Varthur Lake: After heavy rain, chemical 'snowfall' in Bengaluru
BENGALURU: Pre-monsoon showers provided much-needed respite to Bengalureans in what was a harsh summer. However, rain has only added to the problems of those living in the vicinity of the city's lakes. The heavy showers that lashed the city in the past week have resulted in Varthur Lake foaming again. With toxic foam spilling over to the Whitefield Main Road, commuters had a tough time negotiating traffic on Saturday and Sunday.
Pravir B, a member of the citizen group Whitefield Rising, said that the wired mesh erected on the boundary of the lake that runs along Whitefield Main Road, had kept foam from entering the streets till the rain aggravated the condition. "We noticed froth on the road on Saturday morning. There's a mesh on one side of the road, where foam has not escaped. But, the heavy winds resulted in foam getting blown from the other side of the lake and entering the road, disrupting traffic. In fact, the foam is entering helmets, and coming in contact with the skin," he added.

The unbearable stench emanating from the lake has only added to the woes of commuters and residents. "The froth has also reached a hospital and a mall nearby," said residents.
india  public  discovery  environmental  toxics 
just now
Chinese chemical plants accused of polluting the air under cover of darkness
Hebei province, home to many of China’s most polluted cities, has promised to close down companies that are poisoning the environment, but after years of protests villagers living in the shadows of the Guantao chemical park remain sceptical.
Alhough festooned with banners calling for the construction of “beautiful villages” and the “upgrade” of Hebei’s highly-polluting heavy industries, the sprawling complex of chemical plants shadowing the villages of Nansitou and East Luzhuang often operates unchallenged by environmental regulators, residents say.
Air pollution getting worse in north China even as government tries to crack down

They say local authorities turn a blind eye to factories that pollute air, water and land. In particular, they claim that the plants do a lot of their dirtiest work at night when inspectors are rarely seen.
“They just don’t come,“ said a resident who would not give their full name. Near his home was a patch of burned undergrowth, the result of a vehicle carrying hazardous chemicals catching fire earlier this year, sending plumes of pungent smoke through the streets. ”I gave them a call but none of them came,“ he said. ”We can’t stand the smell and there’s suddenly smoke everywhere.”
Provincial and municipal environmental authorities did not respond to requests for comment, but an inspector who only gave their surname Liu, who is responsible for monitoring Guantao Park, told Reuters by telephone that the facilities were under 24-hour surveillance.
china  public  discovery  illegal  release  toxics 
1 minute ago
A Sacramento State chemical spill has lab techs questioning their workplace safety
A chemical spill at Sacramento State last year has led to questions about whether the university is putting its lab workers at risk from exposure to hazardous substances.

Some lab employees say they work in areas so poorly ventilated that acidic fumes corrode metal and rubber, and two workers claim that exposure to these substances and others may have led to their inability to have children.

“Our whole stockroom is rusting and rubber bands last only about two weeks before they pulverize, and that is the norm for us,” said lab manager Barbara Coulombe, 49. “If something needs to be protected, like our respirators, we keep them in plastic bags and put them in Tupperware.”

The California State University Employees Union, which represents the lab technicians, has filed multiple grievances questioning the safety of employees working in the chemistry stockrooms and the protocols for dealing with hazardous materials throughout the campus.

The university argues there is no reason to believe the employees are endangered, pointing to a UCLA study of air quality in Sacramento State chemistry stockrooms.

“There is no evidence of an ongoing hazard based on their measurements on acid or organic vapors,” said Steve Leland, CSU Sacramento director of environmental health and safety. “We are looking at the ventilation to bring it up to best practices. … There is no reason for me to think the room is unsafe to occupy.”

The recent trouble began just over a year ago. On May 11, 2016, lab technicians were called to an advanced chemistry class to clean up a spill. They say they were told the chemicals were acetone, a solvent used in nail polish remover, and ethyl acetate, another solvent used to decaffeinate coffee.

They wore lab coats, nitrile gloves, safety glasses and half-face respirators to clean up the spill.

In actuality, they say, the spilled chemical was a more dangerous solvent called dimethylformamide or DMF.

One of the chemistry lab technicians, Michelle Watterson, said she and her colleagues would have called the county’s hazardous materials team to clean it up instead if they had known it was DMF.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/investigations/the-public-eye/article152861839.html#storylink=cpy
us_ca  laboratory  release  follow-up  solvents 
4 minutes ago
Environmental rules under attack
In keeping with his campaign promise to reduce regulatory burdens, U.S. President Donald J. Trump ordered federal agencies in late February to ferret out regulations that can be “repealed, replaced, or modified to make them less burdensome.” Trump’s order requires federal agencies to identify rules that, at a minimum, “eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation; are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective; or impose costs that exceed benefits.”
The Environmental Protection Agency is one of the biggest targets of the Trump Administration’s regulatory reform effort. During a series of public meetings in April and May, the agency was flooded with suggestions from state and local governments, consumers, environmental organizations, industry, and other stakeholders regarding which rules to cut and which ones to keep. In general, environmental groups stressed the need for more, not less, regulation to protect public health and boost confidence in the safety of household chemicals and pesticides. Consultants and representatives from industry trade groups, on the other hand, picked through details of their least favorite regulations, urging EPA to ax or delay specific parts.

Here are some of the most controversial chemical-related regulations that could be the target of potential reform. EPA has already taken action since the public meetings to delay some of the rules.
Pesticide priorities
Nanomaterial data reporting
Formaldehyde emissions from wood composites
Asbestos in schools, chlorine production
Lead-based paint removal
us  public  discovery  environmental 
6 minutes ago
Walmart store in Coventry evacuated over small fire
COVENTRY, R.I. (WJAR) — A small fire broke out Friday morning at a Walmart store at the Centre of New England in Coventry.
The fire was reported at about 7 a.m. It started in the pool chemical aisle, as a bottle of liquid chlorine leaked down and into an electrical outlet.
Pool filters then caught fire, with an employee dousing flames with a fire extinguisher.
Employees were allowed back in the store a few hours later.
The store later reopened.
us_RI  public  fire  response  chlorine 
Officials: Chemical leak from tanker truck shuts down Md. roadway
RINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (ABC7) — Route 197 in Prince George's County was shut down Saturday afternoon at Muirkirk Road after a chemical leak from a tanker truck, according to officials.

A hazmat team arrived on the scene shortly after the spill. A nearby shopping center was also evacuated as a precaution.
Officials say 3000 gallons of ferric chloride, a chemical used in water treatment plants, had leaked out.
us_MD  transportation  release  response  ferric_chloride  water_treatment 
Chemical accident: 1 dead, 4 critical
AHMEDABAD: In a chemical reaction that occurred while making colour in Aarvee Denims located near Ranipur on Sarkhej-Narol Highway, one worker, Navghan Sanev, hailing from Orissa, died, while four others were rushed to LG hospital in a critical condition.
Police said the victims had been affected by the smoke which emitted while making colour.
The LG hospital officials said that all four patients have been shifted to intensive care unit. "We suspect that the patients have been affected as they might have inhaled some chemical fumes," said an official from the hospital.
Vatva police station sub-inspector K S Patel said they have registered a case of accidental death at present and are probing whether there was any negligence on the part of the factory management.
India  industrial  release  death  unknown_chemical 
NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida
Fire crews are on scene of a "significant spill" of a highly toxic chemical at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers.

The hospital is on US-41 about a mile south of the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

A hospital employee spilled a cup and a half of a liquid substance in a negative pressure room on the second floor, which means all the vapors were contained to that room.

Interim Fire Chief Vincent Dicristofalo says a hazmat team of eight members are working to clean the area of vapors to avoid issues with staff or patients.

The employee was treated for eye irritation in the emergency room.
us_FL  public  release  injury  toxics 
2 days ago
Chemical leak forces temporary evacuation at Sports Barn North
The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a hazmat incident at Sports Barn North Friday morning.

The incident happened around 6:37 a.m. on Hamil Rd.

Battalion Chief Carlos Hampton said an employee was working with pool chemicals, when some of them leaked out of a container. An employee breathed in the vapors and became ill.

Officials say the manager learned of the accident and notified the police.

Several fire companies responded to the scene, including a hazmat team, and the building was evacuated as a precaution. 

Assistant Chief Danny Hague said the leak was very small and the cleanup was accomplished quickly.
us_TN  public  release  response  pool_chemicals 
2 days ago
Schoolboy Cameron Dickson now stable after bonfire chemical incident
A NINE year-old Belfast boy who was left critically ill after coming into contact with toxic chemicals left at a bonfire site is now in a stable condition in hospital.

Cameron Dickson was playing with friends on waste ground near the Shankill Road on Wednesday when they came across several abandoned drums of chemicals.

It is understood someone opened one of the containers and the schoolboy inhaled some of the liquid.

A family friend later spotted his symptoms and he was admitted into intensive care at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children on Wednesday evening. At the time his condition was described as critical.

