8366
Taliban booby-trap blew off scientist's fingers inside UK high-security lab in Afghanistan
A British scientist suffered serious hand and face injuries when a Taliban booby-trap bomb exploded inside a top-security laboratory in Afghanistan.

Military police are investigating why the device wasn’t detected by stringent security checks it should have gone through before it was given to the expert to examine.

The scientist, having been assured the device was safe, was not wearing protective equipment. But it blew up in his hand.
Afghanistan  laboratory  explosion  injury  bomb 
3 hours ago
Professor warns of future chemical leak risk at Pasminco
UNIVERSITY of Newcastle chemical engineer John Lucas believes there is a risk the containment cell on the former Pasminco smelter site could leak in years to come.

More than 1.9million cubic metres of toxic waste will be locked in the site’s containment cell by the time it is sealed next year.

Planning documents show the cell will be constructed with low permeability materials to minimise the interaction of surface water and the contaminated materials.

But Associate Professor Lucas said history had shown some containment cells had leaked because their surrounding barrier had broken down over time.

‘‘A lot of people think they are concrete-lined but they aren’t because of the cost,’’ he said. ‘‘The only concrete-lined containment cell that I know of is at Chernobyl.’’

Professor Lucas, who has consulted on major land decontamination projects around Australia, said there was evidence that the containment cell installed at Sydney Olympic Park 15 years ago was starting to leak.
Australia  industrial  follow-up  environmental  waste 
3 hours ago
Officials clueless about burning chemical waste
HYDERABAD: A day after hundreds of residents of HMT Colony were left choking and spluttering after unidentified miscreants secretly burnt 20 gunny sacks of chemical waste generated from one of the industries in the area, officials began probe into the incident.

The pollution control board (PCB) has taken up the task of identifying damage caused by the burning of chemical waste in public. Officials from the pollution control board and the municipality have collected samples from the spot for examination.

"We have collected samples from the gunny sacks and sent them for tests. Burning of chemical waste in public was a criminal act. We are also examining the impact it caused on locals," said Dr W G Prasanna Kumar, a social scientist with the pollution control board. The PCB officials said it would take two to three days to identify the chemicals. "Going by the contents of the gunny sacks we can identify the chemicals and industries involved in the waste burning," Kumar added. Though there were a number of industries in the area, scientists said that the chemical could be one used for collecting fingerprints. Ironically, even after dousing flames, officials on Sunday resorted to covering up the remnants of the chemical waste with soil, instead of disposing them properly.
India  industrial  fire  response  illegal  waste 
3 hours ago
911 Not Called For An Hour In Fatal Chemical Plant Incident
  Four workers killed by poisonous gas during a recent Texas chemical leak were trapped inside the pesticide plant for an hour before 911 was called, and no one told dispatchers what substances were inside.

The DuPont plant in La Porte typically housed as much as 250 tons of highly flammable methyl mercaptan.

But it also contained at least some methyl isocyanate. That's the same chemical that escaped a Bhopal, India, pesticide plant in 1984, killing more than 2,200 people in the world's worst industrial accident.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  thiols 
3 hours ago
Explosions: Businesses to return to Mission Rock Road must be prepared
The clock was ticking Saturday for more than two-dozen businesses and about six families who were told at a multi-agency community meeting Saturday that at 4 p.m. they could return to the area they had been evacuated from since a chemical explosion Tuesday.

“It’s been a pretty rough week,” Ventura County Fire Captain Mike Lindbery told the crowd that included Santa Paula Mayor Rick Cook.

But there was a caveat for those told they could return: they must be prepared to again evacuate if necessary during the cleanup effort for the still undetermined, unstable and unpredictable chemical that exploded early Tuesday morning, causing almost 50 people — including three Santa Paula Firefighters — to be treated for symptoms of exposure to toxins.

Held at the Santa Paula Community Century the meeting drew about 70 business owners, residents and interested community members who heard from county fire, law enforcement and environmental health personnel as well as a representative of the US Environmental Protection Agency about the situation in the area surrounding Santa Clara Waste Water, owned by Green Compass Co.

Farmers who had been downwind of the explosion, which occurred November 18 at 345 a.m., were advised by Korinne Bell, deputy agricultural commissioner, not to harvest new crops and limit worker access to the fields until soil sample results are determined. 
us_CA  public  follow-up  environmental  ag_chems  toxics  waste 
3 hours ago
Three killed in Sarawak mine explosion
KUCHING: A gas explosion in a coal mine in Selantik, Pantu, Sri Aman, about 130km here, killed three foreign workers and injured 24 others.

The dead were a North Korean, an Indonesian and a Myanmar national. Details of their identities were not revealed.

Sri Aman police chief DSP Mat Jusoh Mohamad said the gas fire ignited at about 450m below the tunnel’s entrance at 8.45am yesterday.

“Twenty-four of the 27 workers inside the tunnel scrambled out and helped those who were injured,” he said.
Malaysia  industrial  explosion  death  natural_gas 
23 hours ago
Volunteers track hazardous materials on I-19
Clusters of neon-vested volunteers with pencils and paper were out on the Duval Mine Road overpass last week helping keep the community safer.
Seventeen people signed up to assist with a two-day hazardous materials commodity flow study involving counting cars along Interstate 19. More specifically, semi-tractor/trailer trucks with placards denoting various poisonous, toxic, caustic, explosive, flammable and other dangerous chemicals.
Additional volunteers helped along other major routes, including State Routes 77, 85 and Interstate 10.
Pima County emergency officials want to know what and how many chemicals move through the area, and are using information collected during the road survey as a good indicator. The concern: Chemicals let loose during a malfunction or crash could harm the environment, residents and other travelers
us_AZ  transportation  discovery  environmental 
23 hours ago
Household Chemical Sends 3 Sheriff's Deputies to Hospital in Palmdale
Four people, including three Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, were hospitalized Saturday night after being sickened by a chemical at a home on the outskirts of Palmdale, officials said.
The deputies were responding to a domestic violence call about 9:40 p.m. when they encountered a chemical fumes at the home on the 36400 block of Sierra Highway, officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
This story originally reported the home was a drug lab, which was being reported by county fire officials. There were medical marijuana plants, but they were allegedly being grown for medical needs.
The chemicals, originally thought to be part of the drug lab operations, were simply household fumes.
One of the three deputies was still being evaluated at the hospital, a fire official said. A fourth person, a female resident of the home, was also being treated at the hospital.
us_CA  laboratory  release  injury  drugs 
23 hours ago
Hazmat team repairs Waikiki hotel chemical leak
On Friday morning, a hazmat team from the Honolulu Fire Dept. closed off a leak in the chlorine system in the basement of the Sheraton Waikiki that was emitting fumes.

As a precaution, the surrounding area of Lewers Street and Kalia Road was cordoned off.

The report was made around 8:40 a.m. Friday. The leak was due to a faulty swimming pool pump hose. The hotel reports that the hose has been replaced and the leak contained.

Three employees later complained of nausea and irritation to their respiratory system.  They were evaluated by Emergency Medical Services personnel and refused treatment. No other injuries or illnesses were reported.
us_HI  public  release  injury  chlorine 
2 days ago
JCC-Bruton Fire Dept. extinguishes chemical fire at Toano manufacturer
TOANO – A small chemical fire at Greystone Manufacturing was contained in about ten minutes by the James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire Department on Friday afternoon.

According to fire department spokesman Bill Apperson, the fire involved a small spill of a chemical called "enprep," which is used in the industrial treatment of metal. However, he said, the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

It was reported at approximately 1 p.m. No injuries were reported, Apperson said, and the building did not sustain any damage.

He noted that because the chemical is very hazardous, the firefighters had to use special gear and go through a decontamination process before leaving the facility.

