Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 14:26:26 -0500
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Subject: 5 Chemical Safety news reports from Google



10 People Inhale Chemical Fumes, Rushed To Hospital

POSTED: 8:51 am PST December 11, 2009
UPDATED: 11:48 am PST December 11, 2009

WASCO, Calif. -- Ten people were transported to a hospital after they all inhaled chemical fumes during a fire.

On Thursday around 4:15 p.m., a call was received by the Kern County Fire Department, for a small fire at Primex Farms, a pistachio processing company in the 16000 block of Wildwood Road near Wasco.

Fifteen Kern County Firefighters responded to the incident assisted by Kern County Environmental Health Department and several private ambulance companies.


When crews arrived, they said they were faced with a number of workers who were complaining of dizziness, nausea and headaches.

Fire crews were informed that stored fumigant used at the business had reacted with the falling rain and started a small fire.

The fire was extinguished by the workers using handheld fire extinguishers. However, a total of 10 people were affected by inhalation of the fumes given off in the chemical reaction and transported to local area hospitals, Sean Collins with the Kern County Fire Department reported.

The Hazardous Materials unit from Station 66 in Bakersfield arrived on scene and assisted in assessing the product was safe before leaving in the premises. The product was valued at $25,000.

Copyright 2009 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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ASU classroom evacuated after possible chemical exposure
Reported by: Deborah Stocks 
Email: dstocks**At_Symbol_Here** 
Last Update: 12/11 4:15 pm

TEMPE, AZ -- Officials say a classroom at Arizona State University was evacuated Friday afternoon after a student thought she had been exposed to a hazardous chemical.

Tempe Fire Department spokesman Mike Reichling said the student, in a Life Sciences classroom, was opening a box with 'neurotoxin' on it and thought she had broken through the container, exposing the chemical.

A fire department hazardous materials team was called out to assess the situation and the classroom was evacuated.

Fire department personnel checked out everyone who had been in the room and they were OK, according to Reichling.

He said the neurotoxin was not exposed.

The room where the students were working is used to test and develop antivenin Reichling said.


http://www.kwtx. com/home/headlines/79066177.html

Feds Urge Safety Changes After Corpus Christi Refinery Fire

Federal investigators are ready to release new safety recommendations after their investigation of a July refinery fire in Corpus Christi that injured a worker

HOUSTON (December 11, 2009)-Federal investigators issued urgent new safety recommendations Wednesday after an accident at a Citgo refinery this summer in Corpus Christi that led to the release of tons of a deadly acid.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board urged the company on Wednesday to improve its emergency water systems in case there's another accident and to institute third-party audits.

Click here for the full CSB recommendation.
Officials want the same measures taken at a refinery in Lemont, Ill.

A Citgo spokesman didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

In July, a cloud of hydrogen fluoride was released and caught fire in in the alkylation unit of the East Plant of Houston-based Citgo Petroleum's Corpus Christi refinery complex.

That fire led to the release of 21 tons of HF.




Lithium Fire at Rayovac Forces Evacuation
Firefighters can't use water on fire at Rayovac involving lithium batteries.

Posted Friday, December 11, 2009 --- 6:03 p.m.

Information from the Madison Fire Department:

City of Madison Firefighters were called to 630 Forward Drive Friday afternoon at 3:24 for a report of a lithium fire at Rayovac.

Employees of the company reported hearing a pop and a crackling noise before seeing flames coming from a barrel containing batteries that were being readied for disposal.

Several workers got Lithex extinguishers to bring the fire under control. Employees were evacuated to an adjacent building.

City of Madison Engine Company #7 arrived with two additional dry chemical extinguishers to put the fire out completely and then moved the barrel outside the building.

Lithium is a flammable metal used in long-life batteries. It has an explosive reaction to water, so water can not be used to extinguish a lithium fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Damages were limited to light smoke damage in the immediate area of the fire.

A 34-year-old worker also suffered burns in the July 19 fire.



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Battery maker submits fire plan
By Joe Wojtas

Publication: The Day

Yardney's response to consent order termed 'a step in the right direction'
Stonington - Yardney Technical Products has submitted a plan to the state Department of Environmental Protection that is designed to better inform firefighters and emergency personnel about the hazards they face when responding to possible future battery explosions or fires at the Pawcatuck plant.

The DEP has just begun its review of the plan, which was prompted by a consent order the agency issued to Yardney this spring.

The order was the result of complaints by Pawcatuck fire department officials after a pickup-truck-sized battery exploded at the Mechanic Street plant in September of 2008, forcing the evacuation of the surrounding neighborhood and Pawcatuck Middle and West Broad Street schools.

After that event, fire department and town officials were critical of Yardney, saying the company provided little information at the time about how best to handle the chemical reaction and explosion and what dangers it posed. The fire department then pressed state and federal environmental officials to take action against the company. The result of that effort was the DEP consent order.

On Thursday, Pawcatuck fire officials, including Chief Tom Long and Fire Marshal Kevin Burns, met with Yardney officials who briefed them on the improvements the company had already made. Long said he has not yet received a copy of the plan the company has submitted to the DEP.

Long said he was glad to see that the company has already done a tremendous amount of work to improve the situation.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction," he said. "It will make it safer for employees and residents."

Burns said the company has been doing a lot of research into the result of the different chemical reactions that could occur during an explosion or fire and what health and safety concerns they pose to the public.

Yardney makes lithium-ion batteries for the military and aerospace industries. The company recently helped design and make a battery that powered the Phoenix spacecraft that landed on Mars in 2008.

Robert Girard, the assistant director of the DEP's Air Enforcement Bureau, said the lack of information also impacted the ability of DEP emergency response personnel to properly address a problem at the plant or decide if their presence was needed. He said the DEP wanted Yardney to come up with a plan because the problems were becoming routine occurrences.

"We want them to do a study and put a plan in place for each battery being tested so if something goes wrong we know exactly what is being emitted," he said.

He said the DEP also suggested the company look at moving testing to a separate building.

Girard said Yardney agreed a plan was needed.

"They recognized they had to do more," he said.

Yardney President Vince Yevoli could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The consent order cited Yardney for violating state air pollution regulations and pointed out that in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 there had been battery failures at the plant that required emergency responses.

The mitigation plan specified in the order required Yardney to identify all predictable malfunctions or emergency releases that may occur during battery testing, characterize the type and quantity of the pollution emitted during each malfunction and provide specific procedures for repairing the malfunction and containing the release.

It also requires the company to provide an analysis of the impact of each type of containment method and the quantity of emissions that would occur with each.

The company also has to detail the testing practices to be implemented to prevent any air pollution release. The order further requires the implementation of a training program so employees involved in testing are aware of the plan's requirements.

The order states that the DEP can inspect the plant at any time without notice. Girard did not have details about when the company has to implement all the measures.


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