Cameron's parents released a picture of their son in hospital to warn others of the dangers.
Ireland  public  release  injury  toxics  waste 
2 days ago
Streets near NMSU blocked off as hazmat crews investigate chemical smell
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Some streets near New Mexico State University are closed as hazmat crews investigate reports of a chemical smell in the area.
A spokesperson for the Las Cruces Police Department said the chemical smell came from a hotel near Triviz Drive and University Avenue.
Police are blocking traffic at Triviz and University and at Triviz and Wisconsin.
us_NM  public  release  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Hazmat, firefighters respond to chemical spill from tractor-trailer in Davidson Co.
Hazmat crews and firefighters from several local fire departments responded to a chemical spill on the I-85 NB ramp to US-64 in Davidson County, near Lexington Friday night.

Troopers say the driver of a tractor-trailer was headed north on I-85 from Charlotte when due to traffic patterns, he suddenly applied the brakes. As the driver continued northbound, he noticed vapors coming from the back of his truck. Troopers say he pulled off of I-85 NB and onto the ramp to US-64.

Authorities say one of six drums carrying sodium hydroxide, a corrosive industrial chemical, had toppled over and started leaking. Approximately 55 gallons spilled onto the ramp.

The driver suffered a minor burn after coming into contact with the chemical. Holly Grove Fire Department spokesperson Zach Smith said the driver was treated at the scene and is expected to be all right.
us_NC  transportation  release  response  sodium_hydroxide 
2 days ago
Faulty weld behind Dakota Access leak
A faulty weld on the Dakota Access pipeline was responsible for a 20-gallon leak reported March 5 at an above-ground station in Mercer County, while an 84-gallon spill at a pipeline terminal in Watford City on March 3 was actually owned and operated by a different company, Caliber Midstream — though ultimately the line will feed oil into the Dakota Access system.

The faulty weld that caused the 20-gallon leak on the Dakota Access line in Mercer County was identified during a standard commissioning process designed to identify problems before a pipeline is put into service, ensuring a line’s integrity before it begins operation. The spill was not reported to North Dakota, but was reported to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, as required.
us_nd  industrial  release  follow-up  petroleum 
3 days ago
Third-alarm fire damages SLU building with chemicals inside
ST. LOUIS - A three alarm fire tore through a St. Louis university research building Thursday evening.

The fire was on the third floor of Macelwane Hall, a building on the St. Louis University campus. In a Periscope video, Captain Garon Mosby said they were told chemicals were on the second floor of the building.

It's still unclear how the fire started, but school officials confirm the third floor was under construction. No one was in the building when crews arrived on the scene.

The fire started in the Neuroscience lab and damaged faculty offices.

There was concern about the presence of chemical's in this science building. As a result, several fire fighters were decontaminated as they left the building, as a precaution. An investigation now begins into the cause of the blaze.
us_mo  laboratory  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago
Crews clean up 500-gallon nitric acid spill in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY — A 500-gallon nitric acid spill at a Salt Lake chemical plant was contained Thursday before it could cause any damage.

Hazardous materials crews from the Salt Lake and West Valley fire departments responded about 10:15 a.m. to Univar, 650 W. 800 South. Salt Lake fire spokeswoman Audra Sorensen said the spill was believed to have occurred in the basement of the facility, and the acid somehow made its way outside the facility. How the leak was caused or where the acid came from was not immediately known.

Comment on this story
Because of a steady breeze at that time, officials shut down 800 South between 200 West and 900 West for about two hours, and advised motorists to avoid the I-15 overpass at 700 West if possible. Health officials later determined the spill posed no threat to the public.
us_ut  transportation  release  response  nitric_acid 
3 days ago
Findings On Loy Lange Box Company Explosion Released By Federal Investigators
St. Louis, MO (KTRS) The federal investigation continues into the deadly explosion at the Loy Lange Box Company in south St. Louis in April.

On Thursday morning, members of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board held a news conference in downtown St. Louis, where they released an update into the investigation. The findings were presented through the CSB’s Factual Investigative Update report.
According to federal investigators, the explosion of the giant tank called a Semi-Closed Receiver (SCR) weighing nearly 2,000 pounds, stemmed from an earlier repair. Back in 2012, the tank was repaired for a leak. The contractor recommended that the bottom portion of the tank be replaced. Investigators say Loy Lange Box Company did not comply with that recommendation.
us_mo  industrial  explosion  follow-up 
3 days ago
Crews respond to chemical leak at Black River Falls gas station
BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (RELEASE FROM BRF FIRE DEPT.)-- The Jackson County Emergency Dispatch Center paged the Black River Falls Fire out on May 22, 2017 at 20:48 to the Flying J Truck Stop in the City of Black River Falls for a report of a chemical leak – spill from a semi unit.

The driver of the semi unit noted a liquid coming from the trailer and that his dual tires on the semi tractor were wet and shiny upon stopping at the truck stop.

The driver was complaining of some breathing trouble and was checked over by Black River EMS at the scene but refused transport.

In speaking with the driver he advised that he had put his finger into the leaking product and had smelled it. The driver did not have any burns noted to his fingers.

The driver advised the only liquid he was aware of on the mixed cargo was 144 five gallon pails and four 55 gallon drums of phosphoric acid.

The Regional Level A Hazmat Team from La Crosse was contacted and responded to the scene.

Upon off loading some the cargo the leak was found to be coming from a 55 gallon drum of liquid zinc. The leaking drum was placed into an over pack container. Some of the leaked product was soaked up with floor dri material and also then placed inside the over pack drum for disposal.
us_wi  transportation  release  response  zinc 
3 days ago
Firefighters battling 6 alarm blaze at Toronto recycling facility
Toronto firefighters have spent the night battling a large and stubborn six-alarm blaze at a recycling facility near the city's waterfront.

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said the blaze began just before 1 a.m. on Cherry St. and "escalated through the alarm levels very quickly."

There were no reported injuries among workers who were in the facility owned by GFL Environmental Inc.

"There were staff on scene (and) shortly after our arrival, our crews were able to confirm that everyone was out of the building," said Pegg.

He also said firefighters had not yet entered the building because of risk of collapse.

"It would be hazardous for us to do that. They're outside the collapse zone working on defence and control."

Pegg said the fire was challenging because it is in a mixed waste facility that handles non-residential commercial waste and until firefighters enter the structure, it's impossible to know exactly what's inside.

"Because we can't positively identify what's in there, we're taking all the precautions necessary and making sure our crews are protected."
Canada  industrial  fire  response  waste 
4 days ago
Boy, 9, Critically Ill After Toxic Waste Dumped At BonfireCIWM Journal Online
A young boy of nine is fighting for his life in hospital after coming into contact with hazardous material dumped at a Belfast bonfire site.
Emergency services are investigating the dumping of toxic chemicals at a Belfast bonfire site after a concerned parent contacted police about the material following the hospitalisation of their son.
Cameron Dickson, nine, is in intensive care in a critical condition, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
Police and health officials have issued a warning to the public, fearing other children may have come into contact with the dumped drums at Glenwood Street, close to the Shankill Road, which are reported to contain industrial cleaner for patios and driveways.
“This is shocking but sadly an example of the many hazardous materials dumped on bonfires which should be disposed of legally and properly. It’s irresponsible.”
A spokeswoman for the Belfast Health Trust said the schoolboy was in a critical condition. Inspector Laura Kelly urged parents who live in the area to seek medical help if their children display any symptoms.
United_Kingdom  public  release  injury  cleaners  toxics 
4 days ago
Police: 1 person injured at Somers High School following small explosion in chemistry lab
SOMERS —  Somers High School was evacuated following a small explosion in chemistry lab that injured one person Tuesday afternoon, police said.

State police said around 12:55 p.m., there was a small explosion in a chemistry lab that caused the school to be evacuated. Police said one person was injured and it does not appear to be any criminal nature involved.

The cause of the fire in under investigation.
us_CT  laboratory  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
4 days ago
Truck crash and explosion closes Highway 152
A big rig carrying a liquid cleaning solution crashed and exploded into flames Wednesday afternoon south of Chowchilla, the California Highway Patrol reports.
The truck that crashed Wednesday on the Highway 152 westbound transition from Highway 99 left both roads closed for hours.

It was the second fiery truck crash in two days in the Central Valley. On Tuesday, a gas truck crashed and exploded near Atwater, killing the driver and setting off hours of delay on Highway 99 near Applegate Avenue, 25 miles north of Chowchilla.

The truck was traveling from Highway 99 to Highway 152 west when it struck a guardrail and jack-knifed, coming to rest on the transition over Highway 99, said Lt. Alfredo Vasquez. It caught fire and exploded, sparking a grass fire about 12:30 p.m.

There were no injuries in the crash, Vasquez said.

A hazardous material team from Madera County was dispatched to the scene, but workers couldn’t get to the crash site until the chemical is identified and the fire around the truck continues to burn, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeremy Rahn.
us_CA  transportation  explosion  death  cleaners 
4 days ago
2 killed, 1 injured in WV industrial explosion
Two workers were killed and a third was seriously injured Wednesday in an explosion at an industrial facility in Barbour County, officials said.

The explosion occurred when the workers at Midland Resource Recovery were either cleaning or preparing to clean a tank used for storing mercaptan, according to local officials and a report phoned in to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Mercaptan is most commonly thought of as the rotten egg-smelling chemical that is added to odorless natural gas for safety purposes, so that leaks can easily be noticed. Midland Resource Recovery bills itself as “the leading natural gas odorization company in North America.”

Exact details of what occurred weren’t available Wednesday evening, and multiple agencies were continuing to investigate at the scene.

