Woman awarded $1.6 million over DuPont chemical in water
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio woman was awarded $1.6 million Wednesday in the trial of a lawsuit that alleged a chemical from a DuPont Co. plant contaminated drinking water and contributed to her contracting kidney cancer.

A jury awarded the damages to 59-year-old Carla Bartlett of Guysville in one of two cases that could influence thousands of similar lawsuits over the chemical giant's discharge of perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as C8. The chemical is used to make Teflon.

Some 3,500 people say they became ill after the company dumped C8 into the Ohio River and their drinking water from its Washington Works plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia.

The trial, which lasted about three weeks, was the latest development in a yearslong battle between DuPont and residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley in the heart of Appalachia. Bartlett once lived closer to the river. Her lawyer said she was thrilled by the verdict.
us_OH  public  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
22 hours ago
Poisonous chemical leaks onto I-35
A semi-truck carrying a 6,000-gallon tank of a harmful chemical leaked about a four-mile trail of the substance onto Interstate 35 near Fort Dodge on Tuesday night.

Another driver on the road reported that a valve on a semi from M&M Environmental Group out of Conway, Ark., was leaking at about 11:30 p.m., said Capt. Steve Hergenreter of the Fort Dodge Fire Department. An Iowa State Patrol trooper later found the truck had pulled to the side of the highway at mile marker 144 as the chemical, later identified as chlorobenzene, pooled on the soil.

Chlorobenzene is a solvent, commonly used as a degreasing agent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But it's also poisonous and flammable, Hergenreter said.

Authorities believe a faulty valve caused the chemical to leak from its tank. Hazmat crews used materials to absorb the fluid from the four-mile stretch of road and an environmental contractor will address the spill on the soil Wednesday, Hergenreter said.
us_IA  transportation  release  response  flammables 
23 hours ago
Hazmat crews called to NC State facility after chemical spill
RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A hazmat situation at a NC State facility did not contain actually hazardous materials, authorities say.

Around 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, fire, police and haztmat crews were called to NC State Pesticide Storage Warehouse on Reedy Creek Road.

According to NC State Director of Environmental Health and Safety Ken Kretchman, about 5 gallons of  hydrogen peroxide, acidic acid and water leaked onto the ground of the facility.

The material was non-hazardous, according to Kretchman.
us_NC  industrial  release  response  hydrogen_peroxide 
23 hours ago
Student taken to hospital after small explosion on U of L campus
LOUISVILLE, Ky. —One person was taken to the hospital Wednesday after small explosion on the University of Louisville's campus.

It happened in the Shoemaker Research Building in the 2000 block of S. Brook Street.

Officials said the explosion was an unexpected chemical reaction that happened when a fume hood failed.

WLKY was told the student researcher was wearing safety goggles at the time of the explosion, but still got chemical in his eyes.

The student washed his eyes, but still experienced blurry vision and was taken to the hospital.
us_KY  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
23 hours ago
Sime Darby Faces Fine Following Chemical Explosion
Monrovia - A joint Ministerial Investigation Committee investigating the Sime Darby Plantation Company over recent explosion in Bomi County has recommended that the Palm Oil Plantation be fined for violating the Health and Safety Standards and Environmental Protection and Management Law of Liberia. Following a recent explosion at one of the plantation’s operation sites, the Government of Liberia setup a committee to investigate and produce findings.
The committee in its report is also recommending that the company applies for permit for importing, handling and storing chemicals and that the government ensures that the company maintains the requisite firefighting equipment and recruit, train and maintain fire warden as well as establish a Fire Department.

Additionally, the Committee is recommending that a Mobile Clinic be established and maintained over a period of three months in nearby Towns and villages to respond to any possible case from the explosion and that Sime Darby cleans up and properly dispose of the debris at its own cost on EPA’s instruction. At least nine people sustained injuries following an explosion at one of Sime Darby's Plantation Chemical Warehouses in the company's plantation office in Bomi County. The incident occurred on Sunday, September 20, 2015. The cause of the fire is believed to be from an electric shock

Improper handling of chemicals

The committee in its findings stated that it was observed during the investigation that the company improperly handled the chemicals by storing them together in one large compartment. “The team also observed that adequate education on the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment was not passed onto the employees and were not monitored constantly considering the types of chemical imported and stored in the warehouse,” the report stated.

Other findings indicate that vibration from the blast traveled over 800 meters across the plantation and also broke window glasses at the plantation hospital which is located approximately 800 meters from the building housing the chemicals. The findings also state that Sime Darby did not work with the EPA on environmental issues as stated in the concession agreement signed with the Government of Liberia.
Liberia  industrial  follow-up  injury  unknown_chemical 
23 hours ago
Pasadena container plant explosion likely due to chemicals, officials say
Two firefighters were injured in an explosion at a container plant in Pasadena, authorities said.

Pasadena fire marshals said firefighters responded Wednesday to an explosion at Schutz Container Systems Inc. in the 5000 block of Underwood.

Authorities said workers were cleaning 250- to 300-gallon containers when the "flash" explosion happened.

Thirty employees, who were inside at the time of the explosion, were evacuated and are now being interviewed.

Fire Chief David Brannon said he believes there was some sort of chemical reaction.

"Everything is contained within the building," Brannon said. "We still have the chemical exposure in there and the mist of that in the air, so we're concerned."

Hazmat crews are at the scene trying to determine exactly what type of chemicals were being used. Brannon said air testing was being done, but they don't believe there is a threat to the public and no shelter in place order was issued because everything was contained.
us_TX  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
23 hours ago
Chemical spill at BC Children's Hospital contained
A chemical spill of a highly flammable substance  at the BC Children's Hospital laboratory has been cleaned and contained. 

The Provincial Health Services Authority says no one was injured, but the Children and Family Research Institute was evacuated.

Vancouver Fire sent a hazmat team to contain the the paraformaldehyde spill in the 900 block of 28th Avenue. 
Canada  laboratory  release  response  formaldehyde 
South Africa: Freak Accident Leaves 'Hero' With First Degree Burns
These were the words of Melanie Spoors, who watched her fiancé, Ivan van der Walt, vault their wall and rush towards a blaze that threatened to engulf a neighbour's home in Sarnia.

His efforts to douse the fire with a garden hose proved fruitless, so he grabbed what he thought was a bucket of water and flung it into the fire.

But the "water" was actually a chemical substance and it exploded back onto Van der Walt.

Covered in the searing heat, he plunged into a nearby swimming pool.

Speaking to News24, Spoors said her husband-to-be sustained first-degree burns across his body and was in a lot of pain, but was "okay".

"I was on the other side of the fence, so what happened is still a blur to me. When we saw their house was on fire, he jumped over the wall and went around the side of the house where the kitchen is.

"He picked up a container with chemicals and threw it onto the fire, thinking it was water. There was an explosion and it blew back over him. He was smart and jumped into the swimming pool."
South_Africa  public  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
2 injured in fire at Mead chemical plant
Several fire departments responded early Tuesday morning to a blaze started at the Boulder Scientific Company complex in Mead when chemicals burst into flames during processing.

Two employees were taken to a hospital and treated for minor, first-degree burns, said Battalion Chief Robert Coffey of Mountain View Fire Rescue.

"It was not a large body of fire but the location called for an abundance of caution," Coffey said. "We brought way more resources than we would if this was a fire in a field."

The plant costume makes chemicals for various industries, he said.

The first call from staff at the chemical complex came in at 12:21 a.m., Coffey said. A container of lithium salts had caught on fire. Efforts to put the fire out with fire extinguishers hadn't worked
us_CO  industrial  fire  injury  unknown_chemical 
Fire near Shell Chemical plant sends smoke into air
DEER PARK, TX -- Shell officials say they helped extinguish a fire that erupted at a plant near its Deer Park Chemical Plant.

A piece of equipment caught fire at 6:35pm inside one of the resin units at Hexion, a third party operator that makes plastic. But Shell's emergency response team responded to the fire because the oil giant is locked into a mutual aid agreement with Hexion.

No one was injured and there was no chemical release as a result of the fire.

