13849
School Evacuated After More Than 6 Get Sick In Bergen
More than six people got sick at a New Jersey elementary school over the past two days, prompting the district to close the building, officials said.

Some children reported falling ill on Wednesday at the Gantner Avenue School in Elmwood Park in Bergen County, and then six six staff members were sent home sick - two via ambulance - at the end of the school day on Thursday, at approximately 3:05 p.m., officials said. No students were sent home sick on Thursday.

"At this point in time, we feel that although Bergen County HazMat, OEM, the Elmwood Park Fire Department, and Elmwood Park Police Department have deemed the building safe for occupancy, we will be

closing Gantner Avenue School tomorrow, Friday, December 15th, to perform an Indoor Air Quality Test with an independent, licensed environmental company," Anthony Grieco, superintendent of schools, wrote in a letter to the community.

Grieco said the Gantner Avenue Elementary School has the required amount of carbon monoxide detectors, and the Elmwood Park Fire Department and Bergen County Hazmat have not found any traces of carbon monoxide in their tests throughout the entire school.

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us_NJ  education  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
14 hours ago
Update: Gas leaks cause disruptions
A gas leak at the intersection of Stantonsburg Road and Memorial Drive disrupted traffic Friday morning and left at least one bystander in need of medical attention, officials said.
A construction crew digging in the area damaged a line about 10:50 a.m. Officials shut down portions of Statonsburg, Memorial and Farmville Boulevard for just under an hour. The leak also affected nearby businesses.
 
A person at a Walgreens at the intersection was overwhelmed and needed medical attention after leaking natural gas swept across the road, Greenville Fire-Rescue Chief Eric Griffin said. Griffin believed the individual was affected by the smell of mercaptan, a chemical added to otherwise odorless natural gas to alert people of leaks. Some people are strongly affected by the smell, he said.
us_NC  public  release  injury  natural_gas 
14 hours ago
Creekwalk Commons in Syracuse evacuated due to odor from cleaning chemicals
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Creekwalk Commons in Syracuse was evacuated this morning due to a chemical odor, according to Syracuse police.

Syracuse police and fire responded to the luxury apartment building on West Water Street this morning.

"A maintenance employee had difficultly breathing after inhaling some cleaning chemicals that were possibly spilled," said Sgt. Richard Helterline, a Syracuse police spokesman.

The fire department cleaned up the chemical and ventilated the building, Helterline said.

The maintenance employee was transported to Upstate University Hospital for treatment, Helterline said.
us_NY  public  release  injury  cleaners 
14 hours ago
American Chemistry Council Lobbyists Hiding in Plain Sight at the EPA
The evidence is growing that the insidious influence of a special interest lobbying group, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is compromising our environment and public health.

The ACC’s fingerprints were all over President Trump’s nomination of industry shill Michael Dourson to head the agency’s chemical safety division. Dourson was forced to withdraw his name from consideration on December 13, after bipartisan opposition rendered his Senate confirmation unlikely, given his ongoing ties to chemical industries he had spent his career defending as a toxicologist. Trump’s nomination of Dourson is but the latest example of the ACC’s influence within the agency assigned to regulate the polluting and contaminating industries—on whose behalf this trade association lobbies.

The Fox is Dismantling the Hen House

On December 6, the EPA held a public meeting with Deputy Assistant Administrator Nancy Beck, Ph.D., a former executive at the American Chemistry Council, who opened the public meeting. Industry cronies such as Michael Walls, the ACC’s vice president of regulatory and technical affairs organized a ‘pilot program’ with only chemical industry representatives.

On the following day, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee summoned EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to address concerns surrounding his sweeping, counter-productive policy and departmental changes, acting at the bidding of the ACC and other corporate interests.
us_DC  public  discovery  environmental 
14 hours ago
A parting gift from Dourson: A trove of revealing emails
Earlier this week, the New York Times reported on the withdrawal of the nomination of Michael Dourson to head the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chemical safety office – which we applauded as a win for public health.  The Times article mentioned and provided a link to a 400-page trove of emails to and from Dourson that were obtained through a FOIA request filed in August by Greenpeace to the University of Cincinnati, where Dourson previously worked.

The emails shine a rare spotlight on a network, of which Dourson and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) are a part, that operates largely out of public view.  It involves a coordinated effort between the chemical industry and its private and academic consultants to generate science that invariably supports the safety of the industry’s chemicals, and pushes back against any regulatory and academic science that indicates otherwise.  The emails make for very interesting reading, if you can skip through the myriad emails about scheduling calls and meetings (which make up the bulk of any of our inboxes, I suspect).

To pique your interest, let me start with one email relating to Dourson’s nomination.  

His nomination was publicly announced by Scott Pruitt on July 17.  But nearly two months earlier, in an email (see page 178) dated May 23 and marked confidential, Dourson wrote to Kimberly White at ACC to let her know of his “appointment,” and also alluding to the possibility (which came to pass) that he would be hired as an advisor before being confirmed:

Based on the recommendation of EPA Administrator Pruitt, President Trump has appointed me as the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Safety Assessment and Pollution Prevention.  EPA wants to get my senate confirmation scheduled before the August recess. They may also want to hire me into the Agency in July, which apparently they can do as soon as the announcement is made. The announcement is made after background checks are completed (40 days is typical). At this point, please keep news of this appointment under wraps.

Now, ACC is no doubt upset by the Dourson withdrawal, having hired Dourson repeatedly to help defend its companies’ chemicals and never wavering in support of his nomination.  So it should come as no surprise that ACC is also unhappy with the Times’ release of the emails, especially given that a large fraction of them involve communications that include Dourson and ACC employees.

Yesterday ACC took to its blog to object to the Times article as “misleading.”  The only specific it takes issue with, however, is that the article “paints a dubious picture of emails between one of our employees and Dr. Michael Dourson.”
us_DC  public  follow-up  environmental 
14 hours ago
EPA mum on whether or not failed Trump nominee remains to be on the…
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency is refusing to say whether President Donald Trump’s failed pick to oversee chemical safety will continue to work there as a senior adviser, a role that doesn’t require Senate confirmation.

Michael L. Dourson withdrew his nomination Wednesday to serve as head of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention amid bipartisan opposition in the Senate.

Dourson has been working at EPA for at least two months as a senior adviser to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, an arrangement Democrats have said could be illegal without Senate confirmation.

EPA did not respond Wednesday or Thursday to inquiries about Dourson’s current employment status at the agency.

The agency has also refused to disclose Dourson’s taxpayer-funded salary. Other senior advisers to Pruitt are paid more than $170,000 annually, according to records reviewed by AP.

In his letter asking the president to withdraw his name from consideration as an assistant administrator at EPA, which was obtained by The Associated Press, Dourson listed his job title as “Senior Adviser to the Administrator” and provides his epa.gov email address – which has not been listed in the agency’s employee directory.
us_DC  public  discovery  environmental 
14 hours ago
Residents, Workers Evacuated Due To Gas Leak In NW OKC
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OKLAHOMA CITY - Residents and workers were evacuated after a gas leak in NW Oklahoma City, Thursday afternoon.
According to the Oklahoma City Fire Department, Hazmat crews responded to the area of NW 3rd and Blackwelder, around 12:25 p.m.

OKCFD says a gas line was struck and crews were working to determine the location of the leak. 
us_OK  public  release  response  methane 
yesterday
Update: 10 students exposed to tear gas after San Juan Police Department training accident
A training accident at the San Juan Police Department shooting range exposed 10 students, a teacher and several parents to tear gas Wednesday.
The police department hosted a SWAT training Wednesday afternoon at the shooting range, which is located near the intersection of Hall Acres Road and South Veterans Boulevard in San Juan.
The training involved tear gas. Ten students, a teacher and several parents at the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District agricultural farm were exposed to the gas, according to district spokeswoman Arianna Vazquez-Hernandez.
us_CA  public  release  response  tear_gas 
yesterday
Study: Facilities using chemicals pose risk to low-income residents
Bridgeport, Norwalk and Danbury have manufacturing plants using such large quantities of hazardous chemicals that they are required to submit disaster response plans to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Since many of the facilities are in areas long inhabited by poor people — often people of color — those groups are at a higher risk of exposure to a leak, explosion or adverse health effect, a new report indicates.
In “Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards,” the Center for Effective Government examined more than 12,500 facilities in 50 states, grading states based on the “disparities faced” by people living adjacent to or near these facilities.
Connecticut, and 25 other states, earned a “D” grade for its inequities. About 170,000 people — roughly 5 percent of the state’s population — live within a mile of these facilities. Among smaller neighborhoods affected are those in Milford, Trumbull and Shelton.
The center reported children of color under age 12 living in Connecticut were 2.2 times more likely than white children to live within a mile of one of these facilities. In many instances, residents are unaware of the dangers just blocks from their homes, the report said.
us_CT  public  discovery  environmental 
yesterday
Missouri issues first fines over misuse of farm chemical in 2016
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Missouri has issued its first fines over the misuse of a farm chemical in 2016 that went on to be linked in different formulations to widespread U.S. crop damage this year, the state said on Thursday.

