOA in the nation.
us_NJ  public  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
13 days ago
Here's what to do if your smartphone's battery starts smoking
As more and more reports of failing Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices crop up, so, too, do videos of smoking smartphones — a terrifying sight for the vast majority of users. 

What you'll notice in some of these videos is the sight of people handling the failing device as thought it's a hot plate of pasta instead of a very dangerous battery that could explode at any moment. 

So what should you do if your Note7 (or any other mobile device powered by a lithium ion battery) starts smoking? We asked a couple of the top experts and their answers are, in some cases, obvious — others were quite surprising. 
public  discovery  environmental  batteries 
13 days ago
Firefighters respond to fire at MUN science building
A fire in a laboratory in the science building at Memorial University had firefighters from the St. John’s Regional fire department respond to the campus late Wednesday night.

SJRFD Platoon chief Rick Mackey said the fire had been mostly extinguished by the lone occupant of the lab when they arrived on scene and there were no injuries.

He also added that no chemicals were involved in the incident.

Seven trucks from the fire department responded to the call which came in at 10:34 p.m. 

Damage was confined to the room where the fire originated.
Canada  laboratory  fire  response 
13 days ago
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