Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2009 13:14:55 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: 3 Chemical Safety news stories from Google


Journal Editor

A tanker truck hauling a turpentine-like substance left a mess in its 
path through Bloomburg Tuesday morning, according to Bloomburg Fire 
Chief Dakota Huddleston.

The tanker=92s lid was left open, causing the chemical to spill onto 
Farm-to-Market 3129 and through the parking lot of Shell Mart where the 
truck pulled through, Huddleston said. This occurred around 10:48 a.m.

After breathing the chemical, two Shell Mart employees and three 
customers were taken to the hospital where they were =93checked over=94 
and released.

Also taken to the hospital was a man who told officials he had come in 
contact with the chemical when the truck passed by him while he was 
checking his mail.

No one was injured by coming in contact with the chemical.

The truck driver was tracked down in Louisiana where information about 
his truck and his cargo was obtained. The trucking company will be held 
responsible for the cleanup, which lasted until late Tuesday night, 
Huddleston said.

Eagle SWS from Tyler was in charge of the cleanup.


December 11, 2009

UI holds forum on illnesses linked to Chemistry building

B.A. Morelli Iowa City Press-Citizen

A University of Iowa task force addressed concerns during a public forum 
on Friday about its findings in an investigation of a series of 
illnesses believed connected to conditions in the campus Chemistry 

Some chemistry faculty and graduate students said they felt the report 
accused them of being at the root of respiratory and neurological 
symptoms even though the report indicates no causes for the symptoms 
could be found.

=93One of reason we are so antagonistic is that you are accusing the 
same people who are feeling symptoms of causing the symptoms,=94 a 
graduate student who attend the forum held in the building but who 
declined to give her name.

UI also held a separate forum on Friday in the Pomerantz Center to 
accommodate those that did not want to go into the chemistry building. 
UI has found alternative workspace either in or outside the building for 
some people experiencing symptoms, according to the report.

=93We are here to try to make the environment as safe as possible for 
all individuals,=94 said Lar Fuortes, a professor of occupational and 
environmental health who served on the task force. =93People are 
reporting illness dating back two years... We cannot ignore these 

The task force investigated building conditions based on reports from 
people dating from multiple years to present about symptoms being 
connected to extended time in the Chemistry Building. At least 11 people 
made the connection to the building, and additional occupants have or 
are reporting =93uneasiness,=94 particularly in the northeast wing of 
the second floor.

The task force couldn=92t pinpoint the cause, but the report identified 
construction and lab practices =93that negatively affect indoor air 
quality and could contribute to health symptoms of building occupants 
and that should be improved,=94 according to the report. The building 
has been under renovation since 2004.

However, the report also states that no substances in air concentrations 
were found at levels that would violate OSHA or professional safety 
standards, there were no clear connections between the building=92s 
physical conditions and the symptoms experienced, and no substances were 
detected at levels that would be suspected as having neurologic or toxic 

Task force members reported finding open containers, spills and a 
graduate student that nearly died due to overexposure to ether. Amnon 
Kohen, a chemistry associate professor, spoke out at the meeting about 
the findings and questioned the credentials of the task force.

The six-person task force began the investigation in April and filed a 
report in November. Between 40 and 50 specialists were interviewed as 
part of the investigation, said Barbara Eckstein, an associate provost 
who served as chairperson of the task force. Eckstein said a transition 
team will help implement recommendations from the report and conditions 
will be reassessed in six months.

Lois Cox, UI ombudsperson who served on the task force, said at the 
forum that the intention of the report was not to assign blame but 
rather to fix the health problems.

=93This is a perplexing problem. We don=92t know what is causing the 
symptoms. We are offering suggestions to fixing the problem. These are 
things that might help,=94 Cox said.


(Source: Shelbyville Daily Union)By Valorie Eversole, Shelbyville Daily 
Union, Ill.

Dec. 12--Shelbyville Fire Department had to do a little detective work 
to find the source of a strong odor that wafted throughout Shelbyville 
and the surrounding rural area Saturday morning.

According to Engineer Brent Fogleman, an odor was initially reported at 
approximately 8:45 a.m. and firefighters were dispatched to various 
areas of town in an effort to locate the source, checking substations 
and for any other signs of trouble.

"A passerby reported a strong odor about two miles south of town and we 
began checking with some of the gas metering stations," Fogleman said.

The search led the firefighters to a metering station approximately one 
mile east of Clarksburg on 800N where the ground was discolored from a 
chemical burn. Firefighters evacuated homes within a mile radius of the 
station and roads were blocked with the help of the Shelby County 
Sheriff's department and the Conservation police. No injuries were 
reported with the incident.

"Natural gas does not have an odor," Fogleman said. "Ameren added a 
chemical to create an odor. In this case it was not a gas leak. The odor 
tank had popped off a valve which released the odor. The wind carried 
the odor toward Shelbyville. Fortunately there was no danger to anyone."

Fogleman added that neither the fire department nor Natural Gas Pipeline 
of Americacould give a reason for the valve malfunction.

The fire department cleared the call around noon Saturday.

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.