Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 15:31:48 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety"

Subject: Google chemical health and safety events summary

I've been sending headlines from google about chemical health and safety 
events since February 1, so we're finishing the first three months of 
that habit. I thought I would provide a quick summary of the statistics 
I was able to easily generate from this data. If you're interested in 
exploring the information that's been gathered, you can use the 
filtering functions at 
to focus on particular kinds of events. Anyway, the brief numbers are:

Time period: Feb 1 to April 30 2010

314 incidents reported by google; the search terms varied slightly 
during that period but are becoming more standardized.
233 of the events reported occurred in U.S.

Type of Event
67 fires
53 explosions
38 spills
28 leaks

Sector of Event
106 in industry
41 in transportation
41 illegal activities
35 in labs
36 at home

124 public responses were the highest consequence reported
74 report injuries
30 report death

Chemicals involved:
(This is the hardest category; I began trying to identify this from the 
media report about half way through the time period studied and the 
media is not always trustworthy in this respect)
29 unknown chemicals involved
6 cleaning chemicals
4 formaldehyde
4 agricultural chemicals
4 ethanol

This is still an experimental issue, but I think useful in providing 
some context for discussions about chemical safety issues and 
particularly in terms of gathering anecdotes for educational purposes.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for improving this 

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society

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