Date: Tue, 22 Dec 2009 09:06:13 -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: 6 Chemical Safety news stories from Google

New York State

Delmar blast investigation continues

By: Abigail Bleck

DELMAR - The condition of a Delmar teenager severely burned in a 
chemical explosion at his house on Saturday is stabilizing and 

Bethlehem investigators now say the fire likely originated in a 
makeshift lab at 15-year-old Keenan Sanchez's home on Adams Place.

Because Keenan is in the hospital with second-degree burns on 40 percent 
of his body, detectives haven't spoken to him yet. But investigators did 
spend the afternoon questioning his older brother -- an RPI student.

Nothing is left of the home that once stood at 151 Adams Place. What 
wasn't destroyed by the three or four explosions Saturday, the fire 
department let burn to the ground for safety reasons because they didn't 
know what chemicals caused the blast and subsequent blaze in the first 

Debris taken from the wreckage is currently being tested at a forensic 

"We're still trying to identify what chemicals and what the use of those 
chemicals was," Bethlehem Police Lt. Tom Heffernan said.

Investigators won't say or don't yet know if Keenan -- a Bethlehem High 
School student -- was purposefully mixing the chemicals or if he was 
just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"It was a surprise and shock to all of us. Keenan is a very good 
student. He's an athlete in our school," Bethlehem School Superintendent 
Dr. Michael Tebbano said.

Federal agents involved in the case say this was a preventable disaster 
and that dangerous chemicals should not be a hobby.

"These chemical compounds that kids can learn off the Internet combined 
in any quantity could cause a massive explosion," said Agent Michael 
LaCouture of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firefarms.

The school district, family friends and co-workers of Keenan's mother 
have set up funds to help the family with medical bills and replacing 
the home. People interested in donating money to assist the family 
should send a check 

Boston, MA


Fumes from pool chemicals at Boston Sports club in Wellesley send four 
to hospital

Four employees of the Boston Sports Club in Wellesley were transported 
to area hospitals with minor injuries today after pool chemicals were 
mixed improperly, causing noxious fumes that seeped into the building=92s 
HVAC system, according to the Wellesley Fire Department.

One gallon of muriatic acid was mistakenly poured into approximately 50 
gallons of chlorine, Fire Captain James Dennehy said. The mixture caused 
a chemical reaction that created toxic fumes, he said.

The building was evacuated and a state hazmat team was called to the 
scene to aid in the clean-up. The facility was reopened later in the 
afternoon when the air tested negative for the chemicals, Dennehy said.

WHDH-TV also quoted a sports club statement, which said in part:

"Today, there was a chemical spill in the pool area at Boston Sports 
Clubs (BSC) in Wellesley. It was contained and no members were affected. 
The BSC staff worked quickly to evacuate the club for precautionary 
purposes. They are currently working with the local EPA, Board of 
Health, and Fire Department to investigate the cause and rectify the 


Detergent Suicide Sends First Responders To Hospital
Suicide Uses Toxic Chemicals In Locked Cars

SUGAR CREEK, Mo. -- Four first responders on a suicide call went to the 
hospital after being exposed to the toxic chemicals a man used to kill 
himself Monday.

The man used what is called detergent suicide, using hydrogen cyanide in 
a confined pickup truck. The chemical released toxic gases, which the 
four responders and a family member were exposed to. All five were just 
taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Sugar Creek Fire Chief Herb Soule said detergent suicide attempts are on 
the rise. The trend started in Japan with hundreds of the suicides and 
four of the cases have been reported in the U.S.

In many of the Japanese cases, many of those committing suicide have 
left notes on the car warning people of the toxic gases. No note was 
found on the Sugar Creek truck.

"There's a question of how he ingest it," Soule said. "But the fact 
remains there were two containers in the car."

Soule said he first learned of the trend two weeks earlier in a memo 
about the rising trend. The memo stated many use hydrogen sulfide, an 
easily found chemical. The Sugar Creek man used a less-accessible 
hydrogen cyanide.

"Suicide's a tragic thing," Soule said. "If people endanger themselves, 
I guess we can't really stop them from doing that. But we sure don't 
want them endangering first responders and other people who are out 

Soule said other first responders should be on alert for similar 
problems. Soule said the Sugar Creek man had access to the cyanide 
because he worked in a lab, but some other toxic gases can be mixed up 
with household cleaners.


8 taken to hospital after Ogden chemical spill
By Bob Mims
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 12/18/2009 05:39:12 PM MST

A Friday morning chemical spill forced evacuation of a dietary 
supplements business in Ogden, and eight people were taken to local 
hospitals for treatment before being released.

Deputy Fire Chief Chad Tucker says the spill happened about 7:15 a.m. at 
Pro Pac Laboratories, 3804 Airport Road.

"They were cleaning equipment with a bleach solution that apparently 
came in contact with some product residue, producing ammonia fumes," he 

By 9:45 a.m., the area had been cleaned and cleared, and employees were 
returning for a scheduled company Christmas party, Tucker said.

Eight students injured in laboratory chemical accident

Eight students were injured in a chemical laboratory accident on 
Wednesday night at the University of Karlsruhe, police reported.

A 22-year-old student at the Institute for Organic Chemistry there had 
been trying to neutralise a substance, but accidentally used the wrong 
material, police in the southwestern state of Baden-W=FCrttemberg said. 
The mistake created a poisonous mixture that was released into the 
laboratory where other students were also working.

Eight people were transported to a nearby clinic after complaining of 
discomfort, and five remained hospitalised for observation. They 
reportedly suffered irritation of their mucous membranes. 

The teaching laboratory was fumigated and cleaned and can now be safely 
used by students again, police said.

DDP/The Local (news**At_Symbol_Here**


Hazmat Survival Tips: Learning from the Experience of Others

Beyond the Rule of Thumb
Survival Tip 47

By Steven De Lisi

Besides learning from your own on-the-job experience, one of the best 
ways to discover how to safely manage emergency incidents is to learn 
from the experience of others. In this way, you can determine what 
worked, what didn=92t, and what steps to take when faced with similar 
circumstances. This type of learning is critical when dealing with 
incidents that involve hazardous materials because many of them are 
unique and may occur only once in your entire career. Remembering what 
someone else did years earlier, whether in your department or elsewhere, 
could offer valuable clues on what you should do and, more importantly, 
not do!

This month=92s column presents various situations faced by first 
responders and questions posed to them; they were not sure of how to 
respond to some of these questions. Suggested answers appear at the end 
of the column.

I like to tell my students that although the minimum passing score on 
the written exam for hazardous materials awareness and operations-level 
training is 70 percent, the passing score in the real world is nothing 
less than 100 percent.  It=92s what you don=92t know that will kill you.

(scenarios available at web site above)

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.