Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world's most dangerous pathogens
A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.

China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations. But Chinese microbiologists are celebrating their entrance to the elite cadre empowered to wrestle with the world’s greatest biological threats.

“It will offer more opportunities for Chinese researchers, and our contribution on the BSL‑4-level pathogens will benefit the world,” says George Gao, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology in Beijing. There are already two BSL-4 labs in Taiwan, but the National Bio-safety Laboratory, Wuhan, would be the first on the Chinese mainland.
China  laboratory  discovery  environmental 
20 hours ago
Chemical reaction causes Biloxi library to be evacuated
The Margaret Sherry Library on Popp’s Ferry Road was evacuated briefly as a precaution after waste in a garbage truck created a chemical reaction during a stop Tuesday.

Biloxi Fire Deputy Chief of Operations Jeff Merrill said a Waste Pro truck was at the library when the incident occurred. Merrill said the Biloxi Fire Department sent a team to investigate and found muriatic acid, a chemical commonly found in household cleaners and other uses.

Merrill said the substance was removed from the truck and was being disposed of safely.
us_MS  transportation  release  response  hydrochloric_acid  waste 
20 hours ago
6 adults, 1 child treated after chemical spill at Fishers YMCA
FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Six adults and one child were treated after a chemical spill at a Fishers YMCA Tuesday morning.

A Fishers Fire Department official said those treated were transported with non-life-threatening respiratory issues from the YMCA on 126th Street around 11:30 a.m. An additional 11 people were checked and released at the scene.

Captain John Mehling said the chemical was believed to be a chemical release. Officials on scene said the chlorine spill was in the pool area, but the chemical dissipated quickly.

The building was evacuated while people were treated..
us_IN  public  release  response  chlorine 
20 hours ago
Students briefly evacuated at Fayetteville HS after haze found inside school
A Hazmat team was called to Fayetteville High School Tuesday after haze was found inside a building, according to Mauro Campos with the Fayetteville Fire Dept.

The school initially thought the haze was smoke from a science experiment that had been pulled into the school's HVAC system. The fire department called a Hazmat team to the scene.

Crews discovered the haze inside was not necessarily smoke, and the experiment would not have created that haze. Instead, they believe the HVAC system pulled something outside the building to the inside.

Students were sent to the Bulldog Activity & Recreation Center, the alert said. Students were allowed back in class at about 12:15 p.m.
us_AR  laboratory  release  response  unknown_chemical 
20 hours ago
Close call as fuel tanker truck burns up in Dawson City
Quick thinking and a daring act may have saved Dawson City from a major disaster in the town's industrial area on Sunday.

A fire broke out in the cab of a fuel truck that was parked in the area. Fire chief Jim Regimbal says the truck was close to a building and three other fuel trucks — some of them full. 

"It could have been a very ugly scene," Regimbal said. "Bulk fuel all over the area and no hydrants in place. So worst case scenario, you've got four fully-involved vehicles, explosions, a workshop with injuries."

People on the scene quickly called 911.

Instead of idly waiting for fire crews, someone leaped into action to contain the damage. 

"They actually hooked onto the tanker and pulled it back from the building a few feet," said deputy fire chief Dave Taylor. "It wasn't too far away from the building."

Firefighters arrived shortly after and doused the blaze. Nobody was hurt and damage was restricted to the one vehicle. 

"Is it something that I would recommend, that people jump in vehicles and move them away when the vehicle beside them is on fire? No," Regimbal said.

"But fantastic quick thinking probably averted what could have been a much uglier situation."

It's not known yet what caused the fire, but Taylor says fire officials believe it was electrical.
Canada  transportation  fire  response  other_chemical 
21 hours ago
Chemical Plant Boom Spurred by Fracking Will Bring Smog, Plastic Glut and Risks to Workers' Health
On the heels of the shale gas rush that's swept the U.S. for the past decade, another wave of fossil fuel-based projects is coming -- a plastic and petrochemical manufacturing rush that environmentalists warn could make smog worse in communities already breathing air pollution from fracking, sicken workers, and expand the plastic trash gyres in the world's oceans.

"Thanks to abundant supplies of natural gas, the U.S. chemical industry is investing in new facilities and expanded production capacity, which tends to attract downstream industries that rely on petrochemical products," the American Chemistry Council's President and CEO, Cal Dooley, said in a January press release. "As of this month, 281 chemical industry projects valued at $170 billion have been announced, about half of which are completed or under construction."

A new Food and Water Watch report, How Fracking Supports the Plastic Industry, calls attention to the dark side of those plans, warning of air and water pollution and the risk to people's health, especially for those taking jobs in the plastics industry.
public  discovery  environmental  petroleum  plastics 
HAZMAT incident under investigation, SA
Police are investigating an incident at Elizabeth early this morning in which a man was exposed to an unknown substance, according to SA Police.

The man was outside the Elizabeth Shopping Centre about 1am (21 February) when he was approached by a man who, after a short conversation, offered him a free ticket.

The man took the ticket but after a short time, he became ill and was taken to Lyell McEwin Hospital for treatment.

Police and MFS crews attended and a section of the hospital was cordoned off as a precaution.

Hospital staff who dealt with the man reported suffering similar symptoms and along with the original patient, were decontaminated by MFS.

Everyone has recovered and services at the hospital have since returned to normal.

Elizabeth CIB are investigating the incident and have seized items for forensic analysis.

There was no threats made and the two men were not known to each other.

The man who offered the ticket is described as being of Caucasian appearance, aged in his late 30’s, tall with a slim build, black medium length hair and unshaven. He was wearing long grey pants and a black jacket.
Australia  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
30 evacuated after thermometer breaks in Penang hospital, AsiaOne Malaysia News
GEORGE TOWN - Some 20 patients and 10 nurses were evacuated after a thermometer filled with mercury broke at the Penang Hospital's cardiology ward.

Perak Road fire station operation commander Kamarul Ariffin Abd Ghani said they received a distress call from the hospital at 11.50am yesterday and a Hazmat (hazardous materials) team together with firemen were deployed to the scene.

"When we arrived, the patients and nurses were already a distance from where a thermometer broke.

"The hazardous mercury was cleared up within 30 minutes," he said at the scene.
Malaysia  public  release  response  mercury 
Bill would create 'Amber Alerts' for chemical emergencies
If there's a tornado warning or a kidnapped child, your phone might wake you at 3 a.m.
But if there's a cloud of chlorine gas descending on your neighborhood, it's anybody's guess who will let you know, and when.
A state lawmaker has filed a bill to bridge the gap in emergency notification.
It would create a system to push alerts to mobile phones during any chemical mishap that would "substantially endanger human health or the environment."
Chemical fires and releases across Houston in the last year, and the Houston Chronicle's Chemical Breakdown series, have shed light on problems with toxic stockpiles and emergency response. The bill's backers hope the added attention will drive the legislation forward.
The bill would create a statewide "opt-out" system, meaning phone users would get the alerts unless they deliberately choose not to, just as some Amber Alerts and weather warnings are pushed to mobile phones automatically. Currently, decisions about chemical alerts are left up to a patchwork of local agencies, which may release conflicting information or fail to notify the public at all.
us_TX  public  follow-up  environmental 
Crews contain HazMat spill at chemical company in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 20, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Crews quickly contained a HazMat spill at a chemical manufacturer and distributor Monday morning.

Salt Lake City Fire Department tweeted at 9:15 a.m. that nitric acid, a highly corrosive mineral acid, spilled from a railcar at the Thatcher Group, Inc., at 1905 W. Fortune Rd. (1230 South).

The spill, the size of which is still to be determined, was quickly contained by fire crews.
us_UT  transportation  release  response  nitric_acid 
Semi overturns, spills chemical inhalant
HANNIBAL, Mo. -- A semi-truck traveling on Mo. 168 just north of Hannibal went off the road and overturned Monday, spilling the chemical it was carrying.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol received the call at about 10:45 a.m.

"The driver said he felt his weight shift. He then traveled off the road," Trooper James Johnson said.

The semi driver, Anid Turan, 25, of St. Louis, was the only occupant in the vehicle and was uninjured, Johnson said.

The chemical that the driver was hauling to BASF Agricultural Products Group in Palmyra was lupranate mio isocyanate, a resin-based iron product, said John Hark, director of Hannibal/Marion County Emergency Management. It is an inhalant that can cause mild eye and nose irritation.

"The best thing about it -- even though it is considered hazardous -- is that the materials do not have to be placarded," Hark said, referring to the diamond-shaped hazardous material sign affixed to vehicles hauling hazardous materials. "They're not that dangerous, and under these circumstances, we do not have to do an evacuation, which I'm very thankful for."