"It's something that requires a great deal of caution," Apperson said, "so that's why we were super, super careful."
us_VA  industrial  fire  response  metals 
2 days ago
Study on Safety Capacity of Chemical Industrial Park in Operation Stage
It's important for the safety planning of the chemical industrial park to calculate the safety capacity of the park as chemical industrial parks developed fast in recent decades in our country. This paper defined the safety capacity of chemical industrial park and improved the calculation methods which had been presented. The safety capacity of chemical industrial park could be calculated by using the indictors of the safety capacity (individual risk, social risk and potential risk), in the basic information of the park, such as the production scale of enterprises in the park, layout and the population distribution and so on. The new method presented the concepts of hazardous chemicals equivalent to research the impact of the hazardous chemicals species to the safety capacity. The effect of population distribution will also be considered when calculating the safety capacity. Besides, the domino effect should be discussed to fix the safety capacity of the chemical industrial park when the park is at full load condition. Then, the real safety capacity of the park could be calculated. Finally, the analysis process of the appropriate safety capacity is illustrated with an application example in a certain chemical industrial park.
china  industrial  discovery  response 
2 days ago
Hash-oil operation suspected in fatal San Bernardino County explosion
Authorities who say they found significant amounts of marijuana and butane in the debris of a blown-up home believe a hash-oil operation may have caused a massive explosion that killed a man and injured two others.

Those inside the makeshift home may have been producing "butane honey oil" when it exploded, said Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Firefighters sifting through the ruins found the man's remains in what appeared to be a basement, she said.

The explosion occurred at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a home located in the rear of a property in the 3000 block of Gray Street in Muscoy.
us_CA  public  explosion  death  butane  drugs  illegal 
2 days ago
Large-scale clandestine drug laboratory uncovered on Sydney's Northern Beaches - Drug Squad
Drug Squad detectives are in the process of dismantling a large-scale clandestine drug laboratory that was discovered on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Police were called to a chemical factory on Prosperity Parade at Warriewood about 12.15pm yesterday (Friday 21 November 2014), following an explosion and subsequent fire inside the building.

The fire was extinguished and officers from Northern Beaches Local Area Command established a crime scene.

During an examination of the crime scene, officers discovered the mezzanine level had been converted into an elaborate clandestine laboratory.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug Squad were alerted and are in the process of dismantling the lab and seizing the chemicals.

So far detectives have located and seized more than 200kg of chemicals believed to be used to manufacture MDMA (ecstasy).

The operation is continuing and due to the size of the set-up police expect the process of dismantling the site to take some time.
Australia  public  explosion  response  meth_lab 
2 days ago
Judge says Harran complying with prosecution agreement in #SheriSangji case
Attorneys for University of California, Los Angeles, chemistry professor Patrick Harran were in court today for a status check on the chemist’s compliance with an agreement with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Harran made the deal in June so that the DA’s office would eventually drop charges of four felony violations of the state labor code stemming from a 2008 fire in his lab that led to the death of research assistant Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji.
Judge George G. Lomeli said in court that he had reviewed reports submitted by the DA’s office and determined that Harran is complying with all terms of the agreement. Lomeli set the next status check for May 21, 2015.
In the June deal, Harran agreed to complete community service and pay a $10,000 fine. After five years, if Harran has complied with all terms of the agreement, the DA’s office will drop all charges.
After the hearing, Deputy DA Craig W. Hum said that his office receives reports from Harran’s attorneys detailing what the chemist has done to comply with the agreement. Investigators for the DA’s office then verify the claims in the reports.
us_CA  laboratory  follow-up  death  illegal 
3 days ago
Firefighters extinguish magnesium fire in La Porte
HOUSTON -
A fire at a La Porte heat treatment plant burned for about two hours before it was finally extinguished Wednesday morning.

The fire started at around 9 a.m. in a furnace at Texas Stress, Inc. at 1304 Underwood Road. Workers were heat-testing a newly fabricated piece of equipment made of magnesium. The Deer Park Fire department rushed pumpers to the scene, but firefighters couldn't use water to put out the fire, because water causes fires fueled by magnesium to intensify.

Firefighters used a company crane to remove the top from the furnace, causing the fire to flare for a while as fresh air rushed in. Firefighters contained the blaze, allowing it to burn down, before moving in to douse it with a compound called Metal X.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response  magnesium 
3 days ago
WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports
La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -
UPDATE: The La Crosse Fire Department is working with Midwest Fuels Thursday and Friday to try to identify the cause of Wednesday's explosion at the company on the northside of La Crosse.

Division Chief Craig Snyder, who is heading the investigation, tells WXOW they are interviewing employees and inspecting equipment as part of its investigation.

A tank containing 7,000 gallons of a mix of asphalt and diesel fuel exploded just before 7:00 p.m. Wednesday morning at the company plant at 701 Sumner Street. One employee of Midwest Fuels had minor injuries in the incident.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One person is injured in an explosion that rocked the north side of La Crosse Wednesday morning.

A spokesperson for Midwest Industrial Fuels said there were eight people working at the time of the explosion at 701 Sumner Street near Copeland Park shortly before 7:00 a.m. One employee was transported to the hospital with minor burns and has since been released.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  response  asphalt  diesel 
3 days ago
Tanker truck collapses, spills ethanol in Kenilworth (PHOTOS)
KENILWORTH — Firefighters called to the scene of what was originally described to them as a "small spill" Wednesday afternoon instead found 500 gallons of ethanol that had leaked out of a collapsed tanker truck.

The truck, carrying 7,000 gallons of ethanol, split as it was offloading its contents at a North Michigan Avenue business, said borough Fire Chief Lou Giordino.

"The tank itself just collapsed and broke open," he said.

Firefighters called the county hazardous materials team and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's emergency response team to the scene. Fire departments from nearby communities, including Union Township and Elizabeth, also assisted with the cleanup.

Crews from a private spill cleanup contractor arrived shortly before 3 p.m.
us_NJ  transportation  release  environmental  ethanol 
3 days ago
500 Robertson workers could be laid off if plant not up to code
PRINGFIELD, Tenn. -
A Robertson County manufacturing plant is facing a possible shutdown and the laying off of 500 workers if it does not bring its plant up to code.

The International Automotive Components plant was notified of multiple city and fire code violations in September.

The City of Springfield has told the owners that if they do not make numerous repairs, they could have utilities suspended to the plant.

The Springfield Fire Department has noted 36 calls for service to the plant since the first of the year, including a hazardous materials spill Nov. 2.

“We were out there for nine hours because a chemical was mistakenly injected into a tank that caused a chain reaction,” Fire Chief Jimmy Hammill said. “At one point, the chemical got up to 700 degrees.”

Hammill said fire fighters also noted issues like obstructed fire exits, cluttered work spaces and combustible materials stored outside near the building.
us_TN  industrial  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Lab at University of Aberdeen evacuated after fire in science building
Students at the University of Aberdeen were evacuated after a fire broke out in a laboratory.

The blaze began in the lab at the Meston Building at around 9.40am on Thursday.

The building, which is one of the largest on campus, was evacuated shortly afterwards.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose-reel jet at around 10.20am.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “The call came in at around 9.40am about a fire in one of the labs at the Meston Bulding.

“Three appliances attended and firefighters used breathing apparatus and hose-reel jets.”

Two appliances from Central Station and one from North Anderson Drive attended the incident, which had been brought to a close by 11am.

The SFRS could not immediately confirm the cause of the fire.
United_Kingdom  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Hazmat scare causes traffic backups on Route 128 in Lynnfield
LYNNFIELD, Mass. —A hazmat situation closed Route 128 in both directions in Lynnfield on Thursday afternoon creating a traffic nightmare for commuters.

A truck carrying liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen caught fire on Route 128 in Lynnfield Thursday forcing officials to close the road.

The road was closed in both directions in the area of exit 42.

Massachusetts State Police said a truck carrying liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen was on fire, but the fire was quickly extinguished.
us_MA  transportation  fire  response  liquid_nitrogen  liquid_oxygen 
3 days ago
Hazmat situation in Suffolk sends 13 to the hospital
Thirteen people went to the hospital with possible carbon monoxide poisoning Thursday following a hazardous materials incident at a Suffolk warehouse.

A person passed out about 2 p.m. inside a building in the 1000 block of Obici Industrial Blvd., according to a city news release.

When emergency personnel responded, they found high levels of carbon monoxide inside.

Warehouse employees were operating a forklift inside, with all the doors closed, because of the cold. During

the day, the fumes built up and started affecting the workers.
us_VA  industrial  release  injury  carbon_monoxide 
3 days ago
Businesses in Santa Paula Chemical Explosion Zone Allowed Brief Visit
SANTA PAULA, Calif. -
The massive chemical explosion and spill is a mess to clean up.  Hazmat crews are currently working to determine exactly what the substance is and how they are going to clean it up.  The half-mile area surrounding the explosion site remains evacuated Thursday night.

