12905
LaPlace chemical plant, criticized for releasing 'likely carcinogen,' cited for 50 potential Clean Air Act violations
After sending investigators into the Denka Performance Elastomer plant for five days last year to find out why it was discharging troubling amounts of chloroprene into the air, the Environmental Protection Agency has found that the LaPlace chemical manufacturer potentially violated the Clean Air Act about 50 times, according to a report.

Chloroprene is a chemical categorized by the EPA as a "likely carcinogen." 

The draft report is the result of a compliance investigation ordered by the federal agency last summer to determine whether the plant broke environmental laws. The probe continues while regulators get feedback from the company and decide whether to take action. Denka is contesting some of the findings.

According to the report, investigators found an alarming number of leaky valves, as well as inadequate oversight of large portions of the plant’s complex operations.

Denka bought the plant from DuPont in late 2015. It uses chloroprene to produce neoprene, a synthetic used to make wetsuits, orthopedic braces, electric insulation and other products. 
us_LA  industrial  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
19 hours ago
Cleanup continues after Route 202 tractor-trailer chemical fire
RARITAN TWP. - The cleanup after a tractor-trailer carrying flammable and corrosive materials in drums caught fire on Saturday afternoon continues on Sunday morning.

Delays are expected on southbound Route 202 between the Flemington Circle and Hart Boulevard as the right and center lanes remained closed as of 9 a.m., the state Department of Transportation reported.

The fire happened around 5 p.m. Saturday. The tractor-trailer stopped between the Spring Garden and Rich Haven roads intersection on southbound Route 202.

Southbound Route 202 remained closed for much of the evening, with northbound Route 202 reopening just after 7:30 p.m.

This was the third incident involving a truck hauling hazardous materials in Central Jersey in the past two weeks. Bridgewater residents were asked to shelter in place when a truck hauling chemicals overturned, and the Somerset County Hazardous Materials Response Team were called out to an accident in Hillsborough involving a truck hauling fertilizer.
us_NJ  transportation  fire  response  ag_chems  corrosives  flammables 
19 hours ago
European Union further restricts four phthalates
The European Union is a step closer to prohibiting the use of four phthalates in consumer products. The Socio-Economic Analysis Committee of the European Chemicals Agency voted on June 20 in favor of restricting most uses of the chemicals under the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) law.
The four phthalates are butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP).
Europe  public  discovery  response  other_chemical 
19 hours ago
Chemical Incident At University Of Oxford
At 12:28 pm on Friday 23rd June, Thames Valley Fire Control Service received a call to a number of batteries leaking acid in the basement of the Oxford University Engineering Department, Oxford.

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service crews from Rewley Road and Slade were on the scene within minutes and were met by on-site staff who had already evacuated the building.

A total of 46 batteries had started to heat up, swell and causing the batteries to start gas off. Four people had been exposed to the Sulphuric Acid and may have breathed-in fumes. The casualties were initially treated by trauma trained firefighters who later handed over to crews from South Central Ambulance Service, three people were discharged at the scene and one male was taken to hospital for further precautionary checks.
United_Kingdom  education  release  injury  batteries  sulfuric_acid 
yesterday
Accidental chemical release in Dunn under control
Dunn, North Carolina (WTVD) -- On Saturday, June 24, the Fayetteville Emergency Management Department responded to assist Harnett County Emergency Management with a hazardous materials release incident at Brainerd Chemical located at 1600 South Wilson Avenue.

The investigation showed that there was no explosion or fire; the accident was a release of hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid being mixed to make commercial grade disinfectant.

Buildings surrounding a radius of 600 meters were evacuated as a standard precaution and the area will remain evacuated until air monitoring on the property is completed.One employee suffered minor injuries, he was taken to a local hospital and is expected to be OK.

The FFD hazardous materials crews are conducting air monitoring operations to ensure the environment is safe prior to releasing the building back to the owner.
us_NC  industrial  release  injury  hydrogen_peroxide  sulfuric_acid 
yesterday
Paramedics called to Amberwood Village Golf and Country Club after some exposed to noxious chemical
Country Club in Stittsville.
A 911 call came in around 8:10 p.m. Friday on reports that an unknown acid had mixed with chlorine.
It's believed to have originated in the swimming pool area of the club.
Fire officials say at least 8 people were affected, but Paramedics later said they had at least 13 patients.
Canada  public  release  response  chlorine 
2 days ago
Industry must avoid stigmatising preservatives, says EU Commission
The ongoing regulatory scrutiny of preservatives is of "great concern", Martin Seychell, deputy general of the European Commission’s health directorate (DG Sante), has said.

Speaking at trade body Cosmetics Europe's annual conference in Brussels last week, Mr Seychell (pictured) told delegates: "Excessively reducing the palette of preservatives available to formulators creates real public health problems. It means that consumers are exposed to higher levels of the remaining ones."  

Bans and restrictions on widely used substances have come into force over the last two years, including for several parabens and the mixture of methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI).

In the EU, preservatives are part of a 'positive list' and only ingredients endorsed by the competent authorities of all member states - and listed in the cosmetics Regulation - are permitted for use. Assessments are carried out by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS). 

There are currently 132 preservatives on the list, but sometimes these need to be used in combination to reach the correct efficacy.
Europe  public  discovery  environmental 
2 days ago
Endocrine societies speak out against proposed EDC criteria
Three endocrine societies have spoken out against the European Commission's proposed criteria on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

The Endocrine Society, the European Society for Endocrinology and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology sent a joint letter in which they object to loopholes they say can potentially allow dangerous chemicals to escape identification as EDCs.

They urged member states to work towards improving the criteria, by incorporating the following recommendations:

remove the exemption for biocides and pesticides designed to act on endocrine systems;

adhere to a science-based definition that includes categories for known EDCs and chemicals for which more information is needed to make a determination; and

maintain a hazard-based identification system without derogations based on risk.

The Commission postponed a vote on the proposed criteria in May. 
Europe  public  discovery  environmental  ag_chems  pesticides 
2 days ago
Echa authorisation enforcement project finds cases of non-compliance
About 90% of European companies are in compliance with their REACH authorisation obligations, Echa's enforcement Forum has found.

In the Forum's second pilot project, national enforcement authorities (NEAs) checked the marketing and/or use of substances subject to authorisation. It marks the first time NEAs also reviewed, where relevant, compliance with conditions laid down in the decisions.

Seventeen NEAs looked at compliance in the use and placing on the market of 13 substances of very high concern (SVHCs) with sunset dates in 2015. Where an authorisation had already been granted, inspectors also checked if the conditions set out in the application were being met.

The authorities conducted 802 inspections between January and October 2016. Most took place in Italy (162), followed by Denmark (120) and Sweden (106).

The majority of companies did not use (93%) or place on the market (92%) any of the substances that had a 2015 sunset date, according to the Forum's report.
Europe  public  discovery  environmental 
2 days ago
Communities suing EPA to force faster adoption of chemical disaster rule
A group of industry workers, scientists and communities near plants filed a motion this week asking a federal court to stop the EPA from delaying new rules intended to prevent chemical disasters, according to Earthjustice.
Last week, at the behest of industry, the agency postponed the rules, a weakened version of reforms sought by President Barack Obama after the 2013 West Fertilizer explosion. It's now put off until February 2019, a delay that advocates deemed unprecedented.
"The Chemical Disaster Rule is designed to prevent chemical accidents — and to ensure community members have adequate emergency response in place to reduce harm if they do happen," said Bakeyah Nelson, executive director of Air Alliance Houston, one of the groups petitioning the D.C. Circuit Court. "Preparation for an emergency in these situations, particularly in overburdened communities like ours along the Houston Ship Channel, can be the difference between life and death."
The rule is part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Management Program, which covers only a fraction of dangerous chemical sites nationwide. A chemical facility that erupted in flames and spilled hazardous materials in Spring Branch last year was not covered.
Still, advocates were hoping for at least one nationwide reform after the West disaster.
When developing the rule, EPA determined that its prior regulations failed to prevent over 2,000 chemical accidents around the country over a 10-year period, Earthjustice said.
us_TX  industrial  discovery  response 
2 days ago
State aid hike for vapor cleanup called inadequate
Lansing – Gov. Rick Snyder is poised to sign a $56.7 billion budget that includes more money to address potentially dangerous chemical vapors, a problem of unknown reach in Michigan that can leach into people’s homes through their basements.

The $300,000 or 23 percent bump to $1.6 million for vapor intrusion approved by the state House and Senate is far less than the $2.6 million that Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Heidi Grether requested in February.

At the time, Grether told lawmakers that as many as 4,000 locations in Michigan and many in Metro Detroit might host chemical vapors that can rise from the ground of former industrial or commercial sites into nearby homes. Grether called the issue a “significant public health threat.”

“We’re concerned that this could pose a significant public health threat,” Grether said then. “So we need additional staff and resources to evaluate the sites” and start mitigation projects where necessary.

The extra $1 million the department requested would have helped develop a detailed map showing the location all of the suspected vapor intrusion sites. The department can’t make that map with its current funding, said DEQ spokeswoman Melody Kindraka.
us_MI  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
2 days ago
Chemical spill prompts brief evacuation at University
A chemical spill at a University research building led to a brief evacuation Friday.

Around 12:55 p.m., the Masonic Cancer Research Building located on 425 E. River Parkway was evacuated for precautionary reasons due to a chemical spill, said a University spokesperson.