The hazardous materials team assessed the extent and status of the spill before tow trucks pulled the semi upright and removed it.
us_MO  transportation  release  response  resin 
Spontaneous combustion eyed as cause of massive mulch fire
Investigators are working to determine if spontaneous combustion started a massive fire in a huge pile of unfinished mulch at a Kansas City, Kansas mulch manufacturer early Monday morning.

The unfinished mulch at C.S. Carey near 65th Street and Kansas Avenue caught fire at some point overnight, triggering a large, smoldering fire that has been difficult to put out.

Fire crews are using a large ladder and hose to try to douse the flames. Large plumes of smoke continue to rise from the fire.

Workers on scene said the mulch can spontaneously combust if it gets a little wet. The moisture apparently starts a chemical reaction that can cause it to catch fire.
us_KS  industrial  fire  response  other_chemical 
East Bay chemical company accused of smuggling hazardous chemicals
An East Bay chemical company and its owner are being indicted on charges of smuggling hazardous materials and conspiracy to defraud the U.S., federal prosecutors announced Friday.
The indictment alleges that 53-year-old Peiwen Zhou of Palo Alto, and his Union City-based company, AK Scientific, conspired to smuggle hazardous materials into the country and illegally transported chemicals them by mislabeling and improperly packaging hazardous materials.
Zhou was the founder, owner and chief executive officer of AK Scientific. The company purchased research and specialty chemicals from chemical supply companies in other countries, including South Korea, Poland, India and New Zealand. The company would then sell those chemicals to customers that include universities and research laboratories.

According to the indictment, Zhou and his company smuggled the hazardous chemicals into the country by mislabeling the contents of containers and failed to complete required import certifications.
If convicted, Zhou could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for smuggling, and up to five years and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy. AK Scientific could also face several years of probation and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, federal prosecutors said.
us_CA  laboratory  discovery  response  unknown_chemical  illegal 
2 days ago
Bengaluru's Bellandur lake catches fire again
Once again  Bengaluru's Bellandur lake is in headlines and this time also for wrong reasons. Bellandur lake which is the largest lake in the IT city of India caught fire again on Thursday (February 16). 

Bellandur lake is said to be most polluted water bodies in India. This is not the first time that the lake is on fire.The lake is famous for being polluted and foam spills that reached even the roads once.

According to some survey in 2015, three lakes of the city were full of toxic substances and were churning up the foam that overflowed to the road.

The lake caught fire on Thursday because of dumping of toxic substances, hazardous chemicals in the lake. A part of the lake caught fire with smoke reaching nearby flyover and apartments that alerted the police the accident.

KU Ramesh  who is currently the deputy director at Karnataka Fire Department told media that "Usually, a pile of garbage strewn around the lake is set on fire, but yesterday it caused a scare among residents and motorists as the smoke started billowing and surrounding the lake in the evening.”
India  public  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago
Explosions, fires at giant Torrance gas refinery prompt regulators to step up as protests mount
Smog regulators said Sunday they are “very disappointed” with repeated explosions and fires at the Torrance Refining Company, and announced plans for a hearing to investigate smog coming from a series of explosions at the gasoline refinery.

South Coast Air Quality Management District officials announced the action one day after a fire broke out in the massive refinery, at 3700 W. 190th St. Firefighters were called to the plant just before 6 a.m. Saturday, and plant employees and firefighters had the fire out in about 30 minutes, according to Torrance firefighters.

The AQMD’ chairman, William A. Burke, said Sunday that the frequent explosions have caused smoke, as gas and petrochemical residue is “flared” — disposed of by burning in violation of AQMD smog permits.

“Residents have suffered too long from excess air pollution due to preventable flaring, not to mention fear if the next potential accident at the refinery,” Burke said in an unusual weekend statement.

Following Saturday’s fire, demonstrators turned out at the plant to protest against the plant’s environmental safety record.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
2 days ago
Hazmat crews cleaning up chemical spill
Houston Fire Department is cleaning up a hydrocloric acid that leaked from a tanker truck in South Houston.
No damages or injuries have been reported in the spill in the 2000 block of Texas 3, which was reported around 6:40 p.m., authorities said.
Two hazmat teams and other HFD units are doing the cleanup, officials said. The chemical is corrosive and can cause burns on contact.
us_tx  transportation  release  response  hydrochloric_acid 
3 days ago
Fire Breaks Out At Torrance Refinery On 2-Year Mark Of Blast
TORRANCE (CBSLA.com/AP) – An explosion and fire erupted Saturday at a Torrance oil refinery, exactly two years after a blast that crippled the plant and led to higher gasoline prices, authorities said.

No injuries were reported from the Torrance Refining Com at 3700 W. 190th St. and there were no evacuations or damage to any buildings outside the refinery, Assistant Fire Chief Steve Treskes said.

Three dozen firefighters using heavy streams of water battled flames that rose 40 feet in the air, and the fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes, Treskes said.

“All safety systems at the refinery operated properly and all personnel are safe and accounted for,” Betsy Brien, a spokeswoman for the refinery owner, New Jersey-based PBF Energy Inc., said in a statement.

There was no immediate word on damage or the cause of the blast. However, most of the refinery continued to operate, Brien said.

The blast came on the anniversary of a Feb. 18, 2015, explosion that slightly injured four contractors, destroyed a large part of the refinery, rocked the neighboring community 20 miles southwest of Los Angeles and sent a fine white ash raining down on nearby homes and cars.

In fact, activists had planned a protest at the plant on Saturday to mark the incident and demand a ban on the use of a highly toxic and volatile chemical, modified hydrofluoric acid.
us_ca  industrial  fire  response  petroleum 
3 days ago
CDC temporarily halts work at biosafety labs because of air hose concerns
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has temporarily suspended work at its most secure biosafety lab that handles dangerous pathogens because air hoses that are part of the required full-body protective suits worn by lab workers were not certified for breathable air, officials said Friday.

About 100 employees have worked in the labs, at CDC’s Atlanta headquarters, since the air hoses were introduced in 2008. There is no evidence that any of the employees were exposed to infectious agents or to hazardous material from breathing air through the hoses, said Stephan Monroe, CDC’s associate director for laboratory science and safety.

“There have been no reports of acute health effects during the entire time” the hoses have been in use in the labs, Monroe said.

The problem was discovered during a routine inventory check Monday, and work at the labs was immediately suspended out of an abundance of caution, he said. The three affected labs are part of CDC’s highest-security biosafety lab complex, known as BSL-4, where researchers work on some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens, including Ebola and Marburg viruses.
us_GA  laboratory  discovery  response 
4 days ago
Firefighters turned off two tanks in deadly chemical leak at Xytex
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - New insight about the investigation into the nitrogen leak at sperm bank. The leak killed a Richmond County deputy and a Xytex employee is still fighting for her life.

A report we got from the fire department shows firefighters turned off not just one valve to the tank but a second valve as well. The second valve was connected to the older tank which Xytex had told the fire marshal was not in operation. Remember the fire marshal cited Xytex and the nitrogen supplier Airgas for not having permits and inspection on either tank.

The report also states firefighters first went in and found Sgt. Greg Meagher. They removed him and then went back in to find Anita Wylds. Wylds is the Xytex employee who ran inside the building to turn off the nitrogen. Sgt. Meagher lost his life trying to rescue her.

Airgas is the company which installed the tank. It also services and refills it. The fire marshal told us the tank did not have a leak but his department is still investigating Airgas.
us_GA  public  follow-up  death  nitrogen 
4 days ago
One injured in chemical fire at Parr Technologies in Elkhart
ELKHART — A 600 gallon tank of mineral spirits caught fire Friday morning at Parr Technologies in Elkhart.
One employee was transported to a hospital from the scene with minor burns. A first responder said the employee had been splashed by a chemical.
The company's website says it makes taps, adhesives, sealants, and water-based coatings.
us_IN  industrial  fire  injury  adhesives 
4 days ago
OSHA investigating fire, explosion that injured three at Upper Macungie lab
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating what police called a minor chemical explosion Thursday that injured three workers in a semiconductor lab at the Tek Park campus in Upper Macungie Township.

The employees of CyOptics Inc. were changing out canisters containing what is believed to be the chemical trimethylindium when the explosion took place, according to OSHA spokeswoman Joanna Hawkins.

Emergency crews were dispatched just after 10 a.m. to the lab at the office and technology campus at 9999 Hamilton Blvd., on a report of a small chemical explosion and fire.