A spokesman for the Barbour County Office of Emergency Management said agency dispatchers received a call shortly after 11 a.m. reporting the explosion of an empty mercaptan tank. That initial report said two workers were dead and a third was injured.
us_WV  industrial  explosion  death  methane  thiols 
4 days ago
Chemical smell poses no danger to the safety of residents, environment near PG&E’s cleanup of former gas plant site
Red Bluff >> Residents living and passing near the Rio Street gas plant soil cleanup project may notice a chemical smell, similar to moth-balls, coming from the contaminated soil, but Pacific Gas and Electric’s Paul Moreno says the temporary smell poses no danger to residents or the environment.

To ensure the safety of the community and crew members on the project, at 600 Rio St., there are three air monitors throughout the project’s site to make sure the air isn’t polluted by the contaminated soil.

The company has been working with the city and Moreno said neither PG&E nor the city had received any complaints from residents regarding the smell as of Tuesday afternoon. If there are any concerns regarding the project, residents can call the toll-free number at (866) 247-0581.

The project is expected to be completed in the fall, Moreno said.

The excavation will continue Wednesday and then be shut down for the holiday weekend. There are several more days of excavation but crews will be working with soil that has been less impacted by the former gas plant, therefore producing less off-site odors.
us_CA  public  release  response  other_chemical 
4 days ago
Chemical leaked in tractor rollover
About 2,000 litres of an agricultural chemical leaked after a farm tractor rolled over on Bloomfield Road on Wednesday morning.

The rollover occurred between Thirteenth Line and Fourteenth Line. Station 16 Raleigh South fire crews responded to the call.

Crews were able to contain the spill quickly, said fire officials. Chatham-Kent police and public works were on scene as well. The Ministry of the Environment was also notified.
Canada  transportation  release  response  ag_chems 
4 days ago
Fire crew in full protective gear cleanup chemical spill
Firefighters were called to clean up a chemical spill in Invercargill after a bucket containing a yellow powder substance fell off the back of a truck on Thursday.

Fire crew, in full protective gear, cleaned up the spill on the Dee St overbridge on Waihopai River.

New Zealand Fire Services assistant area commander Southland Deane Chalmers said a bucket containing a yellow powder substance fell of the back of a truck on the bridge.

Kavinda Herath/Fairfax NZ
Fire crew in full protective gear cleaning up a chemical spill, of polyaluminium chloride, which fell of the back of a truck on the Dee St over bridge on Waihopai River.

It was suspected to be sulfur because of its colour, but was later confirmed to be polyaluminium chloride, Chalmers said.

Emergency services were called to the scene about 12pm, but it was believed the spill happened before 11am, he said.
New_Zealand  transportation  release  response  dust 
4 days ago
Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would gut science agencies
President Donald J. Trump is asking Congress to make wide-ranging cuts to science agencies in his 2018 budget. If enacted, they could have a potentially devastating impact on science, including chemical research.
Overall, federal R&D would take a 16.8% hit, down $12.6 billion, according to estimates from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The “budget fails to recognize that federal R&D investment is the most critical step driving U.S. innovation,” says Glenn Ruskin, spokesperson for the American Chemical Society, which publishes C&EN. “Slashing federal research budgets will result in less innovation, less job creation, and less economic growth—all of which undermines our global competitiveness.”
Congress has widely ignored presidential budget requests in the past, and that might be the case for Trump’s 2018 budget as well. Many Republicans and Democrats rejected the proposal. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) declared it “dead on arrival.” Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, the top Democrat on the House Science, Space & Technology Committee, says, “I hope and expect that by the time the appropriations process is over, we will have achieved a saner outcome.”
public  discovery  environmental 
4 days ago
Dating site opens for hazard-free chemicals
The Swedish environmental group ChemSec has introduced the Marketplace, a website linking companies selling alternatives to hazardous chemicals with those seeking to buy them.

Chemical firms can advertise hazard-free products on the site for free. Buyers seeking such chemicals may post requests, also at no cost. The website acts only to introduce parties and does not facilitate transactions.

Clothing retailer H&M has made the first product request: alternatives to the bisphenol A found in thermal paper for cash register and credit card receipts.

Chemical companies including Chemours, Clariant, Rivertop Renewables, and Valspar have put products on the Marketplace.

Chemours, for example, is offering Zelan R3, a nonfluorinated, 60%- biobased coating for preventing stains on fabrics. “We are excited that ChemSec Marketplace can be a positive place for industry to find sustainable solutions,” says Bob Buck, technical fellow for Chemours.
Sweden  public  discovery  environmental 
4 days ago
Northbound turnpike lanes reopen after daylong crash, HAZMAT closure
Northbound lanes of the West Virginia Turnpike between North Beckley and Mahan reopened about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday following a daylong closure caused by a hazardous material spill from an overturned tractor-trailer.

The truck, transporting industrial-sized batteries, overturned in the northbound lanes near Mahan between 2 and 3 a.m. Tuesday, spilling battery acid onto the highway, officials said. The cause of the accident remains undetermined.

The driver of the vehicle was taken to a local hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash, according to officials.
us_WV  transportation  release  injury  batteries  sulfuric_acid 
5 days ago
Too fast, too soon: how China's growth led to the Tianjin disaster
t was almost midnight on a summer Wednesday in 2015 when Hu Xiumin was jolted awake by a loud noise. Her apartment building in the affluent Harbour City development was shaking violently. She ran from the bedroom to find her husband standing in the study, looking out of the window.

From here they could see out over the port of Tianjin; one of the warehouses was on fire. They backed away from the window just moments before the warehouse exploded in one of the worst manmade disasters in China’s history.

Although Hu and her husband were unscathed, 173 people died at Ruihai International Logistics, a warehouse that was storing thousands of tonnes of hazardous chemicals. Hundreds more people were injured and thousands displaced on 12 August. Videos of the explosion went viral on social media. To the world, the tragedy became known as the Tianjin explosion. To locals, it’s 8/12.

But the explosion also underscored a dilemma at the heart of China’s unprecedented economic boom: the chemical industry is critical for the country’s growth, but that growth is also fuelling rapid urbanisation. This is pushing residential areas closer to active chemical sites – like in Tianjin.
China  industrial  follow-up  environmental  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Ammonia leak contained
Emergency personnel responded to a report of late-night ammonia leak at a local business Monday.

According to a Marshalltown Fire Department press release, shortly after 10:30 p.m. Monday, the Marshalltown Fire Department responded to Crystal Distribution Services, 816 Union St., for a report of an ammonia leak in the facility. Upon arrival, fire department personnel were advised the ammonia leak was located in the basement of the facility. The affected building was evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire department, as well as a portion of the JBS Swift Plant located adjacent to and downwind from Crystal Distribution.

MFD Deputy Chief Christopher Cross said the ammonia leak was located at a valve of a compressor unit. Hazardous Materials technicians from Crystal Distribution’s home office in Waterloo, as well as technicians from JBS Swift made entry to the space using encapsulating suits, breathing apparatus and air monitoring equipment to stop the flow of ammonia to the building. MFD personnel provided safety stand by and incident management to the hazardous materials teams.

Cross said the exact quantity of ammonia released is unknown, adding there is no known ongoing environmental impact as a result of the release.
us_IA  industrial  release  response  ammonia 
5 days ago
Massive fire in Atwater may cause long term problems for city
ATWATER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fire burned about 100 yards worth of road off the Highway 99, creating enough heat to scorch a McDonald's witnesses said was never even touched by the flames. For a while, California Highway Patrol officers worried about cars on the highway itself.

"We had units run breaks to shut down traffic. We didn't know if it was going to explode," said Eric Zuniga, CHP.

Hours later, officers reopened the Highway and traffic moved on as usual, with only the closed Applegate exit as a mark of a deadly morning. Atwater Mayor Jim Price said he has never seen an accident here before, but he recognizes the quick cloverleaf off the freeway can be tricky.

"If you're not familiar with that particular exit, it'll creep up on you real fast."

After more than 8,000 gallons of fuel burned off, firefighters got the hot spots cooled off, and turned their attention to possible long term troubles. The asphalt is charred and may need to be replaced before the Highway exit reopens and Some of that gasoline spilled into drainage ditches.

From there, the Mayor said it may go to nearby canals or the sewage system. So fire danger still exists there, and businesses won't be able to get back to normal.
us_CA  public  fire  response  asphalt  gasoline 
5 days ago
2 Leakages Found in ETP Pipeline
The controversial Dakota Access pipeline, developed by the Energy Transfer Partners ETP , has leaked more than 100 gallons of oil in North Dakota. Two separate incidents of leakage were recorded in March in the $3.78 billion pipeline system.

About the Leakages

On Mar 3, the State Health Department announced that 84 gallons of oil spilled from the connecting segment of two sections of the Dakota Access pipeline in Watford City. The spill was contained on site by stopping the flow of oil. The polluted snow and soil were also later removed. The department's environmental health database has importantly stated that no human life, wildlife and waterways were affected by the spill.

In another incident of leakage, 20 gallons of oil was spilled in rural Mercer County on Mar 5. The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has provided the data.