Authorities fined eight people a total of $145,125 for improperly spraying the chemical known as dicamba, used to kill weeds, in what Missouri called “the first wave of civil penalties issued to applicators,” according to a statement.

SPONSORED

The delay between sprayings last year and the state’s action shows how a long process of investigating many complaints about dicamba use is straining resources in farm states.

The United States has faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by the new formulations of dicamba-based herbicides, which farmers and weed experts say have harmed crops that cannot resist the chemical because it evaporates and drifts away from where it is applied.
us_MO  industrial  follow-up  environmental  ag_chems 
yesterday
Nominee to lead EPA chemicals program withdraws
The top spot in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s office that oversees commercial chemicals and pesticides remains vacant. President Donald J. Trump’s pick to lead the office, Michael Dourson, withdrew his nomination on Dec. 13 amid growing concerns about his ties to the chemical industry and insufficient votes to clear the Senate confirmation process.
Trump nominated Dourson, a board-certified toxicologist, in July. Dourson left his position as a professor in the Risk Science Center at the University of Cincinnati in October and had since been working for EPA as an adviser. It is unclear where he will land now, but he is expected to leave the agency.
Dourson is best known for his work as founder and director of the Cincinnati-based consulting firm Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, where he worked from 1995 to 2015. In that role, he helped chemical and pesticide manufacturers evaluate the safety of their products. Prior to that, Dourson worked at EPA from 1980 to 1995.
public  discovery  environmental 
yesterday
Repurposed steel drums hazardous at home, in workplace
They’re often presumed to be safe because they’re empty, but steel drums with only a small amount of flammable residue or vapor inside have exploded, injuring and killing scores of people, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found.  

Here's a sampling of accidents, including ones at homes and businesses, over the past 10 years. 

Nov. 21: Two people in Georgetown, S.C., were injured when a 55-gallon drum they were working on exploded. Old oil residue sparked by a cutting tool was the cause, The Sun News in Myrtle Beach reported.

Sept 28: Three people in Rockland, Maine, were injured when the 55-gallon drum they were using for a work stand caught fire from the sparks of a grinding tool and exploded.

The drum had once contained acetone, but the workers thought it was vented enough to be safe, said Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock. One of the three suffered third-degree burns.
us_WI  public  discovery  environmental  flammables 
2 days ago
More than a dozen hospitalized after hazmat incident in Athens, Tenn.
More than a dozen people were hospitalized after an apparent hazmat incident at Mills Products Inc. in Athens, Tenn., but authorities are still unsure what that incident was. 

McMinn County emergency services received three calls from the facility on Northridge Drive early Wednesday morning, according to Athens Fire Chief Jim Dyer. 

He said multiple employees from a variety of divisions in the building were experiencing nausea and headaches, prompting concerns about carbon monoxide poisoning. 

"We thought there might be carbon monoxide in their bloodstream," Dyer said. "That is a life threatening situation."

At least fifteen people were transported as a precaution, but fire teams detected no elevated carbon monoxide levels at the facility. A hazmat team called to the scene also could not immediately detect elevated carbon monoxide levels. 

Dyer said it's still unclear what might have caused the employees' symptoms, but authorities will continue working to investigate the cause. 
us_TN  industrial  release  injury  carbon_monoxide 
2 days ago
See smoke near CMC-University hospital? Don't panic
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - If you saw smoke near the Carolinas Medical Center's University campus, don't panic, it was only a dumpster fire by the northeast Charlotte hospital.

Several viewers sent Channel 9 pictures and videos of heavy black smoke and flames filling the air Wednesday night near CMC-University. 


Many were concerned about the heavy smoke they were seeing in the air, and one viewer told Channel 9 they saw the smoke spread to UNC Charlotte's campus.  

Channel 9 has contacted the Fire Department to ask if there is a hazmat concern over what was in the dumpster since it was outside the hospital. 
us_NC  public  fire  response  waste 
2 days ago
City blanketed in smoke as Mayfield tip catches fire
FIREFIGHTERS were late on Thursday night battling a blaze inside a Mayfield West recycling facility.

Multiple units were called to the scene on McIntosh Drive, in the Steel River industrial estate, shortly after 8.30pm.

The fire was burning inside the Benedict Recycling centre and sent a thick plume of smoke over Mayfield.

A HAZMAT team arrived at the scene shortly after 9pm.

Fire crews were stationed at various points around the blaze and attacked it from multiple fronts. Visibility was poor in several surrounding streets.

It is the second time Benedict Recycling has caught fire in three months. The fire on September 20 took more than eight hours to fully extinguish. 

The cause of Thursday’s fire was still under investigation.
Australia  industrial  fire  response  waste 
2 days ago
Officials: HAZMAT leak reported at facility near Charleston and
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
HAZMAT officials responded to a chemical leak at a food processing plant near Charleston Boulevard and Commerce Street Wednesday.

Las Vegas Fire Department official were on scene around 6 p.m. for what appeared to be a ammonia leak at the facility located at 123 West Colorado Avenue, authorities said.
us_NV  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
2 days ago
15 injured in gas pipeline explosion
KARACHI: At least 15 people were injured when a fire erupted in a gas pipeline after an explosion in the Metroville area of the city on Wednesday.
According to sources, 15 people received minor burn injuries when the fire erupted in a gas pipeline after an explosion in Metroville area. One car and two rickshaws were also burnt in the fire. However, the fire was doused after some time.
A heavy contingent of Rangers and police was present at the site of the fire. The injured were shifted to different hospitals of the city for treatment.
Fire incidents are a common occurrence in Karachi. In September this year, a fire erupted in a shoe factory which took 17 hours to cool down.
However, it was not an accident as a few workers had reportedly set fire to a chemical drum in the factory, following an altercation with the accounts department over the payment of salary, claimed Chief Fire Officer Tehseen Siddiqui.
Pakistan  transportation  explosion  injury  other_chemical 
2 days ago
7 Day Cares Testing for Dry Cleaning Chemical Contamination
Seven child care programs in Vermont will be undergoing precautionary testing for cleaning chemical contamination.
MyNBC5 reports that the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Health Department will be testing facilities within 200 feet of current or former dry cleaning services.
The dry cleaning chemicals can seep into the ground and pollute the air of nearby buildings.
us_VT  public  discovery  environmental  cleaners 
2 days ago
2 Students Faint After Chemical Leak at NJ Elementary School
A New Jersey elementary school was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after a chemical leak caused two students to faint.
Elmwood Park schools Superintendent Anthony Grieco said in an email to parents around 2 p.m. that Gantner Avenue Elementary School was evacuated for the situation. But he said students were moved to another indoor location and were safe and warm.
According to the Bergen Record, which first reported the leak, two students fainted after the chemical glycol leaked from a heating unit on the building’s roof and circulated through the building’s heating system.
A third student complained about being nauseous, and a custodian and firefighter also were treated for sickness.
us_NJ  education  release  injury  ethylene_glycol 
2 days ago
Turkey ups its game with new REACH law
Turkey’s new REACH-like law, KKDIK, which enters into force on 23 December, will create new opportunities and obstacles in equal measure. Alignment with REACH, which is considered the gold standard for chemical legislation, will stimulate Turkish exports, not just to the EU - its main trading partner - but also to other regions such as Asia, where Turkish products will benefit from an image boost. 

As a neighbouring state outside the bloc, Turkey also aims to put a tighter lid on unwanted chemicals. It imports most of its raw materials, reformulating them for domestic use and exports; hence there is plenty of scope for illegal chemicals to creep in from Europe and elsewhere, including its war-ridden eastern neighbours.

Yet an ambitious and complex legislation like REACH will undoubtedly bring enormous challenges, both to industry and the authorities. The Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation (MoEU) is currently ill-equipped to enforce the law, with a team of just six people dedicated to registrations, compared with Echa’s 600. 

For industry, KKDIK could be the trigger for substantial consolidation, with many SMEs likely to find themselves priced out of export markets. Smaller manufacturers, which make up more than 80% of Turkey’s chemicals sector, are mostly oblivious to the new legislation.
Turkey  public  discovery  environmental 
2 days ago
EPA chemical safety nominee drops out amid strong opposition
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s pick to oversee chemical safety at the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew his nomination Wednesday after bipartisan opposition made his Senate confirmation unlikely.