Grant Grim, the township's emergency management coordinator, said one employee suffered a laceration and two others were hurt in the blast after the chemical they were using ignited on contact with air. They and others working in the lab were decontaminated.

Trimethylindium is described as an organometallic compound used in the manufacture of semiconductors, but it can be dangerous or explosive when mixed with other compounds and can spontaneously ignite when it makes contact with air.
us_PA  laboratory  explosion  injury  other_chemical 
4 days ago
Hazmat responds to Ingredion plant after accidentally tripped alarm
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- An accidentally tripped alarm caused a scene at Ingredion in Cedar Rapids. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department responded to the plant on 1st St. SW around 5:00 p.m. on Friday evening.

Investigators evacuated a portion of the plant and a nearby skate park as a precuation. After entering the building, firefighters discovered no signs of a nitrogen leak. They later determined it was an accidental alarm.

The alarm did cause the automated sprinkler system to go off inside the plant. No one was hurt.
us_IA  industrial  release  response  nitrogen 
4 days ago
Newburgh residents' levels of chemical in blood higher than national average
CITY OF NEWBURGH – Current and former Newburgh residents tested for the toxic chemical behind the closure of the city's primary water supply last May have levels above the national average, according to documents being mailed along with individual results.

Results for the first 370 people tested in response to the discovery of high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, in Newburgh's Washington Lake show a middle level of 16 parts per billion, three times higher than the national figure of 5.2.

Half of those tested had results about the middle level and half below.

City of Newburgh resident Cynthia Mack received her results Friday. She tested at 21.7 parts per billion for PFOS, which is part of a family of chemicals linked to kidney and testicular cancers, low infant birth weight and other health problems.

"I have all kinds of emotions right now," said Mack, whose son and daughter also had levels above the national figure. "I want to know exactly what the numbers mean to me."
us_NY  public  discovery  environmental  toxics 
4 days ago
Emergency declared after paint factory fire in Guadalajara
Schools and roads were closed and residents warned against air pollution yesterday afternoon after a paint factory caught fire in the El Rosario neighborhood of Guadalajara.

The Jalisco Environment Secretariat declared an atmospheric emergency within a one-kilometer radius in the municipality’s industrial zone at 3:00pm and urged citizens to avoid the contamination.

Among recommendations issued by the Atmospheric Monitoring System were to avoid outdoor activities such as recreation and exercise, keep doors and windows closed and avoid going outdoors without a mask.

Firefighters were called in from various communities to help control the blaze, which destroyed nearly half the 7,000-square-meter building.

Authorities evacuated more than 2,000 people from the area and classes were suspended for at least 1,600 students in nearby schools.

There was no one hurt in the fire and firefighters, who fought it for four hours, succeeded in preventing it from spreading to other buildings. Several explosions could be heard while the fire burned as chemical containers varying in size from 20,000 to 200,000 liters blew up.
Mexico  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
5 days ago
3 hurt in small explosion at Tek Park in Upper Macungie
UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - Emergency crews responded to the report of a small explosion at a technology campus in Lehigh County on Thursday.

First responders were dispatched around 10:10 a.m. to Tek Park in Upper Macungie Township for a small chemical explosion.

Officials on the scene told 69 News that it was an isolated issue with a dust particle that hit the air and ignited in the Cyoptics lab in the rear of the building. Cyoptics works with fiber optics. 

Three people were taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, officials said. A police officer was also taken to a hospital as a precaution.

About seven others involved had to be decontaminated, according to emergency crews.

The building was not evacuated, officials said.
us_PA  laboratory  explosion  injury  dust 
5 days ago
Chemical spill at Nuffield medical centre sparks evacuation
According to reports, chemical fumes “overwhelmed someone” at its hydrotherapy pool at the orthopaedic centre.

An official statement on the Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust revealed two staff members are being treated.

Melanie Proudfoot, a spokeswoman for the Headington hospital, said: "We understand the fire service is dealing with an incident at the hydrotherapy pool.
United_Kingdom  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
5 days ago
Student accidently makes explosive chemical used in 7/7, Paris, & Brussels terrorist attacks — RT UK
A university student accidentally created a highly explosive chemical in a college science lab, the same substance used by terrorists in the 7/7 London bombings of 2005 and the Paris massacre of November 2015.
An investigation into the incident, which took place at the University of Bristol last week, confirmed that the unnamed PhD student had “unintentionally formed” 90g of the chemical triacetone triperoxide, also known as TATP.

The dangerous substance was the by-product of a “routine procedure,” thought to be another academically relevant experiment.
United_Kingdom  laboratory  follow-up  response  explosives 
5 days ago
Sulphuric acid cloud from chemical plant accident triggers evacuations as 150 residents suffer breathing problems
Over 150 people have been treated for breathing problems after an accident at a chemical plant sent a cloud of sulfuric acid gas floating over a German city.

Police and firefighters evacuated dozens of people from homes and businesses near to the complex in Oberhausen where the spillage occurred on Thursday morning.

Authorities took to Twitter and Facebook to warn all residents in the metropolis in the old industrial Ruhr region to close all windows and doors and to avoid going outside.
Germany  industrial  release  response  sulfuric_acid 
5 days ago
Chemical spill prompts evacuations in National City
NATIONAL CITY (CNS) - An unplanned chemical reaction at a South Bay cleaning-supplies business sent up a plume of noxious gas into the air Thursday, prompting precautionary evacuations of surrounding homes and workplaces.
An oxidizing agent in a 55-gallon plastic drum began burning behind Prochem Specialty Products in the 100 block of East 18th Street in National City about 8:45 a.m., according to police and fire officials.
Workers at the business tried in vain to halt the out-of-control chemical reaction with extinguishers prior to the arrival of firefighters, city emergency-services Director Frank Parra said.
Police cleared everyone out of homes and businesses on 17th and 18th streets between B Avenue and National City Boulevard and directed people in other neighborhoods to the east, including students and staffers at two schools, to remain indoors until further notice.
By late morning, the unstable chemical compound had "pretty much burned itself out'' and melted the barrel that had contained it, Parra said.
us_CA  industrial  release  response  oxidizer 
5 days ago
Alameda: Block reopens after hazmat response
ALAMEDA — Firefighters have reopened a block after a hazardous materials team response to an apartment building Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Just before 10:30 a.m., Alameda firefighters received report of a natural-gas release at the building in the 700 block of Central Avenue, Alameda fire Capt. James Colburn said.

When firefighters arrived, they found a small amount of a solid substance they could not immediately identify and reached out to Alameda County Fire Department’s hazardous-materials team. Firefighters then evacuated the apartment building.

Twenty-one firefighters from both departments came on the scene Thursday afternoon, continuing their investigation, but as of 2:30 p.m., residents were being permitted to return to homes, and most crews were leaving the scene.

“The hazmat team has decided that the substance is not a threat,” Colburn said. “They did enough analysis to determine it’s not an environmental risk and doesn’t pose a health hazard.”
us_CA  public  release  response  unknown_chemical  natural_gas 
5 days ago
International committee says push forward with human genome editing
Editing genomes in human germline cells—eggs and sperm—that can be passed on to future generations has been considered off-limits to scientists. But advancements in gene editing are catalyzing a change in the zeitgeist. On Feb. 14, a committee of scientists, doctors, lawyers, and ethicists from ten countries agreed that germline genome editing in humans may be permissible in the future, under a set of stringent conditions outlined in a report from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.
The 261 page National Academies document gives an expected green light to editing somatic cells—ones that cannot be passed to offspring—to treat disease. It also gives a “yield” signal to both germline editing and somatic edits used for improving the genes of someone who is not ill.
“Being cautious does not mean prohibition,” says R. Alta Charo, co-chair of the committee and professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. At a public meeting presenting the report she emphasized the need for more basic scientific research before proceeding with in-human trials.
Ethical concerns about editing human genes are decades old, but the rapid rise of the cheap and simple CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology has spurred debates anew. U.S. restrictions currently block federal funding for human germline editing, but scientists can still obtain funding for such work through other means.
laboratory  discovery  environmental 
6 days ago
Toxic cleaning chemical sparks evacuation of Motueka transfer station
A highly toxic cleaning chemical dumped at the Motueka Transfer Station sparked an emergency evacuation after staff fell ill and birds died.

The fire service responded to a suspected chemical spill at the transfer station in Robinson Rd about 10am on Thursday.

They were alerted by two staff who had become ill on site.