Cause and Measurements

The leakage occurred due to failure of an above-ground valve. A manufacturing defect is therefore cited as the reason. To isolate the leak, upstream and downstream valves were shut down. Inspections were carried out to ensure no leakage was left in the pipeline system. The database from the above-mentioned authority confirmed that there were no leaks along the pipeline in the neighboring states of Iowa and Illinois.

Following these spilling incidents, the partnership assured that the pipeline is safe. Energy Transfer Partners is making preparations to start commercial operations from Jun 1. However, many tribes residing in Dakota fear environmental harm can be caused by this pipeline and challenged the partnership in court.
us_ND  transportation  release  response  oils 
5 days ago
Unknown irritant sickens students, staff at Michigan school
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — About 20 students and staff members at a western Michigan school have been treated for breathing problems caused by an unknown irritant.
The Muskegon Chronicle and WOOD-TV report hazardous materials teams were inside Muskegon Catholic Central on Tuesday trying to determine the cause of the irritant. Classes have been cancelled for the day.
Authorities say there is no evidence of foul play, and those treated at and released from hospitals weren't considered to be critical. Reported symptoms included shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness.
Michigan Catholic Central President Ken Rasp said he could feel something in his throat that made him want to sneeze.
About 450 people were in the school at the time of the evacuation.
us_MI  education  release  injury  irritant 
5 days ago
Statement from CSB Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland on CSB FY 2018 Budget Request
The President’s full budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) continues to propose the elimination of 19 agencies, including the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).  Today, the CSB submitted its budget request for FY18, pursuant to its authority as an independent federal agency.  Congress provided the CSB with concurrent authority to submit its annual budget requests directly to the Congress, as well as to the Office of Management and Budget. 

The CSB’s primary mission is the prevention of accidents.  It is a non-regulatory agency that issues recommendations in support of its safety-critical mission. Congress intended for the CSB to examine the role of both the regulator and the regulated in its investigations and makes recommendations to both.  And in that regard, we hold other federal agencies accountable, as well as industry.  In our safety investigations of high consequence chemical accidents, we routinely examine the adequacy of the existing regulations and standards.   No other federal agency, or private entity for that matter, provides this comprehensive safety role.

The CSB’s mission is vital to drive chemical safety change through independent investigations to protect people and the environment.  
public  discovery  environmental 
5 days ago
Chemical issue causes evacuation of Wilkes-Barre apartment building
WILKES-BARRE — Four apartments were evacuated after reports of a “chemical haze” in the building that houses them, according to Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney.

Delaney said fire crews were called to an apartment on Stanton Street for initial reports of a fire in the basement. Delaney said that when arriving on scene, fire crews found the issue to be one of a “chemical” nature.

Delaney did not comment on the nature of the chemical, but said that the apartment building would be safe to enter once the haze was totally ventilated, adding that it did not pose a danger to the building or the surrounding neighborhood.
us_PA  public  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
5 days ago
Minnesota Officials Lower Chemical Limits in Drinking Water
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota health officials have lowered exposure limits for some chemicals that have been in drinking water in the east metro area and Bemidji.

The chemicals are known as PFOA and PFOS and were used at a 3M manufacturing site and dumped at sites in Washington County.

State health officials say there's no immediate health threat, but after reviewing research about the chemicals' effects on fetuses and infants, they concluded current federal standards don't go far enough to protect infants from long-term risks.

The new guidelines affect public and private drinking water wells in Bemidji and in several east metro communities, including Cottage Grove, Woodbury, Lake Elmo, Oakdale and St. Paul Park. State officials say those cities will take steps to provide drinking water at or below the new levels.
us_MN  industrial  discovery  response  other_chemical 
5 days ago
Toxic chemical plume found at Michigan airfield
GRAYLING, Mich. (AP) -- The Michigan National Guard will soon be testing residential drinking wells near its main training facility after groundwater testing showed a plume of toxic chemicals at the facility.
MLive reports that an informational meeting about the testing was held Friday for nearby Grayling residents. The state's National Guard says about 100 homes with private wells just west and south of the Grayling Army Airfield are at risk for contamination from toxic fluorocarbons.
March testing detected chemicals at concentrations above the federal health advisory level in the airfield's five monitoring wells. The contaminants are tied to thyroid, kidney, liver, reproductive and other health problems.
Project manager Rob MacLeod says the National Guard is moving directly to private well sampling because the plume boundaries are still unknown.
us_MI  public  release  response  toxics 
5 days ago
Hazmat situation in Benton County leads to evacuations
A shipment of chili powder caused an evacuation at a UPS freight terminal in Lowell Monday morning.

Police were called after an unknown, smelly gas leaked from a semi-trailer parked at the terminal on S. Lincoln Street.

Everyone within 300 feet of this trailer was evacuated initially, but the evacuation zone was lowered to 75 feet by 10:20 a.m.

Shortly after noon, fire crews determined the scene was no longer dangerous, according to Chief Mike Morris.

The cause of the smell was later identified as a shipment of chili powder, Chris Yohn with UPS Freight Headquarters told 40/29.
us_AR  transportation  release  response  dust 
6 days ago
Trio who tried to tackle flames treated by medics after chemical fire at Polgooth near St Austell
Three people who tried to put out flames have been treated by medics after a fire at a swimming pool pump house containing chemicals near St Austell.

Firefighters were scrambled to the building in Polgooth shortly before 12.10pm yesterday. Nine firefighters from St Austell and Mevagissey arrived to find a small detached building alight.

Crews wearing breathing gear checked the scene at the 3 metre X 2 metre to find a "mix of hazardous materials" had been involved in the fire.

The crews called for back-up from across the county.

A Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "An ambulance was requested to attend to treat three casualties on scene who had been tackling the fire on the arrival of the fire service.

"Additional fire resources were mobilised to the scene including appliances from St Austell, Mevagissey and Truro, and an environmental support unit and accompanying appliance from Penzance to assist with decontamination on scene.
United_Kingdom  public  fire  injury  other_chemical 
6 days ago
Valero Outage Prompts Benicia to Consider Industrial Safety Ordinance
City officials would have greater oversight over the Valero refinery under a proposal set to be unveiled at the Benicia City Council meeting on Tuesday—a potential reform prompted by the major outage at the facility earlier this month.

Mayor Elizabeth Patterson is proposing the city develop regulations similar to those in Contra Costa County, home to several refineries. That county’s industrial safety ordinance, considered to be one of the strongest in the country, requires oil refining facilities to undergo safety audits and have risk management plans.

For instance, after a major refinery problem, like the one at Valero on May 5, the county can order the company to provide a preliminary report 72 hours later.

That’s the case in Contra Costa County, but the Valero facility is in Solano County and therefore not subject to the same rules.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental 
6 days ago
Attorneys general seek new rules for crude oil by rail
Six Democratic state attorneys general including New York's are asking federal regulators to place new restrictions on crude oil trains that pass through their states.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (SHNEYE'-dur-muhn) says these trains can carry crude oil through densely populated areas such as downtown Albany without any limit on explosiveness or flammability.

Concerns about the oil trains have grown since a 2013 tanker explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec.

Schneiderman and attorneys general from California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland and Washington sent comments Friday on proposed rulemaking by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
transportation  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
6 days ago
Crews cover partially-collapsed tunnel at nuclear site
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Workers this weekend finished installing a protective cover over a partially-collapsed tunnel that contained radioactive waste on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the U.S. Department of Energy said Monday.
The tunnel that contained highly radioactive wastes left over from production of plutonium for nuclear weapons partially collapsed on May 9, prompting evacuation of nearby workers.
The hole left by the partial collapse was filled with more than 50 truckloads of soil the next day.
The Energy Department has said no workers were injured and no airborne radiation escaped into the environment as a result of the incident. The agency said the cover will provide additional protection while work continues to find a permanent fix.
Crews from contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company placed the cover over the tunnel and secured it on the sides with heavy concrete blocks. Over the next few days, crews will string cables across the cover.
"Since this event began, our focus has been on protecting our workers, the public, and the environment," said Doug Shoop, manager of the Department of Energy's Richland, Washington, office, where Hanford is located.
us_WA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  radiation  waste 
6 days ago
Chemical reaction starts fire in barrel at Springfield plant
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - A chemical reaction started a fire at a chemical plant Sunday evening. No one was injured.
Firefighters said the blaze started around 6:30 p.m. in a barrel outside Hexion, a chemical and energy company on 2nd Street.
Crews quickly extinguished the fire, preventing any serious damage.

KVAL - Hexion fire
us_OR  industrial  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Consumer Watch: Exploding batteries and preventing disaster
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — They are in our remotes, cell phones, laptops, fitness bands and more. Rechargeable batteries are a part of our daily lives, but if they explode, they can often burn anything near them.
A toddler died in a house fire in Pennsylvania after a hoverboard burst into flames, A laptop caught fire in New York leaving the owner scarred from chemical burns, and a cellphone exploded in a 10 year-old's pocket while at school in Florida. All of these blamed on rechargeable batteries.
Evan Spahlinger suffered from 3rd degree burns, and spent a week in the intensive care unit. Evan was badly burned by an exploding rechargeable battery from an e-cigarette.
"I was sort of gasping for air. everything I was spitting out was black, like I was spitting up blood," says Spahlinger.
Evan’s horror story is just one of many. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 49 different recalls of lithium-ion batteries since 2012. That totals more than 4.2 million products pulled.
public  discovery  environmental  batteries 
6 days ago
Texarkana, Texas resident raise concerns about chemical storage tanks
Despite city assurances, some Texarkana, Txas residents are expressing concern over chemical storage tanks in their neighborhood.

