Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2010 07:23:21 -0400
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Subject: Chemical Safety headlines from Google

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US_IL: HAZMAT SHUTS DOWN TWO LAWNDALE COURTROOMS, -closes-two-lawndale-courtrooms-20100608

Chicago - Gasoline fumes coming from a sewer prompted a HazMat that shut down two Cook County courtrooms Tuesday afternoon in the West Side Lawndale neighborhood.

A Level 1 HazMat was called to the building at Flournoy Street and Kedzie Avenue about noon, according to Fire Media Affairs Dir. Larry Langford.

Fire crews did not evacuate the building although some people may have gone out of the courthouse on their own, Langford said.

The HazMat was secured at 1:39 p.m. and fire crews determined it was caused by gasoline fumes from a nearby sewer, Langford said. There were no reports of injuries.

Two branch courtrooms in the First Municipal District that are located in the Chicago Police Department's Harrison District facility were temporarily closed as fire crews responded to the "noxious fumes," according to a release from the office of Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans.


US_WA: HAZMAT SITUATION CAUSES WHIRLPOOL WAREHOUSE EVACUATION, http://www.kirotv .com/news/23833347/detail.html

FREDRICKSON, Wash. -- About 20 employees have been evacuated from a Whirlpool warehouse in Fredrickson while hazardous materials teams check out a report of threat inside the building.
Central Pierce fire spokesperson Stephanie Glass tells KIRO 7 50 large batteries inside the building are being examined as the source of the problem. Glass says the batteries weigh about 4,000 pounds apiece.
It's not clear what the batteries are used for. They were on a charging station, and the ventilation fans quit for some reason, causing the batteries to overheat and expel a toxic gas.
Hazardous materials teams from Pierce County and Tacoma are staging outside the facility before teams go in to isolate the threat.
Crews have cut power to the building.



FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than 20 employees at an iron and metal business in the South Valley are recovering from a scare involving hazardous materials. It happened around 3:00 p.m. at the business on K Street in Tulare.

Workers there said they started feeling sick after they tried crushing a storage tank that had been dropped off for recycling.

The tank still had chlorine inside a hazmat team was called in and Tulare's fire chief says it was a challenge trying to get all of the patients to hospitals nearby.

The fire department is using surveillance video to help determine who dropped off the tank.


US_WI: SPILL SHUTS DOWN HIGHWAY 41 RAMPS, /FON0101/100608121/Spill-shuts-down-Highway-41-ramps

TOWN OF ELDORADO =97 The Fond du Lac County HAZMAT crew was called to a spill involving an unknown substance along Highway 41 in the town of Eldorado Tuesday afternoon.

Sgt. Jeff Bonack of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff=92s Department said the Eldorado fire chief noticed a large pile of a suspicious, powdery white substance lying on the shoulder of the southbound lane of the Country Trunk N exit ramp around 1:36 p.m.

=93As of this time we still don=92t know what the substance is but the HAZMAT crew determined that it was of a negative acidity and didn=92t seem to be anything of concern,=94 Bonack said. =93It was a rather large pile, measuring 6-by-6 feet and 1 foot deep.=94

Responding to the scene was the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Fond du Lac County Sheriff=92s Department and Veolia hazardous waste services.

The exit ramp was closed to traffic for approximately two hours.


US_OK: 1 HURT IN NW OKLA. CHEMICAL FIRE, /news/23830188/detail.html

WOODWARD, Okla. -- 

One person was hurt in a chemical plant fire near the airport in Woodward, located in northwestern Oklahoma.
Woodward County emergency manager Matt Lehenbauer told Eyewitness News 5 that crews from three counties -- Woodward, Harper and Ellis -- extinguished a phosphorous fire at the Deep Water Chemical Plant five miles west of Woodward near the airport and an industrial area.
Four businesses were evacuated to the north of the site.
The nature of the one injury is not known at this time.



CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP)  -- Southern Illinois University says the damage estimate from a chemical fire on the Carbondale campus continues to rise.
SIU spokesman Rod Sievers says the damage from last week's blaze could be more than $1 million. That's four times the initial estimate. The latest projection includes at least $500,000 in damage to the lab room, as well as another $500,000 worth of equipment.

Nobody was hurt in last Wednesday's fire, although a student who might have inhaled some fumes was taken to a hospital as a precaution. Authorities also evacuated the building.

Officials say the fire began when the student was cleaning equipment with flammable hydrocarbons.

Sievers says a portion of the building remains closed.