Officials at the White House and the Senate told The Associated Press that Michael Dourson had sent a letter asking his name to be removed from consideration to serve as head of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. The two officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

North Carolina’s two Republican senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, said last month they would vote against Dourson’s nomination after The Associated Press and other media outlets detailed his past work as a toxicologist hired to defend major chemical companies.
public  discovery  environmental 
2 days ago
One dead after Austrian gas hub explosion
An explosion at Austria's main gas hub Tuesday has left one person dead and several injured, according to a report.
Gas Connect Austria, which operates the Baumgarten site on the Austrian border with Slovakia, said that the cause of the blast was not yet known.
According to Reuters, deliveries to Italy might be most affected. Shortly after the news, Italy's wholesale gas price rose 87 percent to 44.50 euros per megawatt hour.
Italian industry minister Carlo Calenda warned of a "serious" energy supply problem and said the country would need to declare a state of emergency.
Austria  industrial  explosion  death  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Police declare emergency after blast at Portsmith metal yard where large fire has broken out
EARLIER: Emergency services are responding after an explosion which is believed to have occurred at a scrap metal business in Portsmith.
Smoke is pouring from Sims Metal on Comport St following the blast which occurred about noon.
Police have stated there will be roadblocks in place and motorists and residents are urged to avoid the area.

Police declare emergency after blast at Portsmith metal yard where large fire has broken out. PHOTO: ANNA ROGERSSource:Supplied
A police spokesman said they have declared an emergency situation due to an industrial fire.
It is believed an unleaded petrol tank exploded at a premises.
The declaration encompasses the area between Ray Jones Drive, Draper Street, Buchan Street and Heatley Street.
Australia  industrial  explosion  response  gasoline  metals  waste 
3 days ago
Minnesota joins U.S. states limiting controversial farm chemical
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Minnesota became the latest U.S. state on Tuesday to restrict controversial weed killers made by Monsanto Co and BASF SE that were linked to widespread crop damage, while Arkansas took a step back from imposing new limits.

The United States has faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by new versions of the herbicides, which are based on a chemical known as dicamba. Farmers and weed experts say the products harm crops that cannot resist dicamba because the herbicides evaporate and drift away from where they are applied, a process known as volatilization.

Monsanto and BASF say the products are safe when used properly.

Monsanto is banking on its dicamba-based herbicide and soybean seeds engineered to resist it, called Xtend, to dominate soybean production in the United States, the world’s second-largest exporter.
us_MN  public  discovery  environmental  pesticides 
3 days ago
Studies highlight potential health risks for consumers and employees at beauty salons
Clients who frequent hair and nail salons exhibit more instances of dermal and fungal symptoms than those who visit less often and nail salon technicians are receiving inadequate training in the use of chemicals, suggest two Rutgers School of Public Health studies.
These studies highlight the need for beauty salon clients and workers to protect themselves from health risks.
The first study, published in the November/December 2017 Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, surveyed 90 hair and nail salon clients in three New Jersey counties to assess their experience with respiratory, fungal and dermal symptoms – which often present as skin rashes or nail disfigurements – after visiting salons. The researchers also sought to learn how aware clients were of the potential biological and chemical hazards in salons. The study is one of the first to focus on health risks facing salon clients rather than employees.
"While there have been studies on the safety and health risks to employees of these facilities, less is known about client perception of these risks or whether they are exposed in a similar manner," said lead author Lindsey Milich, who conducted the study as part of her master's degree research. "We found that although clients might be aware of some hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde, they often do not recognize the dangers posed by pathogens and environmental irritants."
us_NJ  public  discovery  environmental  formaldehyde 
3 days ago
Sheffield leisure centre fined over chemical leak
A leisure centre has been fined £7,000 after a chemical reaction at the site led to eight children and six adults being treated for minor burns.
Springs Leisure Centre, in East Bank Road, Sheffield had to be evacuated after chlorine gas escaped into the swimming pool area in May 2016.
It happened when technicians inadvertently mixed two chemicals while fixing pool filtration equipment.
Operator Sheffield City Trust admitted breaching health and safety rules.
Prosecutor Paul Barber told Sheffield Magistrates' Court a safety notice warning against mixing the two chemicals was partially obscured and the instruction manual and risk assessment documents were not stored with the equipment.
He argued had this not been the case the incident could have been avoided.
The court heard the gas was able to escape as initially the doors between the plant room and the pool were propped open but when the maintenance workers realised what had happened they shut the doors and opened the fire escape.
However, a combination of the draught and a fault with the ventilation system meant the gas continued to escape into the pool area.
Mr Barber said none of those involved in the incident had any ongoing health problems as a result.
United_Kingdom  public  follow-up  environmental  chlorine 
3 days ago
PCB: PCB to prosecute firms involved in chemical dump
HYDERABAD: The Telangana State Pollution Control Board has decided to prosecute pharma companies involved in chemical drums dumping cases. Rachakonda police on Monday arrested a gang for dumping chemical drums. Based on the report submitted by the Rachakconda police, the PCB has decided to take the case forward for further action.
PCB investigations revealed that the gang used Yadadri as a dumping ground. Effluent and hazardous waste from Karnataka and AP were also being dumped in Telangana. While gang members and store managers of companies have been arrested, both police and PCB authorities are verifying involvement of pharma company management.
India  public  discovery  response  waste  illegal 
3 days ago
Ethanol Release in Iowa Truck Rollover
DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -
The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says 1,500 gallons of of ethanol leaked after a semi rolled on Old Hwy Road around 1:00 on Monday afternoon.
Most of that ethanol was contained before it could enter any waterways; however, the road between Graf Road and Dutch Lane Road are closed until further notice.
A HazMat team from Ankeny was called in to help. 
The semi driver, Carl Gravel, was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
Deputies say Gravel, from Dyersville, lost control of the semi when he was turning a corner. 
We do not know if weather was a factor, but at the time of the crash, snow was falling in the area.
The damage to the semi and the tanker are estimated at more than $100,000.
us_IA  transportation  release  response  ethanol 
4 days ago
Carbon monoxide at Delta farm highlights importance of safety training: union
Work safety advocates say proper training and preparedness may have stopped a health and safety scare at a Delta B.C. farm over the weekend from turning into a tragedy.
On Saturday, more than 40 migrant workers were painting and cleaning the greenhouses at Windset Farms when they were exposed to carbon monoxide.
Poor ventilation likely caused the harmful buildup of fumes. Six of the employees tested positive for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Greenhouses are seen at Windset Farms in Delta, B.C. in this image from Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.
"Our senior management…called 911 to make sure we could triage them in various hospitals and make sure they'd be safe and sound," said Windset CEO John Newell when describing the farm's response.
Three fire crews, a hazmat team and paramedics were dispatched to the scene.
At the time, BC Emergency Health Services said that 10 people were in serious or critical condition and 32 others were in stable condition.
Most of the employees have since been given a clean bill of health.
Canada  industrial  follow-up  injury  carbon_monoxide 
4 days ago
Heating device may have ignited fire at NDSU’s Dunbar Hall
FARGO – The cause of a fire that heavily damaged a laboratory and caused smoke damage throughout much of Dunbar Hall at North Dakota State University appears to be a heating device.

Firefighters were called to Dunbar Hall on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 9, and quickly doused the fire in a basement lab in a building that houses many chemistry labs as well as classrooms.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. But on Monday, Dec. 11, Mike Borr, NDSU’s director of university police and safety, said it appears the fire ignited under a ventilation hood and was caused by a “hot plate-type device.”

The lab wasn’t occupied when the fire started, and the researcher who was last in the lab reported that the heating device had been turned off, so it might have been caused by a malfunction, Borr said.

The fire was confined to the lab, but there was minor smoke damage throughout the three-story building. By midday Monday, the smoke odor was mostly gone, he said.

NDSU officials are still compiling a damage estimate. Some laboratory equipment, including analytical equipment, might have been damaged, Borr said.
us_ND  laboratory  follow-up  environmental 
4 days ago
Small fire causes $200 worth of damage to Keene Post Office
The improper storage of batteries caused a small fire at the Keene Post Office this morning, according to fire officials.

Postal workers had put individual 9-volt batteries together into a box while they were cleaning an office, said Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Chickering. When 9V batteries come into contact with one another they can heat up, because they're designed with positive and negative charges both on one end, he said. He said he doesn't know in this case if the batteries themselves caused the fire, or if they came into contact with something else, such as a piece of metal, that sparked the flames.

The Keene Fire Department responded to the building at 196 Main St. at about 11:30 a.m. after an automatic fire alarm activated, a department news release says.