The city says the tanks affect about 13 area homes within 200 feet of the chemical site.

After neighbors voiced their concern at a council meeting earlier in May, city staff promptly began preparing a report about the site.

The city council has already been given copies of the report about the chemical solutions stored by CHS in tanks in the 1300 block of Phenie Street.

While the report says the solution in the tanks is not hazardous, nearby neighbors insist that the fertilizer is causing illnesses and is capable of causing an explosion.

"Every since I've been here. I've been sick. I've been going to the doctor. I'm just concerned. It's got to be something," said Artis Smith Jr., Texarkana, Texas.
us_TX  public  discovery  environmental  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Splaine wants Portsmouth to go chemical-free
PORTSMOUTH – Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine plans to ask city staff to move toward “using chemical-free products as much as possible in all city operations, including weed control and maintenance operations.”

Splaine is planning to discuss the topic at the City Council’s upcoming council retreat on Saturday, June 3 at the Portsmouth Public Library.

Splaine said his goal is to “protect our citizens, students and employees” from the dangers he believes are created by using certain herbicides and cleaning products.

He pointed in particular to the danger of the herbicide Roundup, which contains the chemical glyphosate, which Department of Public Works Director Peter Rice recently said is in the product Rodeo, which the city’s contractor uses to kill weeds.

“It’s quite a dangerous chemical,” Splaine said Monday. “My objective at the retreat is to get us as a staff and city to start looking at other options seriously. We need to figure out what we can do without using hazardous chemicals in weed control, as well as in cleaning efforts in the schools and other city buildings.”

Splaine believes that vinegar and salt “can kill most weeds” without using dangerous chemicals.

“We should not be putting that in our soil,” Splaine said.
us_NH  public  discovery  environmental  ag_chems 
6 days ago
Lab fire highlights ongoing LANL waste problems
On an otherwise uneventful morning in mid-April, three workers at Los Alamos National Laboratory set about cleaning an area on the ground floor of the lab’s plutonium building, PF-4, as part of a “facilitywide housekeeping day.” As they emptied unlabeled containers of legacy waste into a plastic bag — including radioactive and chemically contaminated materials from Cold War-era weapons activities — a fire ignited.
The incident occurred at one of the lab’s most sensitive sites, where the work of producing the grapefruit-sized plutonium cores of nuclear weapons is done. And despite assurances from the lab and the New Mexico Environment Department that the fire was quickly extinguished with only minor injuries, the incident highlighted, once again, a pattern of consistent mismanagement in the maintenance and cleanup of some of the most dangerous materials on Earth.
This pattern of problems also has prompted the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, an independent panel that advises the U.S. Department of Energy and the president, to question whether the facility should continue to operate and handle increasing quantities of plutonium in coming years. On Friday, the board said it will hold a June 7 hearing in Santa Fe to question a number of experts about the lab’s ability to safely carry out future nuclear missions at PF-4.
The Department of Energy has said it intends to increase manufacturing of plutonium pits at Los Alamos over the coming decades. Two test pits were built last year, and as many as 50 to 80 pits could be built each year by 2030, a significant ramp up in the presence and handling of highly radioactive plutonium. Under President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, scheduled to be released Tuesday, funding for weapons work would increase by $1 billion in the next fiscal year.
us_NM  laboratory  follow-up  injury  radiation  waste 
7 days ago
Possible Meth lab explosion sends 3 to hospital
CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. – Three people were taken to hospitals early Sunday morning after a suspected meth lab explosion in Fayette County, officials said.
The explosion happened shortly before 3 a.m. at a duplex on South Carnegie Avenue in Connellsville.
The blast blew out a window to a second floor bedroom where a man a woman were. Broken glass and pieces of a mattress were seen on the street outside of the duplex.
Police said the man and woman suffered suspected chemical burns and were flown to a Pittsburgh hospital. A third person was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
“Catastrophic event. There was glass on the road. There was commotion inside. Our officers went inside, extracted people and began our investigation,” Connellsville police Cpl. Bryan Kendi said.
us_PA  public  explosion  injury  drugs 
7 days ago
Environmental cleanup underway at former Alliance Rubber plant
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is going to be in town for the next several months, cleaning up the site of the former Alliance Rubber plant.

City Fire Chief Jason Hunt verified that the city, with the assistance of the Ohio EPA, contacted the feds after fire crews responded to a call in mid-October about an unsecured door at a building on the three-and-a-half acre complex located near the corner of Union Avenue and Wayne Street and discovered a significant amount of drums containing unknown liquid substances.

"The U.S. EPA has authorized an initial amount of $250,000 to get the process of removing the hazardous materials from the property. Basically this pays for safety, security, power hookups for an on-site office, housing for the contractors and identification, testing and staging of suspect material," Hunt explained Friday afternoon. "It is estimated that it will take 30 days for them to get an accurate picture of what is there and which type of facility the product needs to be shipped to. At the end of that process, they will ask for the remainder of the funding for disposal and cleanup."

According to Stark County property records, the property is owned by Crest Rubber in Ravenna, which was purchased earlier this year by Universal Polymer and Rubber Ltd. of Middlefield and makes hydraulic and pneumatic seals.
us_OH  public  discovery  response  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Paterson man sustains burns in propane-tank fire
PATERSON – A 37-year-old Paterson man sustained multiple injuries when a propane tank caught on fire, and some say exploded, on Sunday afternoon outside his Alabama Avenue home.

The man, identified by family members, as Raafat Gaber, was taken to St. Joseph’s Medical Center and is expected to survive his injuries. Deputy Fire Chief Mike Fleming said the injuries involved Gaber’s face and hands.

Gaber was getting a propane tank ready for a family barbecue when Nicole Lostaunau, his neighbor, heard something like an explosion.

“The tenant and his family were screaming," Lostaunau said. "They said call the Fire Department. I looked outside and there was a small fire.” 

The fire started just before 1 p.m. in a detached garage behind the three-story building where Lostaunau and some 20 families reside. All evacuated safely, and most weren’t home, she said.
us_NJ  public  explosion  injury  propane 
7 days ago
State plans to set limits for chemical found in LI groundwater
New York State plans to set a drinking water limit for a probable carcinogen that is not regulated federally but has been found in trace amounts throughout Long Island’s groundwater supply.

A new 12-person Drinking Water Quality Council is being vetted and its first task will be to examine 1,4-dioxane and make recommendations to the health commissioner as to safe levels allowed in water, said Brad Hutton, deputy commissioner in the state Health Department’s Office of Public Health.

“We’re going to move on an aggressive time frame,” Hutton told Newsday.

The state had been waiting in vain for federal action
us_NY  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
7 days ago
Chemical spray helps dilute polluted water
Polluted water that was black and stagnant in the Phalguni downstream the Malavoor vented dam slightly diluted on Sunday following a chemical spray by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

According to Rajashekar Puranik, Environment Officer at the board, about 1,000 litres of hydrogen peroxide was sprayed on the water from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. on Saturday. It acted as an oxidiser to increase the dissolved oxygen level in the stagnated water making it diluted.

He told presspersons at the dam site on Sunday that as a result of the chemical spray, pollutants in the stagnated water have diluted and its black colour has diminished. A preliminary report from the National Institute of Technology-Karnataka (NIT-K), Surathkal, has said that the dissolved oxygen level in the stagnated water was below one mg per litre against the normal 3.5 mg per litre.

Mr. Puranik said that the NITK, the board and the College of Fisheries would submit three reports on the contents in the polluted water to know the reasons for pollution. The reports are expected in three days.
India  public  release  environmental  hydrogen_peroxide 
7 days ago
Sunshine West chemical manufacturer fined for oil spill
A Sunshine West chemical manufacturer has been fined almost $8000 for allowing vegetable oil to spill into the stormwater system.

The Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) discovered Tri-Tech Chemical Company was responsible for a “yellow-grey liquid” that was reported to be flowing from a drain into a tributary of Kororoit Creek on March 5.

The company has been fined $7773 for breaching the Environment Protection Act 1970.

A two-month investigation led the EPA to pinpoint the Sunshine West chemical manufacturer as the source of the spill after testing water samples at three sites, including one near Normanby Avenue, where the company has its manufacturing plant.