27 businesses and four homes are in the evacuation zone.  All of the homeowners and business owners were forced to leave everything behind Tuesday morning when the explosion rocked the area.  Representatives of the businesses and homes were escorted in Thursday
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Students at Alamo middle school hospitalized after hazmat scare
ALAMO, Calif. (KTVU and wires) -- Three Alamo middle school students are in the hospital Thursday afternoon after a hazardous materials scare in a science class, according to school district officials.

Hazardous materials crews were called to Stone Valley Middle School at 3001 Miranda Ave. around 11 a.m. after several students in a forensic science class reported not feeling well, San Ramon Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Elizabeth Graswich said.

The class was evacuated and three students were sent to hospitals "as a precaution," Graswich said.

"Whenever it's a science class, the fire district treats it as a hazmat incident," Graswich said.

Fire and hazardous materials crews did not find any hazardous materials in the classroom and all of the students involved were wearing protective gloves and goggles, the spokeswoman said.
us_CA  laboratory  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Castle School evacuated after minor chemical leak (From Somerset County Gazette)
CASTLE School,  has been evacuated after a minor chemical leak in a science classroom.

Emergency services were called to the school shortly before 2pm today (Thursday) - no pupils have been hurt.

A statement on the school website said: "We have had a minor incident in the Science Prep Room. No students have been involved.

"There is absolutely no danger whatsoever but the fire brigade are here, as they are for any of these occurrences, but they are already preparing to leave the school site."

9:54pm

THE incident was over at 6.20pm, when emergency services left the site.

It is believed to have been caused by an adhesive being used by construction staff to fit roof insulation.
United_Kingdom  laboratory  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Chemical Spill At Solano Community College Ate Through Floor of Building
A sodium hydroxide spill at the Solano Community College campus in Vallejo happened while a lab technician was moving 5-gallon buckets of the liquid chemical on a cart, the president of the college said Tuesday afternoon.

One of the buckets fell and overturned when the cart broke, spilling the chemical, which then ate through the second floor of the building and leaked onto the first floor below, President Jowel Laguerre said.

The female chemistry lab technician suffered a burn from the chemical on her hand and went to the hospital as a precaution, Laguerre said. The incident happened around 11 a.m., Laguerre said.

The Vallejo Fire Department responded to the spill at the campus at 545 Columbus Parkway around 1 p.m., Fire Chief Jack McArthur said.

The building where the spill occurred was evacuated and the first and second floors were closed until the spill was cleaned, McArthur said.
us_CA  laboratory  release  injury  sodium_hydroxide 
3 days ago
Mitchell fertilizer plant destroyed in fire
Firefighters responded to a call early Wedensday morning at CHS Farmer's Alliance fertilizer plant in Mitchell t. The fire started just after 3:00 a.m. and quickly engulfed the facility.

Mitchell Fire Dept. Assistant Chief Paul Morris says that the wind is dispersing the smoke and that, as of Wednesday morning, they are not concerned about smoke from the fire posing risk to the city of Mitchell, however, people down wind from the fire should avoid any extended outdoor activity. Morris says that they will continue to monitor the smoke plume and, if there is a change in the wind situation (which is not expected) they might have to move a few people.

The plant is an unmanned facility that stores dry fertilizer. There was no one inside at the time the fire started. Due to the extent of the fire and the type of chemicals contained in the facility, firefighters have decided to let the fire burn itself out. They are not spraying water on the fire because they want to prevent chemical run-off.

CHS hired Geotech to perform air quality checks to make sure no harmful chemicals are in town. As of Wednesday morning, those air quality checks are still underway.
us_SD  industrial  fire  response  ag_chems 
4 days ago
UPDATE: Crews extinguish fire at La Crosse fuel company
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The La Crosse Fire Department said it was an explosion that firefighters could feel from 10 blocks away.
 
“There was heavy smoke dropping down onto George Street, which is several blocks from here, and then people from the public started calling in to our dispatch center reporting that we had heavy fire and flame,” said Division Chief Jeff Murphy.
 
The explosion happened just before 7:00 Wednesday morning at Midwest Fuels.
 
Steve Mathy, president of the parent company for Midwest Fuels said the tank that exploded was 132,000 gallons, and contained about 7,000 gallons of an asphalt-diesel mixture.
 
He said the tank didn't have much inside, because it's the end of the season.
 
“The roof of the tank blew off, landed on the north side of our terminal. As soon as the explosion happened we called 911,” said Mathy.
 
Mathy said the tank was destroyed.
us_WI  industrial  explosion  response  asphalt  diesel 
4 days ago
HazMat crews at city warehouse fire
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Chesapeake fire units battled flames inside a city-owned warehouse for several hours Wednesday afternoon.

Fire Captain Scott Saunders said the Chesapeake Fire Department learned of the fire around 3 p.m. The scene was located in the 900 block of Executive Boulevard. The building was used by Virginia Beach Public Works Department and sits behind a city-owned garage.

Photos: Fire at city-owned warehouse

No injuries were reported. Crews requested a second alarm to help with fire. About 45 firefighters responded to the scene.

Saunders said lawn care equipment and chemicals, like gasoline and pesticides, were inside the warehouse. Crews used a lot of water on the fire, so Virginia Beach and Chesapeake HazMat crews were at the scene to help.

“With what was in the building, the bug sprays, the cleaners, and the gasoline, we wanted to make sure that the runoff that was leaving the scene, we weren’t putting HazMat down the storm drains and into the ditches,” Saunders said.
us_VA  industrial  fire  response  cleaners  gasoline  pesticides 
4 days ago
Hazmat crews try to identify unstable substance following fire at California waste facility
SANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) — Hazardous materials crews were trying Wednesday to determine how to deal with an unstable substance remaining after an explosion and fire at a California waste treatment facility.


Hazardous materials firefighter crews responded to Ventura County Medical Center, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Ventura, Calif., after emergency personnel who came into contact with the injured people at...   (Associated Press)

Medical personnel at the Ventura County Medical Center, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Ventura, Calif., decontaminate emergency personnel who came into contact with the injured people at a chemical explosion...   (Associated Press)

In this aerial still frame from video provided by Fox 11 LA, a waste treatment facity burns after an unstable chemical mixture exploded in Santa Paula, Calif., early Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, sending about...   (Associated Press)

Smoke billows above the scene of a fire at the Santa Paula Waste Water Company near Santa Paula , Calif., agricultural fields Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. The incident began when a vacuum truck exploded...   (Associated Press)
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Only a handful of smoldering hot spots remained at the site in an agricultural area near Santa Paula, northwest of Los Angeles, according to Ventura County fire Capt. Mike Lindbery.

A vacuum truck exploded early Tuesday at Santa Clara Waste Water Co., spreading about 1,200 gallons of a chemical mixture that contained sulfuric acid and an organic peroxide, fire officials said.

The resulting substance is highly toxic and combustible, Lindbery said.

"We need to determine exactly what this material is," he said. "How do we neutralize it, and how do we clean it up?"

A private contractor will be in charge of the cleanup, under the supervision of county health officials and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

No burn injuries were reported, but two drivers on the vacuum truck, three firefighters, hospital medical staff and a few nearby residents were washed down or treated for complaints such as breathing problems, red eyes and skin rashes, said Lori Ross, a spokeswoman for the Ventura County Fire Department.

Officials said 37 people were treated at hospitals, including one from the initial blast who had non-life-threatening trauma injuries.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  injury  peroxide  sulfuric_acid 
4 days ago
Truck leaks hazardous material, closes southbound Stevenson
BURR RIDGE, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -
Southbound lanes of I-55 were shut down for several hours Tuesday evening near west suburban Burr Ridge when a semi truck spilled a hazardous material on the expressway.

All southbound lanes of the Stevenson Expressway were closed about 3:40 p.m. at County Line Road near Burr Ridge when the semi truck began leaking the hazardous material from the trailer onto the shoulder of the roadway, Illinois State Police said.

The 2000 Kenworth T2000 tractor with a 1999 trim trailer was driven by a 58-year-old man from Oak Park, state police said.

The Tri-State Fire Protection District was responding to the HazMat situation, authorities said.