Once firefighters arrived at the scene, they learned that there was a small fire in one of the post office's front offices, and a first alarm was struck, according to the release.
us_NH  public  fire  response  batteries 
4 days ago
Two killed, seven trapped after explosion in Chinese chemical plant
Xinhua reports that two persons died while seven others were buried in debris following an explosion at a chemical factory in east China's Jiangsu Province on December 9. A reaction vessel in Workshop 4 of the factory exploded, which led to the collapse of the neighbouring Workshop 6. 


Rescue workers said the missing seven should still be alive in the rubble, but the complexity of the explosion site meant that operations were proceeding slowly. Firefighters from neighbouring cities are providing support.

No chemical leaks have been detected from the site as yet.
China  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Six employees sickened at Shaw's in Weymouth
WEYMOUTH, Mass. - Six employees were sickened by a chemical leak Sunday morning at a Weymouth grocery store. 

The employees complained of nausea and shortness of breath after they reported an odor in the Shaw's supermarket before noon. 

A Hazmat team found a leak coming from the refrigeration system and fixed the problem. 

The employees were checked out by EMTs and are expected to be fine. 
us_MA  public  release  injury  hvac 
5 days ago
A Cincinnati Woman Burned Down Her Home Trying To Get Rid Of Bedbugs
A Cincinnati woman burned down her house trying to get rid of bedbugs, injuring three people and leaving ten homeless, WXIX-TV (Cincinnati) is reporting.

Bedbugs are right up there with ghosts as the most unwanted “guests” imaginable, and if you see one, more of his friends are hiding somewhere. And getting rid of them should be your top priority. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to get rid of them, as the residents of the Hutchins Avenue home found out the hard way.

Authorities say that the woman was trying to get rid of the pests using rubbing alcohol, which then ignited due to a nearby open flame – perhaps a candle or a burning incense stick. The fire did an estimated $250,000 to the multi-family structure, leaving three teenagers and seven adults temporarily homeless.

What’s more, three adults were treated at nearby hospitals for smoke inhalation. They are expected to recover. An elderly woman, who couldn’t see due to the smoke, was evacuated by firefighters. She was not injured.
us_OH  public  fire  response  propanol 
5 days ago
Poor ventilation at B.C. greenhouse blamed for carbon monoxide exposure
DELTA, B.C. — Poor ventilation at a Delta, B.C., greenhouse is to blame for sending dozens of workers to hospital for carbon monoxide exposure, a fire chief said.

Delta fire battalion chief Neil Shuster said an emergency call came in Saturday afternoon that at least 12 people at Windset Farms were suffering from inhalation of a suspected cleaning product.

Three fire crews and a hazmat crew were dispatched along with police and BC Ambulance Services.

Once on scene, Shuster said crews determined there were high levels of carbon monoxide in the building.

Approximately 43 people required treatment on site.

The workers had been inside a greenhouse while a gas-powered pressure washer was running without adequate ventilation, he said.
Canada  industrial  release  injury  carbon_monoxide 
5 days ago
Fire Damages North Dakota State University Lab
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Officials say a fire has caused significant damage to a lab at North Dakota State University.

Fargo firefighters responded to a firm alarm at Dunbar Hall on Saturday evening. Crews found a fire in a lab in the basement.

Firefighters were able to control the fire within 15 minutes. Because Dunbar Hall holds chemistry classes, crews checked and found several chemicals in the room. While the chemicals were found to be low hazard, a hazardous materials team checked the building and found no chemical hazard.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. No damage estimate was available yet, but authorities say there was significant fire damage to the lab and light smoke damage on three floors.
us_ND  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
5 days ago
Explosion injures 1
An explosion at a business near Rhome around midday Thursday injured a man.
The incident happened at Spartan Chemical just south of Texas 114 east of the Rhome city limits just after noon.
The business owner, Carl Thomas, received second degree burns to the top of his head and his upper body, according to Wise County Assistant Fire Marshal Jeff Doughty.
Thomas was transported by Wise County EMS ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
The explosion happened outside the building, but the exact cause of the explosion is still undetermined.
“He was either transporting one chemical to another container or mixing chemicals, and we’re not sure if a spark may have caused it,” Doughty said.
Thomas was either on a forklift or next to it when the explosion happened.
us_TX  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
PCA contesting penalties in DeRidder explosion that killed 3
Packaging Corporation of America is contesting the tens of thousands of dollars in penalties OSHA lodged against it for a February tank explosion that killed three people and injured seven.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalized PCA with five "serious" safety violations and fines totaling $63,375 in the fatal accident, according to the agency's inspection database.

Three employees were climbing down from an elevated pipe rack when a tank exploded, "striking the employees and tossing their bodies 200 yards from the explosion," according to OSHA's narrative of the Feb. 8 incident. It happened during a shutdown of the facility, where corrugated cardboard boxes are produced.

OSHA noted PCA allowed workers to perform work on a gas system while methanol, turpentine and flammable vapors were present, according to its description of PCA's violations:
us_LA  industrial  follow-up  death  flammables 
6 days ago
Barrel containing chemical explodes at Vashi godown, 2 nabbed for negligence
Navi Mumbai: One barrel filled with highly inflammable chemical solvent exploded due to improper storage at the godown of a transport company located in sector 19, Vashi near the truck terminal.
The incident had occurred at the Okara Trade Parcel Carriers godown on Wednesday evening. The APMC police have arrested the godown manager, Deepak Vishwas and a supplier of chemical solvents, Chandrabhan Kanojiya, for their alleged negligent act.
There was panic among transporters and traders in the locality as barrel pieces flew in the air due to the explosion and one huge piece fell on a new SUV belonging to another transporter, damaging his vehicle. Also, the chemical solvent spilled over the road and the passersby complained of pungent smell and burning eyes.
The explosion occurred near a petrol pump but thankfully, more such chemical filled drums stored at the godown, were not affected. A fire engine from Vashi fire brigade has been stationed near the godown for the past two days to prevent any untoward incident.
Assistant inspector, Ram Chopade said, "Reportedly, the lid of one of the six barrels was not sealed properly and rainwater seeped into it and caused an chemical reaction and led to the explosion."
India  industrial  explosion  response  solvent  illegal 
7 days ago
Watchdogs Say US Chemical Safety Board Is "Flying Blind"
In the early hours of August 31, explosions erupted at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, where floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey had cut off the power supply to refrigerated containers containing organic peroxide. Residences in a 1.5-mile radius had been evacuated, and deputies manning barricades began falling ill in the middle of the road one by one. Medics were called, but no further warning was given as columns of black smoke filled the air.

Arkema knew the fires were coming -- organic peroxides burst into flames unless they are kept cool -- but company officials had insisted in a press conference prior to the explosions that the chemicals were not toxic or harmful to people, according to a lawsuit filed in September by emergency workers injured at the scene.

The lawsuit describes the scene near the plant as "nothing less than chaos," with police officers doubled over vomiting and medics gasping for air on their way to assist them. At least 15 people were hospitalized. Arkema initially told authorities the victims had inhaled a "non-toxic irritant," but residues obtained from nearby residences tested positive for dangerous toxins, such as dioxins and heavy metals, according to a separate lawsuit filed by people living nearby.

What else is Arkema hiding? For answers to that question, the public is turning to the US Chemical Safety Board, where an investigation of the Arkema incident is ongoing. However, the federal agency has failed to implement a rule requiring chemical plant operators to report dangerous releases during accidents to its investigators. Congress mandated this provision back in 1990.

Had Arkema been required to report the looming chemical fires to the Chemical Safety Board, the government and emergency workers would have had more to go on than the "vague" disclosure offered by the company during the storm, according to Adam Carlesco, a staff attorney at Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. The watchdog group filed a lawsuit on Thursday challenging the chemical board's inaction on the reporting rule. Other plaintiffs include the Memorial for Workplace Fatalities and two Gulf South environmental groups.

"America's sole industrial safety monitor is currently flying blind and placing the health of the public at risk," Carlesco said.
us_TX  public  follow-up  environmental  peroxide 
7 days ago
Didion plans for new building in Cambria, no word on OSHA fines or pending investigations
CAMBRIA — Didion Milling is getting ready to pour cement foundations for a new building as they respond to $1.8 million in OSHA fines that resulted from an investigation into the conditions that led to the fatal explosion and fire that killed and injured several employees on May 31.

Late Friday afternoon, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed that Didion Milling is disputing citations brought against the company in November, though in public appearances, company leaders are focused on new development.

On Nov. 17, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the results of that investigation, listing examples of both serious and willful worker safety violations, with penalties totaling $1.8 million. A serious violation is one which causes serious injury or death, while a willful violation one in which an employer “either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.”

Following the announcement, the company had 15 working days to contest the results. Didion Milling’s spokesperson did not respond to inquiries Friday about the company’s response.

