Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 07:56:00 -0500
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Subject: 5 Chemical Safety news stories from Google


Four Alarm Fire At Local Chemical Plant Leaves Dozens Unemployed

HICKORY, NC =E2=80=93 Members of the Longview Fire Department were 
called to Tailored Chemical Products, Inc & Tailored Foam, Inc. around 
8pm Sunday night after citizens nearby reported an explosion at the 
company.  The company produces commercial glue and foam insulation used 
in construction.

Officials say a handful of employees was inside the facility working 
when the explosion occurred.  None of the employees were injured. The 
exact cause is still unknown, however one employee told us that he 
believed it was related to a transformer that malfunctioned inside the 

Firefighters quickly arrived and began accessing the scene.  They 
learned the facility housed extremely flammable chemicals, including 
ethanol and methanol.  They were concerned that the room housing these 
chemicals would be exposed to the fire and risk a huge explosion.

Longview Fire Department requested the assistance of numerous nearby 
fire departments including Hickory, Icard, Lovelady and Mountain View 
Fire Departments.  They were able to logistically coordinate their 
response and keep the fire contained to the portion of the building NOT 
containing the explosive chemicals.



Two dead in Beijing chemical plant explosion

Two workers were killed in an explosion at a Beijing chemical plant late 
Sunday, witnesses and the local government said Monday.

The blast happened around midnight at a workshop of FRST Chemical Co. in 
Yongshun township of Tongzhou District, a manufacturing town in the 
eastern suburbs of Beijing.

"I heard a bang and saw the place was on fire," said a resident surnamed 
Lu, who lives close to the plant.

Lu said he saw two walls of the factory compound had collapsed, and 
windows were broken in buildings at least 20 meters from the site.

A Tongzhou district government spokesman confirmed two workers died in 
the accident, which happened at 11:42 p.m..

He said authorities had launched an investigation, but did not give 

The fire was put out early Monday. Police have restricted access to the 

FRST, based in Guangzhou, produces latex for industrial use.


Chemical spill at Duke prompts evacuation of floor

 Duke University employee was hospitalized after a chemical spill late 
Monday morning.

The woman was working in a fourth floor lab inside the Nanaline H. Duke 
building when she fainted, said Keith Lawrence, university spokesman. As 
she fell, the woman knocked a container with Phenol, a toxic inhalant, 
to the ground.

Durham Fire Department hazardous material units responded to the area 
while the floor was evacuated. The woman only sustained a bump to the 
head and will more than likely be brought to Duke University Hospital's 
emergency room, Lawrence said.

Phenol is often used in the production of synthetic fibers and chemicals 
that kill bacteria and fungi in slimes, according to the U.S. Agency for 
Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. It is also used as a disinfectant 
and in mouthwash and sore throat lozenges. High exposure to the chemical 
can cause death.

The Nanaline H. Duke building houses the university's biochemistry and 
cell biology departments as well as its cell and molecular biology and 
genetics programs.


Chemical Lab Fire Destroys Gear In Hagerstown, Md.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) =E2=80=95 The operator of a Hagerstown laboratory 
where an overnight fire destroyed thousands of dollars worth of 
equipment says safety policies and procedures prevented worse damage.

Mark Butt, president of Tox Path Specialists LLC at Hagerstown Community 
College, said Monday the fire may stemmed from a malfunction in an 
incubator where tissue samples stained with an alcohol solution are 
routinely left to dry overnight

Butt says a vent on the device may have been partially blocked, causing 
combustion of the vapors that had accumlated under a hood.

He estimated the damage at just over $2,000; the Maryland State Fire 
Marshal put it at $7,500.


Hazmat Survival Tips: Working with Cleanup Contractors

Jan 25, 2010
Beyond the Rule of Thumb
Survival Tip 48

By Steven De Lisi

During many incidents involving a hazardous material release, "cle
anup contractors=" clean up and remove the spilled chemical. 
These companies have the personnel, equipment, and experience to conduct 
cleanup operations safely and in accordance with to local, state, and 
federal environmental and occupational regulations. 
Some local government leaders are dismayed when the first responders do 
not conduct cleanup operations. They ask, "Isn=E2=80=99t that 
what we pay them for?=" The reality is that most fire 
departments, besides not having the equipment and personnel for these 
activities, do not have the necessary environmental permits. Likewise, 
although employees of companies that use or handle chemicals can 
sometimes clean up spills considered to be "incidental,=" 
federal occupational standards clearly define the limits of these types 
of spills. Companies that choose to clean up chemical spills in-house 
that exceed these limits not only expose their employees to unnecessary 
risk but also expose themselves to potential civil and criminal 
Throughout my fire service career, I have found most cleanup contractors 
willing to do whatever was necessary to protect personnel, property, and 
the environment. However, I have also learned there are a few things 
first responders should know to deal effectively with these contractors 
before someone signs a cleanup contract.  
(edited for length)

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