No injuries have been reported, said Illinois State Police Sgt. Bruce Orns.
us_IL  transportation  release  response  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Wrongful death lawsuit filed in Houston-area DuPont chemical plant leak that killed 4 workers
HOUSTON — The widow of one of four workers killed in a Houston-area DuPont chemical plant leak has filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking more than $1 million.

The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/14G9Eyk ) reported Tuesday that the lawsuit was filed by Michelle Tisnado, who was married to Gilbert Tisnado.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Houston names E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., plus the manager of the plant in La Porte.

Three other workers, including Gilbert Tisnado's brother, Robert Tisnado, died at the DuPont facility Saturday. Authorities are trying to determine what caused the chemical release.

A message left with a DuPont spokesman wasn't immediately returned Tuesday.

DuPont has issued a statement of remorse and extended sympathy to the families of the four employees who died.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  other_chemical 
4 days ago
More discussion on the U Minnesota azide explosion
We’ve had blog post the first (“Explosion injures…”) and blog post the second (“More details…”), plus a C&EN safety letter and “C&EN Talks Safety with William B. Tolman.” A reader responds in this week’s issue:
I was disappointed by the lengthy chemical safety letter from T. Andrew Taton and Walter E. Partlo on the azidotrimethylsilane explosion in Taton’s lab (C&EN, Oct. 27, page 2).
...
While Flynn has a point about the fact that basic personal protective equipment should be standard, it’s worth remembering that PPE comes last on the hierarchy of controls, after elimination, substitution, engineering, and administrative. Both the safety letter and my discussion with Tolman were focused more on those higher-level controls.
Also, over at Chemjobber is some more information about the department’s 5 g limit for reactions involving azide.
us_IL  laboratory  follow-up  injury  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Small fire sparks at Gastonia manufacturing company
A Gastonia manufacturing company had to be evacuated after a small chemical fire Monday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to a call for a hazardous materials incident at Stabilus on Tulip Drive.

According to fire officials, a small chemical fire had sparked, but was contained inside a vat. Firefighters located the vat and extinguished the fire using a dry chemical fire extinguisher.

The building was completely ventilated of all vapors and the air inside was tested before employees returned to work safely.

No one was injured.
us_NC  industrial  fire  response  fire_extinguisher 
5 days ago
5 sent to hospital after chemical spill at UEI College in Anaheim
ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- Five people were transported to the hospital following a chemical spill at the UEI College campus in Anaheim.

Anaheim Fire Department authorities said a UEI College worker spilled a cleaning agent on Monday. Officials said the worker cleaned up the mess before people arrived on campus, but many people still complained of a chemical smell.

A box of rags used to clean up the spill was removed.

Those who were transported to the hospital complained of watery eyes and nausea. Their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

About 100 students were evacuated. Classes were canceled Tuesday due to the incident.

A hazmat team and fire department officials declared the scene cleared the scene shortly after noon on Tuesday.
us_CA  education  release  injury  cleaners 
5 days ago
Hazmat called out to overturned tractor trailer
Manatee County, Florida -- All lanes on State Road 62, east of Duette Road, reopened Tuesday night after being closed for nearly six hours due to an overturned tractor trailer.

Hardee County Emergency Management tells 10 News the truck was carrying chlorpyrifos -- an agricultural insecticide -- which leaked from the vehicle onto the roadway.

Manatee County Fire Rescue hazmat members worked to clean up the insecticide while crews removed the tractor trailer.

The driver of the truck was treated at the scene.
us_FL  transportation  release  response  pesticides 
5 days ago
2 dozen treated after truck explodes; chemical hits air, ignites
More than two dozen people have gone to local hospitals after they were exposed to chemical fumes from an explosion at a water waste company in Santa Paula.

At about 3:45 a.m., two workers were removing 1,200 gallons of a chemical, possibly an organic peroxide, with a vacuum truck at Santa Clara Waste Water Co. in the 800 block of Mission Rock Road when it suddenly exploded, fire officials said.

The chemical, when it hit the air, crystallized and became combustible, fire spokeswoman Lori Ross said.

“It can spontaneously ignite, and that’s what it did,” she said.

The explosion caused the chemical to shoot out at least 300 feet, creating smaller flare-ups, said Capt. Mike Lindbery of the Ventura County Fire Department.

Authorities ordered all businesses and agricultural ranches within a mile of the spill to evacuate because the risk of more explosions was high, fire officials said. A school also was closed.

Firefighters pulled back because their shoes were sparking explosions as they walked on the dry chemical, Lindbery said.

Because firefighters were not sure what type of chemical was spilled, they were allowing the fiery explosion to burn out without water. Meanwhile, they're keeping their distance.

The truck's occupant was taken to an hospital, as were three firefighters who experienced problems after exposure to the chemical, fire officials said. A fifth person drove himself to the hospital.
us_CA  industrial  explosion  injury  peroxide  waste 
5 days ago
Drug lab bin blast like bomb
Residents on a Westminster street say they thought their homes were under attack yesterday when equipment and chemicals used to make illicit drugs were dumped and exploded in a skip bin.

Flames up to 3m high erupted from the skip bin located outside a building site on Rotherfield Road about 4am today.

Steve Pitsakis said he thought a bomb had gone off, as his nearby unit shook from the fire.

“I jumped off the bed and I looked and I thought (a car) went into a house,” he said.

Mr Pitsakis immediately thought a tradesman might have left a flammable liquid in the bin and was shocked to discover the sinister reason behind the fire.

He was quick to call firefighters who, along with police officers found suspicious items in the bin.

Odile Bijoux said she too was woken by the very loud noise of the explosion.

“I thought something had exploded in my lounge…I couldn’t imagine what caused it,” she said.

Organised crime squad investigators called to the scene confirmed the items belonged to a clandestine drug laboratory.
Australia  public  explosion  response  illegal  waste 
5 days ago
Chemical Plant Had Some Environmental Violations
State records show dozens of minor or moderate state environmental violations since 2009 at a Houston-area DuPont chemical plant where four people died from toxic fumes over the weekend.

The plant, however, which covers 600 acres along the Houston Ship Channel in LaPorte and has operated since 1956, has received a satisfactory rating from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to the agency's records. The plant holds more than 150 environmental permits covering air, water and handling of hazardous material.

A team of investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board began work at the plant Monday, two days after the four employees died in the release of methyl mercaptan — a chemical used in the manufacture of insecticide and fungicide and also used to provide odor to natural gas.

The toxic chemical, which is described as smelling like rotten eggs or rotten cabbage, causes eye and skin irritation and rapidly affects the respiratory system.

It was not immediately clear what caused Saturday's chemical release.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  death  thiols 
6 days ago
The Fire That Changed How Dayton Sees Water
In May of 1987, a spill at the paint warehouse across the river caused a small fire that quickly spread.
us_OH  industrial  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Four Workers Killed At DuPont Chemical Plant In Texas
Investigators from the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) are in Texas probing an apparent chemical leak that killed four workers and injured a fifth at a DuPont plant in La Porte, Texas.
The workers probably died from exposure to methyl mercaptan while responding to a valve leak around 4 AM on Nov. 15, DuPont said in a statement. The community around the plant was not at risk, the company adds.
“Our goal in investigating this accident is to determine the root cause and make recommendations to prevent any similar accidents throughout the industry,” CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso says.
us_TX  industrial  release  death  thiols 
6 days ago
Improving Chemistry Demonstration Safety
Four fires from educational demonstrations have injured 22 children and two adults since the start of September. Calling such incidents a national problem, the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) on Oct. 30 released a safety bulletin with recommendations for preventing them.