"Shell would like to thank our outstanding emergency response personnel for their quick and comprehensive response to this issue. The top priority of Shell Deer Park is to operate in a safe and environmentally sound manner," the company said in a statement.

Officials say there was no risk to the community at any point. The fire was tapped out and the cleaning process is underway.

Late Tuesday, Hexion issued a statement, which read in part:
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  resin 
Nearly a dozen people taken to hospital after ammonia leak
GRINNELL, Iowa —An ammonia leak at a food service plant sent almost a dozen people to the hospital Monday evening.

The Grinnell Fire Department and a hazmat crew were dispatched to the PurFoods plant in Grinnell about 4:30 p.m. after employees reported smelling a sharp odor and some were experiencing breathing problems.

Officials said 11 people were transported to a local hospital, a few of whom had severe breathing difficulties.

Crews determined ammonia leaked from a refrigeration unit in the plant. Ammonia is a strong gas that can cause poisoning if inhaled.

Officials said the plant should open again by the end of the night.
us_IA  industrial  release  injury  ammonia 
2 days ago
Pasadena plant to restart less than week after explosion
A Pasadena chemical plant where four workers suffered burns in an explosion on Friday will resume full operations this week, a company official said, with little elaboration on what safeguards are in place to protect workers and the community at a facility with a history of accidents, fires and injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration "released the Pasadena facility to resume operation," SunEdison spokesman Gordon Handelsman wrote in an email to reporters on Saturday.

But OSHA, which is still investigating the incident, doesn't have the authority to shut a plant down, so it was up to the company to decide when to restart. Chemical safety experts said investigating a root cause and protecting against repeat accidents typically takes much longer than a week, especially if a company has had a history of problems.

The SunEdison plant has previously had issues with leaking gases, the cause the company appears to be eyeing in Friday's blast, according to a company report to Harris County officials.

"You can replace a valve and have the confidence to start up again," said Shakeel Kadri, executive director of the Center for Chemical Process Safety, "but if you've had multiple issues with leaking valves, it can be a false confidence."
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  injury  other_chemical 
2 days ago
Explosion in China chemical plant injures 7 workers
Seven workers were injured today in an explosion at a chemical plant in China's Zhejiang Province, officials said, just weeks after massive blasts in the northern port city of Tianjin killed 173 people.
The blast occurred this morning at Zhejiang Hongxiang Chemical Co. Ltd, in Shangyu City, the local authorities said.
Two of the injured are in a serious condition, they said.
About 70 firefighters and 22 fire engines were rushed to put out the blaze and prevent the flames from reaching a nearby warehouse containing 50 tonnes of inflammable chemicals, including sodium chlorate.
The disaster sparked widespread outrage over alleged safety violations and fears of pollutants contaminating the air and water.
Several cases of explosions in chemical plants have been reported in recent months in China including the massive explosions at a warehouse in Tianjin where highly toxic chemicals including stockpiles of cyanide were stored.
China  industrial  explosion  injury  flammables  toxics 
2 days ago
Chemical leak causes partial evacuation at Beth Israel in Milton
Officials are cleaning up a chemical leak that caused a brief, partial evacuation of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton Monday morning.

The leak of propylene glycol was found at about 9:45 a.m. in the sub-basement, which is used for facilities and administrative departments, but not patient care, said Laureane Marquez, a spokeswoman for the hospital. Nobody was injured.

The leak led to the precautionary evacuation of about 40 people from ground level floors above the leak. The incident only affected an outpatient area of the radiology department. There was no disruption to inpatient facilities.

Everyone affected went to other locations in the hospital. All were allowed back onto the floors about 15 minutes later, when officials confirmed the spill was contained.
us_MA  public  release  response  ethylene_glycol 
2 days ago
Employee infected while working at Winnipeg disease lab had virtually no safety training: report
A worker and supervisor at Canada’s world-renowned disease lab in Winnipeg had virtually no safety training before the employee was infected with one of the diseases he handled, says a damning investigation into the incident.

Obtained by the National Post under access to information legislation, it was one of several reports the Public Health Agency of Canada prepared over the last few years on a rare but striking occurrence: researchers sickened by the infectious diseases they experiment on or test.

The contaminated technician recovered within a week; what seemed more significant were the shortcomings uncovered by the investigation, including a lack of any formal or mandatory safety instruction in the lab.

“The supervisor had never attended (bio-safety cabinet) training, biological and chemical spill training or general laboratory safety training,” said the agency review.

There wasn’t enough time to both train and complete other tasks
“The supervisor said that there wasn’t enough time to both train and complete other tasks.”
Canada  laboratory  release  injury  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Three workers hospitalised after mystery chemical incident
Palmerston North Hospital's main entrance was cordoned off after an unidentified chemical was brought to the front doors by contaminated workers.

Fire service assistant area commander Rodger Calder said three workers had reported feeling a "burning" sensation before driving themselves to hospital about 3.30pm on Monday.

They had been working on a transformer board that was removed in Kimbolton when they contaminated their clothing with an unidentified chemical, he said. 

Firefighters are believed to be at the scene of an incident at Palmerston North Hospital.

Calder said the men had driven themselves to hospital, leaving the board in the back of the ute, after they started to have a reaction to the chemical.

No one was evacuated from the hospital but the three workers were admitted to the emergency department with some form of chemical contamination. 

Calder said firefighters ensured the area was safe before they flushed out the area and decontaminated their staff. 
New_Zealand  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Hundreds evacuate Dunedin Cadbury factory after 'ammonia cloud'
Cadbury had launched an internal investigation into an ammonia leak which caused a factory evacuation and several central Dunedin streets to be shutdown.

Hundreds of workers were evacuated from the Cadbury factory and neighbouring businesses after the incident at 1.17pm on Monday.

A spokeswoman for the company, Celin Huseby of Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd, confirmed it had reported the leak of ammonia, which was used as a cleaning agent within the plant.
New_Zealand  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
3 days ago
Officials say flammable vapor likely caused explosion, fire
WARREN — Investigators believe accumulated flammable vapor likely caused an explosion in a refrigerator and a resulting fire at a single-family home on Harold Sept. 28.

Warren firefighters were dispatched to the scene of an explosion east of Hoover and south of Frazho at about 1:30 p.m., where they found the home left burning after the blast, Fire Chief David Frederick said.

Investigators later determined that the fire was the result of an explosion caused by flammable vapors that had accumulated in a refrigerator.

Sources said one of the residents at the home has a valid medical marijuana card and had been attempting to use isopropyl alcohol to extract the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, from marijuana plants. The process apparently involved putting the mixture in a refrigerator, where the man also reportedly had a butane canister stored.

It was unclear exactly what caused the explosion, but Frederick said the the operation of the refrigerator likely sparked flammable gas that exploded inside.

“When the refrigerator kicked on, it ignited the fumes and caused an explosion with a lot of force,” Frederick said.
us_MI  public  explosion  injury  butane  flammables 
4 days ago
Judge to Decide Soon in Chemical Spill Company Bankruptcy
A federal bankruptcy judge says he'll make a final decision soon in a bankruptcy case involving a company involved in a 2014 chemical spill in West Virginia.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ronald Pearson in Charleston said Friday a proposed settlement involving Freedom Industries and attorneys for residents, West Virginia American Water, the Department of Environmental Protection and other parties has "great merit."

The Charleston Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/1QQMU0y) reports Pearson is expected to rule before retiring from the bench after 32 years Thursday.

Freedom's proposed bankruptcy plan was submitted Aug. 12.

If approved, the settlement would provide more than $2 million to affected residents and businesses, while the DEP and environmental firms will receive $1.4 million for continued cleanup work.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
4 days ago
UMass waste drop receives volatile chemical
BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) - The hazardous waste drop off at UMass Boston was closed temporarily Saturday after someone brought an explosive substance. 

The hazardous waste drop off is designed to accept household hazards, but the material was "more hazardous than we'd like."

No one was exposed, but Boston Fire and the bomb squad responded. The "volatile chemical" was detonated safely. 
us_MA  public  discovery  response  bomb  waste 
4 days ago
Chemical bottle bombs found at Garden of the Gods
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — On Oct. 3 around 9 a.m. officers were dispatched to Garden of the Gods in response to suspicious items located in a parking lot.