Company President Riley Didion gave an update to the Cambria Village Board Monday evening on the state of the company six months after the late-night explosion.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Lawsuit seeks incident-reporting rule from Chemical Safety Board
Four environmental and safety groups have asked a federal court in Washington D.C. to order the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to issue a long-overdue rule requiring the reporting of accidental chemical releases.

In a complaint filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the groups said the need for the rule was underscored by fires and explosions at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas in August, when several first responders who were not aware of hazardous chemicals in the air were sickened and sent to local hospitals.
us_WA  public  discovery  environmental 
7 days ago
EPA works with industry to streamline chemical reviews
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is struggling to review the safety of new chemicals in an efficient yet still protective manner. The agency has been meeting with the chemical industry over the last few months to develop a framework for getting new chemicals onto the market faster. Environmental groups and other stakeholders are troubled that they were left out of the discussions.
A year ago, chemical manufacturers were grumbling about a backlog of new chemicals waiting to be reviewed for safety by EPA. The backlog was a consequence of amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act that were passed by Congress in 2016. The updated law requires EPA to affirm the safety of chemicals before they enter the market.
EPA used its new authorities under the amended law to request additional toxicity data from chemical manufacturers when information was insufficient to evaluate the safety of a chemical. The agency also considered all uses of a chemical, including reasonably foreseen uses.
But that process came to a halt in January amid complaints about a growing backlog of new chemicals. Today, most of the backlog is gone because EPA put extra staff and resources on the problem and streamlined its review process.Rather than looking at all reasonably foreseeable uses of a chemical, EPA is now evaluating only the intended uses reported by a manufacturer. All other uses are being handled under a separate rule-making process, called a significant new use rule. Consequently, the agency is requesting much less toxicity data from industry than it did initially under the revised TSCA because the scope of use for each chemical is much narrower.
public  discovery  environmental 
7 days ago
University of Wollongong building evacuated after fire
2.30pm: A lithium battery being used by students for an experiment is believed to have sparked a fire inside a laboratory at the University of Wollongong on Friday. 

Fire crews were alerted the fire, within a second-floor lab inside building 15, just before 1.10pm.

A Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said the first crew was on the scene within a few minutes and reported a “working fire”.

An escalated (second alarm) response followed, with a total of nine crews dispatched to the scene. 

The fire was contained by about 1.30pm.

Six fire crews remained on the scene at 2.15pm, ventilating the building.

The fire service’s hazardous materials unit also responded to the incident, along with a number of police officers and paramedics. 
Australia  laboratory  fire  response  batteries 
8 days ago
4 Injured After ‘Roach Bomb’ Sparks Blast at Brooklyn High-Rise: FDNY
Four people were injured and a cat was killed after a “roach bomb” led to an explosion at a high-rise apartment building in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon, fire officials say. 
The blast blew out four large windows of a second-floor, corner apartment at the building in Brownsville. Firefighters rushed to the scene on Hegeman Avenue shortly after 1 p.m.
Tyrone McClean said he felt the building shake and heard a loud bang. Some residents said they felt a rumbled from more than a dozen stories above the blast. 
Andre Chandler said he noticed a "subtle shake" for about 10 seconds. "And I'm on the 16th floor and on the opposite side (of the building)," he said. 
us_NY  public  explosion  injury  bomb 
8 days ago
French Lick Man Dies From Injuries In Huntingburg Explosion
(IUNDATED) - A French Lick man burned during a chemical explosion at a Huntingburg business has died.
54-year-old John Deel of French Lick passed away at an Indianapolis hospital on Tuesday.
The explosion happened November 27th at Styline Services Center on West 6th Street.
Huntingburg Fire Department spokesperson John Smith says Deel was cleaning in a service pit when fumes from a solvent-based cleaner he was using ignited fumes that had built up.
He said after the explosion occurred Deel exited the service pit with his clothes a blaze and a fellow employee used an extinguisher to put out the flash fire out before others offered first aid.
He was taken by ambulance from the scene to Memorial Hospital in Jasper and was eventually transferred to an Indianapolis medical facility for further treatment.
No other injuries were reported in the accident and no apparent damage was sustained to the Styline facility.
us_IN  industrial  explosion  death  cleaners  solvent 
8 days ago
Authorities investigating chemical explosion that sent 'large fireball' in to the air
DWIGHT, N.D. (Valley News Live) Authorities in Richland County are investigating after a chemical explosion sent a 'large fireball' into the air Thursday morning.

The Richland County Sheriff's Office said they were called out just before 8:30 a.m. for a fire at a small storage shed at ABU Trailers.

Deputies say there was a trailer with chemicals stored in 55 gallon containers, and the fire caused the containers to explode, sending a large fireball into the air.

A release from the Sheriff's Office say the chemicals that exploded are no risk to the public, but they say they are not sure exactly which chemicals were involved.

The cause of the fire is under investigation
us_ND  industrial  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
EPA Wants To Better Coordinate Cleanup Of Chemicals Like PFOA
The Environmental Protection Agency says it wants to better coordinate the nationwide response to soil and water contaminated with chemicals like PFOA.

PFOA is an industrial chemical that has contaminated about 270 private wells in Bennington.
It is just one of the perfluorinated compounds that has been found in water and soil across the country.

Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation waste management director Chuck Schwer says the move by EPA could signal a shift in how the federal government is responding to the growing crisis.

"We have learned that this is a very pervasive problem, and it's in a lot of different locations," Schwer says. "I think this is what's really prompted EPA taking a more active role. They recognize just how serious a problem this is, not just in Vermont but around the country."

The EPA has phased out the use of perfluorinated compounds but it was used for decades in firefighter foam and to make Teflon and water-proof fabrics.
us_VT  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
8 days ago
World’s environment officials set goal for contamination-free planet
Top environmental officials from around the globe pledged on Dec. 6 to improve people’s lives by cutting contamination of land, air, fresh water, and oceans.
Meeting as the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, the officials set an international goal of a pollution-free planet. They did not establish a time frame for reaching this lofty objective, calling it “a long-term endeavor.”
“We have put the fight against pollution high on the global political agenda,” says Erik Solheim, head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
One activity that must be improved to eliminate pollution is use of commercial chemicals, the assembly determined.
“We believe that it is both inexcusable and preventable that tens of thousands of chemicals are used in everyday objects and applied in the field without proper testing, labelling or tracking,” the environment ministers say in a declaration. “Far too many communities” lack information about hazardous substances they use or are exposed to, or they lack the capacity to manage those hazards safely, the declaration says.
Separately, the assembly called for action to curb the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans as global plastic production and use continues to increase. The assembly called for UNEP to create a global experts group to study options for reducing marine plastic litter, including microplastics. To this end, the assembly encouraged countries to establish policies that extend producers’ responsibility for the fate of their products.
Kenya  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
8 days ago
Spill in chemical company retention pond cleaned up
Ace Completions, an Odessa-based chemical company, had issues in November regarding odor complaints from neighbors about a retention pond on their lot at 325 Pronto Ave., and they hit another snag recently after 75 gallons of a surfactant chemical spilled into the pond as well.
Brian McGovern, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality media relations specialist, said the spill was reported Nov. 21, and is currently being investigated by TCEQ.
This comes after Ace Completions had received several complaints of a noxious odor emanating from their Pronto location, which TCEQ investigated and gave the company of a notice of violation for failing to prevent the release of odors.
An independent lab report from Xenco Laboratories shows soil and water samples taken from the retention pond did not show harmful chemicals in either of the samples, and Ace Completions Founder and CEO Jody Ehler said the cause of the odor came from the heavy rains in Odessa last August and September.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
9 days ago
3 hurt in chemical explosion at southeastern Arkansas plant
HELENA-WEST HELENA — Three workers performing maintenance duties at a chemical plant in southeastern Arkansas were injured when a decomposing product exploded.

The Helena Daily World reported the explosion occurred Wednesday morning at United Initiators, which makes peroxide. The plant is located in an industrial park in Helena-West Helena, 3 miles from the Mississippi River.

Jon Cummins, the plant's vice president of manufacturing, said the chemical involved was benzoyl peroxide. Cummins said there were no chemical releases caused by the explosion. It wasn't immediately clear how serious the workers' injuries were.

WREG-TV of Memphis reported that no fire occurred.

The company stopped production to begin an investigation.