EPA metro manager Dan Hunt said the spill was traced back to a ruptured water pipe that caused contaminated waste to begin to overflow into Normanby Avenue.
Australia  industrial  follow-up  environmental  waste 
7 days ago
U.S. Chemical Safety Board faces death sentence
The future of the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board is in doubt now that President Donald J. Trump is proposing to abolish the small agency.
CSB is the world’s only independent body dedicated to investigating chemical-related industrial accidents to find their root causes and, in hopes of preventing similar incidents, pass this information on to companies, regulators, workers, and communities.
Trump’s plan to eliminate CSB by defunding it, announced in March, has generated an outpouring of support for the board. The backing comes mainly from residents living near large U.S. industrial plants and refineries, unions, local officials, and safety experts. Several companies that have been investigated by CSB as well as the American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry trade association, are tight-lipped and reluctant to comment on the impact of the proposed elimination of the board.
Ultimately, the fate of CSB will turn on whether Congress decides to provide funding for it. The board took on several of its most significant investigations, including into the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, at the behest of lawmakers. Members of Congress have not yet indicated whether they will support CSB’s continued existence. Lawmakers funded CSB for $11 million this year.
public  discovery  environmental 
7 days ago
Lower growth in CO2 emissions expected in China and India
China and India are lowering their use of coal and are likely to cut their projected emissions of carbon dioxide, says a new analysis.
By 2030, both nations are now expected to have CO2 emissions below the levels they pledged to in the Paris Agreement on climate change, says the analysis by Climate Action Tracker. This consortium of three research organizations keeps tabs on countries’ progress toward limiting their greenhouse gas emissions.
China’s consumption of coal declined slowly between 2013 and 2016, and this trend is expected to continue, the analysis says. India, meanwhile, in 2016 announced cancellation of plans to build several huge coal-fired power plants. This change will significantly slow India’s anticipated CO2 emissions growth during the next decade, the analysis concludes.
China  public  discovery  environmental  carbon_dioxide 
7 days ago
Chemical mix-up at Derby David Lloyd club leaves eight needing hospital checks
Eight people were taken to hospital for "precautionary checks" after cleaning chemicals were incorrectly mixed at a health club.
Staff members and a family of four were taken to hospital from the David Lloyd club at Pride Park in Derby.
A spokesman for the club said it had reopened after the incident on Saturday morning, but the pool remained closed.
A Derbyshire fire service spokesman said workers at the pool area "had incorrectly mixed chemicals".
"Seven people who were in the pool or the area, plus one maintenance worker were conveyed to hospital for precautionary checks," the fire spokesman said.
A David Lloyd Clubs spokesman said: "We have very strict health and safety policies in place to ensure the safety of our members and team, and will be launching a full investigation to understand how this incident happened."
United_Kingdom  public  release  injury  cleaners 
8 days ago
21 Injured When Overhead Fire Extinguisher Powder Spews at Brooklyn Gas Station
The accidental discharge of an overhead fire extinguisher at a gas station injured 21 people in Canarsie on Saturday, the FDNY said.
Authorities responded to the hazmat situation at a BP gas station at Foster Avenue and East 80th Street.
Overhead Fire Extinguisher Hurts 21 at Brooklyn Gas Station
A gray powder covered cars at the station.
Ten people were taken to the hospital, and 11 declined treatment, firefighters said.
us_NY  public  release  injury  dust  fire_extinguisher 
8 days ago
Toxic chemical foam plume discovered at Camp Grayling airfield
GRAYLING, MI -- The Michigan National Guard will test residential drinking wells near Camp Grayling this summer after groundwater testing turned up a plume of toxic fluorocarbons possibly migrating toward the Au Sable River.

Roughly 100 homes with private wells located west and south of the Grayling Army Airfield are at risk for contamination from perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), also known as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), detected at concentrations above the federal health advisory level in five monitoring wells along the airfield perimeter.

Sampling rounds in October, December and March have turned up successively higher concentrations of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS), emerging contaminants of concern which are tied to thyroid, kidney, liver, reproductive and other health problems.

March testing found PFOS at 801 parts-per-trillion (ppt) and PFOA at 740-ppt at a well along W. North Down River Road across from the city police and fire departments, which is roughly 10 times above the Environmental Protection Agency's dual 70-ppt health advisory level for PFOS & PFOA
us_MI  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
9 days ago
This Mom Says Her Baby Suffered Chemical Burns from Aerosol Sunscreen
Canadian mother Rebecca Cannon covered her daughter in aerosol sunscreen to protect her from the sun. But 14-month-old Kyla still suffered from serious burns—just not the kind Cannon was worried about.
Cannon had purchased an aerosol can of Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen (SPF 50). The product is labeled as "tear-free" and OK to use on children over the age of six months. Cannon said she followed the instructions—spraying the sunblock onto her hands before applying it to her daughter's face. But something still went wrong. Kyla developed what look like second-degree chemical burns on her face after wearing the sunscreen. Cannon claims that the burns came from the product itself—not the sun.
"[I] want everyone to know Kyla is back home after another hospital trip this morning," Cannon wrote in a Facebook post. "Please watch and be careful when using aerosol sunscreen!" Cannon also reassured her Facebook followers that Kyla was recovering—and doing so with a smile on her face. "We work diligently to provide high-quality Banana Boat sun protection products and we are greatly concerned when any person encounters a reaction using our products," Edgewell Personal Care, the company that produces Banana Boat sunscreen, said in a statement responding to Cannon's claims. "We have spoken with the consumer and asked for the product so that our quality assurance team can look into this further."
Canada  public  discovery  injury  other_chemical 
9 days ago
Will new California refinery safety rule save lives, prevent toxic releases?
OAKLAND >> A landmark California safety rule to prevent oil refinery fires, explosions and chemical releases was adopted by a state board this week, nearly five years after a big Chevron fire in Richmond fueled calls for the tougher measures.

Oil companies will be required to use the safest equipment, and production line workers — not just bosses — will have authority to shut down units they deem unsafe, under the new rule adopted Thursday.

“This is the most protective regulation in the nation for the safety and health of refinery workers and surrounding communities,” said Christine Baker, director of the California Department of Industrial Relations.

The department’s Cal/OSHA standards board, meeting in Oakland, unanimously adopted the rule. The measure was developed over years of public meetings with refiners, plant neighbors, unions, and environmental groups.

“This rule will save lives,” said Greg Karras, a senior scientist with Communities for a Better Environment, a statewide group advocating for safer and cleaner refineries.

An oil trade group said it worries the timing and implementation of the rule could impose an economic burden on refineries, which make the fuel that runs California’s cars, trucks and planes.
us_CA  industrial  discovery  environmental  petroleum 
9 days ago
Students treated after school chemical drama
UPDATE: Twenty-four students and a teacher were treated by paramedics after a chemical incident at a Darling Downs school. 

Emergency services were called to Millmerran P -10 State School just after 10am to reports of the chemical incident as a result of a science experiment involving the use of sulphur gas.  

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services entered the school in breathing apparatus and conducted atmospheric testing before ventilating the area.  

A Department of Education and Training spokesperson said the incident took place in a science laboratory and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services was called as a precaution.  

"Firefighters conducted atmospheric testing and did not detect any dangerous chemicals in the classroom," the spokesperson said.   

They said the parents of all students were contacted and the affected area was ventilated with large fans to avoid further safety concerns or disruptions.  

Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Glen Barron said the teenagers were all taken to Millmerran Health Service in a stable condition, with many returning to school the same day.  

"A couple of the children had been affected by some fumes, so off-gasses from one of their science experiments," he said.

"So we attended to that and as it progressed we gradually had more students who presented with some minor symptoms."  

Mr Barron said symptoms included nausea and light headedness and one girl was treated for pre-existing asthma.
Australia  laboratory  release  injury  sulphur 
10 days ago
Hazmat crews on Windsor Street in Columbia
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia Fire Department confirms there was a small chemical reaction in the 1500 block of Windsor street. 

According to CFD, members of Columbia's Solid Waste Department found a trash bag with light smoke coming from it. 

The hazardous materials truck (hazmat) was requested for the call. 

Crews found the trash bag with light, white smoke coming from it. Firefighters used specialized protective gear and determined the smoke was caused by a mixing of two household chemicals. A toilet bowl cleaner and another household cleaner had spilled from their containers and mixed in the bottom of the bag.

Crews applied an absorbing, neutralizing agent to the liquid and safely disposed of it.

Five units from the Columbia Fire Department responded to this call. There were no reported injuries.
us_MO  transportation  release  response  cleaners  waste 
10 days ago
Principal: South Lakes High School Evacuation Was Due to Apparent Aerosol Discharge
Students and staff at South Lakes High School were evacuated Thursday morning after a chemical scare that administration says may result in criminal charges.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Principal Kim Retzer said the evacuation just after 10 a.m. was prompted after “some type of aerosol was apparently discharged in the hallway in the vicinity of the library.”
“As a precaution, five students and one teacher were taken to Reston Hospital for treatment. They have all been released. Others affected by the spray were treated at the scene. The fire department quickly responded and we were allowed to return to the building about 50 minutes later to resume normal operations. The fire department and hazmat team determined that the odor was not related to our on-going construction.”
Retzer said her office, with the assistance of a school resource officer and the Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Safety and Security, is conducting a “thorough investigation” of the incident to “identify the individual or individuals responsible.”
us_VA  education  release  injury  unknown_chemical  illegal 
10 days ago
GE workers paying price for decades of exposure to toxic chemicals: Report
Working conditions at General Electric’s Peterborough factory between 1945 and 2000 played a significant role in an “epidemic” of work-related illnesses among employees and retirees, according to a comprehensive study of chemical exposures at the plant.

The 173-page report, to be released Thursday, confirms what the community has been saying for years and will be used to support occupational disease claims previously denied by Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, say the workers and Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, which sponsored the report.

“For many years, workers and their family members were forced to provide proof as to their working conditions, only to be told this is anecdotal,” said Sue James, whose father Gord worked at the plant for 30 years and died of lung and spinal cancer, diseases his family believes were caused by his exposure to workplace chemicals.