According to police, the Regional Explosives Unit responded to the scene and determined the items were overpressure devices commonly referred to as chemical bottle bombs.

The items were then rendered safe by the REU.

CSPD asks that citizens do not approach suspicious items and call 444-7000 to report those items immediately.
us_CO  public  discovery  response  bomb  explosives 
4 days ago
Two injured in fire at chemical plant in Highland ⋆ Hudson Valley News Network
HIGHLAND–A fire destroyed a chemical recovery warehouse early Friday night, injuring two people and bringing out multiple fire departments.

The blaze broke out at 171 Chapel Hill Road at about 5:30 p.m., causing explosions, heavy flames and thick smoke.

Two people who suffered injuries at the scene were taken to MidHudson Regional Hospital and later transported to Westchester Medical Center, according to Highland Fire Department Chief Pete Miller. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

Miller described the building as a recovery center for oil and other vehicle fluids. He said the cause of the blaze was unknown and being investigated.

With the help of various departments, the two-alarm fire was contained in about an hour. A haz-mat team from Kingston as well as the Department of Environmental Conservation also were at the scene to contain the runoff fluids, Miller said.

Area residents reported hearing multiple explosions during the initial stages of the fire.

Nearby roads were closed while firefighters battled the blaze.
us_NY  industrial  explosion  injury  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Senate Looks Poised To Pass Major Overhaul Of Chemical Safety Law
 WASHINGTON -- The Senate may pass bipartisan environmental legislation as soon as next week, and it's kind of a big deal.

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Friday announced support for a bill overhauling the country's decades-old chemical safety law, bringing the number of co-sponsors to 60. 

The bill would reform the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, which has been widely panned as outdated and ineffective at protecting the public from hazardous chemicals. It would give the Environmental Protection Agency more authority to test and regulate chemicals, and to identify risky chemicals that should not be on the market. A Senate committee approved the legislation in April.

Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and David Vitter (R-La.) have taken the lead on the reform bill, and agreed to additional changes to accommodate the concerns of Markey and Durbin. The changes include increased funding from industry fees, which will pay for additional EPA testing, as well as faster compliance timelines for regulations. The senators said the changes are also meant to make it easier for states to move forward on their own regulations if the EPA has not issued a determination on a chemical's safety.

Markey said in a statement that the changes represent "positive and meaningful progress." 

The Senate legislation has caused some tensions among environmental groups over whether the proposed changes to the law go far enough. Elizabeth Thompson, president of Environmental Defense Fund Action, said the additional changes have "further strengthened" the bill and put it closer to passing Congress. "Today we are even closer to a new law that can finally protect public health and the environment from harmful chemicals," Thompson said in a statement.
public  discovery  environmental 
5 days ago
3 of 4 injured in Pasadena plant fire released from hospital
Four people were injured in a blast and fire Friday morning at a plant in Pasadena.
The explosion occurred about 7:50 a.m. at SunEdison at 3000 N.South Street, said Vance Mitchell, a spokesman for the Pasadena Police Department.
Mitchell said four people were hurt. One was flown by LifeFlight medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann-The Texas Medical Center while the others were taken to Bayshore Medical Center. Details of their injuries and conditions were not released.
Mitchell said the fire has been extinguished. No hazardous material dangerous to the public was released, and no shelter-in-place order was issued.
Investigators are trying to determine what sparked the blast.
The plant produces raw materials for silicon wafers used in semiconductors and solar panels. SunEdison, formerly MEMC Electronic Materials, acquired the facility from Albemarle Corp. in 1995.
us_TX  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical  other_chemical 
5 days ago
EPA Reaches Settlement With DuPont Over Fatal Chemical Explosion
The EPA has reached a settlement with DuPont following a fatal chemical explosion in Tonawanda nearly five years ago.

The EPA says the chemical plant has agreed to pay a fine of $724,000 to settle Clean Air Act violations following the fire and explosion at the company's chemical plant there.

As part of that deal, DuPont will spend $112,000 to purchase vapor and radiation detection equipment for the local fire department.

It will also go towards paying for training.

One person was killed and another was seriously injured after an explosion at the plant in November 2010.

DuPont says it has invested $6.8 million in chemical safety-related improvements at the facility following the incident.
us_NY  industrial  follow-up  death  other_chemical 
5 days ago
UN Group Aims to Cut Chemical Risks
An International Conference on Chemicals Management has agreed on a plan that could prevent the annual deaths of more than one million people exposed to toxic chemicals.

More than 800 participants, including ministers, industry and civil society leaders, have agreed on a strategy to reduce risks from chemicals at a weeklong U.N. Environment Program conference.

Chemicals are an integral part of peoples’ lives. Yet while they are essential and beneficial, they also can be hazardous. Managing those hazards is difficult because little is known about many of them.

The U.N. Environment Program notes only a fraction of the estimated 100,000 chemicals on the market have been thoroughly evaluated to determine their effects on human health and the environment.

But, enough is known to determine they can be dangerous. UNEP reports the infant death rate from environmental causes is 12 times higher in developing than in developed countries. It says childhood lead exposure contributes to about 600,000 new cases of mental disabilities in children every year.

Part of the strategy conference participants agreed to on chemical management includes gathering better information about the chemicals that affect our lives and, in too many cases, harm us.

Olga Speranskaya is co-chair of IPEN, an international network of more than 700 organizations that fight toxic chemicals and works with people who suffer from contamination from farm pesticides, mercury hotspots and other toxic products.

“So, we came here and we are really pleased with the outcomes of this political conference because the delegates adopted … concrete risk reduction activities, which, if implemented, will result in the reduction of toxic exposure on human health and the environment," said Speranskaya. "Note that I say 'if implemented.'"
Switzerland  public  discovery  environmental  ag_chems  mercury  pesticides  toxics 
5 days ago
Chemical Spill at Big Bend Agri-Services
CAIRO, Ga. -- On Friday October 2, 2015 at approximately 8:30 a.m. the City of Cairo Fire Department responded to a call received by landline for a strong chemical smell in front of the high school.

Personnel responded to the area and determined that the odor was coming from Big Bend Agri-Services located North East of the school. Units responded to the scene and city police were called to evacuate the High School and the housing development for 2 blocks around the area.

Fortunately, students were not at school as it was a teacher workday.

Contact was made to employees of Big Bend and they advised they did have a spill inside the warehouse. The warehouse was evacuated and power was shut down for the building.

Grady County Fire rescue responded with 3 personnel and an air trailer to support operations as well as standing by to respond to any other incidents that may have occurred.

A team of fire department hazardous materials technicians made entry and determined the product spilled was liquid organic peroxide. The team estimated that a spill of roughly 75-100 gallons had been spilled when an automatic filling machine in the warehouse malfunctioned.

Fire personnel coordinated with officials from Big Bend and their contacts with OSHA to determine the best course of action. The decision was made to attempt to flush the chemical out of the warehouse with a large volume of water and neutralize it with soda ash supplied by big bend. A berm was constructed by city utilities to contain the runoff until it could be neutralized and made safe by approved personnel.

Approximately 5,000 gallons of water was used to dilute the product and flush it out of the warehouse. Approximately 24 bags of soda ash were then distributed through the warehouse to neutralize the chemical and make it safe for the cleanup to proceed.

Power was restored to the building at this point and the warehouse was ventilated to remove the trapped fumes. People were allowed to return to their homes at approximately 1 p.m. The fire department turned the scene over to Big Bend officials at approximately 1:45 p.m. and the fire department returned to service.
us_GA  industrial  release  response  peroxide 
5 days ago
Chemical spill evacuates Galt building; some hurt
GALT, Calif. (KCRA) —A chemical spill at a Galt waste facility Friday morning prompted workers to be evacuated from the building, and some people were hurt, officials said.

The situation began just after 7 a.m. at a commercial business on Enterprise Court.

Some workers were picking through the waste looking for recyclables when an unknown substance was spilled, according to the Cosumnes Fire Department.

Fifteen workers were treated for inhalation issues, and 12 were taken to the hospital, fire officials said.