Germany-based United Initiators acquired its Helena-West Helena plant in 2012, according to the company's website.
us_AR  industrial  explosion  injury  peroxide 
9 days ago
Safety first!
One technique that I discovered, however, made any discussion about safety come alive. We would go around the class and every student would relate some incident that they had experienced where they had gotten hurt or injured. Everyone had a story, usually multiple stories.  It got to be almost a competition. Virtually every student could tell of  a personal accident, pratfall, near miss, embarrassing mishap, or catastrophe that had happened to them.  Not all of the students lived on farms, but that didn’t matter-they all had stories to tell. The students were riveted by their classmates’ experiences, and so was I. We were all survivors of some kind of accident.  
With the storytelling session as an introduction, we then talked about why the students’ accidents had happened. Sometimes things just happened, so-called freak accidents, but usually there were underlying factors that we could identify. Maybe the lighting was poor and a trip or a barked shin was the result. Often hurrying was the culprit. Taking shortcuts, trying to multitask, being mentally distracted can all lead to problems. By deconstructing their past accidents, hopefully the students became more aware of everyday hazards and they became safer.
us_WI  public  discovery  environmental 
9 days ago
Public Metallic Mercury Releases reviewed
A person walks into a bar carrying a jar filled with more than 5 kg of mercury.
Although we wish we could follow that sentence with a punch line, this actually happened in Armstrong, Iowa, in 2012. And it gets worse. The jar spilled.
Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but it took Environmental Protection Agency contractors a week to fully clean the spill. Among the remediation highlights, workers had to remove the bar’s flooring and treat several appliances in one of the patron’s houses as hazardous waste, including the washer, dryer, and vacuum cleaner.
A group of public health officials earlier this year wrote about this and several other mercury spills, cluing the Newscripts gang into just how often people accidentally—and avoidably—expose themselves to this neurotoxic element (Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2017, DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6610a3). The authors counted more than 60 nonthermometer mercury spills in five states between 2012 and 2015. Corresponding author Ryan J. Wozniak tells us that he and his colleagues cataloged these cases to raise awareness about the liquid metal.
“We find that many people still have old jars of mercury in their garages, basements, and other storage areas,” says Wozniak, a toxicologist at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. That’s in addition to other mercurial sources people may have in their houses, including compact fluorescent light bulbs, old boiler heating systems, and grandfather clocks with mercury pendulums.
public  discovery  environmental  mercury 
10 days ago
Coal tar ‘vapour’ leak creates plume in east end
Six workers reported respiratory problems during Tuesday's release of a yellow-green "plume" at a coal tar recycler in the east end near Pier 24.

The widely-seen plume was the result of coal tar pitch "vapours" released from a processing unit undergoing maintenance at Ruetgers Canada just before 3 p.m., said Gary Wheeler, spokesperson for Ontario's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

The industrial processor at 725 Strathearne Ave. N. uses coal tar (a byproduct of steelmaking also known as a toxic ingredient in Randle Reef harbour pollution) as a chemical raw material in manufacturing.

District EMS superintendent Dave Thompson said six employees suffered "respiratory injuries" as a result of exposure to a "rather large plume" of gas that contained an inhalable "irritant."

Thompson said the patients were "decontaminated" before being examined by paramedics, and in some cases transported to local hospitals. He said all of the individuals were considered in stable condition.
Canada  industrial  release  injury  irritant 
10 days ago
Trenton drinking water turned purple by chemical that can cause person to collapse
More than 24 hours later, the Barney water in the jug turned a yellowish color, Miller said.

Offering an explanation, a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesman said that the city informed the agency that the discolored water was caused by an excess concentration of potassium permanganate, a chemical used in the standard water treatment process.

“The cause of the incident is being investigated and focusing on pumping calibrations,” DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said Tuesday. “Potassium permanganate is not considered a health risk.”

Despite the DEP press flack’s assertion that the public was not in danger, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paints a different picture of the chemical used to control odor and taste and remove iron, hydrogen sulfide and manganese from drinking water.

Ingestion of potassium permanganate can lead to burning sensation, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, and even cause shock or collapse, according to information on the CDC website. Long-term exposure to the oxidizing chemical can have effects on the lungs, resulting in bronchitis and pneumonia, the CDC states.

If ingested, a person is advised to drink plenty of water and not induce vomiting, the CDC recommends.
us_NJ  public  release  response  potassium_permanganate  water_treatment 
10 days ago
100 years after Halifax: Are we safer from chemical explosions?
On Dec. 6, 1917, poor storage and unsafe transportation of picric acid and TNT led to the largest explosion the world had seen prior to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Halifax explosion killed nearly 2,000, injured more than 9,000 and left 25,000 without adequate shelter. Despite the devastation, no one was ever successfully prosecuted for failures leading to the explosion. One hundred years later we might ask, are we safer today from an accidental explosion of dangerous chemicals? The answer is yes, but important weaknesses remain.

Our attention typically focuses on the transportation of dangerous chemicals, but the storage of dangerous chemicals often flies below the radar. Chemicals are pervasive. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) registry lists 4,720 facilities in Canada that use or store above-threshold quantities of hazardous chemicals. Many of these exist in urban or suburban areas. There is also increased urbanization. At the beginning of the 20th century, 45 per cent of Canadians lived in urban centres. Today, more than 83 per cent do.

The increased presence of dangerous chemicals and urbanization are a toxic mix, because accidents happen. In 2008, there was a series of explosions at the Sunrise Propane facility in Toronto; it contributed to the deaths of two people and forced thousands to evacuate. In 2012, the Neptune Technologies and Bioressources plant near Sherbrooke exploded, burning 15,000 litres of acetone, killing three workers and injuring 18 others. Though rare, disasters continue to occur.
Canada  public  follow-up  environmental  explosives 
10 days ago
Coroner called to scene of pipeline explosion
The conditions of both people injured in the explosion had stabilized. A second tractor attempted to free the first but lost traction when the explosion happened. The Lee County Sheriff's Department said the blast sent flames and dark smoke into the air around 9 a.m.

U.S. Route 38 between Nachusa and Robbins roads is closed, and police and fire crews from multiple agencies also are on scene.

According to Lee County Sheriff's Department officials, an explosion and fire occurred in a field near Nachusa when a natural gas line was struck by a tractor at approximately 9 a.m. on December 5. The gas company is now on scene to make sure the pipeline is secured.

A large fire, possibly caused by a pipeline explosion, has emergency personnel responding to a scene near Dixon.
us_IL  industrial  explosion  injury  natural_gas 
10 days ago
Impact of EU nano observatory ‘limited’, RIVM says
The impact of Echa’s nano observatory on the safety and transparency of nanomaterials on the EU market will be minimal, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has said.

Launched in June, the observatory – or the EUON – is a public website aimed at increasing transparency of information on nanomaterials on the single market. This came after the European Commission opted not to create an EU nano register, given delays in the introduction of new REACH information requirements on the substances.

The Netherlands and some other member states asked for a mandatory European registration system and because this is not the case, the EUON is "limited in detailed information", RIVM says in its analysis The European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials – a step forward?

"Consequently, RIVM expects the EUON's contribution to reducing the uncertainty regarding the safety of nanomaterials to be limited."

According to Echa, it offers "factual and neutral content", and is targeted at a wide audience including consumers, workers, regulators and scientists. Visitors can read about where they are used and obtain information on health and safety issues, research, regulatory and international activities.
Netherlands  public  discovery  environmental 
10 days ago
LA Investigating Chemical Spill That Smelled Like Gas
The Los Angeles City Council directed various agencies Tuesday to investigate a chemical spill in the Rancho Park area that caused a strong gas-like odor to blanket a large swath of the Westside last week, with two councilmen voicing heavy criticism of Southern California Gas Co.'s handling of post-spill communications.
According to the utility, the odor that began permeating the area around 9:10 p.m. last Wednesday was not caused by a gas leak, but by a spill of a nontoxic odorant that is added to natural gas as a safety precaution. The spill was cleaned up, and SoCalGas said last Thursday that the odor was expected to dissipate gradually during the day.
But City Councilman Paul Koretz said some residents were still complaining about the smell and may be suffering health problems related to it.
"Even now, nearly a week later, I am still getting emails from folks saying the smell is still in their car or their homes, and worse yet people are still coughing things up," Koretz said.
us_CA  public  follow-up  environmental  natural_gas 
10 days ago
Students protest at Rochester Prep over chemical concerns
Students at Rochester Prep didn't attend classes on Tuesday, but instead joined classmates and their parents to protest after chemical contamination has been found at their school.

The NYS DEC has told Monroe County that ground contamination near the school building, a former Bausch and Lomb facility, may have migrated across the street to a county leased building on St. Paul Street.

Karla Leng is a junior at Rochester Prep. She says they were protesting because the air at the school has high levels of Trichloroethylene (TCE) and the water is dirty.              

"I love my school, but I'm just hoping that we get transferred to another building.  I don't want anything to happen with our school. The school is a great school but the building is the main problem."