Minneapolis Fire Department responded to the incident, the spokesperson said.

A “very small pipette of fluid” was mishandled, causing the spill, said Bryan Tyner, public information officer for the MFD.

An alert announcing the building was clear and safe to return to was sent at 1:45 p.m. Personnel were let back into the building after the fire department deemed the air to be non-hazardous, Tyner said.
us_MN  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Fieldworkers hospitalized for possible chemical exposure
Eighteen Tanimura & Antle employees were hospitalized for possible chemical exposure Thursday morning.

Around 4:30 a.m., a celery transplant crew began working on Harden Ranch at the corner of Abbott Street and Harris Road south of Salinas, said Monterey County Assistant Agricultural Commissioner Bob Roach. 

After about an hour, some crew members began feeling nauseous and one person vomited. The crew then left and were transported to Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System.

Samanatha  Cabaluna, vice president of brand marketing & communications for Tanimura & Antle said, "The health and safety of our workers is our number one concern. We still don't know what caused it and we got them off to the hospital as soon as we knew there was a problem." 

SVMH Spokesperson Karina Rusk said 18 patients were admitted to the emergency room around 6:50 a.m. with complaints of dizziness, nausea and stomach pains. The patients included six men and a dozen women with ages ranging from 20- to 53-years-old.

The hospital was notified that it was a possible chemical exposure and immediately opened a command center to handle the influx of patients. 

The patients were placed in a decontamination process and triaged in a private waiting area, Rusk said. 

A representative of the Monterey County ag commission arrived to interview the patients, and clothing was taken to be tested for pesticide residue. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation was also contacted, Roach said.  
us_CA  industrial  release  injury  pesticides 
2 days ago
Watchdog faults EPA’s chemical safety tools
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) internal watchdog wants it to better manage the ways it uses technology to help test the safety of chemicals.

The EPA’s inspector general said two offices in the agency — the research and development office and the chemical safety office — have successfully collaborated to build and use tools for risk analysis, finding safety data and other functions in the chemical testing process.

But the chemical safety office lacks a strong process for ensuring that the cooperation goes smoothly and can last and could benefit from better “management controls,” the inspector general wrote in a Friday report.

The report comes as the EPA is working diligently to implement last year’s overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act, the law that governs the testing and certifications for thousands of chemicals sold in the United States.
On Thursday, the agency published a trio of regulations to govern how it will start the process of new chemical reviews under last year’s law.

The EPA’s watchdog warned that without a better collaboration system, EPA officials could lose out on effective tools for chemical testing

“Without management controls that ensure consistent interoffice collaboration and assess [chemical safety] product needs, [the chemical safety office] is at risk of not effectively incorporating products in a way that could rapidly improve how the EPA assesses chemical risks to human health and the environment,” the watchdog said.
public  discovery  environmental 
2 days ago
5th worker dies after Cambria mill explosion
A fifth victim of last month’s explosion at the Didion Milling Plant in Cambria died early Friday.

Carlos “Charly” Nunez died at the UW Hospital burn unit from burns he suffered in the blast, the company said in a statement.

Angel Reyes, a 46-year-old pack operator at the plant, died at UW Hospital on June 6. The blast also killed Duelle Block, 27, a mill operator; Robert Goodenow, 53, a forklift operator; and Pawel Tordoff, 21, a packing machine operator.

One other employee remains at UW Hospital, said Jeffrey Remsik, a spokesman for Didion. He declined to provide the employee’s condition.

The May 31 explosion sent 11 of the 16 plant employees working at the time to hospitals.

The explosion destroyed much of the facility, where the process of demolition and debris removal is continuing, Remsick said.
us_WI  industrial  follow-up  death  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Authorities call halt to fireworks, open burns
If it strikes, flicks or sparks, don’t use it.

So, no matches, no lighters and especially no fireworks, not even the legal ones.

OK, you can keep matches and lighters and you can still buy fireworks, but the risk of using any of them in the Grand Valley for the foreseeable future is so great that it might be best to avoid any kind of flame that isn’t fueled by propane and contained in a cooker or a fire pit.

That’s the gist of fire restrictions that went into effect today.

Officials with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Junction Fire Department and Bureau of Land Management announced the Stage 1 restrictions on the still-charred land that burst into flame on June 12, burning five acres and destroying a home, two sheds and a recreational vehicle on 28 Road near the Colorado River.

The Grand Junction Fire Department has responded to six brush fires and eight structure fires so far in June.

“We did not go into these restrictions lightly,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Megan Terlecky said. “When we looked at all the conditions, it pretty much struck us right in the face. There was no choice.”

Among those conditions: hot, dry and windy weather with no end in sight, low moisture content in the grasses and other fuels on the ground, and other factors that suggest that the Grand Valley is on the edge of combustion.

Under Stage 1 restrictions, no open burning or fireworks are allowed. Agricultural burns are allowed only with a permit from the Sheriff’s Office.
us_co  public  discovery  response 
3 days ago
Hazardous chemical leak at Pace plant contained
A hazardous leak at a Pace chemical plant has been contained, the plant's owner said Thursday.

Amanda Allman, a spokesman for Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical Co., said late Thursday afternoon that monomethylamine was no longer leaking from a storage tank at the company's Taminco plant in Pace.

"Taminco Pace Operations experienced a leak of monomethylamine from a pressurized tank in the early morning hours of June 22, 2017. The leak has been stopped and did not result in any injuries or equipment damage onsite," Allman said in an emailed statement.

Allman said the leak did not result in the release of any vapors, and it did not affect neighbors, she said.

According to a report from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, an undetermined number of gallons leaked from a tank, which contained 27,475 gallons of the hazardous chemical.
us_fl  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
3 days ago
Nearly 4 gallons of chemicals spill at Riverside Regional Medical Center
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- Emergency crews were called to Riverside Regional Medical Center following a small chemical spill Thursday.

According to Assistant Fire Chief Robert E. Lee, about 4 gallons of chemicals spilled on the loading deck just before 4:30 p.m.

The fumes from the chemicals were getting into the building, prompting help from the fire department and the Hazardous Materials Team.

The chemicals did not spread past the loading dock.

There is no word on what kind of chemicals were spilled.

At this time no injuries have been reported.
us_va  public  release  response  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
EPA staffers, Trump official clashed over new chemical rules
The Trump administration released the nation’s most important chemical-safety rules in decades Thursday — but only after making a series of business-friendly changes overseen by a former industry advocate who holds a top post at the EPA.

Career agency employees had raised objections to the changes steered by EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator Nancy Beck, who until April was the senior director of regulatory science policy at the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s leading lobbying group. Those include limits on how broadly the agency would review thousands of potentially hazardous substances, EPA staffers wrote in an internal memo reviewed by POLITICO.

Such limits could cause the agency to fail to act on potential chemical uses "that present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment,” EPA's top chemicals enforcement official argued in the May 23 memo.

The rules are meant to implement last year’s landmark rewrite of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, a major bipartisan achievement in a deeply divided Congress. Both parties agreed that the law needed an update — the original version didn't even allow EPA to ban asbestos, a known carcinogen, and some states had begun to step in and create their own patchwork of regulations for chemicals.

But the Trump administration’s steps to implement the law, and Beck’s role in particular, are drawing alarm from environmental groups and congressional Democrats.
us  discovery  public  response  environmental 
3 days ago
Keeping cool in the summer leads to increased air pollution
As the weather warms, so does the use of air conditioners. But running these devices requires power plants to ratchet up electricity production, causing air polluting emissions to rise. An analysis of 27 states found that, on average, summer emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) go up by hundreds to thousands of metric tons per degree Celsius increase. The report appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

A large body of research has investigated the influence of weather and climate on atmospheric chemistry. But few studies have examined the specific effects of climate on electricity emissions and air quality. Although overall emissions have dropped due to pollution control devices and a drop in coal use, regional and seasonal increases in power plant pollution could affect people’s health and the environment. SO2 and NOx — both of which are regulated in the U.S. — can cause respiratory problems, particularly in children, people with asthma and the elderly. CO2 is a primary greenhouse gas targeted by power plant regulations. Tracey Holloway, David Abel and colleagues wanted to quantify the historical relationship between summertime air temperature and the power plant emissions of these three gases.
laboratory  discovery  environmental  carbon_dioxide 
4 days ago
A dangerous drug lab was busted in Douglas County on Wednesday
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Wash --- A dangerous drug lab was found in Douglas County by law enforcement officials from several different jurisdictions.

Law enforcement busted, what on-scene officials called, “a sophisticated text book example of a commercial DMT (dimethyltryptamine) and butane honey oil (BHO) lab.”

The lab produced hallucinogens and cannabinoid oils to sell illegally on the internet, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office’s press release. There were also thousands of bottles, containers, labels, commercial sealers and packaging and shipping supplies. The residence contained many pounds of finished product, said the GCSO’s press release.

The home contained four commercial-grade extraction vessels that are an explosive hazard and a DMT processing vessel, said the GCSO. There were many gallons of laboratory liquid reagents that present explosive and poison danger from vapors or leakage, and many pressurized gas cylinders that were not safely stored, according to the GCSO’s press release.

Officials were monitoring the atmosphere for hazardous conditions, identifying all hazardous substances associated with the drug manufacturing process. Officials are also determining the scope of the clean-up, and overseeing the removal of all hazardous materials outside.