Staff receive medical attention after a at the Tasman District Council's transfer station near Motueka.

Motueka Deputy Fire Chief Mike Compton said staff had also seen several dead birds which indicated something might be wrong.

Staff were treated by St John paramedics at the scene.

The entrance to the transfer station was cordoned off while firefighters wearing chemical suits investigated the dump site.

Compton said they found a hazardous chemical in the pit.

"Once they identified it, we isolated it into a sealed unit. It was only a small amount, it was probably about 500mls," Compton said.

"And any product that had been contaminated around it was also put into the unit."

Tasman District Council spokesman Chris Choat said the chemical was a "very strong solvent" used for industrial-grade cleaning. It was most likely dumped on Thursday morning.

"It was just a small amount left in a drum, but it was enough to have an effect," Choat said.
New_Zealand  industrial  release  response  cleaners  solvent  waste 
6 days ago
Firefighters dive into unknown chemical threats
When the alarm sounds, firefighters often find themselves battling more than flames.

The large number of warehouses and old commercial buildings in St. Joseph raises questions about what kinds of chemicals are stored inside.

There are more than 500 businesses in Buchanan County that file required reports to the St. Joseph Fire Department every year to let them know that they are storing potentially hazardous chemicals.

On top of that, city officials have estimated that 10 percent of St. Joseph’s vacant building stock may contain some unknown stored chemicals. With older buildings, there may be no record of what’s inside when firefighters arrive.

“We’re going into the unknown most of the time,”said St. Joseph Fire Department Training Officer Bill Lamar. “It’s not until after we get on scene and are trying to fight the fire that we find out what we’re actually trying to fight up against.”
us_MO  industrial  discovery  environmental  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
FD: Chemicals from Department of Corrections training affect 8 kids in Florence
FLORENCE, AZ - Fire officials say eight Florence students have been treated after being exposed to tear gas that blew into the air near their school late Wednesday morning. 

According to the Florence Fire Department, the Arizona Department of Corrections was conducting training with a chemical normally used for inmate compliance. The weather caused the chemical to reach the children, who were at Florence K-8 near Pinal Parkway and Butte, causing throat and eye irritation. 

According to a release from the Florence Unified School District, the school was immediately put on a "rainy day" schedule so no additional students would go outside as Fire Department personnel responded to assist.

Fire officials initially reported that more than three dozen children had been affected, but district administrators later said only six were being treated for watery eyes and nausea.
us_AZ  education  release  response  tear_gas 
6 days ago
Official presses for more details about small chemical spill
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Kanawha County official is demanding more details about a small spill along the Kanawha River that apparently involved the same primary chemical that caused a water crisis in the area three years ago.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail (http://bit.ly/2kRRUeF ) reports County Commission President Kent Carper wrote a strongly worded letter Monday to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection regarding a small spill at a coal preparation facility last week.
State health officials have not given any indication that the local Cedar Grove drinking water supply had been contaminated or that the MCHM chemical had reached the river.
There also was no concern about potential contamination of West Virginia American Water's main Kanawha Valley water intake, since it is located on the Elk River, upstream from the Elk's intersection with the Kanawha.
us_WV  public  follow-up  environmental  unknown_chemical 
6 days ago
Leftover chemicals heighten the risk of barrel fires at refurbishing facilities
Firefighters knew immediately it wasn’t a routine assignment the night of Sept. 20, 2005, when they were called to Kitzinger Cooperage.

“When you get the call that flames are coming through the roof and that it’s Kitzinger Cooperage, it takes you up a few notches,” said Frank Lockwood, who recently retired as chief of the St. Francis Fire Department.

Kitzinger was in the business of refurbishing and recycling steel drums. Many of its customers were companies with flammable products such as paint, chemicals and oil.
us_WI  public  follow-up  environmental  flammables  waste 
6 days ago
Training and equipment improve in wake of anhydrous leak over Stewardson
Feb. 13--After 19 tons of potentially deadly anhydrous ammonia were released into the atmosphere over Stewardson in April, local emergency agencies and others began looking at ways to improve their response to such an emergency.

Stewardson Fire Chief Troy Agney said Jones Trucking Service in Stewardson donated three Level A hazmat suits and four practice hazmat suits to his department in the wake of the accident, which spurred the evacuation of 200 people from their homes and sent 20 to the hospital for treatment. There were no fatalities.

"It was a generous gift," Agney said of the new suits. "And we're very thankful for that."

A Jones transport truck was offloading about 20.5 tons of anhydrous ammonia at 5:30 a.m. on April 5 when a malfunction resulted in the release of about 19 tons of the compound that's used as fertilizer. Contact with it can cause watery eyes, runny noses and potentially crippling, or even fatal, respiratory issues. Those whose skin comes in contact with the gas risk caustic burns.

HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham treated the 20 people affected by the release. After a few hours, the vapor had blown outside of town and evacuated residents were told they could return home.
us_IL  transportation  follow-up  environmental  ammonia 
6 days ago
Minor HAZMAT situation reported at Skyline High School
IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Fire Department was called to Skyline High School Wednesday morning for a report of a HAZMAT situation.

Sodium metal was exposed to the air in a science chemical storage area, according to Idaho Falls Battalion Chief Paul Radford.

“The chemical can react when it comes in contact with the air,” Radford tells EastIdahoNews.com. “The situation was minor and is now contained.”

Idaho Falls School District 91 spokeswoman Margaret Wimborne says students in the area were temporarily evacuated to the commons area as a precautionary measure.

There were no reports of injuries or anybody feeling sick.
us_ID  laboratory  discovery  response  sodium 
6 days ago
Pepper spray fumes prompt evacuation of Garden Grove hotel
GARDEN GROVE – Pepper spray fumes caused the evacuation of one floor of the Candlewood Suites in Garden Grove on Wednesday night, authorities said.

There was a report of a “strange odor that overwhelmed” someone at the hotel at Garden Grove Boulevard and Haster Street at around 9:20 p.m., Garden Grove Fire Capt. Thanh Nguyen said.

Hazmat teams were called to the scene and 22 people were asked to leave rooms on the third floor while they investigated. After searching, hazmat workers discovered that a guest had sprayed pepper spray in their room, Nguyen said. Police officers were investigating why the spray was used.

The fumes spread and some people had been exposed when the smell was first reported but no one needed medical treatment, Nguyen said.

Firefighters were still ventilating the building at about 11:30 p.m., but guests were expected to be let back in soon after.
us_CA  public  release  injury  pepper_spray 
6 days ago
Uranium found in Phoenix house, not radioactive
Hazmat crews say they found no detectable levels of radiation at a Phoenix retirement community Monday after a woman discovered uranium in a lead case.

It happened at the Beatitudes Campus at 16th and Glendale avenues around 7:30 p.m.

According to firefighters, a woman was cleaning out the garage of her deceased father-in-law's retirement home when she found a lead case that had uranium inside, according to Phoenix Fire Department spokesperson Reda Bigler.

The father-in-law was a long-time chemist.
us_AZ  public  discovery  response  uranium 
7 days ago
Hazmat-suited firefighters check on spill
Barrie Fire and Emergency Services were called to the scene of a sodium hydrochloride spill in a storage building at the Bradford Street Wastewater Treatment Plant.

500 litres of the liquid, which is basically bleach but about seven per cent stronger than household bleach, spilled but was contained in the storage building.

Firefighters got the call at 3:41 p.m. Tuesday.

They donned Level A hazmat suits to enter the spill area to ensure it was contained and then used absorbal to help with clean up operations.

"Level A is the highest level of hazmat suit that we have but it is just precautionary," said Samantha Hoffmann, Barrie's Public Fire and Life Safety Officer.
Canada  industrial  release  response  bleach  water_treatment 
7 days ago
Harvest crews might be allowed hazmat fuel exemptions
PIERRE | A legislative panel gave its support Tuesday to an exemption for employees of custom harvesters to allow them to haul up to 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel without needing a hazardous materials endorsement.

The House Transportation Committee voted 10-0 to endorse House Bill 1124, submitted by Rep. Lana Greenfield, R-Doland.

Custom harvesters usually have their own combines and work freelance to harvest crops for farmers — usually for the same farm each harvest season. Machines have increased in size, and fuel isn’t readily available in some parts of rural South Dakota, Greenfield said. She added that harvesting could finish faster with the exemption.

