Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 08:44:40 -0400
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From: Secretary ACS DCHAS <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: Chemical Safety headlines from Google

The response to the high school mercury incident described below is interesting because it occurred only a few miles away from the recent one that sent 40 students to the hospital...

- Ralph

Links to details available at

canada: Hazmat team called to plant cleanup
Windsor Fire and Rescue's hazmat team was called to a former car bumper plant at 9100 Tecumseh Rd. E. Thursday afternoon after containers of unknown chemicals were discovered during a cleanup of the facility.

The city is in the process of demolishing the building and had hired a cleaning crew to remove equipment and materials left behind. But when the cleaners came across chemicals they could not identify, they called the fire department to deal with the potential hazard.

Firefighters suited up in hazmat gear and set up a decontamination area in the back of the building. Paramedics were on standby as well and the Windsor police explosives disposal unit was dispatched to the scene as a precaution.

Chief fire prevention officer Lee Tome said no chemicals were spilled, but emergency crews were taking all precautions. He expected the hazmat team to remain on the scene for several hours.

ua_tx: Hazmat crews respond to chlorine gas leak
A chlorine gas leak shut down a northeast Austin neighborhood for six hours Thursday.
"About 100 pounds leaked from a 150 pound tank," said Austin firefighter Elizabeth Donelson.
The Austin Fire Department Hazardous material team was called to an Austin water treatment plant in the Harris Branch area around 10 a.m. Thursday. Employees noticed a tank was leaking a small amount of chlorine.
"The chlorine is used to treat waste water," said Jill Mayfield, spokesperson for the Austin Water Utility Department.
Special operation crews were quick to stop the leak. As a precaution, the fire department evacuated more than a dozen homes near the water treatment plant. They were afraid when they tried to move the tank it would start leaking again.

us_ma: Hazmat release probed at Allston train yards
A hazardous materials cleanup is planned today at the Allston railroad yard near Storrow Drive and the Doubletree Hotel, the Boston Fire Department said.

Firefighters responded at 10:38 a.m. to the Beacon Yards site for a report of an oil spill, department spokesman Steve MacDonald said.

Recent rains apparently fell into an uncovered dumpster, forcing out at least 100 gallons of an unidentified petroleum product, he said in an official tweet.

He said those on the scene included Boston Police, Boston Fire hazardous materials technicians and Boston EMS workers, as well as city health inspectors and water and sewer workers, and state environmental protection officials.

us_ny: Mercury accident rings bells at Webutuck
In the aftermath of an mercury thermometer breaking in the Webutuck High School science lab room, Webutuck is using the incident to evaluate district protocol and training.

The thermometer broke during class time on Friday, April 30, while being used by a teacher during a demonstration. The students in class removed their shoes, so as not to track any mercury outside of the classroom, and were tested for traces of any vaporized mercury before being released. No one was injured, and students and parents were kept in communication with the school about the situation.
Using mercury in a science curriculum, even when found in thermometers, is no longer allowed in New York state. Webutuck had several mercury body thermometers in the science classroom that have since been discarded.

...this past summer Dutchess County BOCES, which is the school=92s official risk management agency, conducted a cleanup of chemicals in the science labs. The mercury thermometers were overlooked

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