"This investigation started in Grant County and eventually led us to the Hurst Landing home," said Grant County Sheriff, Tom Jones. "On the outside, it looks like any other home in a nice neighborhood, but hidden inside was a drug lab capable of injuring people in a variety of different ways. I'm grateful for the teamwork between all of the different agencies which helped make this neighborhood safer again."
us_WA  public  discovery  response  butane  clandestine_lab 
4 days ago
Walbridge council slams plan to put beryllium plant dirt in landfill, passes resolution opposing Army Corps plan
WALBRIDGE — Village officials and residents trashed a proposal to bring some of the dirt from a former nuclear production site in Luckey to a landfill located partially in Walbridge.
After hearing a detailed explanation by Steve Nonneman, district manager for Evergreen Landfill, about how up to 7,200 loads of dirt will be hauled and stored, council decided to pass an emergency resolution opposing the Army Corps of Engineers' methods of disposing of the materials.
"I think he didn't answer questions as well, and was nonchalant. This is our backyard," said Councilwoman Tamra Williams after the meeting.
Council President Sue Hart-Douglas said after hearing Nonneman's remarks, she felt it was necessary to pass the resolution as an emergency, even though it was only up for a second reading at Wednesday's meeting.
"When you talk about the cranes lifting the bags and the testing, I'm very concerned," she said. "I'm even concerned for their employees."
Nonneman said Waste Management has been asked to take in the "dirty dirt" from the Luckey site. This is on the outskirts of the "bad stuff" that the Army Corps of Engineers feels strongly about moving, even though it may not be necessary. As an example, he said if a contaminated area was 30-feet wide, the Corps is electing to remove 300 feet.
"Our reality is we're not going to take anything but solid waste from anybody," Nonneman said, adding that Waste Management would not accept hazardous or radioactive materials.
He said the customer sends Evergreen data that is analyzed to determine what type of waste is coming into the landfill.
us_OH  public  discovery  environmental  radiation  waste 
4 days ago
Chemical Spill on the West Side, No Danger, The Road is Open
SPEEDWAY, Ind.--There was a chemical spill at the Heritage Crystal Clean plant at 10th St. and Holt Rd. in Speedway this morning. The plant handled the spill, with support from the Indianapolis Fired Dept. and the Speedway Fire Dept.

The chemical spill was described as "small" by Thad Ferguson, the public information officer with Speedway Fire.

"We did have some runoff of so me water and some foam. It was tested. It's ph7, nothing to worry about for the nearby residents," he said.

Ph7 means it is not acidic or basic, and not dangerous.

He said that the investigation into the spill and a small chemical fire is still going on and they hope to find out why the spill happened.
us_IN  industrial  release  response 
4 days ago
Scrutiny intensifies over safety at US nuclear weapons lab
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The safety record at the U.S. laboratory that created the atomic bomb is facing intensifying criticism as work ramps up to produce a key component for the nation's nuclear weapons cache.
A series published this week by the Center for Public Integrity cites numerous internal reports and other documents outlining federal regulators' concerns about safety lapses at Los Alamos National Laboratory over the years, including spilled plutonium and workers positioning plutonium rods in a way that could have been disastrous.
In an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press, Los Alamos officials took aim at critics and reassured employees of the safety of the lab's facility for making plutonium cores used to trigger the explosions in nuclear bombs.
"As employees, you should be proud of your laboratory's accomplishments over the past decade to strengthen our ability to operate safely and securely," according to the memo, dated Monday. "While there will often be external organizations and individuals which advance a misleading narrative, it is not an accurate reflection of our work."
It said the plutonium facility's operations and safety programs have successfully undergone more than a dozen independent external reviews and that it's close to being fully operational after safety problems forced work to be suspended in 2013.
Safety at the nation's aging nuclear research labs is under scrutiny as federal officials grapple with issues that have been decades in the making. Aside from Los Alamos, U.S. Energy Department officials recently said inadequate funding and the inability to clean up millions of gallons of toxic waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state will likely lead to future accidental radiation releases.
us_NM  laboratory  discovery  environmental  radiation  waste 
4 days ago
Gas explosion sparks Melbourne plant blaze
A Melbourne chemical factory has burst into flames after a gas explosion, with firefighters still at the scene to contain toxic leaks.
Up to 28 firefighters are at the scene of the explosion at the DS Chemport factory in Campbellfield, with staff from the plant and surrounding factories forced to evacuate earlier on Wednesday.
Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokeswoman Heather Stockton said the cause of the explosion was believed to be an unknown gas from a "mixing pot" of chemicals that overheated.
"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are using hose lines to keep the product cool so that overheating does not occur," she said in a statement.
She said gas levels were also being monitored.
Victoria Police closed the road and paramedics were at the scene, but no injuries have been reported.
In total 25 people were safely evacuated and a community warning was issued for the surrounding area.
Australia  industrial  explosion  response  natural_gas 
4 days ago
Research Finds Common Household Chemicals Lead to Birth Defects in Mice
A new study at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) and the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech has found a connection between common household chemicals and birth defects.

Known as quaternary ammonium compounds or "quats," the chemicals are often used as disinfectants and preservatives in household and personal products such as cleaners, laundry detergent, fabric softener, shampoo and conditioner, and eye drops. The research demonstrated a link between quats and neural tube birth defects in both mice and rats.

"These chemicals are regularly used in the home, hospital, public spaces, and swimming pools," said Terry Hrubec, associate professor of anatomy at the VCOM-Virginia campus and research assistant professor in the veterinary college's Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology. "Most people are exposed on a regular basis."

Hrubec investigated the effect of two commonly used quats: alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride. These are often listed on ingredient lists as ADBAC and DDAC, respectively, and are valued for their antimicrobial and antistatic properties, as well as their ability to lower surface tension. Hrubec found that exposure to these chemicals resulted in neural tube birth defects -- the same birth defect as spina bifida and anencephaly in humans.
us_VA  laboratory  discovery  environmental  cleaners 
5 days ago
MSC unanimously agrees that Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor
The Member State Committee (MSC) supported the French proposal to additionally identify Bisphenol A as a substance of very high concern because of its endocrine disrupting properties which cause probable serious effects to human health. The committee also agreed to identify the substance PFHxS as an SVHC.

Helsinki, 16 June 2017 - The Member State Committee unanimously agreed on the identification as substances of very high concern (SVHCs) of:

4,4'-isopropylidenediphenol (bisphenol A, BPA) (EC 201-245-8, CAS 80-05-7), proposed by France, due to its endocrine disrupting properties for human health;
Perfluorohexane-1-sulphonic acid and its salts (PFHxS), proposed by Sweden, due to their very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) properties.
Bisphenol A is already listed in the Candidate List due to its toxic for reproduction properties. At the MSC meeting earlier this week, MSC unanimously agreed on its additional identification as an SVHC because of its endocrine disrupting properties which cause probable serious effects to human health which give rise to an equivalent level of concern to carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction (CMRs category 1A or 1B) substances.

ECHA will include PFHxS in the Candidate List and will update the current entry for BPA accordingly by the end of June 2017. Companies may have legal obligations with respect to these substances upon publication of the updated Candidate List.
Europe  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Fire At SGV Motel 6 Turns Up 'Honey Oil' Lab
SOUTH EL MONTE, CA — Firefighters putting out a fire Sunday in several rooms at a Motel 6 in South El Monte discovered what authorities believe was a "Honey Oil" marijuana extraction laboratory, where two suspects and a dog suffered burn injuries.

And investigators also believe another suspect, with possible injuries, might have left the location prior to their arrival, the Sheriff's Department reported.

One of the burn victims was a female, according to a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher. The condition of the burn victims, who were taken to an area hospital — including the dog, to a veterinarian — were not immediately known.
us_CA  public  fire  injury  clandestine_lab 
5 days ago
'Spontaneous ingnition' of oily rags sparked house fire in south Reno
RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — The "spontaneous ignition" of oil-stained rags started a fire that destroyed a south Reno home and injured one firefighter, according to the city's fire marshal.
The house fire was reported just after 3 p.m. on Monday, June 19, on Oakhaven Drive. Two people have been displaced, and a pet is still missing.
Fire Marshal Tray Palmer said in a statement that investigators found a pile of the rags on the exterior deck. The rags ignited and the fire spread to surrounding combustible material, reaching the attic through an exterior eave.
"Spontaneous Ignition is the initiation of combustion of a material by an internal chemical or biological reaction that has produced sufficient heat to ignite the material," Palmer said.
us_NV  public  fire  injury  other_chemical 
5 days ago
2nd West Virginia industrial plant explosion kills 1
Another person has been killed in an explosion at a West Virginia industrial plant where two people were killed last month, authorities said Tuesday.

Officials said the explosion Tuesday morning was at Midland Resource Recovery, a company based in Ontario, Canada, that odorizes natural gas.

In a preliminary report, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said contractors at the facility outside Philippi were disassembling a 30-gallon (115-liter) tank, trying to render tanks safe from the previous explosion May 24 that killed two and injured one.

The agency says a preliminary report shows one other person was injured and an unknown quantity of Mercaptan, the chemical used to give natural gas an odor, was spilled.

