Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 07:55:33 -0500
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Subject: 5 Chemical Safety news reports from Google

Tennessee article/20100126/WILLIAMSON/100126057/Cool+Springs+Target+reopens+after+ch emical+scare

Cool Springs Target reopens after chemical scare

Target Cool Springs was evacuated at 12:40 this afternoon and closed briefly as a precaution after several employees reported feeling ill after being exposed to a chemical. while unpacking merchandise in the stock room area, according to Franklin Fire Deputy Chief Mike Culberson.

The employees were unpacking merchandise in the stock room area at the time, according to Franklin Fire Deputy Chief Mike Culberson.

The Hazmat team from the Franklin Fire Department, Franklin Police, Williamson County EMS and Williamson County Emergency Management Association responded.

More than 10 employees were evaluated at the scene by emergency medical responders but all refused medical treatment and no one was transported to the hospital. 

Culberson said preliminary testing of the substance indicate it is a pesticide. He said the exposure occurred in an isolated area and all materials were removed from the store.

The store has re-opened for business.

===, chemical-leak-ohare-012510.article

Chemical leak at O'Hare, no evacuations
January 25, 2010
Emergency crews are responding to a chemical leak at O=92Hare Airport Monday night.

Fire crews arrived to Terminal 2 of O=92Hare Airport at about 7 p.m. and remained on the scene as of 7:35 p.m., Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said.

The leak is on the field side of the airport, which means it is outside and requires no evacuations of the terminal, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Quention Curtis.

The pinhole-size leak is actually of hydrazine, a chemical that has an ammonia-like odor used in heating systems, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said. The minor leak is in a water line on the ground level of the F gates in Terminal 2.

One person complained of pain but refused medical treatment, Curtis said.


City investigates chemical containers found near school, retirement home

By Magdalene Perez, The Stamford Advocate, Conn.

Jan. 26--STAMFORD -- City officials are investigating the discovery of potentially hazardous materials on the property of Scofield Magnet Middle School and the nearby Scofield Manor retirement facility.

Turn of River firefighters and a state Department of Environmental Protection official responded to the locations Saturday after a North Stamford resident reported finding a rusted 55-gallon barrel north of Scofield Magnet Middle School. Later that day, area residents led officials to nearby Scofield Manor, where they found a 5-pound bag of a banned pesticide and other chemical containers, according to witnesses.

City officials said they are treating the materials as hazardous and have enlisted an environmental consultant to investigate the barrels' contents. City officials planned to begin testing the contents Monday, but heavy rain prevented further investigation, they said. The investigation is expected to continue Tuesday morning, according to city Operations Director Ernie Orgera.

"They went out there and inspected and found (the drums) could potentially contain some unknown chemicals," Turn of River Fire Chief Frank Jacobellis said. "Initially there's going to be testing, and if the DEP discovers there are some chemical issues, then there's going to be a cleanup effort. Then DEP will try to figure out who's responsible."

The discoveries came amid rising concern among neighboring residents about chemical drums found in Scofieldtown Park, a former industrial dump located across the street from both the school and retirement home. Last week, residents gathered at the park to demand the city move forward with plans to remediate the landfill. They said they found 28 chemical drums, some rusted remnants, on the grounds. City officials had planned to scout the property Monday, but that effort was also canceled due to rain.

...edited for length...

=== 8707

Chemical Bombs Explode at Clovis Playground
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Amanda Perez 
More: Bio, News Team
CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Clovis neighborhood is on edge after three teenagers set off homemade bombs at a playground. It happened at a neighborhood park near Keats and Magnolia. Clovis Police have been called to the neighborhood park twice now, where they've found plastic bottles blown apart.

Sunday evening, neighbors called police after they saw teens at the park and heard several loud blasts. "It sounded like gunshots! I heard the first one inside, I got up to investigate, and the minute I opened the front door, another one went off," said neighborhood resident David McEwen.

"We could see the bottles pop up, but we never saw the kids. They took off. Then, everybody came out, and it was like, "hey, what happened?" said neighborhood resident Joe Gutierrez.

A few people told police they've heard other explosions in the neighborhood before but they've never thought twice. Police believe the teens are probably finding bomb making "recipes" on the internet. "Apparently, it smelled like bleach. I don't know that they've done any chemical analysis, but that's what it smelled like, so that was probably one of those ingredients," said Clovis Police Department Spokesperson Janet Stoll-Lee.

Police said the teens could face charges but there is also a fear they could hurt themselves or others, especially because they may have left the bombs unattended in a spot that's popular with young children. "They could have blown their own hand off, with what I heard," said McEwen.