“This report is a true depiction of the working conditions of the GE plant from its very beginnings until approximately 2000, when safety measures were finally being mandated,” said James, who was also employed by the company for 30 years and is among 11 retirees who worked as advisers on the report.

“It honours and recognizes the struggles and grief of a working community and gives validation to an historic past,” she added.
Canada  industrial  discovery  environmental 
10 days ago
Storage company Vopak fined for chemical emissions
Vopak Logistics Services USA, part of the Dutch chemical storage company Royal Vopak, was fined $2.5 million for violations of the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday.

The EPA claims the company’s mismanagement of equipment released chemicals — including acetone and benzene — into a wastewater treatment system. EPA also alleged that Vopak didn’t follow federal regulations for flaring.

As part of the settlement with the EPA, Vopak will install infrared cameras to detect pollution coming from chemical storage tanks at its Deer Park facility in Harris County.

Chemical emissions, such as chemical solvents or car exhaust, can interact with the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight to create ozone, which can be harmful to human health. The Clean Air Act regulates ozone amount present in the atmosphere.

Vopak’s fine will be split between federal government and the state of Texas. The settlement is still subject to final court approval and a 30-day public comment period. Click here for information on how to comment.
us_TX  public  discovery  environmental  acetone  benzene  illegal  water_treatment 
10 days ago
Feds: Delaware City Refinery did not take proper precautions before fire
The Delaware City Refining Co. failed to take adequate precautions to prevent a 2015 flash fire that seriously injured one of its workers, a federal safety board announced Thursday.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board found the refinery did not have procedures in place to evaluate the risk of last-minute changes to maintenance plans that ultimately led to the industrial accident, the agency announced at a press conference in Wilmington.

"If DCRC had identified and addressed potential hazards before commencing this work, this incident would not have happened," said Johnnie Banks, a supervisory investigator for the safety board.

While the Chemical Safety Board investigates the causes of chemical accidents at industrial facilities, the agency does not issue citations or levy fines.

Instead, the board on Thursday released a "safety bulletin" with five lessons the refinery and other industrial facilities should learn from the 2015 incident, including the need to re-evaluate of safety hazards when the scope of work is amended.
us_DE  industrial  follow-up  injury  ethanol 
10 days ago
Obama-era chemical industry safety rules in limbo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering chemical facility disclosure requirements issued during the tail end of the Obama administration. Public comments about the decision are due tomorrow.

Supporters say the EPA’s Risk Management Program should be updated to protect communities near plants that produce dangerous chemicals. But industry representatives fear the changes could put confidential business information and public safety at risk.

“We support the public’s right to know,” says Ed Flynn, vice president and director of health, safety and security for the Louisiana Chemical Association. “But some of the additional public disclosure elements in the revised rules could have some unintended consequences.”

Under current law, Local Emergency Planning Committees develop emergency response plans and release information about chemicals manufactured at local facilities. LEPCs include elected officials, first responders, community groups and facility representatives, and supporters say the rules update will improve coordination among those groups.

“The modest improvements to the RMP rule, which in reality are best practices, should take effect now,” argued Yogin Kothari, with the Union of Concerned Scientists, at a Washington, D.C. public hearing.

But the new rules would require far more disclosure than is needed for an effective emergency response, Flynn says. The information could fall into the wrong hands, he says—possibly leading to business interruption, espionage or even a terrorist act.
us_LA  industrial  discovery  environmental 
10 days ago
NIH Is Firm on Plan to Limit Per-Person Grant Awards
Despite facing protests, the National Institutes of Health promised Wednesday to move ahead with a plan to impose a general limit of three major grants per researcher, persuaded by data linking quantity to declining effectiveness.

"We are determined to take some action now that we have this data," the NIH’s director, Francis S. Collins, told a House appropriations subcommittee. "When you’ve seen that data," he added after the hearing, "you can’t just walk away and say, ‘Oh, that’s fine.’"

Dr. Collins was referring to statistics compiled in recent months by Michael S. Lauer, the top NIH official in charge of external grant awards, showing that researcher productivity as measured by journal citations tends to decline once a scientist holds at least three major NIH grants.

The proposed three-grant limit is the latest in a series of attempts by the NIH, made over the years with limited success, to help younger researchers compete against more senior colleagues who have both the personal connections and the scientific experience to win relatively larger shares of federal grant support.
laboratory  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
Artificial pitches – safe, not perfect
For many years, sports players have been able to use all-weather pitches for football, rugby, lacrosse and gaelic sports. These playing surfaces often use rubber granules as infill. But are these granules safe? ECHA evaluated the health risks and our findings were published at the end of February 2017. The Commission is now deciding whether to take any further action. We spoke with Mark Blainey, Senior Scientific Officer in ECHA’s Risk Management Unit to ask what the findings in the report mean and what follow-up may be needed.


A low level of concern

Artificial sports pitches are used by a wide range of people – from children playing on them to professional athletes plying their trade. The safety of pitches has hit the headlines following concerns that exposure to rubber granules was linked with health risks including increased rates of cancer.

“When assessing chemicals that could cause cancer, the risk is never totally zero,” Mr Blainey explains and continues, “this is because very small amounts can theoretically cause an effect. Cancer risk is therefore expressed as the extra number of cancers that might statistically be expected from a measured exposure to the chemical”.

For example, rubber does contain some substances that are carcinogenic, and so do rubber granules. Substances commonly found in the recycled rubber granules include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, phthalates, volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic hydrocarbons (SVOCs).
Europe  public  discovery  environmental  metals 
11 days ago
EMA: Seed spill unlikely to cause much damage
PENDLETON – A farming accident dumped about 200 acres worth of seed treated with fertilizer and pesticide into a creek near Pendleton Baptist Church on Wednesday.

Madison County Emergency Management Agency and hazardous materials teams worked to stop chemicals from the seeds, a mix of soybean and corn seeds pretreated with Beck’s Escalate Yield Enhancement System, from making their way into Fall Creek from the spill site near 207 W. Old Indiana 132.

The company transporting the seed is financially responsible for the spill.

Fish in the tributary, which feeds into Fall Creek, are the most susceptible to harm because of the spill, though because the spill was into a moving waterway, the threat to wildlife was diminished.

“From everything we read, there was no threat to humans, though there was a risk that in high concentrations could have negative impact on water wildlife,” said Todd Harmeson, deputy director and public information officer for EMA. “There actually was tadpole swimming around right where the spill was, so that really shows the lowered impact."
us_IN  transportation  release  response  ag_chems  pesticides 
11 days ago
Oil Spill Lessons
Two years after the Refugio Oil Spill, county supervisors are still second-guessing the emergency response they thought could have spared the state beach from 142,000 gallons of crude oil. They pointed to several ways cleanup vessels could have worked faster and more efficiently.

Framing the discussion was a healthy dose of party politics. First out of the gate, Peter Adam, arch-conservative county supervisor, complained the board had already discussed the incident ad nauseam. He argued the oil spilled in the 2015 incident was a tiny fraction of that in Santa Barbara’s infamous 1969 spill. County Supervisor Das Williams, an outspoken environmentalist who worked on state legislation to enhance emergency oil response, objected: “If this small of a spill could create this much damage, what would happen to our community with a catastrophically large spill?” County Supervisor Janet Wolf, who headed response efforts, added, “It was a nightmare. The impact was huge.”

The exchange perfectly embodied the polarization of oil drilling in Santa Barbara. While North County conservatives say oil drilling provides necessary revenues for strapped county coffers, the environmental community on the South Coast has become increasingly hostile to any new drilling.
us_CA  public  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
11 days ago
Victims of Hazardous Waste in Mojokerto Ask for Komnas HAM's Help  
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Villagers of Lakardowo in Mojokerto district, East Java, are asking for help from the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) over alleged hazardous waste pollution in the village. Hazardous waste management company PT Putra Restu Ibu Abadi (PRIA) allegedly has stockpiled hazardous materials since 2010, polluting local wells in the process.

“We hope that the Komnas HAM would visit Lakardowo, hold dialogues with residents and hear our testimony and former plant workers who were involved in stockpiling hazardous waste in PT PRIA plant area,” Lakardowo Resident Presidium (Pendowo Bangkit) chairman Nurasim.

Pendowo Bankit also asks Komnas HAM to question the central government, East Java provincial government and Mojokerto administration over fresh water supply to the people. The people view that water pollution is attributable to the negligence of local agencies, namely the Environment and Forestry Office (LHK) and the Environment Agency of the province and regency.

“We also urge government institutions to prevent pollution from spreading further and mitigate its impacts on people’s health,” he said.

Data from Pendowo Bangkit said that at least 500 head of household in three villages have been affected by land, water and air pollution. Stockpiles of hazardous wastes allegedly polluted local wells, whereas the smoke from burning waste has led to respiratory problems.
Colombia  public  discovery  environmental  wastes 
11 days ago
Update: Truck driver was ill, but shipment was routine, posed no threat to public
Authorities investigated a truck shipment labeled radioactive after a driver was reported ill on Wednesday afternoon, and they found the shipment was routine and posed no threat to the public, the Oak Ridge Fire Department said.

The Oak Ridge Fire Department responded to the call of the truck driver who was ill on Oak Ridge Turnpike near Newport Drive at about 11:50 a.m. Wednesday.