A woman who answered the telephone at the company's headquarters in Ontario declined to comment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun an investigation. OSHA spokeswoman Lenore Uddyback-Fortson said the victim was an employee of Specialized Professional Services Inc. The company based in Washington, Pennsylvania, handles hazardous material. Calls to the company were not immediately returned Tuesday.
us_WV  industrial  explosion  death  thiols 
5 days ago
Evacuations Lifted In Hendersonville After Crash Causes Chemical Spill
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. - The evacuation order has been lifted in Hendersonville after a crash caused a chemical leak.

The incident involving a tanker truck carrying sulfuric acid happened around 7 p.m. Tuesday on Rockland Road near Freehill Road.

No injuries were reported in the crash, but since the hazardous material was involved, first responders closed Rockland Road from West Main Street to Freehill Road.

Several nearby businesses were evacuated. A neighbor in the area told NewsChannel 5 they were asked by law enforcement to evacuate within a quarter mile of the crash site.

The Hendersonville Fire Department worked to contain the material, which leaked from the tanker into a drainage ditch.

The evacuation order has been lifted. Crews hope to reopen Rockland Road soon. 
us_TN  transportation  release  response  sulfuric_acid 
5 days ago
Company says it will clean up chemical from Cape Fear River
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE — The chemical giant that has been releasing an unregulated chemical into the Cape Fear River for more than 35 years announced Tuesday that it will immediately start a process to capture that substance.

In a release entitled, “Chemours announces voluntary actions to respond to North Carolina community,” the Delaware-based chemical company announced it will take steps starting Wednesday to capture all wastewater containing the GenX chemical, remove the substance and dispose of it.

“We are capturing the byproduct GenX from the waste streams of the fluoromonomer production and disposing of it,” Gary Cambre, a Chemours spokesman, wrote in an email.

Those steps may not, however, be enough to stave off a federal Environmental Protection Agency investigation into Chemours’ activities at the Fayetteville Works site.

“This investigation will allow EPA to determine whether Chemours is in compliance with requirements of the order to control releases to the environment at the Fayetteville, N.C., facility,” an EPA spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Tuesday evening, N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) Secretary Michael Regan said in a statement that Chemours’ announcement was “a step in the right direction,” but NCDEQ and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services plan to continue to investigate the issue “until we have answers to address the concerns of downstream water users.”
us_NC  industrial  follow-up  environmental  waste 
5 days ago
Scientists urge caution on common antimicrobial chemicals Triclosan and Triclocarban
There are two ingredients, triclosan and triclocarban, that are used in several cleaning products such as soaps, toothpastes, detergents, carpets, paints etc. They are mainly used to kill the microbes such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. These chemicals however persist in the environment and continue to pose a risk says a new study.

Triclosan and triclocarban are commonly used in products intended for washing [e.g., an estimated 96% of triclosan is used in products that are intentionally disposed of down the drain, such as soaps and detergents -  Image Credit: Kurhan / Shutterstock

Researchers have said that their use may benefit but it is not worth the risk. The statement, The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban, was released this week by more than 200 scientists and health professionals from 29 different countries and was published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal. The statement urges manufacturers and communities to limit the production as well as use of triclosan and triclocarban and also look closely at other antimicrobials. All products with these two chemicals need appropriate labeling says the statement along with adequate warnings.

According to the experts, these chemicals get accumulated in land, water and wildlife. They tend to come back to humans and cause harm. The risks far outweigh their benefits. Dr. Ted Schettler, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network and one of the signatories of the statement said that this was an attempt to draw attention to the situation. These two chemicals are at the top of their hit list since they have been used for so long and exposures to them are so widespread.

These chemicals that kill microbes can come back into animals and humans the researchers add. They cause harmful effects on the animals’ hormone systems. This leads to problems with reproduction and developmental problems. These can be extrapolated to humans as well. These chemicals could be linked to decreased growth of the fetuses or unborn babies, low birth weight of babies, preterm births, smaller head circumference of male babies at birth and other problems. Triclosan has also been linked to allergies and worsening of asthma cases especially among children.  
Europe  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Indiana Water Park Closes After Kids Suffer Chemical Burns From Water
CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s almost officially summer, but a Northwest Indiana water park is closed right now after several scary moments.

As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, at least 5 children suffered chemical burns after getting in the water.

It was a disappointing trip to Seven Peaks Water Park in Porter, Indiana for Mike Miller and his granddaughter, Lilly.

“I was shocked that it’s not open,” Miller said. However, he found the reason it’s closed even more shocking.

According to the Porter County Health Department, several children suffered chemical burns after visiting the park.

“The demand chlorine feeder apparently has been down for a while. What they were trying to do was manually chlorinate the system, and when you do that you have no way of knowing if you’re putting into little or too much, and obviously they got way too much,” Keith Letta, the department’s administrator, told CBS over the phone. “If you put too much in, it gets extremely caustic and will cause chemical burns.”

The problem centered around the kiddie pool.

Stacy Bethel’s daughter was there Thursday.
us_IN  public  release  response  chlorine 
5 days ago
Detonations heard after explosives found at Bucks County home
OTTSVILLE, Pa. (WPVI) -- Authorities remain on the scene in Bucks County after chemical explosives were discovered near a home in Ottsville, Pa.

Controlled detonations could be heard periodically through the night Tuesday and into the early morning hours on Wednesday.

The situation unfolded Tuesday, after authorities arrived at the property in the 8700 block of Easton Road.

They were there to serve a mental health commitment warrant on a 70-year-old man when they uncovered the chemical explosives and a large number of weapons and ammunition.

Bomb experts were called.

Chopper 6 HD was overhead as two explosive experts wearing gas masks carried out what were said to be explosive liquid chemicals.

They moved the chemicals far away to the back of the property. Officials also carried away various materials from a shed in the back of the property.

All of this occurred as Easton Road was shut down between Route 412 and Churchill Road and residents were told to shelter in place.
us_PA  public  discovery  response  explosives 
5 days ago
Hazmat crews called after fire at Berea pool
BEREA, OH (WOIO) -
Firefighters and hazmat crews responded to a fire at a community pool in Berea early Tuesday morning.

The fire was reported at 2:45 a.m. at the Longbrooke housing development's community pool. 

According to fire officials, the pump building caught fire. The building is also used to store pool chemicals. When crews arrived, the pump building was fully engulfed. Hazmat crews were requested to the scene to deal with the pool chemicals.

Firefighters from Strongsville and officials from the Ohio EPA and Department of Natural Resources also assisted with the incident.
us_OH  public  fire  response  pool_chemicals 
6 days ago
Dynamite Fireworks Presents Best Practices for Fourth of July Home Fireworks Displays
Dynamite Fireworks has more than 40 years of experience in the fireworks business in the greater Chicago area, and is considered a trusted information source for the safe, legal, and responsible handling of fireworks. As the Fourth of July approaches, Dynamite Fireworks owner Kris Zambo reminds potential home fireworks users of the five best practices for safe and responsible fireworks displays.

1. Perimeter
Home fireworks shows are, by necessity, launched very close to people, structures, and sometimes animals. Creating a perimeter around the launching space at a distance of 500 feet is essential to maximizing safety. A highly visible physical barrier, such as caution tape, is highly recommended.

2. Clear Launch Space
The entire surface area within the perimeter boundary must be cleared of obstructions, fire hazards such as dry leaves, and tripping hazards such as stones. If the weather is dry, it is important to check for local fireworks bans. And even if there is not a local fireworks ban, wetting down the launch area is recommended.

3. Safe Handling Techniques
Fireworks must never be pointed at any animal, structure, or person, including the person who is launching them. Fireworks should never be lit in the hands, and duds should never be re-lit. Children should be kept well outside the perimeter barricade, and teens should be carefully supervised when launching fireworks. The person launching the fireworks should remain sober and clear-headed throughout the show.

4. Water and a Fire Extinguisher
A bucket of water (or a garden hose) allows fireworks users to thoroughly wet down debris and duds before disposing of them. If sparklers are available, all users should be directed to douse them in water rather than dropping them on a table or throwing them immediately in the trash. In addition, a fire extinguisher that is rated for chemical fires is an essential tool. If anything catches on fire, it should be extinguished immediately, or the area must be evacuated and 911 called.

5. Legality and Quality Concerns
Known dangerous fireworks, including M-80s and Cherry Bombs, are illegal under federal law. Many state and local ordinances are more restrictive. Responsibility falls to the homeowner and fireworks user to ensure that all fireworks launched are legal in their area.
Homemade fireworks and low-quality fireworks are not illegal in some jurisdictions, but they can be highly dangerous. Selecting only high-quality fireworks from a trusted supplier is the best way to ensure that the fireworks behave as predicted.
Fireworks carry inherent risks, but following these five best practices can dramatically minimize the dangers. Although backyard fireworks shows are fun, it is important to always use common sense.
us_IN  public  discovery  environmental  fireworks 
6 days ago
Chemicals aren't people. They shouldn't be presumed innocent
A parliamentary committee review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act — our most important environmental law — has largely flown under the radar.

But there are enormous implications for the health of Canadians living today, and in the future, contained in the reforms recommended in the majority report released last week by the Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

As law professors who have studied the regulation of toxic chemicals in Canada for many years, we urge Parliament to embrace these recommendations as a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Implementation would make the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) more effective in preventing pollution and protecting all Canadians from the risks posed by toxins in the environment. As it stands, air pollution kills 7,000 Canadians every year, but Canada is the only wealthy industrialized national that lacks enforceable national standards for air quality.

