Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 07:27:23 -0500
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Subject: 4 Chemical Safety news reports from Google

California y/Chemical-Leak-Forces-Costco-Evacuation/GGk-N235wEGlxlenj4mMmQ.cspx

Chemical Leak Forces Costco Evacuation

Last Update: 1/13 9:39 am
Print Story | ShareThis

It's back to business as usual at a Valley Costco after a chemical leak forced evacuations.

The Clovis Fire Department was called out around 3:15 Tuesday afternoon to the Costco located on Ashlan and Peach Avenues.

Investigators say a copper line fell off a compressor, causing about 200 pounds of Freon to be released into the air. The chemical is used to cool refrigerators and freezers.

About 100 people were evacuated.

A couple of employees complained of breathing problems but they were treated and released.

The warehouse closed for about three hours.


http://www.ranchoco d-after-chemical-exposure/

Western Career College in Citrus Heights Evacuated After Chemical Exposure

Five people were admitted to the hospital Wednesday complaining of eye and throat irritation after exposure to a veterinary anesthetic at Western Career College in Citrus Heights. Veterinary students and teachers at Western Career College, located at 7301 Greenback Lane, were evacuated from a college building.

A tank of isoflurane, a halegenated ether used for inhalational anesthesia, burst. Authorities do not yet know why the tank burst. 

The students were practicing administering anesthesia to a cat at around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning when the incident occurred. Three students and two teachers experienced eye and throat irritation.

Approximately 200 students and staff taking classes at the college were evacuated. The evacuation was lifted at 1:00 Wednesday afternoon and classes are to resume as usual.

=== To-Prevent-Future-Plant-Explosions-011310.aspx

Toxco Looks To Prevent Future Plant Explosions

Manufacturing.Net - January 13, 2010

TRAIL, B.C. (CP) -- A Trail, B.C. battery recycling plant is calling in some outside help to avoid a repeat of a spectacular explosion and fire in November.

U.S.-based Toxco, Inc. has retained consultants to provide advice on better building design, evaluate the process of battery receiving, storage and treatment, and prepare a risk management plan.

Plant manager Kathy Bruce is also doing industry research on other plants' safety processes, while the industry as a whole reviews the standard rule that water cannot be used to fight lithium battery fires.

Her work is cut out for her, but Bruce calls that yet to be done "all good, all really, really good."

She hopes to have results from the various reports by summer.

A fire-code engineering firm hired by the plant is currently busy owing to the upcoming Vancouver Olympics, delaying some of the work. Bruce said the destroyed building won't be replaced until she receives advice from all areas. No budget for upgrades has been determined.

"We don't want this to drag out for months and months," she said.

The outbuilding that exploded was used to store lithium batteries, prior to being processed. But unlike other, bunker-like concrete storage buildings scattered around the outskirts of the plant's property, the small building that went up in flames on Nov. 7 was metal-framed, with six-inch, concrete-lined walls on a concrete base.




Homemade ice bombs chill neighborhood
By Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent

Dan Zahra / Special to the Telegraph
A water bottle looks harmless enough, but when combined with dry ice, it can become an illegal explosive device.


By Penne Usher

Telegraph Correspondent

Combining two relatively innocuous ingredients, dry ice and water, created not only an explosion, but quite a stir recently in Cameron Park.

When the two substances are combined and placed under pressure they become an illegal and dangerous explosive device that sounds similar to a .12-gauge shot gun.

El Dorado County Sheriff deputies were dispatched New Year=92s Day to a home on La Cienega after reports that shots were fired in the area.

Around 5:30 p.m. law enforcement officers swarmed he area near Cameron Park Drive, blocking streets and evacuating homes as they searched for what they believed to be a gunman.

Deputies eventually pulled over a vehicle with at least three occupants =97 two juveniles and an adult.

Andrew Purcell, 43, was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment. Officials allege that Purcell purchased the dry ice for the juveniles and allowed them to detonate =93several destructive devices,=94 according to the El Dorado County Sheriff=92s Office. The juveniles, whose names are being withheld due to their age, were detained and eventually turned over to their parents.

It may sound like an innocent science experiment, but it is illegal.

=93Fabricating any explosive device, regardless of what you are using, is against the law,=94 said Sgt. Don Atkinson of the El Dorado County Sheriff=92s Office. =93A device that can create an explosion is generally illegal. When uncontrolled and in the wrong hands it becomes a dangerous weapon.=94

In California, a =93destructive device=94 includes any sealed device containing dry ice (CO2) or other chemically reactive substances assembled for the purpose of causing an explosion by a chemical reaction.

There are also serious risks involved with making and detonating such a device.

According to officials, premature explosion can occur within seconds, injuring the handler. Flying debris from the device can injure anyone in the area.

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