Bruce Nelson, a harvester from Clark, said crews use “a lot of foreign help” who aren’t eligible for hazmat endorsements. He said Kansas has approved it and North Dakota is proceeding toward it.
us_SD  industrial  discovery  response  diesel 
7 days ago
Hoosick Falls chemical concerns spread to air
HOOSICK FALLS - There are more chemicals people in Hoosick Falls have to worry about. Honeywell found volatile organic compounds or VOCs while looking for sources of PFOA contamination.

Thirty-nine homes in the John Street area are being monitored for these VOC vapors. NewsChannel 13 knew about this contamination last week, but Tuesday night is the first time residents will get to ask experts questions about the dangerous chemicals.

If it's not the water, it could be the air in your house making you sick in Hoosick Falls.

Just as Vonda Grogan of First Street thought her PFOA nightmare was winding down, she got a call about VOCs from her brother.

"He called me up last night. He told me ‘So we got more problems.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘Well I got a letter saying they're going to be doing more work and they're going to have to take care of some issues.’ He said, ‘I don't know what they mean,’" explained Grogan.
us_NY  public  discovery  response  other_chemical 
7 days ago
Hazmat crews clean unknown chemical spill
Emergency crews quickly sprang into action to clean up a chemical spill in Whitehaven.

Just before 1 a.m., a truck spilled an unknown chemical near a construction site near the intersection of Alcy Road and Elvis Presley Boulevard.

Though emergency crews said the chemical was not dangerous and posed no immediate threat to people in the area, the chemical gave off a strong smell of ammonia.

Hazmat crews worked carefully to clean up the substance and put it into blue barrels. Memphis Fire Department blocked the intersection as hazmat teams took the barrels from the area.
us_TN  transportation  release  response  unknown_chemical  ammonia 
7 days ago
Citrus Heights man suffers burns in honey oil lab explosion
A Citrus Heights man suffered burns Tuesday afternoon in what police said was an explosion of a honey-oil lab at a residence.

Citrus Heights police received several calls about 2:50 p.m. reporting smoke coming from a duplex in the 5800 block of Sperry Drive. As officers were responding to the home, the sole occupant of the duplex ran outside suffering from burns sustained in a fire that resulted from a small chemical explosion, according to a Police Department news release.

During the investigation, officers determined that the occupant, 49-year-old David Aaron Jantz, was attempting a chemical solvent extraction of butane to manufacture hash oil from marijuana, police said.
us_CA  public  explosion  response  clandestine_lab 
7 days ago
Hazardous material spill closes Corona road
A cleaning material spill prompted the closure of a Corona street on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 14, a fire official said.
The driver of a box truck was traveling in the area of Alcoa Circle and Rincon Street when he realized that the 330 gallon bin of Nitric Acid he was carrying was leaking, said Corona Fire spokesman John Deyoe.
Deyoe said the chemical is commonly utilized for cleaning purposes.
He said Rincon Street was closed off from Auburndale Street to Lincoln Avenue. Nearby businesses were evacuated for operational safety as crews attempted to start a cleanup.
Deyoe stressed that no one was in any danger as a result of the spill.
Crews had used a forklift to lift the bin of Nitric Acid off the truck and were trying to find a way to mitigate the leak before starting a decontamination operation.
us_CA  transportation  release  response  nitric_acid 
7 days ago
'Oxygen deprivation' at Tualatin plant sends 6 to hospital
TUALATIN, Ore. -- Six people were sent to nearby hospitals after a reported mechanical problem created "oxygen deprivation"  about 4 a.m. Tuesday inside Lam Research.

All six people were released from hospitals within a few hours. They were not exposed to a toxic chemical, according to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

The cause was initially thought to be a leak of  sulfur hexaflouride, an odorless gas. However, TVF&R later said an unidentified external smell was the likely cause of employee discomfort.

The workers at the semiconductor plant at 11361 SW Leveton Drive who were taken to hospitals complained of upper respiratory issues, including runny noses, coughing and wheezing.

A hazmat team was dispatched to the scene. Lam said the odor was not coming from their facility and is currently working with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to investigate the source of the smell. 
us_OR  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
7 days ago
Heavy metals plant fire prompts evacuation at Arconic Tuesday
WHITEHALL, MI - A heavy metals fire in a dust collector prompted the evacuation of a plant at Arconic early Tuesday morning.

About 30 employees were evacuated from plant No. 4 after the fire was discovered just after 6 a.m. Feb. 14, said White Lake Fire Authority Chief Gregory M. Holman. The plant, formerly Alcoa, is located at 555 Benston Road in Whitehall.

White Lake firefighters, assisted by Montague firefighters, extinguished the fire with a dry chemical powder, Holman said. Because the fire was burning at such high temperatures - estimated at between 1,800 and 2,000 degrees - spraying water on it could have caused an explosion, he said.

The fire, discovered by employees, occurred when a spark ignited titanium, copper and brass particles collected in a large dust collection system, Holman said. Such fires occur a couple of times a year and the plant keeps the dry chemical for fire suppression on site, he said.

The chemical creates a "blanket" that smothers the fire, but the process takes time, he said. Firefighters were on scene about 2 1/2 hours, during which that section of the plant was not operating, he said. Normal plant operations resumed once the fire department cleared, Holman said.
us_MI  industrial  fire  response  dust  metals 
7 days ago
Mysterious exploding metal came from Lockheed Martin, lawsuit says
mysterious metal that exploded at a West Orlando recycling plant came from Lockheed Martin’s secure defense manufacturing plant, according to a new lawsuit.

Vincent Maynard, an employee at Brothers Scrap Metal, suffered severe burns to his arms and hands in an explosion on Dec. 1, 2014. Maynard is now suing Lockheed.  A spokesman for Lockheed Martin said the company doesn’t comment on litigation.

“It appears this was not your typical piece of metal,” said Maynard’s attorney, J. Scott Murphy. “It appears to have been a high-grade mixture of metals that was used in a military government operation.”

It’s not the first time that explosions have occurred at metal processing facilities, but the circumstances surrounding the Brothers incident are somewhat unique.
us_fl  industrial  follow-up  injury  metals  waste 
8 days ago
DuPont and Chemours settle PFOA suits
DuPont and Chemours have agreed to pay $670 million to settle 3,550 lawsuits in Ohio and West Virginia by residents who say they were sickened by drinking water contaminated by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) released from a former DuPont plant in Parkersburg, W. Va.
DuPont and Chemours, a DuPont spin-off that now owns the plant, will each pay $335 million of the settlement. In addition, Chemours will pay up to $25 million over each of the next five years for any future liabilities from PFOA, a processing aid used until 2015 to make fluoropolymers such as Teflon. DuPont will cover future liabilities up to an additional $25 million per year.

The settlement comes at a pivotal moment for DuPont, which is about to merge with Dow Chemical and subsequently split into three distinct companies. Fears that liabilities for the Ohio Valley PFOA cases could reach as much as $5 billion and disrupt merger plans appear to have been put aside with the $670 million settlement.
To date, seven of the 3,550 PFOA cases have gone to trial. Three of them yielded nearly $20 million in total jury awards to plaintiffs. Three cases were settled for an undisclosed amount and one was dropped. The last trial, completed in January, awarded Kenneth Vigneron, who had testicular cancer, $12.5 million. DuPont has appealed that award and the two others.
A spokesman for Keep Your Promises DuPont, a group formed by Ohio Valley residents to advocate for people exposed to PFOA, welcomed the settlement but cautioned that “no checks have been written and no compensation has been paid.” Plaintiffs must still approve the settlement.
us_WV  industrial  follow-up  environmental  plastics 
8 days ago
Fire Marshal: Nitrogen tank not the cause of deadly chemical leak at Xytex
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The state fire marshal does not believe a nitrogen tank caused a deadly chemical leak at Xytex. The nitrogen leak claimed the life of a Richmond County deputy, injured two others, and left a Xytex employee in critical condition.

The nitrogen tank did not have a permit and was never inspected but according to the fire marshal the tank did not cause the nitrogen leak.
Instead,investigators believe something went wrong with the system on the inside connected to the tank.

Xytex's website states it installed a tank, temperature monitoring, and building security system in 2011. Anita Wylds wrote this endorsement for the system called tutela. She's the special projects coordinator at Xytex. She is also the employee deputies say ran into the building to turn off a valve during the nitrogen leak. Sgt. Greg Meagher lost his life trying to rescue her.

According to Xytex, it experienced a pressure surge around 3pm the day of the accident. The alarm went off at 3:26pm. However, there may have been a sign of a problem brewing earlier in the day. Records show the alarm at Xytex went off three times the day of the accident. Twice after the leak but once before it. At 1:43pm, an hour and seventeen before Xytex says the pressure surge took place, the alarm went off. Dispatch cleared that alarm call just eight minutes later. We are still waiting to get more information about the call.