Therefore, we strongly support proposals on enforceable national standards for air and water quality, stricter timelines, and better enforcement mechanisms.
Canada  public  discovery  environmental 
6 days ago
REPORT: Wanaque Reservoir Could Be Threatened By Dangerous Chemical
RINGWOOD, N.J. – A dangerous chemical at the Ringwood Superfund site -- where Ford Motor Co. dumped toxic paint sludge 50 years ago -- could threaten the Wanaque Reservoir, NorthJersey.com reports .

The probable carcinogen – called 1,4-dioxane – has not been found in the reservoir, but high levels have been detected in groundwater and brooks feeding the body of water that provides drinking water to as many as 3.5 million people, the story says.

A new report, written for the reservoir’s operator, the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission, recommends that a system be built to pump contaminated groundwater to the surface and decontaminate it to prevent the pollution from reaching the reservoir, the story says.

An EPA spokesperson told NorthJersey.com that officials are reviewing the report, and are still confident that the reservoir is safe from the chemical, the story says.
us_NJ  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Firefighters attend chemical spill at Murdoch TAFE campus in Perth
Firefighters are attending a chemical spill at the Murdoch campus of the South Metropolitan TAFE.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Service initially said there was a large fire at the campus, but it has since been confirmed to be a non-hazardous chemical spill.

The spill is believed to have happened shortly after 8:00am in a science laboratory.

Eleven fire appliances attended the scene.
Australia  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Flask burst injures 1 in Fort Collins
One woman was hospitalized after a flask ruptured at a pharmaceutical company in Midtown Fort Collins on Sunday.

The incident was initially reported as a possible explosion about 11:10 a.m. and prompted a slew of emergency vehicles, including a hazardous materials unit, to respond to Tolmar Inc. at 2409 Research Blvd.

The woman was reportedly working with boiling water and agar — a gelatinous substance obtained from red algae — when the flask ruptured and she was hit by broken glass. She was transported to Poudre Valley Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Poudre Fire Authority.

One other person was in the building at the time of the incident, but was not injured. The incident was isolated to the room in which the woman was working, and PFA determined that no toxic materials were involved and there is no threat to public safety.

Dozens of PFA firefighters and Fort Collins police officers responded to secure and investigate the scene.
us_CO  laboratory  explosion  injury  pharmaceutical 
7 days ago
Chemical spill in Garbutt
EMERGENCY services attended a chemical spill at a Garbutt business this morning, with one man taken to hospital.

Between five and 10 litres of hydrochloric acid were spilt at cleaning products supplier Australian Chemicals about 10.11am.

A man affected by fumes was taken to Townsville Hospital by ambulance for observation.

Firefighters also attended the scene to clean up the spill and make the area safe.
Australia  public  release  injury  hydrochloric_acid 
7 days ago
No injuries, but Paterson firefighters leave looking colorful
PATERSON – Firefighters extinguished a blaze at a chemical facility, which left them wearing a vibrant color but with no injuries Sunday afternoon, a fire official said.

The fire happened at the Passaic Color and Chemical Company on Paterson Street near Harrison Street just before 3 p.m., Paterson Deputy Fire Chief Mike Fleming said. The facility, which processes hair dye, left several firefighters with dye on them. The blaze happened in a room and did not blemish the entire structure.

"We have to decon all the guys," Fleming said, referring to decontamination. "The guys are coming out with yellow dye on their skin and gear."
us_NJ  industrial  fire  response  dye 
7 days ago
New Teflon Toxin Found in North Carolina Drinking Water
A PERSISTENT AND toxic industrial chemical known as GenX has been detected in the drinking water in Wilmington, North Carolina, and in surface waters in Ohio and West Virginia.

DuPont introduced GenX in 2009 to replace PFOA, a compound it used to manufacture Teflon and coatings for stain-resistant carpeting, waterproof clothing, and many other consumer products. PFOA, also known as C8, was phased out after DuPont was hit with a class-action suit over health and environmental concerns. Yet as The Intercept reported last year, GenX is associated with some of the same health problems as PFOA, including cancer and reproductive issues.

Levels of GenX in the drinking water of one North Carolina water utility, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, averaged 631 ppt (parts per trillion), according to a study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters in 2016. Although researchers didn’t test the water of two other drinking water providers that also draw water from that area of the Cape Fear River, the entire watershed downstream of the Chemours discharge, which is a source of drinking water for some 250,000 people, is likely to be contaminated, according to Detlef Knappe, one of the authors of the study.

Research presented at a conference this week at Northeastern University detailed the presence of GenX in water in North Carolina and Ohio. In both cases, the chemical was found in water near plants that were owned by DuPont and since 2015 have been operated by DuPont’s spinoff company, Chemours. Both GenX and PFOA belong to a larger group of chemicals known as PFAS, which are structurally similar and believed to persist indefinitely in nature.
us_NC  public  discovery  environmental 
8 days ago
Chemical leak sparks emergency response at motorway services (From The Oxford Times)
A CHEMICAL leak sparked an emergency response when a lorry was leaking liquid at an M40 service station.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue were called to the Cherwell Valley Services at about 8pm yesterday after reports of a lorry leaking chemical liquid.

Crews from Bicester, Banbury, Deddington and Didcot all attended the spillage, as well as the Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Hazmat Decontamination Unit.

A statement from the fire service said it was resolved swiftly thank to the driver of the lorry who was fully versed in emergency procedures.
United_Kingdom  transportation  release  response  unknown_chemical 
8 days ago
UPDATE: Crews on scene for chemical spill in Albany, Ill.
ALBANY, Ill. (KWQC) - UPDATE: Police and firefighters say the employee was found unconscious in the water tower treatment building from a liquid chlorine spill which produced gas in the air.

Police say the employee's name is not being released at this time. Police say the man was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, Iowa for treatment. At this time officials say the plant is closed until the gas leak is fixed.

Officials tell KWQC that the spill happened at approximately 11 am on Saturday. They say an employee of the water treatment facility next to the water tower at the corner of Cherry St. and 5th Avenue S was doing routine clean-up of chlorine when the chemical spilled and injured him.

First responders were concerned about the possible presence of chlorine gas, so they evacuated 20 to 30 nearby residents as a precaution.

The injured employee was taken to the hospital for treatment.
us_IL  industrial  release  injury  chlorine  water_treatment 
8 days ago
Hazmat crews called out after chemicals slip into air following power outage in Akron
AKRON, Ohio -- A hazardous materials crew responded to a chemical leak that sprung after a power outage in Akron.

The incident began about 1 a.m. at Emerald Performance Materials at 240 W. Emerling Ave. in South Akron, Akron Fire Department spokesman Mike Brooks said. 

The plant was evacuated and all of the workers were accounted for. Brooks said it appears that no one was hurt. 

The vapor released in the air contained acrylic nitrile and butudiene which are both flammable and toxic, Brooks said.

Readings taken at 4:30 a.m. found no traces of the chemicals in the air surrounding the plant, Brooks said. 

Nearby residents were not evacuated, Brooks said.
us_OH  industrial  release  response  flammables 
9 days ago
Chemical reaction causes evacuation around north Salina manufacturing firm
An unanticipated chemical response in a north Salina manufacturing plant caused the evacuation of homes and businesses within a half-mile radius for about two hours Friday afternoon.

Salina Fire Marshal Roger Williams said a 15-foot by 20-foot tank that was about one-quarter full of benzoyl peroxide began to heat up, creating a white plume that vented out of the smoke stack at Research Products, a division of McShares, 1835 E. North.

“The community’s safe,” Williams said. “All the necessary evacuations have taken place. We have the product contained. We’re still assessing the situation, and we’re working on remediation of the product.”

Williams said the incident occurred during normal operations at the Salina firm, which makes food additives and mixes of vitamins and minerals, shipping them worldwide to be added to wheat, rice and corn flours and cereals. According to information on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, benzoyl peroxide is used in bleaching flour.
us_KS  industrial  release  response  peroxide 
9 days ago
Laguna art college president cancels stone carving class, citing health concerns
The days of a stone-carving class at the Laguna College of Art and Design are numbered.

After consulting with staff, LCAD President Jonathan Burke decided to end the class on June 30, citing health concerns from students and faculty from the dust generated during carving.

The class is open to the public and held every Saturday on the campus at 2222 Laguna Canyon Road.

Its history dates back 40 years.

“I don’t want students [students and staff] to be subjected to the stone dust generated by grinding and other materials," Burke said in an interview Friday. “The wind picks it up and moves it to other areas of the campus. It’s in close proximity to other studios.”

Students and an instructor of the class approached the Laguna Beach Arts Commission earlier this week, hoping the group could do something to intervene.

“People have handled this product safely for more than 2,000 years without a mask," Steven Lustig, a sculptor and course instructor said in an interview Thursday. “The last true art college [in Orange County] just closed the last stone-carving yard in Orange County because of dust. You’ve got to be kidding me.”
us_CA  education  discovery  response  dust 
9 days ago
Exclusion zone set-up after chemical leak at rail yard in Brisbane's south
An exclusion zone remains in place after a chemical leak was discovered at a rail yard in Brisbane's south on Saturday morning.

Hundreds of litres of herbicide leaked from containers inside a rail car at Acacia Ridge, with emergency services called about 9am.

Chemical experts from the QFES were called to a chemical leak at an Acacia Ridge rail yard. Photo: Jorge Branco
A 25-metre containment area was established and five people who discovered the leak were assessed by paramedics but were uninjured.