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren says the school district, City Hall, and administrators from Rochester Prep are all working on options for the students.
us_NY  education  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
10 days ago
Fire at Vernon Township High School quickly extinguished
 VERNON — A fire in an upstairs science classroom at Vernon Township High School was quickly put out early Friday evening, but the room itself has sustained significant damage, according to officials who were on the scene.

“The fire was located in one of the laboratory science classrooms, and it was in the center of the school,” said Vernon Police Sgt. Kenny Kuzicki. “Right now the fire has been extinguished, but we still haven't determined the cause of it.”

...
“One room is in very bad shape, but fortunately it was confined to only that one room,” DiBenedetto said. Still, he said, “it's not a pretty scene.”

The cause of the blaze is under review, and authorities have said they intend to do a full investigation.

“The Sussex County fire marshal, as well as the arson investigator and myself, are all here and we're going to start our investigation shortly,” Kuzicki said.

No timetable has been set, “but the investigation is probably going to be open for a while. We're going to make sure we do all of our interviews and speak with everybody, so it's going to take a little bit of time,” said Kuzicki.

The fire had originally been rumored to be the result of a gas leak, but DiBenedetto said it was his understanding that had since been ruled out.

“It's my humble understanding that it was not a gas leak, that the gas (to the room) was shut off, and that it may have been something that started in a trash basket,” he said.
us_NJ  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Vernon Township H.S. to remain closed Monday as cleanup continues
The science lab in Room 201 where the fire took place, meanwhile, will need to be totally rebuilt -- something DiBenedetto said may not happen for several months. As a result, classes that had been meeting there will also need to be reassigned to other parts of the building.

The district may be able to expedite the rebuilding of the science lab by seeking an emergency exemption from normal contractor bidding requirements under a New Jersey statute, 18A:18A-7, that allows for such exemptions in matters where public health and safety are involved, said DiBenedetto.

Still, he said, "I don't see that area (the science lab) being used for another three or four months."

Earlier Sunday, an insurance adjuster was on the scene assessing the cost of the damage from Friday's fire. No firm figures have been given yet, but school officials are apparently encouraged by what they heard.

"We have great people in the insurance area, and the information we received went beyond any hopes we first had as far as being covered by insurance," DiBenedetto said.

Friday's fire, which was said to have resulted from the discarded remains of a science experiment earlier that day, was first noticed at about 5 p.m. by a female custodian. DiBenedetto could not immediately confirm her identity but said it was his understanding that she immediately alerted students and others who were still in the building, and helped initiate an evacuation.

Within an hour, the fire was effectively out, but not before it had already done significant damage. DiBenedetto, however, credited the custodian's quick action with averting what might have been a much worse outcome.

"The custodian saw flames shooting out through the bottom of the door, and alerted the students and had the wherewithal to literally yell to any other adults who were in the building to get the students out," he said. "That custodian is a hero."
us_NJ  laboratory  followup  response  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Hazmat response for jet fuel spill at Thermal Airport
A refueling truck spilled about three gallons of jet fuel on the runway at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal on Monday, triggering a county environmental health response.

The spill happened just before 9:30 a.m., when a 5,000-gallon fuel tender began leaking Jet-A fuel, said Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department.

County fire personnel, including a hazardous materials team, and Riverside County environmental health employees plugged the leak and cleaned up the spill.
us_CA  transportation  release  response  other_chemical 
11 days ago
Evacuations, road closure after tanker crash
Charleston emergency crews shut down Cypress Street and evacuated several nearby residents after a fuel tanker overturned and began leaking gasoline on Monday night.

The accident happened just before 10 p.m. near the Cypress Street ramp to I-26 east.

The Charleston Fire Department, Charleston Police Department, Charleston County EMS and Charleston County Rescue Squad were among the agencies that responded to the scene.

According to a statement from the fire department, the tanker was carrying about 8,700 gallons of gasoline in two separate tanks.  The fire department’s hazmat team discovered a gash in one of the tanks and launched an effort to contain the leaking fuel.

As of 1 a.m., approximately 100 gallons of gasoline had been contained.

About 20 people living nearby were evacuated and took shelter on a CARTA bus as a precaution.
us_SC  transportation  release  response  gasoline 
11 days ago
Chemical Reaction Caused "Vapor Cloud" At Dalton
More details are being revealed about a hazmat incident that occurred this morning at a local business, causing the evacuation of neighboring residence and the early dismissal of Cheshire High School.

According to information provided by the Cheshire Fire Department, the overpowering odor that emanated from the site was the result of phosphoric pentoxide anhydryde, with polymer resin, being incorrectly mixed with water. A “vapor cloud” was created as well as the powerful odor.

The CFD, along with the City of Waterbury Hazmat team and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection metered the surrounding area and determined that “at no time were any levels of any chemicals detected in the air.” The area was evacuated for precautionary purposes and employees at Dalton were medically evaluated but all refused further treatment, according to the CFD.

Portions of Willow/Spring Street remain closed off, however the CFD states that, while there may be a residual smell in the neighborhood and surrounding area for some time, it poses no health risk to anyone.
us_CT  industrial  release  response  plastics  resin 
11 days ago
Lawyer questions safety of New Windsor perfume factory after exp
NEW WINDSOR -
Concerns are being raised about the reopening of a perfume factory in Orange County following a deadly chemical explosion last month.

Verla International in New Windsor factory hastily reopened Tuesday after the explosion and fire in November that killed a worker and injured 125 others, including several firefighters.

Video of Verla International Cosmetics explosion

High profile attorney Michael Sussman is questioning whether conditions are safe for workers to return to the building. The town’s building department says the portion of the factory that's reopened is safe with no violations, but Sussman says that the multiple safety violations last year issued by OSHA are ongoing and may have contributed to the explosion and deadly fire.

News 12 calls to Verla and the town supervisor have gone unanswered.
us_NY  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
11 days ago
Action Resources Chemical Fire Requires Foaming Agent Application
Action Resources on County Road 517 was the scene of a significant chemical fire today.
Cullman e911 dispatched four different firefighting agencies to tackle the tenacious blaze.
First on the scene was Assistant Fire Chief Doug Farley of Colony Volunteer Fire Department. Farley had worked a fire at the same location last week; his department fully extinguish the blaze at that time.
This morning the could not suppress the renewed fire with water alone:
“I ran through an engine full of water, and I couldn’t get the thing put out. At that point, I had to call Hanceville for foam.”
Soon after that request, Hanceville Fire & Rescue and Blount County’s Mountain High Fire Department arrived along with the Cullman County Hazardous Materials Team.
Dion Taylor of County HazMat provided insights into the chemical accelerants they had to deal with:
“We determined we were working with paints, paint thinners, and paint clean-up supplies. Water alone won’t get it done. We used copious amounts of foaming agent.
This stuff was incredibly flammable, dangerous, and hard to extinguish.”
The over 4-hour firefight concluded just before 2 pm this afternoon.
us_AL  industrial  fire  response  flammables  paints  solvent 
11 days ago
Everyone safe after HazMat called to Chobani
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Everyone is safe after an ammonia leak at Chobani on Friday.

The Twin Falls Fire Department sent one engine and a HazMat team to the factory after a compressor in the refrigeration building leaked.

An automatic system shut the compressor down.

Then the ventilation system cleared the ammonia out.

The fire department said no one was injured, and crews are repairing the compressor now.
us_ID  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
14 days ago
Camera records rare fire ignited by hot, oily towels at new Penn Hills eatery
The Penn Hills Fire Marshal said a fire that destroyed a restaurant earlier in the week was spontaneously ignited by hot towels resting for hours in a laundry bin.

“It's rare, but it happens more than people think,” fire marshal Chuck Miller said. He ruled the Wednesday morning fire at Soul & Sea Restaurant accidental after reviewing video from a surveillance camera in the restaurant that captured how the fire started.

Without the video, Miller said, the fire would have been ruled “undetermined” because the fire destroyed evidence investigators needed to determine the cause.

The video shows restaurant owner Brittany Houser drop off a laundry bin full of clean towels just after 11 p.m., which she had just washed and dried at a nearby Laundromat, Miller said.

At about 2:19 a.m., smoke began to fill the room. Miller said the bin smoldered until 6:16 a.m. when flames appeared and began creeping up a wall. The camera was disabled at 6:34 a.m.

According to records, B-Sharp Hair Studio owner Darnell Cohen reported the fire at 6:38 a.m. as he drove in to open his shop in the mall. It took firefighters about 30 minutes to get the fire under control, Penn Hills fire Lt. Tom Kutcher said Wednesday morning.
us_PA  public  fire  response  cleaners 
14 days ago
Chemical factory blast leaves 1 dead, 11 hurt
FUJI, Shizuoka (Jiji Press) — An explosion and subsequent fire left one dead and 11 injured at Arakawa Chemical Industries Ltd.’s factory in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Friday.

