Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 08:08:19 -0500
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From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: 3 Chemical Safety news reports from Google

This first story should be of interest to lab scientists who believe in the VIP (Vials in Pockets) approach to transporting samples...

Manchester UK ws/s/1190838_airport_terror_alert_triggered_by_cow_blood
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Airport terror alert triggered by cow blood
Paul Britton
JANUARY 29, 2010

THE suspect white powder that sparked an evacuation at Manchester Airport has been identified . . . as dried cow=92s blood.

The harmless substance was discovered in the luggage of a passenger at the BMI check-in desk last Saturday.

Airport bosses evacuated terminal three and passengers were delayed for six hours as tests were carried out.

Now it has emerged that the substance was Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) - a protein made from cow=92s blood and used in lab tests and medical research.

One expert said: =93It is a completely harmless and naturally-occurring protein.

=93The only risk is if the cattle=92s blood has got any diseases.=94

Airport bosses said they were right to evacuate the terminal, a day after Britain=92s terror threat level was raised to =91severe=92.

The passenger had been preparing to board a shuttle flight from Manchester to Heathrow when he was stopped by security staff as he answered routine questions.

Nineteen screw-top cannisters, containing 20kg of the substance, were found in his bags.

An explosives team attended and found no evidence that they could be used in a bomb.

The consignment - which the passenger claims has still not been returned - is believed to be worth around =A35,000. It is understood he was carrying it for use in a research project.

The passenger was questioned by police and UK Border Agency officials, then released.

The fire service declared a chemical incident but officers said later there was =91no risk=92.

=93Albumin is very easy to get hold of,=94 a local research expert said. =93Most biology laboratories will have pots of it in fridges. It is one of the most widely-used proteins and is used when growing cultures in laboratories.=94

BSA can also be used for studies into DNA and to help diagnose diseases.

Airline BMI said it was unable to confirm whether the substance could be carried on flights but large quantities were likely to be seized. It is understood that notification of intent to carry it must be provided to airlines beforehand.


West Virginia

DuPont chemical leaks are unrelated

By The Associated Press
CHARLESTON (AP) =97 Three recent chemical leaks at a DuPont plant, one of which killed a worker, don=92t appear to be related, a federal investigator said Thursday.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigator Johnnie Banks promised a thorough investigation into the leaks, which prompted the plant=92s temporary shutdown over the weekend.

The release of about 1,900 pounds of methyl chloride went unnoticed for five days before the company reported it Friday.

A worker died after being exposed to phosgene =97 a chemical used as a choking agent during World War I that now is used in pesticides and plastics. That worker was exposed Saturday, the same day the plant reported that less than 20 pounds of sulfuric acid had leaked from its spent acid recovery process.

The plant is on a 600-acre site in Belle and employs about 400 workers with an additional 250 contractors.

The leaks =93were not in close proximity to one other where there could be a sense of something happening in one building transferring to another,=94 Banks said. =93=46rom all outward appearances, they weren=92t related processes.

=93That=92s what makes this so compelling is that they=92re in disparate parts of the plant and we=92re trying to figure out if there is a common theme.=94

The investigation will include a review of equipment age, maintenance and inspection, as well as the plant=92s monitoring system.

The chemical board has said it was aware of six earlier leaks at the DuPont plant since December 2006. Banks said his team also plans to examine how thorough any investigations were after those leaks.

No one appeared to be in the immediate vicinity when 58-year-old Carl Fish, a 32-year DuPont employee, was exposed to phosgene Saturday and died a day later.

=93He was conducting normal rounds,=94 Banks said. =93There was nothing extraordinary going on that would give them a sense of dread or something terribly amiss.=94

Fish was exposed by an 18-inch braided steel transfer hose that ruptured. Banks said the hose was frayed, but it wasn=92t immediately determined whether the hose wore down quickly or over time.

Although company officials confirmed the five-day leak of methyl chloride, Banks said his team hasn=92t determined how long it was leaking.

=93We will make that part of our investigative process to determine how long the leak went and why it wasn=92t detected, if there was some type of mechanical integrity issue with the monitoring system,=94 he said.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration also is investigating the leaks.

The safety board is already stretched thin by 16 other open investigations, the largest number in its 11-year-history. 

Board member William E. Wright has said the latest case would likely delay other cases, including those at the Bayer CropScience facility in Institute, where a worker was killed in an August 2008 explosion.

Wisconsin 8ee-0ce7-11df-a8b7-001cc4c03286.html

Gold's Gym evacuated after chemical mishap

By BILL NOVAK | The Capital Times | bnovak**At_Symbol_Here** | Posted: Friday, January 29, 2010 8:55 am

An accidental mixing of chemicals by a pool maintenance company employee caused the evacuation of Gold's Gym in Fitchburg Thursday afternoon, with the employee taken to the hospital for inhaling fumes from the chemicals, authorities reported.

The accident occurred at about 2:50 p.m. at the fitness facility at 2920 Hardrock Road, according to the Fitchburg Fire Department.

All staff and gym members in the facility at the time of the accident evacuated safely and were not injured.

The Madison Fire Department HazMat team was called to the scene, and confirmed the chemicals were no longer reacting and didn't pose further danger, according to the press release issued by the Fitchburg Fire Department.

There was no damage to the building or pool equipment, and people were allowed back into the building a short time after the incident.

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