Emergency services were called about 9am and found a chemicals leak at an Acacia Ridge rail yard.
Australia  transportation  release  response  pesticides 
9 days ago
Answer Man: Why is there a chemical container strapped to a telephone pole?
What is this strange chemical container at the corner of East Cherry Street and John Q. Hammons Parkway? — Rachael Garrett, of Springfield

It's a metal canister that contains liquid nitrogen. That's what it says on the container. The container is connected to a line that goes up the pole.

Because the container is connected to a power pole or telephone pole, I called Joel Alexander, spokesman for City Utilities.

He said the canister does not belong to City Utilities, but he thought it might belong to AT&T Inc. because elsewhere in the nation, phone companies are using liquid nitrogen to maintain phone lines.

It is owned by AT&T Inc.

"As part of an ongoing cable repair, a bottle system was put in place to keep the damaged cable dry," said Katie Nagus via email. She is an AT&T spokeswoman based in St. Louis. "We are working to replace the damaged cable and the bottle will be removed once that work is complete."

A couple of days after taking the photos, I drove by again to make sure the canister was still there before I wrote about it.
us_MO  public  discovery  response  liquid_nitrogen 
9 days ago
Chemical spill at Savannah's BASF plant sends 2 to hospital with burns
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WJCL) —
Two people are recovering from chemical burns after an early morning sulfuric acid spill at Savannah's BASF Chemical plant on President Street.

Firefighters say those workers were using a hose to transfer sulfuric acid from one tank to another and that the hose sprang a leak.

Hazmat crews decontaminated those workers on-site before sending them to the hospital for treatment.

WE SELECTED FOR YOU:
No word on their conditions right now but look for updates as we learn more.
us_GA  industrial  release  injury  sulfuric_acid 
9 days ago
Sunlight surprise raises cadmium pollution risk
Even though cadmium is considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is still used to give some plastics and ceramics red, orange, or yellow hues. That’s because organic pigments are unstable at the high temperatures used to make these products, and pigments like cadmium red are thought to be relatively inert in the environment on account of their reportedly low solubility in water.
That belief has been turned on its head by a new study showing that in sunlight, a commercially available cadmium red pigment rapidly dissolves in water, releasing the toxic metal (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00654).
Some experts say the findings probably do not indicate additional risk for exposure to cadmium in consumer products. Still, the study suggests that dumping of cadmium red pigment into waterways could pose a much greater risk of contamination than has previously been thought.
Xiaolei Qu of Nanjing University and his colleagues were investigating the causes of cadmium contamination in farmland near China’s Lake Tai (often called Lake Taihu). The area’s large ceramics industry uses cadmium pigments, so the researchers wondered if the pigment might be the source of the cadmium in the soil. But the presumed low solubility of the pigment seemed at odds with this idea.
China  laboratory  discovery  environmental  other_chemical  metals 
9 days ago
All clear given after chemical leak, hazmat situation overnight
AKRON, OH (WOIO) -
Hazmat crews responded to Emerald Performance Materials in Akron early Friday morning after a power outage caused an equipment malfunction and chemical release.

According to Michael Brooks of the Akron Fire Department, firefighters responded to the chemical production plant around 1 a.m. Friday. A local power outage caused a pressure valve to malfunction, which released acrylic nitrile and butudiene into the air.
us_OH  industrial  release  response  other_chemical 
10 days ago
Improvised chemical bombs found near Evanston
EVANSTON — Several improvised chemical pressure bombs were found in and around an abandoned vehicle near Evanston on Friday, June 9, requiring assistance from the Sweetwater County Bomb Squad in order for the scene to be declared safe.

According to the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle was reported after a man noticed it near a stock pond on his land about a mile north of County Road 108 (the landfill road), a week earlier.

Deputies investigated the scene and found one bomb in the vehicle and three others in the area, all of which were detonated by the bomb squad. One bomb had exploded and damaged the car, which the Sheriff’s Office said appeared to be of little value.

Sheriff Doug Matthews said they don’t have a lot of information, but his office is conducting an investigation. He said they think it was probably some kids just messing around.

The Sheriff’s Office warned about such improvised bombs, however.

“Improvised chemical bombs are commonly made using flimsy containers like plastic soda bottles,” states a post from the Uinta County Law Enforcement Services Facebook page. “A liquid such as toilet or drain cleaner is poured into the bottle and other substances are introduced to cause a chemical reaction.”
us_WY  public  discovery  response  bomb  cleaners 
10 days ago
One injured in chemical spill
A 66 year old man was treated by paramedics after a chemical spill at the National Wildlife Research Centre on the grounds of Carleton University.
The man, a chemist at the centre, spilled two chemicals onto his hands.
Paramedics treated the man at the scene then released him.
Ottawa fire hazardous materials teams are investigating.
Carleton University officials say graduation ceremonies will not be affected.
Canada  education  release  response  unknown_chemical 
10 days ago
Chemical tanker Aquarius sank after explosion in Singapore Strait
The chemical tanker Aquarius sank after explosion and subsequent fire in Singapore Strait on 4.6 nautical miles southwest off Tanjung Pengelih in Johor, Malaysia. Following the accident six crew went missing. The exact details around the accident are unknown, as the shipowner and agent lost connection with the Indonesia tanker, loaded with fuel. The accident was immediately reported to Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and later was estimated that vessel sank after suffered explosion, which was followed the fire. The search and rescue operation for the six missing crew was immediately launched, engaging the nearby vessels and coast guard patrol boats.
Indonesia  transportation  explosion  response  unknown_chemical 
10 days ago
New Hampshire Fails to Pass Chemical Safety Bill
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill that advocates hoped would lead to tougher standards for a toxic chemical that has been found in more than 200 sites in New Hampshire has stalled in the legislature.

The bill would have required the Department of Environmental Services to set a standard for the group of chemicals known as perfluorochemicals or PFCs, a suspected carcinogen used in Teflon coatings. The state currently uses the federal government recommendation of 70 parts per trillion but several states set far more stringent standards.

On Thursday, a conference committee couldn't agree on the bill partly over fears it could require towns to make expensive upgrades to their water systems.

Since last year, PFCs have been found in the drinking water at 222 sites across the state.
us_NH  public  follow-up  environmental  toxics 
10 days ago
Fire prompts evacuation at U of R building
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
There is a fire on the University of Richmond campus, according to the school's alert system.

The call came in at 6:22 p.m. for a chemical fire on the third floor of a science building. Richmond fire crews arrived on the scene six minutes later. A Hazmat team is on the scene to determine the chemicals that caused the fire.

Students and staff members evacuated the Science Center, and no one was hurt or injured. However, fire officials say one person had difficulty breathing.

The fire was marked under control at 7:19 p.m.
us_VA  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Ghaziabad: Chemical fire at industrial unit leaves one dead
A 38-year-old labourer working at a paint box manufacturing unit died following an explosion and fire at the factory on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the police, the incident took place when the worker, Naval Kishore, was pouring some chemical from a big tank into a pipe and it led to an explosion around 12.30pm. Kishore sustained burn injuries and died by the time the firefighters and the police reached the spot.

The unit is located in Kavi Nagar Industrial area and owned by one Neeraj Gupta. According to the police, the factory owner could not produce a fire no-objection certificate, which is mandatory for running a factory.

“Apart from the NOC, we found that there was no proper firefighting arrangements in place. We have registered a complaint on behalf of another labourer in order to conduct an investigation and the autopsy. Kishore’s family has been asked to lodge a complaint in the incident,” said Neeraj Singh, station house officer, Kavi Nagar.

“Once we receive the complaint, a case under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC will be registered,” Singh said.
India  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Chemical explosion at godown kills one, 2 get severe burn injuries
Agra: A 22-year-old man was charred to death and two others suffered severe burn injuries after a drum filled with chemical — used in the shoe industry — exploded at a godown here in the city on Wednesday morning. The incident was reported from Ramnagar area under the jurisdiction of Shahganj police station in Agra.
The entire godown was gutted, and close to 12 men were working in the godown when the incident took place. The victim, Rohan Chandra, along with Rajesh Chand and Kalu, was pouring the highly inflammable chemical into another drum when the explosion took place.
After the explosion, the chemical spilled all over the area and hutments closed to the godown also caught fire, forcing the local people to evacuate the area.
Fire tenders rushed to the area and managed to bring the fire under control within a few hours.
According to chief fire officer Sunil Kumar Singh, “The chemical godown was unauthorised and lacked safety measure.”
When asked about the cause of explosion, Singh said, “A short circuit or a burning cigarette might have caused the explosion in the chemical godown. We are probing the matter. The victims were working as shoemakers at Mahesh Chandra property.”
India  industrial  explosion  death  flammables  illegal 
11 days ago
Suspect in Plaza Towers fire takes stand
Just over the defendant’s head, jurors could see the Plaza Towers where it’s alleged 23-year-old Chase Lee Coble was making a bomb or explosive device.

Before calling her first and only witness, public defender Lois Lynn told jurors Wednesday in an opening statement that the defendant is a “smart guy ... who may very well do good things for society.”

Coble then went to the stand and answered for his experimental use of over a dozen chemicals and roughly 15 computers found in his Plaza Towers apartment at 17 E. Second Ave. following a fire June 21, 2016.