When they arrived, firefighters saw the truck and its flatbed trailer were transporting hazardous waste, so as they evaluated the patient, the Fire Department said in a City of Oak Ridge press release.

Firefighters also followed procedure to evaluate the shipment to ensure there was no association with the truck driver’s illness, the press release said.

“Officials closed that section of the Oak Ridge Turnpike as a precautionary measure until the patient could be evaluated and transported to the local hospital,” the press release said. “The truck was relocated off of the state highway to a city parking lot for additional evaluation and the highway was re-opened.”
us_TN  transportation  discovery  injury  radiation  waste 
11 days ago
School Under Fire for Pepper-Spraying Students as Part of Criminal Science Class
A group of Ohio high school students learned the hard way how painful pepper spray can be.

Read: Doctor Explains Teen's Caffeine Overdose Death: 'A Perfect Storm of Stimulation'

The teenagers were heard screaming in agony as the effects of the spray kicked in.

The group of teens at Barberton High School in Ohio willingly participated with their parents' consent on how effective and potent pepper spray can be.

“It's like a volcano in my eyes!” one student shouted.

The shocking video, shot by a parent, is causing a firestorm on social media.

“Horrifying,” one person called it.

“No one should have to go through this,” said another.

Another added: “They're being sprayed with a toxic substance."

It happened during a class on criminal science technology, and the teacher is the town’s former police chief.

The parents of each participating student signed waivers that warned: “Each student will receive a quick ‘burst’ with this chemical agent. It will cause irritation and a burning sensation to the eyes and nasal area for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour."
us_OH  education  discovery  injury  pepper_spray 
11 days ago
Chemical odor from house demolition shuts down Hawaii school
HONOLULU (AP) — An elementary school in Honolulu was closed Tuesday after the demolition of a nearby house released a noxious chemical odor.

Kahala Elementary School students and faculty were instructed to shelter in place in climate-controlled classrooms while fire crews investigated, Honolulu Fire Capt. David Jenkins said. School officials then called parents to pick up their children.

First responders assessed 17 students and three adults at the school for complaints of headaches, nausea and dizziness.

No patients had to be taken to the hospital.

"No one was actually poisoned by the chemical, it's just the fumes are noxious and they make you feel like upset stomach and a little dizzy," Battalion Chief Geoffrey Chang said.

Class were expected to resume Wednesday.

"The demolition company should have asked first if the homeowner was aware of anything," said Chris Forbes of Island Construction and Demolition. "They can come out, check for any contaminants and file a report prior to demolition."
us_HI  education  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Leaking truck streaks chemical onto Portland road
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A chemical leak not only stopped a commercial box truck from making its rounds, it also stopped the traffic around it as well.

Emergency crews strung warning tape along Congress Street in Portland on Wednesday morning to keep the public a safe distance away from a truck belonging to Anderson Insulation.

A police officer stopped the truck near the fire station on Munjoy Hill after noticing it had sprung some sort of a leak. After initial work by firefighters to contain the leak, the operation was turned over to a hazardous material team in protective gear.

Warning tape limited the flow of traffic on Congress Street in Portland until crews cleaned up the chemical that was leaking from an Anderson Insulation truck  

Assistant Fire Chief Keith Gautreau identified the chemical as a polymer used to make insulation. It was being stored in a 55 gallon drum that was found to have cracked, leaking 10 gallons into the truck and another 15 onto the ground. Gautreau said only the liquid form of the chemical is hazardous and only when released into an enclosed space.
us_ME  transportation  release  response  plastics 
11 days ago
What happens after a chemical spill?
The Local Emergency Planning Committee met Tuesday and got a rundown on some chemicals in various parts of Boone County and reactions necessary in an emergency.
Harrison Fire Department training officer Jeremy Sansing said local businesses are required to submit a list of chemicals — such as fuels, acids and the like — they have at their locations. They are compiled on a Tier II list, supplied to the Office of Emergency Management and then to the LEPC.
Sansing gave committee members an example of a chemical called “styrene,” a precursor to polystyrene.
Thorpe Plant Services, the former Tankinetics, uses styrene and had listed 25,000 pounds of the chemical on hand at the plant, Sansing said.
He said that if the entire supply of the chemical spilled at one time, although unlikely, it would require evacuations of people within a half-mile radius.
However, if winds began to spread the vapor, the evacuation area could be expanded in a linear fashion to up to two miles or more with varying degrees of danger in the area.
us_NC  public  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
Rate of EPA Chemical Regulation Ramps Up Since Toxics Law Update
The Environmental Protection Agency has been regulating more new chemicals since the Toxic Substances Control Act was overhauled than it did before, according to a snapshot of its work over the past 11 months.

“It’s definitely harder to get a new chemical to market,” Charles Auer, a former senior EPA chemicals official told Bloomberg BNA. Auer now is a senior regulatory and policy adviser for the Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. law firm.

Auer, who spent 32 years working on chemicals at EPA, said he had expected the new law to double or triple the number of regulations the agency would impose on new chemicals, Instead the agency’s regulation rate is vastly exceeding his expectations.

Prior to the law’s update, about 10 percent of new chemicals were regulated in some way, Auer said. A snapshot of information the EPA released May 17 suggests about 50 percent of new chemicals are being regulated since TSCA was amended, he said.
public  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
Explosion as bomb squad brings end to alert involving 'unstable' chemical in Henleaze
A controlled explosion has been carried out to dispose of an 'unstable substance' in Henleaze.

Fire crews were called to Park Grove shortly before 3.30pm today, when what was described as an ‘unstable substance’ was found at a house in the street.

Nearby Henleaze Infant and Junior schools - which were already finishing for the day - were evacuated and residents were told to keep their distance, as police and firefighters set up a 50-metre safety perimeter.

Remaining pupils were ushered out of a side entrance to avoid the cordoned-off area.

Bomb squad truck in Park Grove, Henleaze, scene of an alert over an 'unstable substance'
The school later confirmed that all the pupils were safe.

Eventually the cordon was relaxed and Park Grove residents were allowed to re-enter their homes, but they were told to ensure all windows and doors were shut.

One mother, who had been waiting for around an hour, said: "We were all told to leave very quickly.

"It was a bit frustrating because I've got a cake in the oven. I did manage to turn the oven off before I left."

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit were called to tackle the mystery substance and arrived on the scene shortly before 6.40pm.

Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal unit truck at the scene of today's alert in Park Grove, Henleaze
At around 7.05pm a loud bang was heard as the soldiers carried out a controlled explosion to make the chemical safe.

Avon Fire and Rescue service said that the substance had been taken into the school playing field and surrounded by sand bags before the controlled explosion.

It was later revealed that the substance was picric acid, a volatile chemical which caused a similar alert when some was discovered at Clifton College last year.
United_Kingdom  public  discovery  response  picric_acid  time-sensitive 
11 days ago
Authorities caution against use of science experiment that injured 12 students
Five-year-old Kate Earnest remembered a bang, a flash and then screaming.

She and her classmates at The Yellow School, a day school at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in the Memorial Villages area, had been watching their teacher conduct a seemingly innocuous science experiment Tuesday.

The teacher poured an accelerant - in this case methanol - onto chemical salts in bowls, said David Foster, police chief with the Village Police Department.

The salts would burn at different light frequencies, creating a rainbow.

But when the teacher didn't see an undetected flame already in one of the bowls, the teacher poured in more methanol from a plastic bottle, Foster said.

The results were frightening. The additional methanol onto the flame essentially created a rocket effect, shooting fire out of the bottle and into Kate and her classmates, seated about 10 feet away.

The so-called Rainbow Fire experiment is common nationwide as a way to show differences in atomic structures, said Kristen Kulinowski, a board member of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

The safety board has been asking teachers since 2013 to question whether the experiment is really necessary in their classrooms. And, in a setting like The Yellow School, where students are between 3 and kindergarten, Kulinowski questioned whether it was worth the risk.

Students were sitting outside watching the experiment around 12:30 p.m. , supervised by at least half a dozen teachers, Foster said.

"It appeared they took as many precautions as they could," Foster said. "Short of not doing the experiment."
us_TX  education  follow-up  environmental  methanol 
11 days ago
OSHA Issues Chemical Process Safety Management Reports for Small Businesses and Storage Facilities
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued two reports on the safe management of hazards by small businesses and storage facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals in business processes.

In 1994, OSHA outlined the requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals in its Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHC) standard (29 CFR 1910.119). OSHA said the standard is intended to help prevent or minimize unexpected releases of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases associated with these processes. The agency said the standard emphasizes the establishment of a “comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures, and best management practices.”

In its small businesses report, OSHA said, “Catastrophic HHC release events continue to occur among smaller companies.” It said one study estimated that employers with 1-25 employees are 47 times more likely to have a release and 17 times more likely to suffer an injury, per employee, than facilities with 1,500 or more employees. It said that the release of highly hazardous chemicals not only risks worker safety, but the safety of surrounding populations and structures because small businesses often are located in populated areas.

In its report for storage facilities, OSHA said that, between 1997 and 2013, “numerous” incidents at storage facilities have caused serious injuries and fatalities to employees. It said storage facilities typically have considerably less complex process safety issues than facilities with large chemical manufacturing operations, which may make compliance easier and less costly.
industrial  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
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