Gutierrez is worried about what else the kids might use to experiment. "You don't know what they're going to do next. That's the bad part about it, if they're willing to do this ... What's next? That can get scary," said Gutierrez.

Clovis Police are asking parents to be aware of what their teens are doing on the internet and around the house because many of the devices can be made with cleaning liquids and tablets. If you see any suspicious activity around your neighborhood you are urged to call police.

=== t-identifies-plant-worker-who-died-man-was-exposed-to-a-poisonous-gas-from -a-ruptured-hose-727289.html

DuPont identifies plant worker who died: Man was exposed to a poisonous gas from a ruptured hose

Jan 26, 2010 (Charleston Daily Mail - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Carl "Dan" Fish of Gallagher, a 32-year DuPont employee who worked as an operator at the company's Belle plant, died late Sunday night after being exposed to phosgene at the plant on Saturday, the company said.

"We are deeply saddened that one of our Belle teammates passed away," Bill Menke, Belle plant manager, said in a prepared statement released Monday. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

Fish, 58, was "a dedicated employee, a good fellow, a teammate and a friend," Menke said. "The whole site is hurting right now."

Fish was an integral part of the Belle plant's Site Emergency Response team for much of his career, the company said.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said, "I know he has been a significant contributing member to the search-and-rescue community -- the K-9 Rescue Unit -- here in Kanawha County."

Carper called Fish's death "a terrible tragedy" and said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Fish family and, for that matter, the extended DuPont family."

DuPont said it would make employee assistance counselors available at the Belle site.

The Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority had transported Fish to the Charleston Area Medical Center's General Division after he was exposed to phosgene from a leaking transfer hose.

At room temperature, phosgene is a poisonous gas, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It may be colorless or appear as a white to pale yellow cloud.

"Phosgene was used extensively during World War I as a choking (pulmonary) agent," the centers said. "Among the chemicals used in the war, phosgene was responsible for the large majority of deaths."

With cooling and pressure, phosgene can be converted into a liquid so it can be shipped and stored. "When liquid phosgene is released, it quickly turns into a gas that stays close to the ground and spreads rapidly," according to the centers.

In low concentrations, phosgene "has a pleasant odor of newly mown hay or green corn, but its odor may not be noticed by all people exposed," according to the centers.

A knowledgeable source said that Fish's first exams "came back perfectly clean," and doctors were thinking about dismissing him.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure may cause delayed effects that may not be apparent for up to 48 hours, even if the person feels better or appears well following removal from exposure. Therefore, people who have been exposed to phosgene should be monitored for 48 hours afterward, according to the centers.

No one knew the extent of Fish's exposure and it was decided that he should remain under observation. "Some hours later, they started to see some symptoms," the source said.

Exposure can result in severe respiratory effects, severe eye irritation, skin burns and death. No antidote exists for phosgene. Fish, who had been transported to the hospital in early afternoon on Saturday, died late Sunday.

Phosgene is used as a chemical intermediate to make plastics and pesticides. "We use it as a feedstock to some of our crop protection chemicals," Menke said.

The phosgene incident is one of four incidents that reportedly occurred at the Belle plant in a very short period of time, Carper said. The other incidents are as follows:

--On Friday evening, operators at Belle told Metro 911 that earlier in the day they discovered a rupture disc had blown in one of the production units allowing methyl chloride vapor to be released to the atmosphere. Plant personnel determined that the disc may have blown prior to the startup of the facility five days earlier and that up to 1,900 pounds of methyl chloride may have been vented to the atmosphere.

Methyl chloride is a colorless, poisonous gas used as a refrigerant and local anesthetic. It also is used in the manufacture of silicones, antiknock fuel additives, the production of butyl rubber, and fungicides and pesticides. "It's a reaction product of one of our crop-protection chemical processes," Menke said. "It goes through a thermal oxidizer to destroy it."

--A fume alert sounded at 7:45 a.m. Saturday as a result of a sulfuric acid leak in the spent acid recovery process. Site operations personnel determined that less than 20 pounds of sulfuric acid escaped into the environment.

--A power cord shorted to an outside lighting fixture and was de-energized. "There was never a fire, never a hazard to anyone," Menke said.

None of the incidents were related, Menke said. "They're all separate events."

DuPont notified Metro 911 on Saturday that the Belle plant was shutting down. At first the shutdown was called a "safety pause." On Monday, DuPont referred to it as a "voluntary safety stand down."

Menke said the stand-down began around noon on Saturday. The company said the purpose "is to reinforce the seriousness of this situation and maintain the site's focus on safe work, consistent with DuPont's core values."

"The site is undergoing a thorough investigation of the units involved in the incidents," DuPont said.