Xytex is still under orders prohibiting use of either nitrogen tank. The fire marshal issued those orders after learning neither the company nor the nitrogen supplier had permits or inspections on the two tanks here. OSHA and the fire marshal are still investigating.
us_GA  public  follow-up  death  nitrogen 
8 days ago
Turns out toxic chemicals are being stored in our deepest ocean trenches
Even the deepest most remote parts of the ocean can't escape our foolishness.

Scientist have found a large amount of banned chemicals in the fatty tissue of crustaceans that live in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana and Kermadec trenches. 

Though the locations are 10 kilometres (six miles) deep and far from land, researchers from Newcastle University in the U.K. identified traces of prohibited chemicals once used as fire retardants in the tiny amphipods.

Using deep sea landers to recover the samples, one of the chemicals scientists found were polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs were banned in the U.S. in 1979 and no longer imported into Australia from 1975, amid environmental and health fears. 

The report claims that around 1.3 million tonnes of PCB was created between the 1930s and the 1970s, with about 65 percent of that contained in landfills and electrical equipment. A further 35 percent may be stuck on the coast and in the ocean.
uk  public  discovery  environmental  other_chemical 
8 days ago
UAE records 31% drop in fire accidents in 2016 – Middle East Construction News
The UAE Ministry of Interior has recorded a 31% drop in fire accidents in buildings and establishments in 2016, compared to the previous year, a senior official has said.

Fire accidents dropped from 3,388 in 2015 to 2,352 in 2016, thanks to the timely response by civil services, alertness and the introduction of modern fire-prevention technology, said Major General Jassem Mohammed Al Marzouqi, general commander of Civil Defence at the Ministry of Interior.

He added that qualified firefighters, sustained public awareness campaigns and intensified efforts to meet challenges, guided by an integrated and coordinated doctrine also played a major role in reducing the numbers.

“Fatalities from fires also declined from 23 in 2015 to 16 in 2016, a decrease of 52 percent,” Major General Marzouqi noted, adding that fires at households went down by 7% in 2016, when compared to 2015.

Figures released by the Ministry of Interior showed that civil defence inspectors had visited and inspected 4,167 buildings and establishments in the first half of 2016.
United_Arab_Emirates  public  follow-up  environmental 
8 days ago
Strange odor in Houston not related to LyondellBasell...
HOUSTON - The strange odor that swept through the heart of Houston on Monday morning is no longer believed to be related to an incident at a facility in Channelview, according to officials.

The sulfur-like smell was first reported about 10 a.m. in the downtown area of Houston and spread west along the Interstate 10 corridor.

"We never really had a concern because our air quality monitoring never showed it was a public health issue, but we are still monitoring cause it was definitely a cause for concern, and we're still trying to identify the source," said Houston Fire Department Captain Ruy Lozano.

Officials at the Houston Fire Department originally reported that the odor was related to a chemical release the LyondellBasell facility, 15 miles east of the city.

However, a statement from LyondellBasell reported there was a release of oil from a piece of equipment used to control temperature. That oil was contained and never traveled offsite, according to the statement.

“We understand there are reports of an odor around downtown Houston,” the company said in a statement. “At this time, it does not appear that the events are connected.”
us_TX  industrial  release  response  sulphur 
8 days ago
Hazmat teams clean up chemical spill on far west side
MADISON, Wis. - The Madison Fire Department’s Hazardous Incident Team had to clean up a chemical spill Friday after a maintenance worker accidentally mixed two chemicals together.

The incident happened in the 300 block of Samuel Drive on the city’s far west side about 2 p.m. Friday.

According to the fire department, the worker accidentally mixed together muriatic acid and chlorine in a pump room of an apartment complex.

When the worker realized his mistake, he carried the 30-gallon container out to a parking lot, but the employee became ill and was taken to the hospital by a co-worker.

The fire department closed off the street while crews went into the garage to neutralize the chemicals and flush out the parking lot with water. The process continued until chemical readings dropped and air quality levels returned to normal.
us_WI  public  release  injury  chlorine  hydrochloric_acid 
8 days ago
All lanes reopened after hazmat crash on I-84 in Tolland
Both sides of I-84 in Tolland were closed to traffic and nearby homes were evacuated when the truck rolled over at about 7 p.m. Sunday. The westbound lanes reopened earlier on Monday, but all eastbound lanes were reopened of 9:30 p.m. Monday

Environmental officials say the vehicle was carrying a mixed load of chemicals, including acids, peroxides and ammonia solutions.

The cleanup was complicated because the truck rolled down a steep 30-foot embankment and because of the weather.

The driver was cited for driving too fast for the icy and slushy road conditions.
us_CT  transportation  release  response  acids  ammonia  peroxide 
8 days ago
Gore to drop waterproofing PFCs
Bowing to pressure from activist groups, Gore Fabrics says it is working to eliminate perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) of environmental concern from its products. Gore supplies water-resistant fabrics to many leading outdoor apparel makers, including Patagonia and The North Face.

High-performance outerwear is commonly coated with a PFC-based barrier to improve water resistance. But those coatings can wear off and escape into the environment.
Greenpeace and other environmental groups have targeted PFCs, a large family of chemicals, because they persist in the environment and have been found in arctic polar bears’ livers and human blood. Some PFCs have been shown to have negative health effects.
Although it is not clear what proportion of PFCs found in the environment come from water-resistant clothing, Greenpeace has been campaigning since 2012 to get outdoor apparel makers to stop using the coatings and switch to alternatives.
us  public  discovery  environmental 
9 days ago
Two killed in chemical plant explosion in China – Winfield Review
Two persons were killed and eight others injured today in a chemical factory blast in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The regional work safety administration said the explosion took place at one of the calcium carbide furnaces of the Yihua chemical plant.

The reason of the blast is yet to be ascertained.

The explosion in the plant in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture left two persons dead and three in serious condition. Five persons sustained minor injuries.
China  industrial  explosion  death  calcium_carbide 
9 days ago
Record chemical use ‘of concern’ to salmon giant
The world’s largest salmon farmer has expressed “concern” over the use of chemicals to fight disease after a record 20m litres of hydrogen peroxide — a substance harmful to fish — were dumped into coastal waters around Scotland.

More than 160 farms resorted to the chemical in 2015 to tackle parasites such as sea lice, according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

Enough hydrogen peroxide was used to fill eight Olympic-size swimming pools, including more than 1m litres at a site operated by Marine Harvest, the Norwegian-owned firm.

On Friday, Marine Harvest said it is “concerned” by the industry’s “increased use of medicines” to tackle parasites, which it said have flourished in recent years due to warmer coastal waters. The multibillion-pound firm said it…
uk  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrogen_peroxide 
9 days ago
Hamburg Airport evacuated after suspected chemical leak
Fifty people are said to have been taken to hospital after a chemical leak spread through Hamburg Airport.

Members of the public were treated for breathing problems and burning eyes by paramedics at the scene.

The German airport is on lockdown amid fears that the leak spread through the air conditioning system, with passengers and crews waiting in the building's car park in temperatures of -4C while the situation is resolved.

All flights were halted for several hours due to the evacuation, airport spokeswoman Karen Stein said to Associated Press. The cause of the incident is currently unknown.
Germany  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
9 days ago
Rochester firefighters deal with toxic gas
ROCHESTER, Minn. – A HAZMAT team was called out after an apparent suicide attempt.

Rochester law enforcement had been on the lookout for a vehicle after getting a 911 call around 9:30 pm Saturday about a suicidal subject.  The vehicle was located around 4:15 am Sunday at Sunrise Trailer Park in the 7600 block of Highway 63 North.

Olmsted County Sheriff’s deputies removed an awake female from the car.  The Rochester Fire Department was called to deal with household chemicals that had been mixed in a pail to create a toxic gas.  Two engines, the HAZMAT team and a battalion chief responded.