AUSTRALIA: TRUCK'S CHEMICAL CARGO EXPLODES, al/trucks-chemical-cargo-explodes-20100609-xuph.html

A truck driver managed to unhitch his chemical cargo moments before it exploded on a highway west of Brisbane.

Authorities are still working to clear the charred remains of the trailer after the blast on the Gore Highway at Millmerran.

One house has been evacuated and the family won't be allowed to return home until the debris is cleared away.

Authorities say the truck driver acted quickly when he realised there was a fire.

He managed to unhitch his trailer, laden with drums of herbicide, from the truck's cabin moments before the cargo exploded about 1.30am (AEST) on Wednesday.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) said the fire ignited chemicals held in 20-litre drums, causing them to explode.

Firefighters in protective gear and breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze around 5am (AEST).

The Department of Community Safety said the chemicals were herbicides.



NEW BEDFORD =97 The fisherman who was blistered and hospitalized after dredging up a chemical catch suffered from rare mustard gas exposure, according to Edward Boyer, chief of the division of medical toxicology at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

UMass Medical Center sent blood and urine samples to a state laboratory in Boston, which made the confirmation, said Boyer, who is also a professor of emergency medicine at UMass Medical School.

"There have been five exposures to mustard gas in the United States that we know of since World War I ... that have been published in the literature," he said Tuesday.



NEW BEDFORD =97 Four fishermen were taken to the hospital Monday after appearing to have dredged up some dangerous chemicals while they were fishing off Long Island.

The chemical is believed to be some kind of "nerve agent, so that's leading people to speculate that it's a possibility of mustard gas," New Bedford Fire Chief Brian Faria said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

The fishermen were aboard the ESS Pursuit, which was dredging for clams when the crews pulled up canisters from the sea. The Coast Guard, the New Bedford Fire Department and a man who was aboard the ship all gave different accounts of how many canisters were pulled up, although Faria said he believes they dated back to World War I.

Kevin O'Sullivan, 33, of New Bedford was one of the fisherman on the ship and described the canisters as about 1 foot by 3 inches, resembling a large bullet.

Dredging up these types of curiosities "happens all the time," he said, adding that the canisters were thrown overboard.

Jeff Hall, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, echoed him, saying, "There's places all over the country where they've dumped munitions in the past." And in April, another clam boat brought in a haul of active, World War I-era grenades to the Wright Street shellfish plant.

However, a fellow crewmember =97 whom O'Sullivan knew simply as "Kosta" =97 later said he'd noticed one of the canisters was "leaking or cracked."

Kosta eventually began to blister, according to O'Sullivan, who said the man had one blister measuring approximately 4 inches by 2 inches on his forearm and a second on his leg.



BUCKEYE -- Two employees were hospitalized after they were burned at a chemical plant Tuesday morning.
According to Chief Bob Costello of the Buckeye Fire Department, the two Thatcher Chemical Company employees were working on a pipeline when some sulfuric acid spilled, spraying them in the face.
One of the employees received serious injuries and was airlifted to Maricopa Medical Center. The other was also burned and was taken to the medical center by ground ambulance.



WASHINGTON -- The EPA has concluded that formaldehyde is carcinogenic when inhaled by humans, a finding that could lead to stringent new regulations of the widely used chemical.

Used in the production of countless consumer products, formaldehyde attained a degree of national infamy after Hurricane Katrina when some of those living in the 120,000 trailers provided by FEMA as temporary housing for storm victims reported respiratory and other health problems after prolonged exposure to the chemical, which is contained in wood products in the trailers.

The EPA's draft assessment of the health perils of formaldehyde, released Wednesday, is now subject to 90 days of public comment and a nine-month peer review by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, on its way likely to forming the basis for new regulation of formaldehyde levels in myriad products.

Susan Poag / The Times-Picayune

FEMA workers left, Megan Webbeking and Rachel Rodi distributed formaldehyde information in Ironton community in Plaquemines parish in 2007 as part of a statewide effort by FEMA for inform residents of FEMA provided housing units about formaldehyde in the trailers.

"There is sufficient evidence of a causal relationship between formaldehyde exposure and cancers of the upper respiratory tracts, with the strongest evidence for nasopharyngeal and sino-nasal cancers," the 1,043-page draft assessment concludes. "There is also sufficient evidence of a causal association between formaldehyde exposure and lymphohematopoietic cancers, with the strongest evidence of Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia, particularly myleloid leukemia."