It is unclear what type of substance was spilled.
us_CA  transportation  release  injury  unknown_chemical  waste 
5 days ago
Dracut firefighters respond to chemical leak
DRACUT -- Dracut firefighters and a regional hazardous materials team were at the scene of a chemical leak at a trucking company located off Broadway Road Wednesday night.

Fire Chief David Brouillette said crews were called to the Old Dominion Freight Line, 33 Silva Lane -- just off Broadway Road -- at 7:56 p.m., when a caller reported a 55-gallon barrel was punctured by a forklift.

The barrel was being offloaded from a truck at the time, and remains inside the truck that was delivering it.

A white mist emerged after drum was punctured, prompting a hazardous-materials scare. The building has been evacuated and there are no reported injuries.

Brouillette did not say what chemical the barrel contains, but said the wind is dispersing it and that nearby residents are not in any danger.

Two Dracut fire engines remain at the scene along with two Hazmat trucks one of which is a mobile science laboratory.
us_MA  transportation  release  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
One burned in 2-alarm apartment fire
The honey oil lab fire destroyed one upstairs unit at the Downtown Plaza apartment complex in Redding. Downstairs neighbor Eden Edwards heard loud banging and went outside to find a man with burns to his face, hands and ears. Flames and smoke began to shoot out of second story unit said Edwards.

Residents in the area reported hearing loud popping noises as smoke billowed out of the complex. 

Building maintenance William Smith used a facility water hose to dowse the unit from a ground floor courtyard. Redding Fire Department arrived on the scene and quickly put out the fire and confirmed the cause was a chemical fire from a honey oil lab.
us_CA  public  fire  response  other_chemical 
6 days ago
DuPont to pay $724,000 for fatal explosion
DuPont will pay a $724,000 fine to settle allegations surrounding a 2010 fire and explosion that killed a worker at its Tonawanda, New York plant near Buffalo.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency levied the penalty, alleging the Wilmington-based chemical company violated the Clear Air Act. Under the law, companies must take all necessary measures to prevent air releases of hazardous chemicals and minimize the consequences of accidental releases. The law also maintains that plant owners and operators have a responsibility to prevent chemical incidents.

On Nov. 9, 2010, a chemical explosion occurred when flammable vinyl fluoride – a chemical used to produce flourofibers – leaked undetected inside a process tank and exploded, according to an EPA report. The chemical, which is highly flammable, ignited when a contract welder was working on top of a 108,000-gallon tank.

The welder, Richard Floaron, was killed instantly and another worker, William R. Freeburg, was badly burned in the subsequent fire.

A U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigation concluded hazards were overlooked by DuPont, which the EPA confirmed in their own investigation.
us_NY  industrial  follow-up  death  flammables 
6 days ago
Gas Cloud That Could Kill 200,000 Nearly Released After Refinery Explosion, Says Feds: LAist
A February explosion at the former ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance had the potential to release a deadly, toxic cloud that could have affected 200,000 people, says the federal government.
Thankfully, the explosion ultimately posed no threat to the public and only four workers were injured. However, the government watchdog in charge of investigating the incident says it was a "near miss," as a photo reveals an 80,000 pound piece of equipment flew almost 100 feet and nearly struck a tank of hydrofluoric acid.

A photo obtained by CBS News shows how close an 80,000 pound piece of equipment came to striking a tank of hydrofluoric acid (Screenshot via CBS News)
"HF, in our view, and my view, is one of the most hazardous and deadly chemicals," Vanessa Sutherland, head of the federal government's Chemical Safety Board, told CBS News. "In worst-case scenarios, at deadly levels, it causes asphyxiation because once inhaled it causes respiratory problems that build up fluid and you ultimately drown."
"We were really, really lucky," she said. "It could have been much more catastrophic."
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  response  hydrofluoric_acid 
6 days ago
2 minor explosions at Ultratec plant, no injuries reported
Fire crews are responding to a pair of explosions Thursday afternoon at Ultratec Special Effects in Owens Cross Roads in Madison County.

Sheriff's deputies say there were two minor explosions, but no one was injured. The second explosion happened while fire crews were on the scene. Deputies say there was some structural damage to the plant. Huntsville fire officials say they sent fire crews and a HAZMAT team to assist.

A woman who lives near the plant said the explosion "shook her house." 

Ultratec Special Effects manufactures fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices. 

We have a crew on the scene. Stay with WAFF 48 and WAFF.com for updates. 

There was an explosion at Ultratec Special Effects on Feb. 6 that killed two people and left others with burns. Ultratec was cited by OSHA for 13 serious safety violations. The results of an investigation into that fire were turned over to the Madison County grand jury, according to state fire marshal Ed Paulk. The company was allowed to resume production in April after Paulk amended a cease and desist order. 

The plant has a history of multiple explosions and fires. There have been five incidents at the plant dating back to 1999. That year, one person died in an explos
us_AL  industrial  explosion  response  fireworks 
6 days ago
Officials identify substance that spilled in Channel Islands university lab
CAMARILLO, Calif. - A substance that spilled Tuesday afternoon in a lab at CSU Channel Islands was identified as acryloyl chloride, officials said Wednesday.
us_CA  laboratory  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
7 days ago
Vt. boy treated in Boston for severe chemical burns
A 10-year-old Vermont boy is being treated in a Boston hospital for severe chemical burns.

Vermont State Police said Dakota Allen was with his 13-year-old brother in the backyard of their Newark home when a chemical they were playing with exploded.

The call came in just before 11:30 a.m. Monday from a neighbor who reported Allen had gotten severe chemical burns. Police said he and his brother were playing with nitro-methane, a bottle rocket fuel they had found in a storage shed in the backyard.

Police said Allen was handling the chemical when it exploded, burning nearly 75 percent of his body. He was taken to Boston’s Shriners Hospital for treatment. While they don’t expect any criminal charges will be filed, police want to interview the two boys to get more details.

“There were no adults present but the 10-year-old and his older brother, who was 13 at the time, were present, so we want to get an interview to figure out what was actually happening back there,” said Lt. Mike Henry with thestate police.

Henry said the chemical is more volatile than gas, but police aren’t sure what caused the explosion.
us_VT  public  explosion  injury  fireworks 
7 days ago
Geneva Chemical Spill
GENEVA, N.Y. -- A hazardous materials crew was called in Tuesday night for a chemical spill at a water treatment plant in Ontario County.

The Geneva Fire Chief says two workers at the plant on Middle Street were trying to change a tank they thought was empty. When they unhooked it, he says chlorine began to spill. Everyone evacuated the building and a hazmat team was called in.

The fire department was able to stop the spill, but another company will be called in to finish cleaning up. 
us_NY  industrial  release  response  chlorine  water_treatment 
7 days ago
UAH’s Shelby Center evacuated after chemical experiment sets off alarm, no injuries reported
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – An experiment set off a smoke alarm Wednesday at the Shelby Center for Science and Technology, one of the main buildings on the UAH campus in Huntsville.

Ray Garner, spokesperson for UAH, said firefighters were called to the school just before 4 p.m.  It wasn’t a fire, but rather a plume of smoke set off by a chemical experiment.  A professor and team of students were conducting the test, Garner said.

Garner said hazardous materials crews have shut down the building in order to secure it.  It will be closed for the rest of the night — so classes in the Shelby Center this evening are cancelled.
us_AL  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Fire rages at chemical godown in Indore, petrol pump staff assault journos
Summary: "The petrol pump has been sealed and we are checking if there were any discrepancies in the petrol which was being sold. Solvent and thinner was present at the godown and connection between the godown and the petrol pump is being ascertained," said Tripathi. INDORE: Three people, including journalists were injured when staff of a petrol pump pelted stones and thrashed media persons who had gathered to report a major fire at an adjacent chemical godown on Tuesday. "Owner of the petrol pump and the godown were not present in the city when the incident took place. This might be the reason why media persons were attacked when they tried finding out the reason of the fire," he added.
India  industrial  fire  injury  gasoline  solvent 
7 days ago
Alabama residents call Jackson County with complaints about Chevron gasoline smell
PASCAGOULA -- Alabama residents on Dauphin Island are calling Jackson County tonight with complaints about a strong smell of gasoline from the Chevron Pascagoula Refinery.