Firefighters wearing SCUBA gear used gas detectors and chemical testing paper to assess the situation and found no continuing danger.  Fire crews arranged for the containment and disposal of the chemicals in the pail.
us_MN  transportation  release  response  suicide  waste 
9 days ago
1 killed, 2 injued as truck laden with chemical spirit turns turtle on Dimbam Ghat Road
Erode: One was killed and two others injured after a truck laden with chemical spirit turned turtle on the Dimbam Ghat Road near Sathyamangalam in Erode district on Saturday. Following the incident, vehicular traffic between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka was halted for more than six hours.
The truck fell from hair pin bend 9 to 7, after it failed to negotiate the narrow ghat road. The truck driver was killed, while two bikers sustained injuries in the accident. The deceased was identified as P Kandasamy, 48, of Tirunelveli.
The incident took place when Kandasamy was on his way to Bengaluru via Sathyamangalam and Kollegal through Dimbam Ghat Road from Avinasi in Tiruppur district, transporting chemical spirit in a tanker truck. When he neared hairpin bend 9, he could not turn the tanker at the narrow sharp curve. "So, he decided to reverse the truck," highway patrol police said. While reversing, Kandasamy lost control over the truck, which turned turtle and landed on hairpin bend number 7.
In the impact, the tanker was completely damaged and chemical spirit was spilled over the road. Two bikers sustained burn injuries as the chemical spilled over their bodies. "The injured were identified as M Sathiesh Kumar, 27 and G Venkatachalam, 34, of Nambiyur near Gobichettipalayam," the police said. The duo was rushed to the government hospital in Sathyamangalam where their condition was said to be stable.
India  transportation  release  death  unknown_chemical 
10 days ago
Chemical trade group attacks cancer research agency
The American Chemistry Council, the U.S. chemical industry’s main trade group, has launched the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research to attack the credibility of reports on chemicals from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The trade group claims that the agency, which operates under the World Health Organization, suffers from persistent scientific and process deficiencies that result in public confusion and misinformed policy-making. The IARC counters that the charges are wrong and misleading.
The report, or monograph, that ACC most criticizes is the one concluding that the herbicide glyphosate, invented by Monsanto, is a probable carcinogen. But the group is also critical of IARC’s carcinogenic labeling of other chemicals. Those determinations are used, for instance, to place warnings on consumer products under California’s Proposition 65, “despite an often infinitesimal risk of developing cancer as a result of products’ proper use,” ACC says.
“The IARC Monographs Program has been responsible for countless misleading headlines about the safety of the food we eat, the jobs we do, and the products we use in our daily lives,” says ACC CEO Cal Dooley. The campaign’s website also calls out IARC’s findings that red meat and cell phone radio frequencies are carcinogenic. It says the monograph program lacks transparency and has conflicts of interest.
An IARC spokesperson tells C&EN that the ACC campaign is full of misrepresentations and inaccuracies that are reminiscent of strategies used years ago by tobacco companies to cast doubt on scientific findings about the dangers of cigarette smoking.
“Unsurprisingly, the ACC, as a chemical industry trade association whose members include Monsanto, is defending its vested interests through this action,” the IARC spokesperson adds.
public  discovery  environmental  pesticides 
11 days ago
Tourist critically injured in Hong Kong subway arson attack
A Taiwan tourist was among three people in critical condition on Saturday after a rush hour arson attack on a Hong Kong subway train the previous night, officials said, with one man with a history of mental illness arrested for the crime.

A total of 18 people were injured in the incident which occurred at 7:15 pm Friday, while police said they had seized suspected liquid accelerants from the scene.

Police have ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack and said the man acted alone, with investigators looking into his mental state.

"We visited a female tourist from Taiwan, her condition is still considered critical and is in intensive care," the city's number two official Matthew Cheung told reporters.

"To our knowledge, she has a friend in Hong Kong, and that friend has notified her family, and that they are on their way to the city," Cheung, the chief secretary, said.

Health Secretary Ko Wing-man said the three in critical condition were on breathing apparatuses.
Hong_Kong  public  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
11 days ago
Dangerous fentanyl powder found in Saratoga Springs home
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller that is 50 times as powerful as heroin, was found on surfaces inside a home that city police raided before dawn on Friday, State Police said.
Capt. Robert Patnaude, who commands the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, said the potentially lethal powder was not being manufactured inside 16 Cherry St. but was being mixed into heroin.
Fentanyl is often used to increase the potency of heroin and has been blamed for several deaths, including the April 21, 2016, overdose of rock star Prince.
Firearms were also taken from the home, police said.
us_NY  public  discovery  response  dust  illegal  clandestine_lab 
11 days ago
Aise urges changes to eSDSs and substance evaluation process
Significant improvements to the EU REACH regime are needed to ensure better health and environmental protection and to reverse its negative effect on R&D and innovation, says soap and detergents trade body Aise.

Along with many other industry groups, NGOs and public sector bodies, Aise recently submitted detailed comments to the European Commission’s consultation on the second review of REACH. The review's findings are due to be completed later this year.

The umbrella group representing ten trade bodies for downstream users of chemicals, Ducc, echoes many of Aise's comments. Below are some of the key issues raised by the two organisations:

Impact of 2018 registration deadline: national REACH helpdesks must have the necessary resources to help registrants who miss the last pre-registration deadline in June. These will have to first submit an inquiry followed by a registration dossier before being legally allowed to import any substances they have not already registered. Even if this happens, there will be fewer substances on the market after 2018, says Aise, because many suppliers will decide the costs of registration outweigh selling profits.

eSDSs and supply chain communication: since chemical suppliers started extending safety data sheets (eSDSs) by adding exposure scenario information, says Aise, they have become too big. And they often contain "unrealistic" risk management measures. They are also frequently unrelated to the recipient's uses and are not written in a helpful language.
Belgium  industrial  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
Target's new chemicals policy hits a bullseye
A chemical reaction needs at least two elements and a catalyst to begin a swift and irreversible change. Target’s new chemicals strategy promises to cleanse its shelves, and the brands along its value chain, of toxic chemicals. If enacted properly, the chain reaction of the policy and its implementation can have lasting, positive repercussions across and beyond the retail industry.

Target’s Jan. 25 announcement is the first push from a U.S. retailer encompassing every product it sells — including its in-house and national brand consumer products — and its operations. The process calls for several ingredients: Strategic planning from the retailer; the commitment of its business partners; and best practices borrowed from NGOs.

The hoped-for result? A healthier consumer base with loyal purchasing power, meaning sustainable returns for the company.

"Our chemical strategy will be one of the most comprehensive in the U.S. retail industry, including all Target-owned and national brand products and operations, not just formulated products," wrote Jennifer Silberman, Target’s chief sustainability officer (CSO), in the press announcement. "Ultimately, we want to bring all stakeholders together to innovate and champion a consistent, industry-wide approach to greener chemistry."
public  discovery  response  toxics 
11 days ago
Full impact of EU's 10-year old chemical law dawning on national MoDs
The delayed effect of the European Union's sprawling 10-year old law to control the environmental impact of all chemicals produced or imported within EU territory is now being felt across Europe's militaries.

It threatens security of supply lines while upping the research cost of chemical substitution by military forces and the defence industry, according to officials at the European Defence Agency, who will submit mitigating recommendations to the European Commission as it reviews the legislation in 2017.

"Our militaries are just now starting to understand the implications of REACH," an EDA expert told Jane's on 7 February, referring to the EU's 2007 Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals directive.
Belgium  public  discovery  environmental 
11 days ago
NGOs sue Trump administration over regulatory order
Three US non-profit organisations are suing President Donald Trump in an attempt to block his executive order slashing government regulations.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Public Citizen and the Communications Workers of America filed their suit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on 8 February.

Naming several high-ranking members of the Trump administration, they ask the court to issue a declaration that the order cannot be lawfully implemented and to bar federal agencies from implementing it.

The president's order, issued 30 January, requires covered federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new one passed. And they may not introduce any new net costs to the federal government with new regulations, unless given written permission from the Trump administration.

But the complaint says the order "exceeds President Trump's constitutional authority, violates his duty under the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, and directs federal agencies to engage in unlawful actions that will harm countless Americans, including plaintiffs' members." 

The complaint adds that to "repeal two regulations for the purpose of adopting one new one, based solely on a directive to impose zero net costs and without any consideration of benefits, is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law".

"If implemented, the order would result in lasting damage to our government's ability to save lives [and] protect our environment," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "By irrationally directing agencies to consider costs but not benefits of new rules, it would fundamentally change our government's role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits."

The plaintiffs also claim the order will make it almost impossible for agencies to adopt new regulations, citing the executive order’s mandate to balance costs. "With these requirements, agencies may just give up on rulemaking," the plaintiffs said in an online Q&A posted to Public Citizen's website.
us_DC  public  discovery  environmental 
12 days ago
Firefighters respond to gas leak on Shop Road in Columbia
Columbia firefighters are responding to a gas leak on the 1800 block of Shop Road.

The call came in around noon Wednesday. Chief Aubrey Jenkins said the leak was reported at a building on the 1800 block of Shop Road. Hazmat crews are responding.