On Sept. 3, a demonstrator at a museum in Reno, Nev., was attempting to create a colored “fire tornado” when she poured methanol from a 4-L container onto a smoldering cotton ball. On Sept. 15, a teacher at a high school in Denver was demonstrating flammable properties when he poured methanol from a 4-L container onto an open flame. On Oct. 20, a Cub Scout group trying to produce a green flame poured methanol-containing antifreeze from a 355-mL bottle onto a fire in Raymond, Ill. And on Oct. 31, high school students in Chicago were also using methanol to create a green flame.
In at least the first three cases—the fourth is still being investigated—the fire propagated back into the fuel bottles and ignited the remaining liquid, CSB investigator Mark Wingard says. Pressure built up in the containers and the fiery fluid was expelled, burning people in the vicinity.
education  follow-up  injury  antifreeze  flammables  methanol 
7 days ago
Federal Efforts To Assess Chemicals Aren’t Duplicative, Government Accountability Office Finds
Multiple federal agencies have a hand in evaluating the toxicity of chemicals. Each agency conducts hazard assessments for a specific goal, such as setting allowable levels of chemicals in the workplace, the environment, food, or consumer products. Various agencies often evaluate the same substance using disparate approaches—and in many cases, they end up setting different levels of exposure to the chemical as being protective of people’s health.
To make this process more efficient and unified, some congressional lawmakers and industry groups are calling for consolidation of hazardous chemical assessments into one federal agency. They question why limited government resources are being spent by several agencies to evaluate the same chemicals. At a minimum, they say, government agencies should better coordinate their chemical assessments.
public  discovery  environmental 
7 days ago
LANL officials downplayed waste’s dangers even after leak
But the following summer, workers packaging the waste came across a batch that was extraordinarily acidic, making it unsafe for shipping. The lab’s guidelines called for work to shut down while the batch underwent a rigid set of reviews to determine how to treat it, a time-consuming process that jeopardized the lab’s goal of meeting the deadline.
Instead, the lab and its various contractors took shortcuts in treating the acidic nuclear waste, adding neutralizer and a wheat-based organic kitty litter to absorb excess liquid. The combination turned the waste into a potential bomb that one lab chemist later characterized as akin to plastic explosives, according to a six-month investigation by The New Mexican.
The lab then shipped a 55-gallon drum of the volatile material 330 miles to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation’s only underground repository for nuclear waste, southeast of Carlsbad. Documents accompanying the drum, which were supposed to include a detailed description of its contents, were deeply flawed. They made no mention of the acidity or the neutralizer, and they mischaracterized the kitty litter as a clay-based material — not the more combustible organic variety that most chemists would have recognized as hazardous if mixed with waste laden with nitrate salts, according to interviews and a review of thousands of pages of documents and internal emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
us_NM  industrial  follow-up  response  radiation  waste 
7 days ago
4 Workers Die After Chemical Leak At Texas Plant
LA PORTE, Texas (AP) — Four workers were killed and one was injured Saturday during a hazardous chemical leak at a DuPont industrial plant in suburban Houston, company officials said.

The chemical, methyl mercaptan, began leaking from a valve around 4 a.m. in a unit at the plant in La Porte, about 20 miles east of Houston. Plant officials said the release was contained by 6 a.m.

Methyl mercaptan was used at the plant to create crop-protection products such as insecticides and fungicides, according to DuPont. The cause of the leak was not immediately known.

Five employees were in the unit at the time of the incident and were exposed to the chemical, the company said. Four died at the plant, and one was hospitalized.
us_TX  industrial  release  death  ag_chems  pesticides 
7 days ago
Another chemical leak at Stepan plant
ELWOOD – A vapor leak of sulfur trioxide lasted for more than 13 hours at the Stepan Company plant on Friday before it was stopped.

It was the second day a sulfur trioxide leak occurred at the plant located near Elwood. Both times, company officials and local authorities said they were confident the contamination was kept on-site without any hazard to the surround community.

"This incident is similar to yesterday," Will County Emergency Management Agency Director Harold Damron said.

Air monitors were set up outside of the plant Friday to check for possible impact, Damron said. He noted that the Elwood Fire Department and a multi-department hazardous materials team also were on site for independent confirmation of what was happening at the Stepan plant.

Both leaks occurred at rail cars, but they were separate rail cars, said Kim Kumiega, a spokeswoman for Stepan. Work crews were scheduled to return Saturday to conduct repairs, she said.
us_IL  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
8 days ago
Small fire breaks out at FMC plant
MIDDLEPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - Response teams from Niagara and Orleans Counties responded to an incident at FMC Corporation, in Middleport, Friday morning. The Niagara County Sheriff said the large response was cautionary because it is a chemical plant.

A FMC Corporation release said the company is grateful for the quick response, but apologized to neighbors for any inconveniences the fire may have caused.

The responders were at 100 Niagara Street, in Middleport, for a small fire in the ventilation system. No one was injured in the fire.

A school across the street was on lock down for a short time during the fire, but returned to normal.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire.
us_NY  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
Chemical leak at Royal Preston Hospital
Six fire crews were called to deal with a ‘large hazardous materials incident’ at the Royal Preston Hospital on Friday night.

It involved a chemical leak in a pathology lab at the hospital in Sharoe Green Lane, Fulwood, Preston.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus and gas tight suits identified that the leak was Formaldehyde and worked to stop it.

Firefighters then laid down absorbent pads.

There were no casualties and no risk to patients or staff. A small number of staff were evacuated.

The drama unfolded at around 8.10pm on Friday and the clean up operation lasted several hours with crews remaining at the hospital into the early hours of Saturday morning.
United_Kingdom  laboratory  release  response  formaldehyde 
8 days ago
Many hazmat haulers ignore ban on passing through Downtown
Trucks carrying hazardous materials through Franklin County are supposed to take I-270 to avoid Columbus’ most populous neighborhoods, but many hazmat haulers ignore the law.

Despite the presence of hard-to-miss warning signs outside I-270 — and the threat of fines and even incarceration — truckers regularly cut through Downtown via I-70, I-71 and I-670, according to an analysis by WBNS-TV (Channel 10).

Last year, the Columbus Division of Police issued 146 citations to drivers of trucks bearing explosives, noxious chemicals or other dangerous substances. And that figure undoubtedly pales in comparison with the number of violators who escaped detection, Sgt. Rob Barrett said, noting that police officers can’t be everywhere.

Hazmat haulers, meanwhile, are everywhere — or so it seems.
us_OH  transportation  discovery  environmental 
8 days ago
1 Dead, Residents Evacuated After Carbon Monoxide Detected in Bucks County Apt. Complex
A hazmat situation was declared at a Bucks County apartment complex after one person was found dead and several people were evacuated.
The unidentified person was found dead inside the Regency Apartment complex on 70 Old Dublin Pike in Doylestown. Officials detected high readings of Carbon Monoxide inside the victim’s apartment.

Officials also detected CO readings throughout the complex and residents were evacuated. They were later allowed back inside the building after it was deemed safe.
us_PA  public  release  death  carbon_monoxide 
10 days ago
Chemical fire at Berthong Street property
PASSERS-BY spotted a chemical fire at a private property across the road from the Cootamundra Showgrounds on Tuesday at 4.45pm.

A small pallet carrying the chemical zinc chloride self-combusted in the heat of the afternoon resulting in a small blaze and causing a chemical reaction which emitted a gas.

Cootamundra fire brigade set up a 200-metre exclusion zone around the Berthong Street property and as a precaution five houses were evacuated in Berthong, Wills and McConaghy streets with a total of 11 people leaving their homes.

Police, ambulance and fire crew attended the scene converging on the corner of Berthong and Wills Streets while firefighters investigated the blaze to determine the nature of the chemical.

“There were two different products, a pool salt and zinc chloride, and, zinc chloride was giving us the most grief,” brigade captain Les Carr said.
Australia  public  fire  injury  zinc 
10 days ago
BYU student accused of having meth lab claims it was soap
PROVO — Was it soap or meth?

Provo police say they are sure that what they found in the Riviera Apartments next to the BYU campus over the weekend was a meth lab and not a soap-making operation.

"What gives this away that it was a meth lab is the fact it's a meth lab," said Provo Police Sgt. Brandon Post.

Wednesday, 21-year-old Bryce Cazier surrendered to police. An arrest warrant was issued for Cazier on Tuesday, charging him in 4th District Court with having precursors or equipment for a clandestine laboratory, a first-degree felony. He was booked into the Utah County Jail just after 11:30 a.m.

His attorney, Jere Reneer, said his client was never on the run. But there was a glitch in communication because of the Veterans Day holiday on Tuesday when most law offices were closed.
us_UT  public  discovery  response  other_chemical 
11 days ago
Cleaning up: SCSU fined for storage of old classroom chemicals
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported in early August that various “incompatible, highly reactive” wastes that could be hazardous to human health and the environment were stored in South Carolina State University’s Hodge Hall.

But Craig Burgess, general counsel and vice president of operations, said last week that all the wastes have been removed and the institution is in the process of hiring a company and developing a plan to remove wastes on a regular basis.