The DEQ and the EPA have been notified about the complaints, Jackson County officials said Tuesday night.

The EPA and U.S. Coast Guard were on the scene this week as Chevron's Pascagoula Refinery dealt with the failure of a huge tank because of the heavy rains Sunday.

A refinery representative warned a nearby neighborhood Monday that the repair would expose people in the area to odor and chemical smells.
us_AL  industrial  release  response  gasoline 
7 days ago
Catalloy fined after explosion at metal catalysts plant
A UK supplier of metal catalysts to the drug industry has been fined after an explosion at its site in Widnes left an employee with minor injuries.
uk  industrial  explosion  followup  hydrogen 
8 days ago
Acid spilled on road following accident
KOTA KINABALU: A major disaster was averted when eight barrels of nitric acid fell off a moving lorry near SK Kolombong in Inanam near here yesterday.

Two of the barrels subsequently burst causing massive spillage onto the road while the remaining six barrels were scattered all over the place.

The 9.30am incident occurred when the driver of the lorry, transporting 73 barrels of nitric acid, lost control of the wheel. This caused eight barrels to fall off the lorry when the securing lashes broke, while two barrels burst upon impact with the road.

State Fire and Rescue Services Department public relations officer Superintendent Mohd Affendy Ramli said about 40 litres of nitric acid spilled onto the road and firemen from the Hazmat Unit were immediately deployed to control the situation.

“Investigation at the scene revealed that each barrel contained about 10 litres of nitric acid.
malaysia  transportation  release  injury  nitric_acid 
8 days ago
Students And Staff Exposed To Potentially Hazardous Chemicals At Cal State University, Channel Islands
Five students and two staff members are being treated after being exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals at Cal State University, Channel Islands, Tuesday.


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It happened in a lab on the second floor of Aliso Hall just after 4 p.m.

Ventura County Fire Captain Mike Lindbery said a student opened a refrigerator that normally contains chemicals, when mist started coming out of it.

Officials do not know what type of substance(s) was released.

Seven people were in the room and the rest of the building was evacuated, but so far no injuries have been reported. Classes in the building have been cancelled for the rest of the day.

“Right now, there is no sense of urgency. None of the patients are showing significant symptoms and so far there are no hospital transports,” Capt. Lindbery said.

Hazmat crews from Ventura County Fire, City Fire and Oxnard Fire are on scene. They are testing the pH levels on the skin of those exposed to determine what the chemical might be and what type of protective clothing and materials are needed to make an entry.
us_ca  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Pool chemical mishap brings hazmat team to Turlock High
A pool chemical supplier accidently pumped acid into the chlorine tank at the Turlock High Pool on Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of nearby classrooms.

Turlock High officials contacted the Turlock Fire Department around 1 p.m. Tuesday after a scheduled delivery of hydrochloric acid and chlorine had accidently mixed.

The Turlock Fire Department responded to the scene and later contacted the Stanislaus County Department of Environmental Resources which assisted in decontaminating the area.

No students were injured during this incident, however, the delivery driver was transported to a nearby hospital for a precautionary evaluation.

According to school officials, students were evacuated from classrooms adjacent to the pool and a safety perimeter was set up to prevent people from walking into the contaminated area.
us_ca  education  release  response  chlorine 
8 days ago
Wilmington urges proper disposal after fire
WILMINGTON -- After a minor chemical fire ignited inside a trash truck, the city's solid waste office is encouraging customers to properly dispose of hazardous waste.

No one was injured by the fire in the residential trash truck, which did not damage the vehicle and was handled by the Wilmington Fire Department.

Hazardous waste, including flammable chemicals, should be taken to the New Hanover County Household Hazardous Waste facility at 3002 U.S. 421 N., according to the city. The facility is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The facility accepts the following: acids, aerosols, antifreeze, batteries, caustics, fertilizers, fuels, cooking oil, herbicides/fungicides, household cleaners, motor oil, paint, pesticides, solvents and stains/varnishes/sealers.

The facility also accepts electronics for recycling and other items, including CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, cellphones, compact fluorescent light bulbs, ballasts, electronics, flares, helium tanks, mercury thermostats/thermometers and needles.
us_NC  transportation  fire  response  waste 
9 days ago
Chemical spill contained at Jasper truck stop
JASPER, AL (WBRC) - The City of Cullman Hazmat team and the Jasper Fire Department have contained hazmat situation at Love's Travel Stop at exit 65 on I-22 following a substance leak Monday.

Hazmat officials say that Dimethyl Amino Ethyl Acrylate, a liquid plastic substance was leaking from a truck stopped at Loves. The substance is described as "very dangerous," according to officials. 

The scene has been contaminated. 

The substance had been leaking every forty seconds. The chemical can be fatal if it is inhaled, according to fire officials. 

The trucking company brought in an offload truck from Memphis to help with the situation. 

According to a trucker at the stop, a perimeter was set up around the truck and people have been evacuated from the area.
us_AL  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
9 days ago
Waco student transported to Scott & White with chemical burns
A 17-year-old Waco student has been released from Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center after receiving multiple chemical burns on his back Monday, Waco Independent School District officials said.
The teenager was transported to the hospital after he backed into another student carrying a beaker of sulfuric acid — which spilled on both students — at the Greater Waco Advanced Manufacturing Academy about 1:30 p.m., said Waco ISD spokesman Dale Caffey.
The students used the in-lab shower, but took the one student to the hospital as a precaution. The student holding the beaker also received a burn on his hand, which was treated at the academy, Caffey said.
Campus officials are conducting an investigation to ensure all safety procedures were followed.
laboratory  release  injury  sulfuric_acid 
9 days ago
Frederick County tracking Potomac River chemical spill
A chemical spill in the Potomac River is expected to make its way to Frederick County by Oct. 11.

There’s a chance, a Frederick County official said, that the chemical plume could arrive as soon as Friday if there’s more precipitation.

About 10,000 gallons of synthetic latex were spilled near a paper mill in Allegany County. The spill was reported to the Maryland Department of the Environment as a yellow or white discoloration in the river.

Frederick County Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management Director Kevin Demosky said the plume is calculated to arrive at Frederick County’s water intake on Oct. 11 at 9:19 a.m.

The county’s intake location for drinking water from the Potomac River is roughly at the end of New Design Road.

Water utilities representatives are unsure if the chemical spill will affect drinking water.
us_MD  public  release  environmental  other_chemical 
9 days ago
Violent chemical reaction prompts evacuation in Kettering| Dayton
A violent chemical reaction tonight prompted an evacuation and sent two people to a local hospital.
Kettering fire and hazmat crews were called around 6 p.m. to Mound Laser & Photonics Center, 2941 College Drive.
“We got dispatched on a chemical explosion,” said Battalion Chief Jon Durrenberg of the Kettering Fire Department. “Two chemicals that weren’t compatible got mixed together and created a violent reaction.”
The building was evacuated, and two people in the vicinity of the incident were taken for observation to Miami Valley Hospital as a precaution, Durrenberg said.
The chemicals involved were hydrofluoric acid, nitric acid and isopropryl alcohol, the battalion chief said.
“It wasn’t an explosion, it was just, as they call it, a violent exothermic reaction,” Durrenberg said. “It created a lot of heat, a lot of mess (with splattering), a cloud of gas. It was enough to make them evacuate immediately.”
About a dozen or two people were in the building at the time of the incident.
The facility fabricates various metal components, which are laser-cut and then treated with acids and alcohol, Durrenberg said, as part of the manufacturing process.
According to the company’s website, it serves medical and defense industries.
us_OH  industrial  explosion  injury  acids  hydrofluoric_acid  nitric_acid 
9 days ago
Traffic delayed after chemical spill on Moorhouse Ave
Traffic is flowing again on Moorhouse Ave, in Christchurch, after a chemical spill caused delays. 

The Fire Service said 20L plastic drum of antifreeze rolled off a vehicle and hit another vehicle about 8.25am on Monday. 

Christchurch Transport Operations Centre (CTOC) advisor Luke Thomas said Moorhouse Ave went down to two lanes westbound between Durham and Montreal streets because of the incident. 

Emergency Services attended. 

It took about 30 minutes to clear the spill. 