Jenkins said crews were doing some digging and hit a gas line. Firefighters are waiting on SCE&G representatives to determine how large the line is.

“We've got people sheltering in place,” he said. “They've got a few businesses around here.”

Currently there’s no immediate danger to the area around the leak, and Jenkins said the windy conditions will help dissipate the gas smell.
us_SC  public  release  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Truck fire shuts down a well in Apache’s new ‘Alpine High’ field
A truck fire Thursday shut down a well site in Apache Corp.’s Alpine High field — the big new oil discovery in an scenic and environmentally sensitive corner of West Texas.
No one was injured in the fire and the well was shut in, an Apache spokesman said. The fire happened just north of Interstate 10 in Reeves County.
“We can confirm an incident involving a vehicle fire near our Alta location north of I-10 in Reeves County,” the company said in a written statement. No one was injured and the well at the location was shut “as a precaution,” the company said.
“Apache activated its crisis response plan, and the fire was extinguished without incident,” the company added.
Neta Rhyne, who lives in Toyahvale and owns a scuba and swim shop across the street from the state park, said she could smell a chemical odor from her home.
“The smell was horrible,” Rhyne said. “I’m five miles away and I could smell it at my house.”
us_TX  transportation  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Giant Chemical Plant Explosion Caused by 'High-Boiling-Point Solvents' Leaves 2 Injured in China
Two people were reportedly injured in a massive boiler explosion near a Hengxing Chemicals plant located in Tongling in China’s Anhui Province on Wednesday night.

The huge fireball and mushroom cloud erupted at around 10:50 p.m. in a suburban area and lasted for a few seconds, according to Tongling’s fire department.

Local authorities added that there were no hazardous chemicals involved in the explosion, reported Shanghaiist.

The fire has been brought under control and no casualties have been reported.

However, two people were slightly injured in the incident, suffering only minor cuts from flying fragments of glass, and were immediately sent to the hospital.

Zou He, director of the public security bureau of Tongling, stated that the blast was the result of “fuel oil burning,” according to CRI English.

Video footage of the blast, which was reportedly caused by “high-boiling-point solvents,” have gone viral on Chinese social media.
China  industrial  explosion  injury  diesel  solvent 
12 days ago
'This could burn for days': 2 workers hospitalized, 1 missing after pipeline fire in Paradis
Two workers were injured, one airlifted to the burn unit in Baton Rouge, and another is unaccounted for after an explosion at the Phillips 66 pipeline in Paradis. 

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said it was hoped the final worker had "just wandered off," and the nearby area was being searched

Updated, 6 a.m.: A fire was still burning Friday morning at the Phillips 66 pipeline in the St. Charles Parish town of Paradis. On employee remained unaccounted for.
us_LA  transportation  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Worker Critically Injured in Chemical Explosion at Delaware Poultry Plant
SELBYVILLE, Del. (AP) — Fire officials say a worker suffered facial trauma and burns in a chemical explosion at a poultry processing plant in Selbyville.

Selbyville Fire Chief Matthew Sliwa said by telephone that firefighters were called to the Mountaire Farms plant about 3 a.m. Thursday and the worker was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says in a statement that the explosion happened after the 34-year-old man mistakenly mixed two chemicals in a 2 ½ gallon sprayer. Officials say the sprayer over-pressurized and exploded. The worker was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center. There was minor damage to the room where the explosion occurred.

Sliwa says no one else was hurt, but others had to be decontaminated.
us_DE  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
12 days ago
Congress Investigates Science at EPA
Legislation targeting “secret science” at the Environmental Protection Agency could be forthcoming, members of the House of Representatives Science, Space & Technology Committee hinted during a Feb. 7 hearing.
The hearing, dubbed “Making EPA Great Again,” focused on the agency’s use of science that is not publicly available in regulatory decision-making. There were no witnesses from EPA or its independent Scientific Advisory Board.
“EPA has proposed some of the most expensive and expansive and ineffective regulations in history,” says Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chair of the committee. “With the transition to a new administration, there is now an opportunity to right the ship at EPA and steer the agency in the right direction.”
In recent years, Smith and other committee members sponsored legislation that environmental advocates say would have stymied EPA’s pollution regulations.
The Secret Science Reform Act (H.R. 1030) would have required EPA to base its regulatory actions on publicly available scientific data. Critics say the action would inhibit the use of peer-reviewed medical studies that commonly protect confidential patient information. The American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry trade association, supported earlier versions of the “secret science” legislation.
A second bill, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1029), was aimed at changing the way EPA selects external experts. The House approved both bills in 2015, but neither gained traction in the Senate.
public  discovery  environmental 
13 days ago
Three dead, seven injured after DeRidder, LA, containerboard mill explosion
DERIDDER, LA - Three men were killed and seven people were injured Wednesday morning in a violent explosion at at a Louisiana containerboard mill.

The explosion happened in the pulp mill section of Packaging Corporation of America's DeRidder Containerboard Mill at about 11:10 a.m. when a 25 foot tall tank containing "foul condensate" exploded killing the men, some of whom were contractors, Anderson said.

Of the seven injured, six suffered minor and one suffered moderate injuries according to Anderson.

One person was previously reported as missing but they have been accounted however the missing person;'s condition is unknown according to  Sgt. James Anderson of the Louisiana State Police.

Louisiana State Police, the Beauregard Sheriff's Office and OSHA are investigating the explosion Anderson said adding that there was no chemical hazard.
us_LA  industrial  explosion  death  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
VIDEO: Explosion at chemical works near Valencia
A huge pillar of toxic black smoke was visible for miles across Valencia after a fire broke out at a chemical plant in Paterna on Wednesday morning.
Some 3,000 workers were reported to have been evacuated from the Fuente del Jarro industrial estate after the fire broke out around 9.24am, according to Spanish news agency Efe.

One person was reported to have been injured in the blast which sent debris flying through the air. He was treated for burns and later released from hospital.

Witnesses recorded dramatic footage of the explosion showing flames raging 40 meters into the air and smoke billowing across the skyline.
Spain  industrial  explosion  injury  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
KCFD, HazMat respond to hazardous material situation at Patriot Environmental
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County Fire and HazMat units responded to a hazardous materials situation at Patriot Environmental Services, Inc. on James Road and Granite Road Wednesday afternoon.

More than 30 containers are involved, according to KCFD. The chemical involved is unknown.

At 3:30 p.m., an employee claimed to being exposed to a hazardous product and refused treatment. As of this evening no employees were exposed to hazardous material.

Approximately 30 drums on site were being investigated. The material gathered was form several days ago. One of the lids was removed from a storage drum at the facility, the employee's alarm went off indicating exposure to material. There were no evacuations.
us_CA  industrial  release  response  unknown_chemical  waste 
13 days ago
Hazmat situation leads to leak in Schuylkill River
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (WPVI) -- A hazmat situation in West Conshohocken that led to a small leak in the Schuylkill River is under control.

Emergency crews received calls of a gas odor around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

It happened in the unit block of Balligomingo Road near a tree service company.

The George Clay Fire Company arrived and found a petroleum based material leaking into a storm drain and ultimately into the Schuylkill river.
us_PA  public  release  response  petroleum 
13 days ago
Witness video shows fiery crash on I-45 Gulf Freeway
HOUSTON -- I-45 Gulf Freeway's inbound mainlanes were shut down for nearly five hours Wednesday morning after a fiery crash involving a big rig and a hazmat spill.

Houston TranStar reported the crash happened after 1 a.m.

According to Houston Police, a big rig driver said his truck caught fire while he was driving, causing him to hit a pickup truck that was stalled on the shoulder. The big rig then spilled a load of concrete on the freeway.
us_TX  transportation  fire  response  unknown_chemical 
13 days ago
Hazmat team cleaning up mercury spill in New Ulm
NEW ULM, Minn. — A hazardous materials team is cleaning up a mercury spill in New Ulm.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says the spill was reported Tuesday. A waste hauler had noticed the mercury spill in a dumpster and alerted authorities.

Authorities believe the property owner removed about two gallons of mercury from a garage and disposed of it in the trash. About one gallon spilled in the dumpster.

The mercury is believed to be isolated to the dumpster, alley and garbage truck where the mercury was found. Authorities believe there is no risk to the public but are asking people to avoid the area as the spill is cleaned up.

Mercury vapors are toxic to the nervous system. But cold temperatures are preventing the mercury outside from vaporizing.
us_MN  transportation  release  response  mercury  waste 
13 days ago
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