The fire was a scientific experiment gone wrong in Coble’s 12th floor apartment. During cross-examination, Reno County Attorney Keith Schroeder asked if Coble threw a PVC pipe, computer and beaker out the window when first-responders arrived as a way to cover up any wrongdoing.

Coble said he discharged the items following an eviction notice. It had nothing to do with any cover-up, he said.

Closing arguments are the only thing standing in the way of jury deliberations, which are scheduled to begin this morning. Coble faces three counts of aggravated arson, each carrying a minimum sentence of roughly 4.5 years.

The trial started Tuesday with Coble originally facing five charges. Since then, the state dropped a charge and Judge Trish Rose dismissed another.

Rose dismissed a charge of criminal use of explosives following testimonies that revealed all the components for making black powder and another volatile compound known as TATP were not in the apartment.

Sulfur and charcoal — two of the three components needed for black powder — were found in the apartment. The missing component was saltpeter, which Coble testified he thought was a chemical in a bag of tree stump remover found in the apartment.
us_KS  public  follow-up  environmental  bomb  explosives  illegal 
11 days ago
President’s 2018 budget impacts some safety agencies more than others
Despite a proposed $2.4 billion (19.8%) cut to the Department of Labor’s annual budget in President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, the lead U.S. workplace safety agencies – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) – would see only small budgetary changes.

Under the proposed plan, OSHA would experience a modest $9.8 million funding decrease, which represents less than 2% of the agency’s FY17 budget of $552.8 million. Although the total budget decreases relatively little, the budget proposal’s details reflect the Trump administration’s agenda. For example, the request seeks to eliminate or significantly reduce a variety of training efforts that the administration deems ineffective, including the Susan B. Harwood training grant program and the Senior Community Service Employment Program. Eliminating those two programs alone will result in over $444 million in savings.

MSHA would get an increase

As for MSHA, the proposal actually increases its budget to $375.2 million – up $1.4 million from last year. However, as with OSHA, the specific allocation of funds reflects new priorities. The budget proposes eliminating about 42 positions, most of which involve the coal safety and health program. Overall, the budget proposal shifts about $3 million from coal to metal/non-metal enforcement.

Other safety agencies would see far more dramatic changes under the proposal. The budget cuts the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which falls under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), by a dramatic $138.5 million – roughly 40% of NIOSH’s current budget. That said, when compared to former President Barack Obama’s FY17 proposal of $213.6 million, President Trump’s $200 million allocation doesn’t seem nearly as drastic. If approved by Congress, the budget cuts could impact NIOSH’s ability to perform its key function–conducting research aimed at improving workplace safety and health.

Budget would entirely eliminate CSB

Most dramatically, as previously announced in Trump’s budget blueprint released earlier this year, the FY18 proposal would entirely eliminate the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), an independent agency responsible for investigating chemical accidents and making safety recommendations. The administration described CSB’s function as “largely duplicative of other Agency efforts,” but CSB Chairperson Vanessa Sutherland disagreed in a May 23 press release, stating that the agency’s actions have an “enormous effect on improving public safety.” The CSB also released a two-page document promoting its importance and responsibilities, as well as a video of its 2016 accomplishments.
public  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
LANL: Waste drum shipped to Colo. facility was inaccurately labeled
Los Alamos National Laboratory failed more than once in recent months to accurately document the pH level of hazardous liquid shipped six hours north to a waste processing and disposal facility outside Denver, according to an email to the state Environment Department that was made public this week.

The latest incident occurred last month when the lab shipped a drum containing a chemical mixture used to remove buildup from pipes in a cooling system.

All waste from Los Alamos is required to be meticulously screened before it leaves the lab complex, with each drum identifying the types and amounts of chemicals packaged inside, the chemicals’ pH levels, their potential for combustion or other reaction, their radiological contents, if any, and a slew of other measures.

But when operators in Colorado examined the drum shipped from Los Alamos on May 17, they determined the pH level was significantly lower, or more acidic, than the lab had indicated on the drum’s label, meaning the contents might be different than what was identified on the label — and potentially more volatile.
us_CO  laboratory  follow-up  environmental  waste 
12 days ago
Spilled acid shuts down Oregon City transfer station, sends man to hospital
OREGON CITY, Ore. - The Clackamas Fire Hazardous Materials team responded to the Metro South Transfer Station in Oregon City, Tuesday evening, after reports of a chemical reaction in one of the trash bays.

Fire crews evacuated employees and customers while they investigated the source of the reaction. They discovered a container of muriatic acid, also known as hydrochloric acid had tipped over. The common construction chemical is often used for etching concrete.

“Somebody improperly threw it in a load and it released and caused this incident,” said Metro operations manager, Penny Erickson. She said the spill created a gas, which sent one employee to the hospital.

“He appears to be okay,” said Erickson.

Erickson said Metro has a Household Hazardous Waste Disposal on site where she said people can and should take chemicals, paint and other toxic waste.

“There, we could properly handle it, but if it's mixed with the garbage we don't necessarily see it,” said Erickson. “The container might get broken or get tipped or spilled or might create a chemical reaction.”
us_OR  public  release  injury  hydrochloric_acid  waste 
12 days ago
Man suffers chemical burn at New Haven business
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A man is being treated for a chemical burn after an incident at a New Haven plant Tuesday morning.

Fire crews are investigating a situation at 100 Sergeant Drive in New Haven, where a worker suffered a chemical burn. According to authorities, around 7:42 a.m. a worker at Assa Abbloy spilled sulfuric acid on his arm.

The victim suffered burns as a result of the spill. The New Haven fire chief is reporting minor injuries to the victim who has been transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment.
us_CT  industrial  release  injury  sulfuric_acid 
12 days ago
Ontario researchers to study dust for carcinogens after Fort McMurray fire
TORONTO — A group of Ontario researchers is travelling to Fort McMurray, Alta., next month to study dust left in homes from the forest fire that ravaged the city last year.

The team's work is among several studies that are being conducted on the health effects of the ferocious blaze that forced more than 80,000 people to flee.

Arthur Chan, an assistant professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto, said his team has received overwhelming interest from "concerned" homeowners in Fort McMurray who are offering up their places to be tested.

"We hope we don't find anything," Chan said. "But we're looking for heavy metals and also some organic compounds that are potentially carcinogens. We're going to assess those levels and compare to what we know are normal levels in a home in Canada."

Chan and his team are looking to analyze residual ash from the blaze that consumed 2,400 homes after it hit the city last May.

On July 10, Chan and two of his students will head to Fort McMurray and begin collecting samples from homes in the city and nearby Fort McKay First Nation, which wasn't hit by the fire, but winds blew ash its way.
Canada  public  follow-up  environmental 
12 days ago
No trace of caretaker of cracker warehouse day after explosion, owner booked
SANGRUR: Even a day after an explosion at Sunam cracker godown left 28 injured, there was no trace of the caretaker of the warehouse. Officials supervising the rescue operations said the teams working at the blast site had managed to clear most of the debris by Tuesday afternoon but they had been unable to find any traces of the caretaker named Bablu.
Meanwhile, the district police said they had registered a case against Raju Nagpal, owner of the warehouse, for putting lives in danger, negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter, negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance, causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others, causing grievous hurt, causing damage and criminal breach of trust. He has also been booked under Section 9 of the Explosive Act applicable on manufactures, importers or exporter of explosives.
India  industrial  explosion  injury  explosives  illegal 
12 days ago
Hanford workers report possible chemical vapor exposure
Five Hanford workers received medical evaluations as a precaution after they and other workers reported suspicious odors that could indicate the presence of chemical vapors Tuesday morning at the nuclear reservation.

Among the workers was an industrial hygienist who was able to collect air samples immediately, according to Hanford officials. Often after workers evacuate an area a crew is sent in to collect air samples, which can allow time for vapors to disperse.

None of the air samples showed chemical contaminants above background levels, according to Washington River Protection Solutions, the Hanford tank farm contractor.

All workers were medically cleared to return to work.

Three of the workers experienced symptoms and were sent for medical evaluations in the morning. Although symptoms are not released to maintain workers’ medical privacy, typical symptoms linked to chemical vapor exposure are coughing, headaches and shortness of breath.

Another five workers smelled suspicious odors but had no symptoms. Later in the day two of those workers also had medical checks, but the others declined medical evaluations.

The workers were outside the nuclear reservation’s A Tank Farm in central Hanford doing work at a new water and air service building.
us_WA  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Truck carrying toxic chemical rolls over on QEW, nearby homes evacuated
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - A major highway through southern Ontario remained closed late Tuesday several hours after a transport truck hauling a toxic chemical rolled over and forced an evacuation and a shelter-in-place order for surrounding homes and businesses.
The City of St. Catharines said just before 1 a.m. that the shelter-in-place order had been lifted.
Ontario Provincial Police say the crash happened at about 3:20 p.m. when the truck rolled onto a concrete highway divider near St. Catharines.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says the truck was hauling phosphine, a flammable and toxic gas.
Niagara EMS Chief Kevin Smith said a shelter-in-place radius around the crash site had been expanded from 1.2 kilometres to two kilometres during the evening as a precaution in case of any leakage from the truck.
Canada  transportation  release  response  phosphine 
12 days ago
Chemical spill at Virginia school moves voting outside
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A chemical spill at a Virginia school has forced voting in the state’s gubernatorial primary to move outside to a parking lot.

WJLA-TV reports that the Prince William Fire Department says the chemical spilled Tuesday afternoon in the building was “nothing exotic” and no injuries were reported.