US_VA: HAZMAT TEAM RESPONDS TO OCEANFRONT HOTEL SPILL, onds-oceanfront-hotel-no-one-hurt?cid=mr

A hazmat team responded Monday morning to an unidenitifed chemical spill at an Oceanfront hotel. No one was injured, but two workers were treated and released at the scene, a fire department official said.

Some guests and staff at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hilton, on Atlantic Avenue, were instructed to stay clear of a section of the hotel where a liquid chemical spilled in a storage area about 9 a.m., the official said.

The chemical was mopped up with towels and a worker called 911. The towels were later removed by the hazmat team. No one was evacuated.

The hotel was declared safe and the scene cleared about 11:45 a.m., the fire official said.



HOBOKEN - A hazardous materials spill yesterday in a basement lab at the Burchard Building at the Stevens Institute of Technology forced the evacuation of the six-story facility, officials said.

The problem occurred when someone placed a chemical in a container and then placed that container in a common garbage container, Hoboken Battalion Chief John O'Brien said.

The material leaked out and mixed with materials in the larger container, causing respiratory distress for a number of people in the building, O'Brien said, noting at least one person was taken to an area hospital.

The spill was reported at 3:22 p.m. and people were allowed to re-enter the building at roughly 8:15 p.m., O'Brien said.

The Hoboken Fire Department's haz-mat unit responded to the scene and the Jersey City Fire Department provided backup, O'Brien said.

Wearing protective suits, the Hoboken firefighters removed the hazardous materials from the building and a private company took it away, he said.

The exact material that caused the distress could not be isolated, O'Brien said.




At least three people were killed this afternoon=97and several others injured=97after a natural gas facility exploded near Pecan Plantation, Texas, according to WFAA-TV (Dallas/Fort Worth).
Onlookers saw a huge fireball and smoke. WFAA-TV shows footage of a large pipeline burning.

Enterprise Products Partners owns the pipeline, which is part of the Texas Intrastate system, according to Reuters.
Hospitals the injured were taken to include Dallas=92s Parkland Hospital and Glen Rose Medical Center in Glen Rose, Texas, according to media reports.
The American Gas Association (AGA) this past May urged members of Congress to move swiftly in reauthorizing pipeline safety legislation. The AGA says such legislation has =93significantly improved the transportation of energy in the United States.=94


US_WV: 7 HURT IN W.VA. GAS DRILLING BLAST, hurt-in-WVa-gas-drilling-blast/UPI-99431275949749/

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va., June 7 (UPI) -- A drill crew tapped into an old coal mine in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle Monday, igniting a methane gas blast that injured seven people, officials said.

The Wheeling News-Register reported officials were investigating the 1:15 a.m. accident that also closed a portion of U.S. 250 for a time. The newspaper said the crew had been working into the night and drilled through the abandoned mine owned by Consol Energy.

Marshall County Chief Deputy Kevin Cecil said the workers had little time to react.

"We know there were six workers on the well when they started to hear what the men described as a rumbling," Cecil said.


US_TX: NO INJURIES IN IRVING CHEMICAL PLANT FIRE, -Chemical-Plant-Fire-95766039.html

The investigation into what sparked a two-alarm fire at an Irving chemical company Monday morning is ongoing, though preliminary indications point toward a static spark igniting the fire.
The fire started on the roof of the Schnee-Morehead company in the 100 block of North Nursery in Irving just before 7 a.m. Monday, investigators said.  Company officials were able to evacuate all employees, and no one was injured.
One witness told NBCDFW he saw black smoke and flames coming from the building.  Witnesses on the scene reportedly heard at least two explosions.
"The smoke became a flicker of a flame and the flame grew and next thing you know fire trucks are coming" said Marlon Dickson.

No Injuries in Irving Chemical Plant Fire
Firefighters said they were able to quickly douse the blaze.
A spokesperson for the Irving Fire Department said they decided to upgrade the fire to a two-alarm due to firefighters fatigue from the hot temperatures outside.
According to the Irving-based company=92s website, Schnee-Morehead is a producer of silicone, polyurethane, acrylic and foam sealants. 
"The area where the fire occurred is where we make our polyurethane based sealants" said Schnee Morehead director of operations, Jim Matthews.
Because of that, firefighters had to take extra precautions to keep the run-off from going into the storm drains. 



India (Reuters) - A court on Monday found the Indian unit of U.S. chemicals firm Union Carbide and seven Indian employees guilty of negligence over one of the world's worst industrial accidents that killed thousands of people in 1984.


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