Menke said the pause or stand-down will go on "as long as it is needed. I'm not giving a time to anyone and that includes my management. When it is appropriate for us to resume operations, then we will do so."

The Belle plant has about 400 DuPont workers and, with the construction of Kureha Corp.'s plastics plant inside the fence line, "we might have 250 contract employees on site," Menke said.

"Everyone is coming to work," he said. "This is all part of our process for safety improvement. We all work together. Everybody's out doing their part in checking equipment, reviewing procedures, taking a look at operating protocols to make sure that, yep, it is right. We obviously fundamentally believe it is, but we want to take a pause and make sure we're not missing something.

"The units that had incidents were shut down immediately and won't be started up until the results of those investigations are completed. We won't start up anything until we get it fixed.

"We truly do believe we have a safe operation. We demonstrated that in the past. We also pay attention to it every day."

Carper commended the company for taking a production pause. "I think that took some courage because they had to know there would be a lot of scrutiny along with that," he said. "I commend them for doing that. They've been very cooperative with us.

"It's not our job to look into what happened inside the plant gates or to probe into their proprietary matters," Carper said. "We not only don't have that responsibility, we don't have the expertise. That's the regulatory people's responsibility and the plant's responsibility.

"Our function is to make certain we marshal the proper resources to respond to an incident. Our responsibility is foremost to protect the public at large, to send the necessary appropriate resources into the plant and, importantly, to protect the people we send, whether they are firefighters, first responders, whatever."

A recording of the plant's call to Metro 911 asking for an ambulance shows that the caller did not say what chemical was involved.

"The information given to our dispatcher was incomplete at best," Carper said early Monday. "I realize that in the middle of an emergency there are problems. But that's what we're looking at right now. Before I pass judgment I want to see it all and hear it all. But I have great concern about this. When we send a paramedic to the scene where there's a hostile environment, they deserve to know what it is. The same thing for a police officer or firefighter or first responder."

Monday afternoon Menke said he talked to Carper specifically about the plant's call requesting an ambulance.

"I'll stand by my incident commander on this: His primary focus was getting the employee in a position to be loaded quickly." Menke said. "He didn't need to take an additional 30 seconds. We were not trying to withhold information. All we needed to get across at that time was, 'Get an ambulance, get it fast.' "

The ambulance was not going into a hostile environment, Menke said.

"It went to our medical facility, just inside our gate. The person was decontaminated and loaded with the treatment protocol. I believe our response was carried out the absolute best it could be hoped for."

"We will be working with the county; we always do," Menke said. "If we need to do some things differently in the future, we will. But I stand behind everyone and I give a lot of kudos to Charleston General. They're first class. The individual got the best treatment. I have nothing but praise for that organization. I think everybody did everything right."

Carper said from the county's perspective, "it boils down to what did they know, when did they know it, what did we -- meaning the emergency response in the county -- do, and what should we have done?

"Was there any point in time when a public notification should have taken place? I'm not criticizing -- I'm just saying we should look at it," Carper said. "Were there any reportable events that got reported or got reported later than they should have? Was the management of each incident in accordance with known standards? I'm talking, again, outside the fence.

"These are the types of sensible things you do when something happens. The difference here is there were four incidents in a very compressed time period. I'm going to assume that's why they made their safety pause decision, which I think was a very wise decision to make."

Contact writer George Hohmann at business**At_Symbol_Here** or 304-348-4836.

Connecticut t/Explosives-Found-In-Mansfield-Home-82654777.html

Mansfield Neighborhood Gets Explosive Scare
Residents evacuated to community center
Updated 7:05 AM EST, Tue, Jan 26, 2010

Some Mansfield residents are back home on Tuesday morning after an explosive scare that cleared the neighborhood. 
Just after 5 p.m. on Monday, a Mansfield dad called police. His teenage son was mixing chemicals to build an explosive, he told them. 


State police went to the Hanks Hill Road home, where they found "various suspicious chemical mixtures," according to a statement from state police.
That mixture, police said, contained =93possibly volatile explosives,=94 so they called the bomb squad.
At around 8:30 p.m., troopers evacuated all the residences on Hank Hill Road. Officials were prepared to set up shelter at the Mansfield Community Center until the chemicals could be removed from the property and safely disposed of, but everyone found places to wait as police investigated.
"We saw some policemen with flashlights going around looking on the ground. We didn't know what was going on,=94 Pat McHugh, one of the neighbors said.
There was an explosion in the area yesterday, neighbors said. They heard another explosion last week and more last fall, they said.
"We thought it had something to do with the utility lines, you know, the electricity or the transformer,=94 McHugh said. =93I guess not."
The family and the juvenile are cooperating, police said. No arrests have been announced.

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