A member of public who got antifreeze on them was treated at the scene but was uninjured. 
New_Zealand  transportation  release  response  antifreeze 
10 days ago
Person injured in UGA lab explosion recovers
The man injured during an explosion in a lab at the University of Georgia campus this week has recovered.

The explosion happened about 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center on Riverbend Road.

One person, Fan Yi, 27, who police described as a visitor on campus, received injuries to his hand and face.

Yi was taken to Athens Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released later that day.

Two other people were working in the lab when the explosion occurred, but they were not hurt, police said.

Officially, the cause of the explosion is unknown. However, witnesses told police that Yi was working with sulfuric acid and that a hazardous waste bottle Yi was using is what exploded.
us_GA  laboratory  explosion  injury  sulfuric_acid  waste 
12 days ago
All-clear after fumes inside state lab cleared
The Jacksonville Fire-Rescue's hazardous materials team responded when a power failure at the state lab inside the Duval County Health Department allowed a buildup of sulfuric acid fumes.

JFRD send 12 units and the building on West 6th Street was evacuated until the power was restored and the fans came back on. At that point the fumes cleared by themselves.

There were no injuries, and the building was reopened to employees and visitors.
us_FL  laboratory  release  response  sulfuric_acid 
12 days ago
Explosives call prompts evacuations, street closures
Emergency crews and a hazmat team were called to Saskatoon’s north end Friday after a chemical disposal company discovered a highly unstable container of ether outside a laboratory.
The company was called to the lab on the 800 block of 58th Street West to pick up two containers of the expired chemical, but one container was deformed, according to the fire department. Emergency crews responded just after noon.
“The chemical was deformed and dangerous,” the department said in a media release. “The chemical is extremely unstable in this state.
Saskatoon emergency crews were called to a laboratory on 58th Street East after a deformed container of ether — a potentially explosive chemical — was discovered.
Ether is highly flammable and a potentially explosive chemical.
The Saskatoon police explosives disposal team and members of the fire department’s hazardous materials unit responded.
The lab and several nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution and streets in the area were closed down.
The Saskatoon Fire Department disposed of the chemical in a vacant field by 60th Street and Faithfull Avenue around 9 p.m.
Canada  laboratory  discovery  response  diethyl_ether  waste 
12 days ago
Judge again denies defense request to postpone West explosion trial
The judge presiding over the West fertilizer plant explosion cases denied a motion Friday to postpone the upcoming trial despite defense assertions that federal investigators recently shared evidence with them that could prove important to the litigation.
While Dallas attorney Carlos Balido said the information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives shared Thursday with the defense is a “significant break in the case,” 170th State District Judge Jim Meyer was not persuaded to postpone the first trial, set to begin Oct. 12.
“I can see this dragging on for a year,” Meyer said in denying the motion for continuance.
Meyer has already delayed the trial twice from its initial trial setting. Friday’s request was the third time since January that defense attorneys have sought a delay.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  ag_chems  explosives 
12 days ago
Ammonia leak shuts down brewery
Pacific Western Brewery was evacuated and Prince George Fire Rescue was called in to deal with an ammonia leak on Thursday afternoon.

PGFR deputy chief Cliff Warner said the leak erupted when a valve was hit and cracked. He said the leak was isolated to an enclosed room and firefighters were to go in to try to further contain the damaged equipment and ventilate the building.

Firefighters were called in at about 12:15 p.m. and were on the scene for most of the afternoon.
Canada  public  release  response  ammonia 
13 days ago
Mercury spilled at Battle Creek home
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- A chemical spill in Battle Creek Thursday morning prompted a response from HAZMAT crews, according to the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department Dispatch.

The spill happened at 73 S. Union Street just before 11 a.m. Thursday, dispatchers said.

Officials say that 16 ounces of mercury was spilled on a small porch on the back of the house. Two technicians were able to contain the spill to one small area.  They are waiting for an environmental company to come and take it away.  It is unknown where the mercury came from.

Two people were being isolated and decontaminated.  A third was being pulled from school to be tested.
us_MI  public  release  response  mercury 
13 days ago
Small Chemical Explosion Leads to Building Evacuation
A small chemical explosion led to the evacuation of a building at Texas Southmost College in Brownsville. The explosion happened in a lab on Thursday morning at the science, engineering and technology building.

Physics professor Ahmed Touhami said one of his students was cleaning his station, when he put an acidic chemical in another container and then sealed the container. The container exploded moments later.

The student was the only person in the lab at the time. He was not injured.

Safety officials transported the student to the hospital as a precaution
us_TX  laboratory  explosion  response  acids 
13 days ago
Chemical spill closes highway at Karapiro
A chemical spill on SH1 at Karapiro last night around 11.30 pm has kept the road closed all night and not due to open until 11am this morning....

Three police officers were taken to hospital after becoming unwell from fumes off a chemical spill that closed a Waikato highway for 12 hours. 

The Mainfrieght truck carrying a load of chemicals crashed on State Highway 1, at Karapiro, at 11.30pm on Thursday and emergency services worked through the night to contain the spill.

When the first fire crews arrived chlorine could be smelled up to 8km away, near the Mobil service station, he said.

At its peak, 40 firefighters were working to contain the spill overnight with rotating crews, a hazardous substance unit and showers set up to decontaminate. 

"When some of the powder form mixes with water it gives off a chemical smell," Breeze said.
The mostly 20 to 100 litre drums contained chemicals including everyday cleaning products like hand wash, teet-washers, chlorine powder and pool cleaner, Breeze said.
New_Zealand  transportation  release  injury  chlorine  cleaners  dust 
13 days ago
Taking action: Fire department responds to chemical spill
An evacuation followed a chemical spill at the M1 Biology Lab on Thursday at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s campus in Brownsville
Patrick Gonzales, UTRGV assistant vice president for marketing and communications, said a student spilled a liter of chemicals, and the emergency call to the Brownsville Fire Department was made at 10:51 a.m.
The entire building was evacuated, Brownsville’s Assistant Fire Chief Mario Guerrero said, and the fire department’s hazardous materials team was called to the scene but not needed.
However, after the situation had been assessed, the hazardous materials team did not need to be activated, Guerrero said.
Only one other person was in the building at the time of the spill, and that person was evacuated safely, Gonzales said.
us_TX  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Chemical solution spilled at Stonehill College in Easton
EASTON – The science building at Stonehill College was evacuated Thursday afternoon after a student dropped a chemical solution, officials said.
The Shields Science Center was evacuated just before 1 p.m. as local firefighters and a state department responded to the college.
A glass jar containing a chemical solution was dropped by a student and the liquid spilled inside one of the science rooms, fire officials said.
“There is a possible chemical spill in the Science Center and the building has been evacuated,” said Martin McGovern, a college spokesman. “It will be closed for at least three hours.”
A state hazardous materials response team responded for a Tier 1 incident, which is the lowest of five levels.
They later determined that a student carrying a 4-liter glass jar containing a “water-based solution” of “the diluted chemicals copper sulphate and hydrochloric acid” spilled, McGovern said.
us_MA  laboratory  release  response  copper_sulphate  hydrochloric_acid 
13 days ago
LFR Called to Fire, Man Covered in Chemicals Thursday Morning
Lubbock Fire Rescue responded to the report of a fire Thursday morning at Thermo King, 2420 East Slaton Highway. 

According to a photojournalist at the scene, firefighters extinguished a fire that was near a large propane tank.  LFR also found a man covered in chemicals.  He was decontaminated at the scene before EMS took him to University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. 

According to the photojournalist, the business was evacuated during the incident.  The fire marshal was asked to come investigate.  Specifics were not yet available on how the fire and the chemical contamination happened.  
us_TX  public  fire  injury  propane 
13 days ago
FDA hiring top official to improve lab safety in wake of smallpox incident
Laboratories operated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lack key data for tracking safety incidents, fail to require important training and need to establish more consistent procedures, according to a report by outside experts examining federal biolabs in the wake of high-profile mishaps with deadly pathogens.

The FDA Is addressing the issues by hiring a top safety official, improving training and taking several other actions, said Luciana Borio, the agency’s acting chief scientist. The FDA’s scientists do research with bacteria and viruses that cause food-borne illnesses as well as those with potential to be used as bioweapons as part of the agency's work regulating a wide range of products.