A man in his 60s died and three of the 11 injured, who were in their 20s to 60s, suffered severe injuries, fire authorities said.

According to the prefectural police department, five people were rushed to hospital in the incident, which occurred around 8:30 a.m.

With heavy smoke rising from the plant, local authorities ordered some 50 people in a 100-meter vicinity of the site to evacuate.

According to the fire authorities, the fire was extinguished around 2:10 p.m.

Osaka-based Arakawa Chemical Industries, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, makes and sells chemicals used in paper manufacturing and resin for printing ink.
Japan  industrial  explosion  death  resin 
14 days ago
Resin Dust Eyed as Cause of Deadly Chemical Plant Blast
Officials at a chemical plant in Fuji, Japan said dust from resins were likely the cause of an explosion Friday that killed one person and injured 11 others, The Japan Times reported.

The explosion was reported at the Arakawa Chemical Industries Ltd. Plant at about 8:30 a.m. A 64-year-old contract worker was killed in the blast. More than 100 were reportedly in the facility at the time of the incident.

A byproduct from the crushing and packing process of resins for ink, the company said the dust exploded on either the first or second floor of the facility, where the man who died and those who received the worst injuries were found.

Emergency officials said the explosion did not pose a risk to the environment or those living near the plant. 
Japan  industrial  follow-up  death  dust 
14 days ago
Chemical reaction forces inmates out of cells; HazMat team cleaning up
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) - Inmates had to move from the Boyd County Jail Friday afternoon after a HazMat situation.

According to Boyd Emergency Management Director Tim England, a jail maintenance worker was trying to clear a clogged drain, but it didn't work.

The worker then added additional cleaners which caused a chemical reaction in the jail drain system.

HazMat crews are on scene to flush out the drain.

England says there is no danger to the public.
us_KY  industrial  release  response  cleaners 
14 days ago
Massachusetts mall evacuated after chemical spill in a Chipotle restaurant
Police and emergency crews responded to a chemical spill at a Chipotle restaurant in a mall in Braintree, Massachusetts Friday. Police and emergency crews responded to a chemical spill at a Chipotle restaurant in a mall in Braintree, Massachusetts Friday around 4 p.m. local time.

Some areas of the mall were partially evacuated as emergency crews worked the scene.

According to police, one person was treated for a non-life threatening injury caused by a vinegar-based cleaning substance at Chipotle restaurant located inside the South Shore Plaza.
us_MA  public  release  injury  other_chemical 
14 days ago
OSHA Cites Two Florida Companies Following Hazardous Chemical Release
GIBSONTON, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Tampa Electric Co. and Critical Intervention Services, a security services provider, for $43,458 in total proposed penalties, following a release of anhydrous ammonia – a chemical refrigerant – at its Gibsonton facility.
On May 23, 2017, OSHA responded to the incident and determined that the ammonia release occurred when a relief valve activated after a pipeline became over pressurized. As a result, four workers were taken to the hospital for observation and released.
The citations come as Tampa Electric, one of the state’s largest utilities, faces scrutiny over its safety record. OSHA is investigating a June 29 accident at the Big Bend plant that killed five workers and injured a sixth. The agency is expected to issue its findings by the end of December.
OSHA issued Tampa Electric two serious citations for failing to include all the minimum requirements in their emergency response plan and not ensuring employees exposed to hazardous substances wore appropriate respiratory protection. The Agency also issued the power company a Hazard Alert Letter with recommendations to mitigate asphyxiation hazards.
The investigation also led to citations for Critical Intervention Services, which received two serious violations for not developing or implementing a written hazard communication program and failing to provide information and training on hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
us_FL  industrial  follow-up  response  ammonia  hvac_chemicals 
14 days ago
At least 10 injured in blast at chemical factory in southeastern Japan
TOKYO, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- At least 10 people were injured in an explosion at a chemical plant in the Fuji city of Shizuoka prefecture in southeastern Japan on Friday, local media quoted fire department sources as saying.
Local fire department said it received report about the explosion around 8:30 a.m. local time on Friday.
Firefighters are still working to put out the fire, while plumes of black smoke could still be seen billowing into the sky from the area, according to public broadcaster NHK.
Residents nearby the fire site have been advised to evacuate, according to the local government.
The chemical plant belongs to Arakawa Chemical Industries, Ltd., a company that manufactures and sells chemicals for paper manufacturing, resins for printing inks and adhesives among others.
Japan  industrial  explosion  injury  adhesives 
15 days ago
A teenager tried to kill some bed bugs but set his entire apartment complex on fire instead
Let this be a lesson in taming bed bugs — do not try to set them on fire. A 13-year-old boy in Cincinnati, Ohio tried to kill a bed bug in his home by setting it on fire. He used alcohol and a match which ignited a blaze that spread through six units in his apartment complex. The fire caused $300,000 dollars in damage and eight people, including five children, have been displaced.

“This was accidental. He wasn’t in there just playing with matches. It wasn’t the smartest thing, obviously, but he was trying to get rid of a bed bug,” Cincinnati firefighter Marc Monahan revealed to the press.

Luckily the Red Cross has stepped up to help the displaced families, and thankfully no injuries were reported, but this is no joke.
us_OH  public  fire  response  flammable 
15 days ago
Man injured in Vic gas bottles explosion
A man has been hospitalised after gas bottles on his ute exploded in Melbourne.

Surrounding homes were damaged after the acetylene gas bottles exploded on the Mountain Highway at Bayswater shortly before 8.30am on Friday.

The driver, aged in his 60s, was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with non-life threatening injuries and WorkSafe is investigating the explosion.
Australia  transportation  explosion  injury  acetylene 
15 days ago
EU green criteria backs need for flame retardants, says trade group
The European Flame Retardant Association (Efra) said it welcomed the EU Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for furniture.

The trade body's president Edie Engels told Chemical Watch that, because the criteria does not introduce new restrictions on flame retardants, the European Commission was "reaffirming the importance of fire safety" and acknowledging the chemicals are "used to save lives and in accordance with fire safety standards".

The voluntary guidelines — published in August — aim to help public authorities purchase products and services with reduced environmental impacts.

Mr Engels said that because flame retardants are classified under the REACH and CLP Regulations based on their individual toxicological properties, restricting their use as a group of chemicals would be "inconsistent and incoherent with the EU regulatory framework".
Europe  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
15 days ago
Carpet manufacturers 'stepping up efforts' on ingredient disclosure
Leading US carpet manufacturers are stepping up efforts to communicate the components of their products — and their relationship to human and ecological health — according to US trade association the Carpet and Rug Institute.

CRI president Joe Yarbrough told Chemical Watch that they were doing this through Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and certified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).  

Mr Yarbrough's comments are in response to a recent report by the NGO Healthy Building Network (HBN), which called for the fundamental redesign of the carpet industry to eliminate toxic chemicals so that carpets can be more recyclable.

The HBN report claims that manufacturers consistently fail to fully disclose carpet ingredients and green certifications did not address some of the key substances of concern.
public  discovery  environmental  toxics 
15 days ago
Regulatory agencies reluctant to use mathematical models of organisms
Regulatory agencies remain reluctant to use physiologically based kinetic (PBK) models, according to an expert survey by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Widely used in industry and academia, PBK mathematical models describe how chemicals pass through the body, which is represented as a series of interconnected compartments. The models are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for use with non-animal test results and quantitative structure activity relationship (Qsar) predictions. For example, they are often used to help extrapolate from in vitro results to the in vivo situation.

Of 93 people that filled out an online survey, 27 described using PBK models for submitting dossiers, opinions or risk assessments to regulatory agencies. Together with scientists at the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Oak Ridge Institute and Slovakian consultancy Klimeto, the JRC team has summarised the PBK situation and come up with recommendations to boost regulatory acceptance. 

A lack of standardised good modelling practice (GMP) guidelines, together with a wide range of computing platforms, may be the "greatest obstacles" for PBK model use in regulatory risk assessment, they write in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.
Europe  public  discovery  environmental 
15 days ago
Woman pouring gas on bonfire burned when can explodes, cops say
A Camden County woman suffered serious burns after a bonfire mishap early Thursday, Franklin Township police said.

Taylor Lanthier, 28, of Lindenwold, was at a home on Malaga Lake Boulevard in Franklin Township around 3 a.m. when police say she poured gasoline on a bonfire.

The flames traveled up into the can, causing it to explode, Lt. Matt DeCesari explained.

Lanthier was transported to the burn treatment center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania.

Family and friends have rallied to help Lanthier in her recovery.
us_NJ  public  explosion  injury  gasoline 
16 days ago
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