“We have fully cooperated with DHEC and kept them informed,” he said.

Burgess noted that the wastes were from the projects within the institution’s science departments and that the problem was not created recently.

“From my understanding, the university was not doing what it was supposed to be doing regarding wastes from those academic programs,” Burgess said. “It has not just happened. It has been happening over a number of years.”

S.C. State reported to DHEC in June that the wastes had been stored in Hodge Hall since 2009.

DHEC carried out three inspections of Hodge Hall in late March and early April following a complaint by the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

The agency reported that the wastes, which were incompatible with each other, were stored near each other with no separating dike, wall or other device to prevent accidental ignition. Additionally, it found that the institution had not filed proper reports concerning the wastes and had failed to maintain the facility in a manner to prevent harm to human life and the environment.
us_SC  laboratory  discovery  response  wastes 
11 days ago
Lesson learned video: An acid spill without a lab coat
“I probably would not have thought to go to the hallway right away, if someone wasn’t there to point me in the direction. I probably would have run around the lab trying to remember where the shower is, knowing full well that there wasn’t one in there.”
“It was a freak accident in terms of it shouldn’t have shot out at me. But if I would have been wearing my lab coat, probably almost 99% chance it would have never contacted my skin, just would’ve had to get the lab coat off really quickly.”
“I remember in undergrad, it was a huge thing: Always wear your lab coat, that’s what I was taught. It was definitely something I was taught here as well during training and all that. It’s what I started doing. But as time went on and I looked at different people in lab and other labs, there’s actually a number of people who don’t wear their lab coats, actually a much greater number than I was ever expecting, which is not something I was used to at all. So at times, especially during the summer when it got really hot, there was times when I knew what I was doing so I just wouldn’t put it on. I sweat very easily and that just made it worse. It’s just one of the things. Especially at the end of the day, I just didn’t think to use my lab coat and I thought I’d be really quick. But clearly no matter what I’m doing in the lab I should’ve been wearing it, as everyone should.”
us_IL  laboratory  release  response  other_chemical 
11 days ago
40 years after toxic mix-up, researchers continue to study Michiganders poisoned by PBB
More than 40 years ago, people in Michigan were poisoned. Researchers are still following those people today.

In 1973, a fire-retardant chemical called PBB, polybrominated biphenyl, accidentally got mixed into livestock feed.  It took a year to discover the accident. 

Studies estimate 70-90% of people in Michigan had some exposure to PBB from eating contaminated milk, meat and eggs. The MDCH says the "overwhelming majority of those who were exposed to PBB received very low levels."

Other people had higher levels of exposure.

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta are studying the long-term health effects of exposure to PBB. The team was in Michigan this past weekend to continue the study. 
us_MI  public  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Emergency crews seek $70,000 after Stateline chemical leak
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – Emergency crews are moving forward, seeking reimbursement costs after the Stateline chemical leak in September.

Officials submitted their paperwork to the trucking company asking for more than $70,000.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department has been taking the lead for the last several months to get reimbursement for all those agencies that responded to the leak.

Authorities said more than a dozen state and local agencies responded to Stateline, where up to eight gallons of dangerous anhydrous trimethylamine leaked from a tanker truck. It forced I-90 to shut down for more than 19 hours.
us_WA  transportation  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Refrigerant leak prompts Kingston mall evacuation
KINGSTON, Mass. —A Kingston mall is evacuated Tuesday night and several people were brought to hospitals after a refrigerant leak was reported in the food court.

Officials said several people in the food court started to complain about having difficulty breathing and other respiratory irritations about 4:30 p.m.

"We were eating, then we started coughing and my friend started complaining about the smell and her head started to hurt," Emily Jasmin, of Plymouth, said. 

Within minutes someone called 911 and triggered the fire alarm inside the Independence Mall. Everyone was urged to evacuate from the mall's stores to the movie theater.
us_MA  public  release  injury  hvac_chemicals 
12 days ago
Gas pipe bursts in Piper Street
FIRE crews averted a possible emergency situation in upper Piper Street after a gas pipe was ruptured on Tuesday morning.

Firefighters from NSW Fire and Rescue attended the scene, along with their Hazmat (Hazardous materials) unit, after receiving a triple-0 call at 9.47am.

Station officer at Bathurst Station Sandy Collins said the caller alerted authorities to the situation after a gas pipe was damaged after being hit by a lawn mower.

Station officer Collins said when fire crews arrived, two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus dispersed the built-up gas with a hose line, before clamping the damaged gas pipe.
Australia  public  release  response  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Monash Freeway closed after chemical spill
The Monash Freeway has reopened after a day of traffic chaos sparked by a chemical spill.

The freeway was closed in both directions on Wednesday morning after the chemical spill involving a drum of leaking aviation fuel.

"Although the freeway is now open, drivers need to be prepared for ongoing delays," VicRoads Director of Road Operations Dean Zabrieszach said.
Australia  public  release  response  other_chemical 
12 days ago
Gas Leak Forces Evacuation at Bucks County Chemical Plant
A gas leak at a Bucks County chemical plant forced the evacuation of two buildings late Tuesday afternoon.
The leak occurred at the Rohm-Haas chemical plant on 350 George Patterson Boulevard in Bristol Township around 4:45 p.m. Two buildings within the plant were evacuated due to a strong odor of natural gas.
Officials were able to contain the leak and the workers were allowed back inside. No one was injured in the incident.
us_PA  industrial  release  response  natural_gas 
12 days ago
A caution on procedures in organic synthesis journals
Organic Process Research and Development editor Trevor Laird, founder of Scientific Update, recently penned an editorial on “Safety Culture in Industry and Academia”. I’ll highlight one particular paragraph:
Unfortunately, many companies and most universities are still not using the literature to find out more safety information (and not just MSDSs); for example, Bretherick’s Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards is a superb resource to access the literature with respect to safe handling of chemicals, in particular on the issues with scaling up. In the organic synthesis literature, I have seen so many unsafe procedures using perchloric acid/perchlorates and azides/hydrazoic acid, for example, that it is surprising there have not been more explosions in university laboratories. Yet a look through recent issues of Organic Process Research & Development (OPRD) will garner several fine articles which describe exactly the dangers of azides, how to overcome those dangers and to scale up the processes, as well as a book review on this topic.
There’s clearly a challenge here for researchers to figure out what’s a safe procedure and what isn’t. Just because a journal published something doesn’t mean it’s been vetted for safety. Is there a good way to teach students to be appropriately skeptical of literature procedures? Also, aside from using Bretherick’s and OPRD, are there other good resources for people trying to evaluate a procedure for safety?
laboratory  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
12 days ago
U.S. Chemical Safety Board calls for more stringent regulation of California oil refineries
RICHMOND -- The U.S. Chemical Safety Board calls for substantial changes in the way oil refineries are regulated in California in its final regulatory report on the August 2012 fire at Chevron's refinery here.

The report, released late Monday, calls on the state "to enhance its process safety management regulations for petroleum refineries to ensure a more robust and adaptive regulatory regime."

The regulatory report is the second of three in the federal agency's investigation into the crude-unit fire that endangered 19 workers and sent more than 15,000 area residents to the hospital. The fire was sparked when a corroded 52-inch-long carbon steel piping component ruptured.

Among the recommendations in the Chemical Safety Board's report are a more comprehensive analysis of process hazards; the documented use of safer systems analysis, with the goal of reducing risks to a specified target; analysis of the effectiveness of safeguards intended to control hazards; more effective process safety indicators; and more thorough inspections and audits by a technically qualified regulator.

The goal of reducing risks to a specified target reflects principles that have been adopted in the refinery and chemical industries in Europe and Australia, as well as the nuclear and space sectors in the United States, C.S.B. investigator Amanda Johnson said in a news release announcing the report. The Chemical Safety Board's news release noted that in September, the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) released draft regulations for refinery safety that include a number of more rigorous requirements.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  injury  petroleum 
13 days ago
Chemical Plant Explosion Injures 66
An explosion November 6 at the Rigoni chemical facility in Córdoba, located in north western Argentina, injured 66, including police and firefighters, according to the Buenos Aires Herald. The blast also damaged about 20 buildings and left a huge crater in the facility's backyard. A gas cloud was seen above the area immediately after the explosion.