“I thought the report was extraordinarily important for us,” Borio said Wednesday. The agency has a “tremendous commitment” to improving safety and putting new agency-wide training and specimen inventory programs in place by next year, she said.
laboratory  follow-up  environmental 
14 days ago
China’s State Council Probes the Tianjin Explosions
While Chinese President Xi Jinping is touring factories and visiting schools in Seattle, Premier Li Keqiang is staying busy back in China. On Tuesday, Li had a particularly important task: hearing a briefing on the State Council’s investigation into the deadly explosions that took place in Tianjin last month.

On August 12, two major explosions occurred at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin, killing 165 people. China’s state media later reported that the company that operated the warehouse, Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics Co. Ltd., had used the political connections of its owners to circumvent safety regulations and inspections. In the wake of the explosion, China announced that 23 people — business executives, including officials at Tianjin’s port, as well as government officials — had been arrested for their roles in the blasts. Beijing also announced that Yang Dongliang, head of China’s State Administration of Work Safety was being investigated for corruption, although that move was not directly tied to the Tianjin blasts.

The State Council investigation team was called to examine the extent of the damage as well as the cause of the blast. According to Xinhua, Li was briefed on both those points – but the story did not actually include the investigation’s findings, as the report has not yet been finalized.

As for the question of damages, the numbers are unclear. Estimates of the damage done by the blast are staggering – Credit Suisse put the number of insurance losses $1-1.5 billion; a more recent estimate from reinsurance firm Guy Carpenter said insurance losses could reach as high as $3 billion. The State Council’s estimates will have to wait until the investigation’s report is completed and made public.
China  industrial  follow-up  death  other_chemical 
14 days ago
Liberia: Several Injured in Sime Darby Explosion
Sime Darby, an oil palm plantation owned by Malaysian firm has confirmed a fire incident that led to the injuries of several persons on its plantation. According to the Public Affairs Officer of Sime Darby, David Kolleh who addressed a news conference on Monday, said the fire incident occurred Sunday morning thereby causing several employees to sustain injuries. The situation also led to the destruction of several bags of fertilizers in its chemical warehouses and other valuable properties.

In brief remarks, Mr. Kolleh said the plantation regrets the incident which started about 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning but was quickly extinguished by health safety and environment team members at the plantation.

As a result of the severity of the chemical explosion, Mr. Kolleh has warned residents of Clay District, Bomi County to stop drinking from wells, hand-pumps, and creeks in the area. Sime Darby has at the same time warned students attending the plantation school and other schools in and around the area to remain home as means of providing safety measures.
Liberia  industrial  explosion  injury  ag_chems 
14 days ago
Cupertino: Lehigh cement facility reaches another settlement with EPA over toxic chemical releases
Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. in unincorporated Cupertino has agreed to pay a $47,600 penalty and spend $144,250 on projects and hazmat suit donations as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The settlement, announced Tuesday, involves Lehigh's alleged failure to properly report the release of toxic chemicals at its cement facility in the hills between Cupertino and Los Altos Hills in 2009 and 2010.

Under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, Lehigh was required to submit to the EPA and the state of California an accurate Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Form R for every toxic chemical manufactured or processed in quantities exceeding established thresholds, according to the EPA's Tuesday announcement.

An inspection by the EPA found that in 2009 and 2010, Lehigh manufactured or processed nickel, thallium, lead and mercury compounds at the Cupertino plant in amounts that exceeded those thresholds, then either failed to submit or submitted inaccurate Form Rs for those chemicals.

"The citizens of Cupertino play an important role in holding polluters accountable, and they rely on data from the Community Right-to-Know law," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest in a press statement. "It is critical for Lehigh to comply with federal laws that ensure the safety of neighboring communities and protect the local environment."
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  mercury  toxics 
15 days ago
Chemicals in trash truck mix to cause hazardous smoke
BUZZARDS BAY — A garbage truck began releasing a toxic smoke Tuesday morning after chemicals that had been thrown away mixed to create a hazardous emission, said Bourne fire Lt. Jason Silva.
Garbage collectors noticed a strange smell and saw smoke coming out of the back of their truck as it drove down Armory Road and called the Bourne Fire Department at about 9:30 a.m., Silva said.
Firefighters determined the smoke was caused by a chemical release and closed Armory Road for about an hour, he said. The state Hazardous Materials Division responded and secured the dangerous contents, he said.
Household chemicals, such as bleach or cleaners containing ammonia , should not be thrown away, and residents should take them to their local landfills to ask about recycling, he said.
"Completely harmless things can mix together and become harmful," he said.
us_MA  transportation  release  response  unknown_chemical  waste 
15 days ago
A ‘Strange Chemical Reaction’ Occurs When Pool Chlorine Is Mixed With Coca-Cola
A video posted to the Home Science YouTube channel shows the “strange chemical reaction” that occurs when pool chlorine is mixed with popular soft drink Coca-Cola.

For a few seconds, nothing happens when the two come into contact with each other.

However, moments later, bubbles can be seen violently floating to the top, ultimately pouring outside the glass in a “spectacular little explosion.”

According to the creators of the YouTube video, the gas produces is actually poisonous, so don’t try the experiment at home.

“The small amount of phosphoric acid in the Coke sets off a chemical reaction with the calcium hypochlorite, producing poisonous chlorine gas and a spectacular little explosion,” the producers wrote on YouTube.
public  discovery  environmental  chlorine  phosphoric_acid 
15 days ago
Bayer to pay $5.6 million in settlement with EPA
Bayer CropScience will pay $5.6 million as a part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency for an explosion in 2008 that killed two people at a West Virginia facility.

In August 2008, an explosion from a thermal reaction during the production of insecticides at the plant in Institute, W. Va. killed two and sent two others to the hospital. Bayer CropScience is a division of pharmaceutical company Bayer AG.

According to a statement from the EPA, Bayer CropScience didn't comply with its risk management plan and didn't train employees to operate a control system that could have contained the factors that led to the explosion.

The company will now be forced to pay $4.23 million for environmental projects in the Institute community, including improving communications for first responders, providing emergency response equipment to police and firefighters, and hazardous waste collection at local schools, according to a statement released Monday.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  death  pesticides 
16 days ago
Chemical explosion sends student to hospital
A chemical explosion sent one student to Akron General Medical Center last Tuesday evening.
The explosion occurred in the lab of Judit E. Puskas, located in the The Timken Engineered Surface Laboratory of the Wolf Ledges Parkway Engineering Research Building.
During the accident, a flask containing distilled alloocimene exploded in the graduate student’s hand. Glass shards cut the student’s face and hands and caused some bleeding, but left only superficial marks.
Puskas was notified of the accident and went to stay with her graduate student in the hospital who was later released that night.
The lab was cleaned and shut down for a few hours to ensure it was safe to reenter.
After the lockdown was lifted, a regular safety check was done. All safety checks at the lab are documented on a regular basis.
The graduate student respectfully asked to remain anonymous. “It wasn’t a big deal and he is fine,” Dr. Puskas said.
The procedure used Tuesday night has been done countless of times with proper handling of equipment. The graduate student was wearing their lab coat, rubber gloves and safety glasses. A chemical reaction wasn’t involved in the explosion.
The flask being used possibly had a microcrack which could have lead to the explosion from the thermal expansion of the content in the flask.
“Chemistry and engineering is a dangerous profession and there is no way around an accident not happening. Accidents do happen and the only thing we can do is protect ourselves,” Puskas said.
us_OH  laboratory  follow-up  injury  unknown_chemical 
16 days ago
1 dead, 3 injured in blasts at chemical factory in southeastern Spain
MADRID –  Spanish officials say one person has died and at least three others are seriously injured after two explosions at a chemical and fuel factory outside the southeastern town of Almeria.

A police spokeswoman said the blasts happened Monday in the PITA industrial complex 30 kilometers (20 miles) outside the city. The city's Interior Ministry office said one worker died and three were injured.