Authorities say Lake Ridge Middle School in Woodbridge was evacuated. Elections officials say poll workers are taking provisional ballots in the parking lot.

The Prince William Board of Elections says it has sent mobile polling station to the school to take votes.
us_VA  education  release  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Antioch: Hazardous chemicals mix at Black Diamond Mines
ANTIOCH — A mixture of two chemicals by crews laying cement at the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve produced a strong gas smell and brought hazardous materials teams to the park early Tuesday, a fire official said.

The fumes did not make anyone sick but it did force a large area near the visitors center to be shut down, Assistant Fire Chief Paul Cutino of the East Bay Regional Park District fire department said.
Crews were called there around 8:48 a.m. Workers laying cement were using two five-gallon buckets, and for yet-to-be-determined reasons, the two chemicals mixed, creating nitrogen oxide, Cutino said.

According to Cutino, the substances that mixed were Darafet 400 and Eucon SureShot AF2LZ. Darafet 400, according to several construction and chemical web sites, is a non-corrosive, non-chloride admixture for concrete. Eucon SureShot AF2LZ, according to construction web sites, is a liquid accelerator that aids in the setting of concrete.
us_CA  public  release  response  other_chemical 
12 days ago
No injuries following chemical spill at Indianapolis plant
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - No injuries have been reported following a chemical spill at a plant in Indianapolis.
The Wayne Township Fire Department says the spill of a chemical used in automotive adhesive was reported early Tuesday at Vertellus Specialties on the city’s southwest side.
Authorities say the spill doesn’t extend beyond the plant, which manufactures chemicals, and there’s no hazard to areas around the plant.
The cause of the spill is under investigation.
us_IN  industrial  release  response  adhesives 
12 days ago
University of Iowa science lab damaged by fire, water
A fire Sunday damaged a laboratory in the most heavily used research facility on the University of Iowa campus.

Iowa City firefighters responded to a fire alarm at Bowen Science Building, 51 Newton Road, around 5:45 p.m. Sunday and found flames on the second floor, according to an Iowa City news release. Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 20 minutes.

Bowen's sprinkler system contained the flames to the room where the fire started, but early estimates indicate damage to one-third of the first floor and one-third of the second floor of the 45-year-old building.

An initial damage estimate indicates at least $500,000 in damage to the lab. This estimate does not include water damage.

“That water will just keep leaking down for a while,” said Iowa City Battalion Chief Eric Nurnberg.. “And as that water continues to migrate through the building, I’m sure they are going to have some other issues to deal with.”

Buy Photo
Bowen Science Building is pictured on Monday, June 12, 2017.  (Photo: David Scrivner/Iowa City Press-Citizen)
"The research conducted in this area is predominantly medical, and non-hazardous in nature," Hayley Bruce, a UI spokeswoman, said via email. "Some of the research has been temporarily interrupted, but at this time no data has been lost. No classes are expected to be impacted."

University officials recently updated the Iowa Board of Regents about long-term plans for a $30 million renovation of the building. An $18.5 million project to modernize Bowen's building systems is continuing through the 2017-18 academic year.

“Bowen Science is a building built in (1972) and funds are needed to completely modernize this building,” Rod Lehnertz said last week during a meeting of the regents’ Property and Facilities Committee. “It still remains — approaching 50 years of age — the most intensely utilized research facility on our campus. It is critical that the building be modernized and taken care of for the next generation.”

Nurnberg described the fire as "a great example of the importance of having a sprinkler system in the building."

"Had there been no sprinkler system here, the damage would have crept into the millions easily," he said.
us_IA  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
4 Hospitalized After White Powder Douses Gas Station
REHOBOTH, Mass. (AP) — Officials say four people were hospitalized after a fire suppression system doused customers with white powder at a Massachusetts gas station.

Fire officials say they responded to a fire alarm Monday afternoon at a Cumberland Farms gas station in Rehoboth. Responding crews determined there was no fire, and the system had instead malfunctioned and sprayed the area with a chemical powder used in fire extinguishers.

The Rehoboth Fire Chief says four people were taken to local hospitals for breathing problems and skin irritation. The injuries are being reported as non-life-threatening.

Police say no charges will be filed.

In a statement, Cumberland Farms says the store will be closed while the suppressant is cleaned up and the malfunction investigation is complete.
us_MA  public  release  injury  dust  fire_extinguisher 
13 days ago
NDSU receives fire code violations from Fargo Fire Department
FARGO—NDSU is studying up, after a routine fire inspection gave both Ladd Hall and Dunbar Laboratory a bad grade.

The Fargo Fire Department found significant fire code violations in the NDSU buildings on May 24th.

They were built in 1910 and 1963 and house both the chemistry and pharmacy offices and classrooms.

The fire marshal cited "careless and improper storage of hazardous materials" as a primary factor.

Dunbar has a past of fires, chemical hazards and other mishaps, according to Fargo Fire Department incident reports.

In a statement, NDSU says it plans to be in compliance in time for the follow-up inspection on July 14th.
us_ND  laboratory  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Officials: Dog may have sparked house fire after chewing on vaping device
DAMASCUS, Md. - Authorities say a dog rescued by firefighters from a townhouse fire in Damascus over the weekend may have also been the culprit for sparking the blaze.

It has been a whirlwind 24 hours for a Montgomery County man after one of his three rescue dogs needed the assistance of an oxygen mask and plenty of oxygen for severe smoke inhalation. The injured dog was rescued and treated by firefighters after the fire broke out on Tralee Court at around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The dog’s owner said he had gone out for a ride on his motorcycle because it was such a beautiful day. But when he returned to his Damascus home, he said he could barely make his way through his smoke-filled home. The smoke so dense that his couch and carpet were on fire after a battery for a vaping device ignited.

Fire officials believe it may have been one of the owner’s three dogs that led to the house fire.

“It’s likely that the dog may have taken it from another room, brought it in, played with it, damaged it to the point where the battery off gas, or had a chemical reaction enough where it caused a flame to be started nearby a combustible fire,” said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer. “We have had dogs that started fires on tops of stoves by accidentally jumping up and actually hitting the knob, so those things can happen. They are purely, truly accidents. But again, there are some preventive measures you can take. But the simplest thing is just to keep things out of reach, whether it be a small child or a pet.”
us_MD  public  fire  response  batteries 
13 days ago
Chemical firm fined over failures which led to potentially deadly explosion at Seal Sands
A chemical company whose failings led to an explosion at a Teesside site has been hit with a bill of more than £170,000 by the courts.

Vertellus Specialties (VSUK) was prosecuted after a major fire at the Seal Sands site on May 14, 2014.

The 3am blaze sparked a loud explosion and “fireball”, with 11 fire engines, an ambulance and a police helicopter called to the scene.

Firefighters saw more explosions after the fire appeared to die down, and had the complex task of battling a blaze involving water-reactive chemicals.

The Seal Sands Road had to be closed and police sent out a public message advising people to close their doors and windows.

Cleveland Police declared it a “major incident”.
United_Kingdom  public  follow-up  injury 
13 days ago
Homemade chemical concoction to kill bed bugs leads to apartment evacuation
BARNWELL COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) --The Red Cross is assisting two families in Barnwell after their apartments had to be evacuated due to a hazardous concoction of chemicals.

Firefighters in Barnwell says they responded to an apartment that had bed bugs. The apartment had already been professionally treated, but the tenants' boyfriend created a concoction of chemicals including kerosene, a bug bomb, and other household chemicals to treat the infestation.

The fumes were so toxic they seeped to the apartment next door, causing a second apartment to be evacuated.

Firefighters say the second apartment should be inhabitable in the next couple of days, but the apartment they were originally called to will need 'significant and thorough treatment.'
us_SC  public  release  response  kerosene 
13 days ago
Chemical leak leads to shelter in place warning
CORPUS CHRISTI -
People across Corpus Christi woke up this morning to alarming information from the city's Reverse Alert System: a shelter in place order was issued because of an ammonia leak. 

The shelter in place warning only affected an area near the Greyhound Race Track. The leak came from this business behind me called South Texas Cold Storage, a warehouse that stores food products. A mechanical issue with a refrigeration unit here caused ammonia to leak into the air. 

Nearby homeowner Linda Thomas was ready to start her day when she saw an alert on TV that there was a shelter in place warning for her neighborhood. 

"We were getting ready to come out and mow, and we saw it so my husband and I both stopped and looked," Thomas said. 

The warning was issued do to the ammonia leak that started at 4:15 in the morning. 

"Fire crews got on scene, noticed a heavy smell, an ammonia smell. So the Hazmat material team was dispatched, utilizing all of our resources," said Chief Robert Rocha with the Corpus Christi Police Department. 
us_TX  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
13 days ago
Powerful N.J. Republican asked to back colleagues over Trump
WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan majority of the New Jersey congressional delegation wants one of their own, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, to preserve funding for the agency that investigates chemical accidents.

Nine of the other 11 Garden State lawmakers signed a letter to Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, asking him to support $11.6 million in funding for the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. They also wrote to the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Nita Lowey of New York.

President Donald Trump proposed eliminating the board in his spending plan for the 12 months beginning Oct. 1. The administration said the agency has "been focused on the need for greater regulation of industry" and its actions  "overlap with other agency investigative authorities" and cause "unhelpful friction." 
us_NJ  public  discovery  environmental 
13 days ago
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