classroom evacuated after possible chemical exposure
Reported by: Deborah Stocks
Last Update: 12/11 4:15 pm
-- Officials say a classroom at Arizona State University was evacuated
Friday afternoon after a student thought she had been exposed to a
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
Fire department personnel checked out everyone who had
been in the room and they were OK, according to
He said the neurotoxin was not
The room where the students were working is used to
test and develop antivenin Reichling said.
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
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
Officials want the same
measures taken at a refinery in Lemont, Ill.
spokesman didn't immediately return a call seeking
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.
led to the release of 21 tons of HF.
Fire at Rayovac Forces Evacuation
Firefighters can't use water on fire at Rayovac involving
Friday, December 11, 2009 --- 6:03 p.m.
Information from the Madison Fire
City of Madison Firefighters were called to 630
Forward Drive Friday afternoon at 3:24 for a report of a lithium fire at
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.
workers got Lithex extinguishers to bring the fire under control.
Employees were evacuated to an adjacent building.
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
maker submits fire plan
Publication: The Day
response to consent order termed 'a step in the right
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
The DEP has just begun its review of the plan, which
was prompted by a consent order the agency issued to Yardney this
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
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.
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
Long said he was glad to see that the company has
already done a tremendous amount of work to improve the
"It's definitely a step in the right direction," he
said. "It will make it safer for employees and
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
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
Girard said Yardney agreed a plan was
"They recognized they had to do more," he
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
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
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.
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.
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