Two of the victims were in serious condition.

A preliminary investigation points to the overheating of a machine as the cause of the explosion that occurred at about 8pm local time. The investigation also revealed the existence of highly flammable products, although the company had no legal authorization to stock such substances. The plant’s owner has been arrested and accused of “aggravated criminal damage.”
Argentina  industrial  explosion  injury  flammables 
13 days ago
Pepper spray was source of explosion scare at Motel 6 in Belmont
BELMONT, Calif. -- Pepper spray was at the root of a reported explosion and strong odors at a Motel 6 in Belmont this afternoon that left 10 people in need of medical treatment, according to police.

Police said reports of an explosion at a Motel 6 in Belmont are unfounded but that nearly a dozen people inside the building were treated for exposure to chemical odors.

The odors affecting people inside the building "turned out to be pepper spray," a post on the Belmont Police Department's official Twitter page said.
us_CA  public  explosion  injury  pepper_spray 
13 days ago
Student injured in chemical splash at UNR
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- A UNR building was evacuated Monday afternoon after a chemical splash sent one student to the hospital.

Natalie Savidge,Senior Communications Specialist Senior Communications Specialist at UNR, told News 4 the student is being treated for injuries sustained during the chemical splash at the Manville Health Services building. The building is expected to reopen sometime Monday. Savidge said no other labs were affected by the chemical splash.

Both RPD and the University Environmental Health and Safety Department responded and are currently on scene investigating the incident.
us_NV  laboratory  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Potential dangers of detergent pods, mistaking chemical for cand
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -
Could your child mistake a chemical for candy?

You may have seen reports about the potential dangers of laundry detergent pods, now there are some surprising numbers that may make you reach for a different product.

According to a new study, one child per day is hospitalized because they tried to eat the chemical.

Little hands can too often get into a little too much. LaVar and Susan Sinks' son Max is almost two years old. His parents say keeping him out of things that could be harmful can be a full time job.

“He likes to play and play with his puppy and read books and get into whatever he can find to get into,” Susan said.

However, there's one thing these parents and others don't want their kids getting their hands on.

“Do not put in mouth, keep out of reach of children,” Kathryn Richards said.
public  release  injury  cleaners 
13 days ago
Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News
POST FALLS - Some agencies that responded to the hazardous materials leak that closed Interstate 90 in both directions near the state line for 18 hours on Sept. 14 have requested $77,000 in reimbursement from the chemical firm for their services during the incident.
Andy Hail of the Spokane Valley Fire Department said individual agencies submitted requests for reimbursement to him and he forwarded the requests to Allentown, Pa.-based Taminco U.S. Inc.
"They have received the bill and have forwarded it to their insurance carrier," Hail said. "They're requesting quite a bit of documentation, so we'll be doing some followup. But hopefully this will get the ball rolling."
Hail said the requests are for overtime that was incurred during the incident, food needed for responders and equipment charges, not for regular expenses.
"From that perspective, we're not into it for a huge amount," said Hail, whose agency was among the primary responders. "Spokane Valley did not have to backfill any of its stations during this incident."
us_ID  public  follow-up  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Want to know dangerous chemicals near your house? Good luck, officials say
Lubbock residents can know the dangerous chemicals used and stored within the city that must be reported to the fire department, they just can’t know where, according to a recent Texas attorney general opinion.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office said in response to an Avalanche-Journal public information request that the city must release an inventory list of hazardous chemicals companies are required to report to the state and local fire departments, with the business name and address redacted.

The A-J made the request July 10. The AG had 45 business days to respond. The city had been withholding the information until after the attorney general’s decision.

The redacted information is a laundry list of toxic chemicals from chlorine gas and hydrochloric acid to sulfuric acid and sodium carbonate.
us_TX  public  discovery  response  chlorine  cleaners  hydrochloric_acid  sodium_carbonate  sulfuric_acid  toxics 
15 days ago
New testimony faults West Virginia American chemical spill planning
West Virginia American Water did not prudently plan for a possible toxic spill, despite knowing that the Freedom Industries chemical tank facility was located just upstream from its regional drinking-water intake, experts for the West Virginia Public Service Commission, consumer advocates and citizen groups argue in new reports filed as part of the PSC’s investigation of the January water crisis.

PSC staff members also criticized West Virginia American Water officials for waiting until late in the afternoon the day of the Jan. 9 leak to issue a “do not use” order to the hundreds of thousands of people in Charleston and surrounding communities served by the company’s Kanawha Valley treatment and distribution plant.

“For every minute earlier the [order] could have been issued, customers would have been spared a minute of having contaminated water delivered to their homes and possibly consumed in drinking water by residents,” senior PSC engineer David Dove said in testimony filed with the commission late last week.

Dove noted that, while area residents complained of a licorice-like smell earlier that morning, West Virginia American was made aware of the leak at about noon but did not decide to issue the “do not use” order until 4 p.m. A news release announcing the order was issued at 5:50 p.m., and a news conference held at 6 p.m., Dove noted.

“Staff believes that a chemical spill should automatically trigger an immediate issuance of a ‘do not use’ alert to the public and that the public should be given at least 12 hours notice before any substance that may be harmful to human health is allowed in the distribution system,” Dove said in his testimony.

Dove also criticized West Virginia American for not closing the intake pumps at the Elk River plant, saying that the water company appears to have made no effort to calculate how long the chemical leak’s plume would take to move beyond the intake, Dove said staff calculations showed the leak of Crude MCHM and other chemicals could have taken as little as 2 hours to move down river.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  response  other_chemical 
15 days ago
Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality unveils new online chemical storage map
The state Department of Environmental Quality is rolling out a new tool officials say will help residents see what chemicals are being stored in their communities.

The new map on the department’s website shows residents where sites like oil and gas wells, manufacturing plants, cellphone towers with large acid batteries and other facilities are located. Officials say the map is meant to show residents where potential hazards are in their communities.

Skyler McElhaney, a spokeswoman for the department, said the agency has received many inquiries over the past two years about where potentially hazardous sites were located. The department already kept records on those locations, she said, but they were only available to disaster response workers. Because of increased interest, officials decided to make those records available to the public at large, she said.

Residents shouldn’t be worried if they see a site in their community, McElhaney said. The fact that a site is listed on the map doesn’t necessarily mean residents are in any danger of being exposed to hazardous chemicals, she said.

“We don’t want residents to be alarmed,” McElhaney said. “We do want to make this information available to them if they want to use that information in their emergency planning.”
us_OK  public  discovery  environmental 
15 days ago
Burnsville: 2 injured in potentially drug-related car fire
Burnsville police are investigating a potentially drug-related car fire that sent two people to the hospital Friday morning.

Authorities received a call shortly before 10:30 a.m. about a burning vehicle in the 2300 block of South Skyline Drive, according to police Sgt. Jeff Witte.

Two people in the car suffered burns and were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Upon further investigation, police determined that some sort of chemical, possibly related to drugs, was likely involved, Witte said.

"We are still trying to determine what it is," Witte said. "This didn't just happen because the engine overheated or something like that."
us_MN  public  fire  injury  drugs 
16 days ago
Parents of teen burned in HS chem experiment sue for $27M
The parents of a Bronx teenager whose ear was melted in a chemistry lab fire at Beacon High School is suing the city for $27 million.

The suit was filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court by Yvonne and Claudio Yanes on behalf of their 16-year-old son, Alonzo.

Alonzo and another student, Julia Saltonstall, 16, of Manhattan were injured last January when their chemistry teacher poured methanol into four hot Petri dishes containing nitrates that had been aflame only moments earlier, according to a city report.

The heat combined with the methanol and the nitrates triggered a fireball that flew across the table where Anna Poole’s students were gathered.

Yanes had second- and third-degree burns on his hands and face. A custodian who responded to the put out the fire said at the time that his ear looked melted.

Saltonstall had first-degree burns on her forearms and was released after getting emergency room treatment. Her father has filed a notice of claim with the city, which says he intends to sue for $10 million.

In court papers, the Yanes family lawyer, Jeffrey Bloom, said that accident exposed “gross negligence” and “abject dereliction and reckless disregard” for the safety of students and staff by the city Department of Education.