The spokeswoman said firefighters were searching the area for others who could possibly be injured. She spoke on condition of anonymity because of police rules preventing her from being named.
Spain  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
16 days ago
Cleanup at Phoenix plant after chemical incident
A hazardous-material crew from the Phoenix Fire Department determined there was no environmental threat following a chemical incident at a south city business on Monday.

The fire department was called in Monday afternoon to monitor the area, hours after the premature mixture of two undisclosed chemicals started emitting potentially hazardous fumes.

The plant where the incident occurred, NOV Ameron Water Transmission, breaks down rock to make concrete and is on Seventh Street just south of Interstate 17, according to a Phoenix fire official.

Hazmat crews determined the chemical reaction had been producing O2, or oxygen, and CO2, or carbon dioxide, which forms during respiration.

The main danger of a CO2 leak for people in the immediate vicinity is light-headedness, while oxygen leaks can increase flammability, a fire official said.

Monitor readings showed there was no threat to the environment, but authorities asked motorists to avoid the area as the evening commute approached.
us_AZ  industrial  release  response  carbon_dioxide  oxygen 
16 days ago
Crews Responding To Anhydrous Leak
Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY/WDAZ-TV) - Hazmat crews are responding to an anhydrous leak in Clay County.

The leak was noticed on a 30,000 gallon tank at the Kragnes Elevator, located at 9673 21st Street North around 7PM Sunday night.

Police nearing end of probe into alleged hate crime at UND fraternity
The Clay County Sheriff’s Department says the leak was called in by the Kragnes Inn when someone smelled something suspicious.

Residents were allowed to leave their homes but were advised to stay inside.

Fire crews did an air quality check around the tank and say it is safe.
us_MN  public  release  response  unknown_chemical 
16 days ago
HAZMAT team cleans up oil spill from auto shop in Danville
DANVILLE (WSLS 10) – Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) crews will be in Danville for a few days cleaning up an oil spill.

According to the fire department, the spill happened just after 9 a.m. Monday at Woodall Chevrolet on Riverside Drive. Employees told crews a valve malfunctioned, releasing 400 gallons of motor oil onto the floor of the parts department and automotive shop.

Most of the oil was contained, but some leaked into a storm drain and then into the Dan River.

The Virginia departments of Environmental Quality and Emergency Management have been notified.
us_VA  public  release  environmental  oils  petroleum 
16 days ago
Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Idaho News, Weather, Sports and Breaking News
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- A family has been displaced after high mercury levels were found in their Boise home Thursday evening.

The Boise Fire Department responded to a call about a mercury spill on the 1100 block of Lee Street. When firefighters got there, they found high levels of mercury at the entrance to the home.

Officials say the residents--three adults, a dog and four children under the age of nine--were immediately vacated. The American Red Cross provided them with temporary housing and everyone received medical evaluations.
us_ID  public  release  response  mercury 
17 days ago
Hazmat crews respond to ammonia leak in Clay County
KRAGNES TOWNSHIP, Minn. – Hazmat crews responded to an anhydrous ammonia leak in Clay County on Sunday night.

The leak, at the Kragnes Elevator located at 9673 21st St. N., was reported around 7 p.m.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Department says the leak was called in by someone at the Kragnes Inn after they smelled something suspicious.

Fire crews did an air quality check around the tank and said that it’s safe.
us_MN  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
17 days ago
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Nearly 30 MCLA students were taken to the hospital on Saturday night after being exposed to an unknown substance that caused the evacuation of the Berkshire Towers dormitory.

According to a statement from Massachusetts College of LIberal Arts on Sunday morning, "indications of ammonia were found but no source was identified. The college has arranged for further air quality testing to ensure the safety of Berkshire Towers residents."

The Berkshire Towers will remain closed for the short term until then and students residing in the dorms will be offered alternative housing. Classes will resume Monday as scheduled.

The students who were taken to the hospital for evaluation have returned to campus.
us_MA  education  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
18 days ago
Chemical spill contained at Fonterra plant
Firefighters contained a chemical spill at a dairy processing factory this morning.

60 litres of nitric acid leaked at Fonterra's Edendale plant in Southland.

Fire Service southern communications acting shift manager Lyn Crosson said firefighters arrived at the plant shortly after 9am and stayed there for about four hours.

"The leak was isolated from inside and the spill outside was contained very quickly."

The nitric acid was cleaned up and then had to be carefully disposed of.

A Fonterra plant engineer worked with firefighters to contain the spill, Ms Crosson said.Firefighters had to be decontaminated afterwards.
New_Zealand  industrial  release  response  nitric_acid 
18 days ago
2020 Science Microbeads: The science behind the risk
There’s a new viewpoint article in the Journal Environmental Science and Technology that calls for a ban on the use of microbeads, based on available evidence, and that has been causing something of a stir.

The authors argue that the number of microbeads being washed into the environment from personal care products raises sufficient concerns to justify replacing them with alternative materials, or removing them from products altogether.

These small beads of plastic – usually polyethylene – are added to many personal care products products like facial scrubs, shampoos, and even toothpaste – as an exfoliant.  The problem is, they are designed to wash down the sink, where they get into environmental water systems.  And because they don’t degrade, they accumulate, and eventually enter the food chain.

More worryingly, they have a tendency to adsorb toxic materials such as dioxins – making them even more worrisome.
public  release  environmental  other_chemical 
19 days ago
Family recovers from carbon monoxide poisoning
St. Petersburg, Florida - Firefighters rushed a family of seven, overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning, to the hospital at around 4:15 Friday morning.

As firefighters pulled up, they found Ernest Dickson's girlfriend, Veronica, and five children all on the porch conscious, but Ernest had stumbled out of the door and collapsed.

Family survives carbon monoxide scare WTSP

"I just called the ambulance. And they was like, 'Well, get everybody out of the house, make sure everybody's out.' I was the last one to get out. I crawled to the front door, and that was it," he says.
us_FL  public  release  injury  carbon_monoxide 
19 days ago
Firm in China Chemical Blast Skirted Safety Rules
The recent blast in Tianjin port and other Chinese chemical plant accidents have prompted an overhaul of the country’s approach to safety amid accusations of corruption and mismanagement.

On 12 August, a warehouse in Tianjin erupted in an explosive blaze that killed dozens of people, and damaged and destroyed property. The warehouse had, among other things, been storing 800 tonnes of ammonium nitrate and 500 tonnes of potassium nitrate, as well as 700 tonnes of sodium cyanide and large quantities of calcium carbide. The death toll from the explosion now stands at 165, including 99 firemen, 11 police and 55 civilians, with eight people still missing.

The clean-up operation is now almost complete with nearly all hazardous chemicals from the blast having been cleared. Nine air monitoring sites and seven of the nine water monitoring sites report no findings of toxic chemicals. Cyanides have been identified at the remaining two water monitoring sites, but the concentrations are below safety benchmarks.
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental  ammonium_nitrate  calcium_carbide  cyanide  potassium_nitrate  sodium_cyanide  toxics 
19 days ago
Valley Fire: Public Health Emergency Declared in Lake County
Lake County leaders declared a public health emergency on Friday due to concerns about possible “chemical and contaminants” that might have been contained in structures that burned up during the Valley Fire.
The declaration allows for more mutual aid and state help in cleaning up areas affected by the wildfire.
Lake County Health Officer Dr. Karen Tait officially made the declaration on Tuesday, but did not make a public announcement because she said she was concerned it would raise panic among residents.
The Valley Fire burning in Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties stood at 73,700 acres and was 45 percent contained, Cal Fire officials said Friday night.
us_CA  public  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
19 days ago
41 hospitalised after ammonia leak at China chemical plant
Forty-one people have been admitted to hospital, including five in serious conditions, following a synthetic ammonia leak at a chemical plant in China's central Henan Province, the latest industrial accident in the country.

About 300 kgs of synthesised ammonia leaked from a cracked pipe at Henan Zhonghong Coal Chemical Company yesterday.

A total of 154 residents who live nearby the accident site were sent to hospital. Forty-one remain under observation, including five in serious conditions, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

The government said the ammonia detected in the air near the site is within the national standard.

Plant operations have been suspended. A number of incidents of workplace safety hazards have occurred in China.
China  industrial  release  injury  ammonia 
19 days ago
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