Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2010 07:22:51 -0400
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Subject: Chemical Safety headlines from Google

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11 APR 10
us_ga: Haz-Mat team will bill its users
The City of Bainbridge government will start getting paid back in full for the work it does in responding to hazardous materials incidents, including cleanup of chemical spills and meth labs.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Bainbridge City Council passed a Hazardous Materials Cost Recovery ordinance, which aims to help the city government recoup what it spends to operate its Hazardous Materials Response team.

Since the team=92s creation in 2004, it has been most frequently called out after the Sheriff=92s Office or other agencies discover labs being used to make the illegal drug methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal ice. Because the labs have fumes that can permanently damage breathing, or worse, cause an explosion, firefighters on the Haz-Mat team have to wear special suits that provide them with air and keep them safe from contamination and harm. The most-protective type of suits cost $3,000 each and generally can only be worn once due to safety regulations,

us_ca: All in a day's work: Hazardous materials team responds
heir work involves dealing with substances that can dissolve flesh or blow up in a spray of chemicals and flames. Sometimes they wear airtight suits that leave them drenched with sweat after only a few minutes on even a relatively mild day.

And they think that's a pretty cool job.

While most people have a clear idea about what police officers or firefighters do, the job duties of the county's Environmental Health Services hazardous materials crew may not be as apparent. But on several recent high-profile incidents, including the train derailment on the Tehachapi Loop and the evacuation of Meadows Field because of an unknown substance later identified as honey, the hazardous materials crew has been among the first to respond.

"The biggest problem I've got is slowing (the team) down," said Chief Environmental Health Specialist Brian Pitts.

us_fl: Meth lab explosion hospitalizes woman; man sought
PANAMA CITY BEACH =97 A Friday night explosion from a =93shake-and-bake=94 methamphetamine lab left a woman in critical condition with burns on more than 30 percent of her body, authorities said.

Vicki Goodwin, 49, is in a burn center with chemical and flame burns on her face, arms and legs. Police are looking for her husband, 51-year-old Larry M. Goodwin, for questioning, Bay County Sheriff=92s Maj. Tommy Ford said.

The primary renters of the house at 3805 Treasure Circle told deputies they were in the living room watching a movie when they heard a =93loud, explosion-type bang and saw flames come from the back, rear bedroom,=94 according to the BCSO report.

One of the renters went to the back room and found Vicki, who rents the room with her husband, on fire. The man helped extinguish the flames but then left the house because he was =93overcome with some weird smell and chemical taste,=94 according to the report.

10 APR 10
us_or: Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue crews respond to chemical spill in Tigard |
TIGARD -- Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue's Hazardous Materials unit responded this morning to a small chemical spill that prompted an evacuation of the Medical Teams International building in Tigard. 

Three female employees were unloading chemical-filled bottles out of a cardboard box at about 9:45 a.m., when they smelled a peculiar odor and then found one of the bottles had broke inside the box, according to Karen Eubanks, spokeswoman for the fire department. The bottle contained a chemical that physicians use for disaster deployments to cement bones, Eubanks said. 

Two employees, who had a small amount of skin irritation, drove themselves to a local urgent care facility before fire crews arrived on scene, at 14150 SW Milton Court, Eubanks said. Another employee, Eubanks said, had her skin washed with soap and water on scene and then returned to work. A private company will clean-up the chemical, Eubanks said.

us_pa: Chemical spill at North East plant sends 20 employees to hospital
Chemical spill at North East plant sends 20 employees to hospital

NORTH EAST -- Floyd Johnson Jr. was in the melt room at Electric Materials Co. on Thursday morning when he heard an intercom message ordering employees to evacuate the building.

When Johnson, 41, of Erie, stepped into a hallway and glanced toward the plant's plating area, he saw an orange, yellowish, brown cloud of vapor drifting toward him.

Johnson, who operates a furnace, ran for the exit after he briefly inhaled what he said smelled like sulfur.

"It was from the ceiling to the floor, coming up the hallway,'' Johnson said. "When you see that coming at you, you know it's not good. I didn't want to stick around.''

One man was critically injured and another 19 employees of the North East manufacturing plant were treated for exposure after a chemical spill Thursday morning.

09 APR 10
us_nj: Mercer Chemistry Students Cause HazMat Emergency
Hazardous-materials and bomb teams were sent to Mercer University's campus after some chemistry students accidentally mixed some volatile chemicals.

Mercer University spokesman Mark Vanderhoek says no damages or injuries were reported in the incident late Wednesday afternoon.

"This was accidental, the students did not intend to create a bomb," said Vanderhoek.

A professor realized what chemicals were mixed together and the professor called the university's Environmental Health and Safety office, who then called Hazmat, he said.

The Bibb County hazmat team, a bomb team and a fire truck responded, Vanderhoek said.

He would not say how many students were involved, the type of chemicals mixed or if a professor was present.

He said no other information is available at this time.

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