Bloom said that only two weeks before the Jan. 2 accident, the DOE had been warned by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board that the Rainbow Experiment, which Poole was conducting, “posed risk of severe injuries if performed.”
us_NY  laboratory  follow-up  injury  methanol 
16 days ago
It's over: Texas' Ebola outbreak has ended
NBC News) - The Ebola outbreak in Texas has ended.

As of midnight Friday, it was 21 days since anyone got Ebola or was in contact with someone who got Ebola.

“God willing, we are going to be Ebola-free Friday midnight,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, the elected official who oversaw the county's response to its three-person outbreak, before the deadline passed.

It started when Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian citizen planning to settle in the United States, became sick and was at first mistakenly sent home from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. He returned two days later by ambulance and was diagnosed with Ebola.

Officials had to track as many as 50 people who may have been in contact with Duncan. But the real scare came when two nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, became infected while caring for him. Vinson had traveled to Ohio to make wedding plans and, even though she wasn't diagnosed until she came back to Dallas, her travels set off waves of anxiety.
us_OH  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
16 days ago
Two arrested after Long Beach police discover PCP laboratory in Cal Heights
LONG BEACH >> Police arrested two men on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance after discovering a PCP laboratory in a California Heights home, officials said Friday.

Early Friday, Long Beach police and fire officials responded to a residence in the 4300 block of Maury Avenue near Carson Street and Orange Avenue and smelled a strong chemical odor, officials said.

Officers quickly contained the scene and evacuated nearby residents after determining that the home served as a clandestine laboratory used to make phencyclidine, or PCP, a powerful hallucinogenic street drug. After obtaining a search warrant, police discovered several large drum containers filled with the drug, officials said.

The City of Long Beach Environmental Health Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team responded for recovery of the chemical waste.
us_CA  public  discovery  response  meth_lab  waste 
16 days ago
Explosion injures father-daughter
BEAUFORT — Authorities have completed an investigation into a suspected methamphetamines lab explosion following a fire in the Pine Street neighborhood Thursday morning that sent two people to the hospital.
Beaufort Police Chief Steve Lewis said that between 8-8:30 a.m., police officers received a call about a potential structure fire at 308 Pine St.
Around the same time, a partly nude, burned woman, identified as Charley Renae Merritt, 31, appeared at the rescue squad station on West Beaufort Road requesting assistance.
A second, male victim, identified as Ms. Merritt’s father John William Merritt, 54, was discovered nearly seven to eight miles away on the 800 block of Tuttles Grove Road about six miles north of town, completely nude and suffering from burns to the arms and legs. 
us_NC  public  explosion  injury  meth_lab 
16 days ago
Factory explosion leaves 66 injured in Argentine city of Cordoba
An explosion at a chemical factory in the central Argentine city of Cordoba left a total of 66 injured, with two of them in critical condition, officials told Efe on Friday.

The blast occurred around 9:00 p.m. Thursday evening just minutes after a small fire was reported inside the plant of the local Quimicos Rigoni company, located in the residential neighborhood of Alta Cordoba on the north side of the city.

A total of 66 people were injured but only two have severe injuries, officials of the Cordoba provincial government told Efe.

Those in critical condition are a 15-year-old youth and a woman in her 70s. Both remain hospitalized.

Police and firefighters are investigating the causes of the explosion, while local authorities evaluate the material damages, which extend to several blocks around the factory. EFE
Argentina  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
16 days ago
David Snyder sentenced in UC Davis explosives case
After a 2013 explosion in his campus apartment, University of California, Davis postdoctoral chemist David Snyder was charged with 17 counts relating to explosives, hazardous waste, and possessing firearms on campus. He went through a preliminary hearing last year, then in September he pled no contest to the charges. His sentencing hearing was today. The judge sentenced Snyder to a total of 4 years and 4 months, with half to be spent in county jail and the other half under “mandatory supervision” by the county probation department,  says Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven.
Update: Snyder was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine, according to the Yolo County high profile cases web page.
Coming up: a restitution hearing on Dec. 19.
us_CA  laboratory  follow-up  injury  explosives  waste 
16 days ago
Fire Crews Respond to Hazmat Situation
Harrisonburg, Va. -- A hazmat situation unfolded in Harrisonburg.

The fire department finished airing out the house Thursday afternoon.

The situation started when two chemicals accidentally leaked together in the home. The homeowners were home at the time, and were held in an ambulance until the house was ruled safe. Neighbor Mike Vanover said some homeowners had trouble getting to their homes.

"You couldn't have gotten back there, you couldn't have gotten out. People who were trying to get their kids home from school, had to walk down to the corner down here to my left, and had to walk their kids back up the street. The road was blocked off, but rightly so."

The chemical leak was ruled an accident, and no other homes in the neighborhood were affected by the situation.
us_VA  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
17 days ago
Man in car dies of apparent chemical suicide
SAN DIEGO — A man was found dead in a sedan filled with deadly gas at a Sorrento Valley industrial park Thursday in what authorities said was an apparent chemical suicide.

The car was covered in notes warning people to keep away, a fire official said. Hazardous materials crews spent more than three hours neutralizing the gas and cleaning up the potential danger to others.

Authorities were called out to the parking lot at Miramar Road and Production Avenue about 4 a.m. by a Starbucks employee headed to work, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Capt. Joe Amador said.

The employee was parking his car at the back of the lot when he noticed a man slumped over the steering wheel of a car and a strange chemical odor. Amador said the outside of the car was plastered with printed signs saying, “Keep away,” “Danger, do not open doors,” and other warnings.

Police and firefighters cordoned off access to the parking lot, closed off Production Avenue and called a hazardous materials team.

Amador said there was a bucket of hydrogen sulfide on the car seat next to the man. A few breaths of the chemical will kill a person, he said.
us_CA  public  release  death  hydrogen_sulfide 
17 days ago
STATE COLLEGE: Penn State Hazmat team called to State High for broken mercury thermometer
STATE COLLEGE — The Penn State hazardous materials team was called to the State College Area High School North Building Wednesday morning for a mercury spill.

A school administrator told the CDT that a single thermometer broke when it was dropped on the floor during Doug Schunk’s fourth-period advanced chemistry class.

Principal Scott DeShong said the class evacuated and no one was reported injured or harmed.

“The school district’s hazardous materials procedure was followed,” he said in an email. “As per the procedure, students were immediately removed from the area.”

Based on the amount of mercury that was in the thermometer, Penn State hazmat officials determined that the only potential danger to students would be if they had stepped in it, DeShong said.

DeShong said officials checked students’ shoes for contamination. All tests were negative. The area was then cleared, decontaminated and checked for contaminated laboratory equipment, resulting in the removal of one melting-point apparatus from the classroom.
us_PA  laboratory  release  response  mercury 
17 days ago
IBM worker exposed to cyanide in Yorktown
YORKTOWN – An employee of the IBM research facility on Kitchawan Road was taken to a local hospital Wednesday after being exposed to cyanide, officials said.

Yorktown Heights firefighters responded to the Thomas J. Watson Research Center at 1101 Kitchawan Lake around 11:40 a.m. on a reported hazardous-materials incident.

Police Lt. Kevin Soravilla initially said two workers were exposed to the highly toxic chemical and taken for observation. A spokesman at IBM later said the incident affected only one individual.

"A technician ... reported smelling an unidentified chemical while performing a routine semiconductor process step," said Chris Andrews in a company statement. "The technician was working in full protective gear, following all IBM safety procedures and all engineering safety controls were in place."

Andrews said the technician later returned to work after being released from the hospital.
us_NY  laboratory  release  injury  cyanide 
17 days ago
RIVERSIDE: Hazmat incident affects dispatchers, forces police station evacuation
Five Riverside police and fire dispatchers suffered minor eye and throat irritation and lightheadedness but remained on the job Wednesday, Nov. 5, after a chemical fire suppression system was accidentally triggered at the Police Department's Magnolia station.
There was no interruption of service even though the building was evacuated except for the dispatchers, Lt. Christian Dinco said.
About 11:20 a.m., an employee who was vacuuming water from an electrical room down the hall from the dispatch center accidentally touched a sensor, causing a deluge of the powdered chemical to rain down into the room from the ceiling, Riverside city fire Battalion Chief Tony Perna said.
The employee suffered a minor injury but declined to be treated, Perna said.
us_CA  public  release  injury  dust 
17 days ago
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