Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 13:31:09 -0400
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From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety"

Subject: CH&S headlines from google

Chemical Safety: Dangers Of Diglyme 
Reading the investigators=E2=80=99 account of the T2 Laboratories explosion, which was attributed to metallic sodium and hot di glyme, we suspect this may be an example of a much wider phenomenon, already met in other guises (C&EN, Sept. 21, 2009, page 8). A previous account of a violent runaway in diglyme, postulated as powered by reaction with finely divided active metal (in this case aluminum) has long been in "Bretherick=E2=80=99s Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards,=E2=80 =9D but, having its primary entry under "lithium aluminium hydride,=" might be missed by the hasty searcher. 

We are also strongly reminded of the Seveso, Italy, accident of 1976 (and its several precursors). Investigation showed that these were the result of a high-temperature, base-induced decomposition of diethylene glycol, or ethylene glycol itself, to materials including hydrogen and water, the coreagent sodium hydroxide, not sodium metal, and the temperature again around 200 =C2=B0C. 

Thermodynamic calculations from "Heats of Formation=" suggest that 1,2 diols are higher energy than they look and may dehydrate exothermically. This, no doubt, is why biology finds sugars so useful as fuels and energy stores (and why sugar refineries occasionally have explosions from a hot molasses decomposition usually attributed to Maillard reaction with protein impurities). 

Capping the glycol as an ether, so that methanol, or dimethyl ether, is eliminated rather than water, will do little to the thermodynamics=E2=80=94and perhaps not much to the kinetics=E2=80=94of reaction. The simplest diethyleneglycol ether, dioxan, is known to decompose exothermically at around 200 =C2=B0C.
< a class="tag" href="" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(170, 85, 17); line-height: 24px; ">Us  explosion  followup  glyme  laboratory  
3 minutes ago 
Richmond Chemical Leak: Wasterwater treatment plant evacuated after sulfur dioxide leak. - wtvr 
RICHMOND, VA - Fire and rescue crews spent hours tending to a hazardous materials incident at the Richmond wastewater plant Tuesday morning. A potentially dangerous chemical was leaking in the 1400 block of Brander Street - just off Interstate 95 near Ancarrow's landing in Richmond's southside. 

A worker inside called emergency crews after smelling something he thought was sulfur dioxide. 

Richmond fire Lt. Shawn Jones says the employee was right. Rescue crews detected a small dose of sulfur dioxide leaking from a pipeline connecting a rail car and the facility. 

Jones says sulfur dioxide in large quantities can be very toxic and the worker who inhaled the sulfur dioxide was checked out as a precaution. It was determined that he was okay and the other workers were kept outside for hours for their safety. 

Chris Rossi works at the facility and is also a volunteer Hanover firefighter. His experience came in handy. Rossi spent part of his morning investigating the incident himself - trying to figure out the dangers of sulfur dioxide. 

"I checked my handy dandy hazard book," said Rossi. "Dangers of sulfur dioxide, distance, etc."
Us_va  leak  industrial  hydrogen_sulfide  response  
5 hours ago 
Chemical fire in Newton blackens Surrey sky 
SURREY =E2=80=93 It looked like a bomb dropped on a west Newton neighbourhood late Monday afternoon as a chemical fire in a cabinet furniture shop sent up massive columns of billowing jet-black smoke that obscured the blue sky and fogged out nearby streets. 

The fire was fully erupting at about 4:30 p.m., on 83A Avenue just west of 124th Street, with flames shooting up some 30 feet high. 

Onlookers quickly clogged a length of 124th Street as fire truck after fire truck raced in to the scene. Some people helped direct traffic as helicopters flew overhead. The cause of the fire was not known as of about 5 p.m. Nor was it known if anyone had been injured. 

At about 9:30 p.m., local roads were blocked off and at least eight fire trucks were at the scene, as well as an ambulance, but there was still no word of any injuries. 

Firefighters at the scene said they'd been fighting largely a defensive fire. They were still pumping water into from a crane at 9:30 p.m. and there was still some smoke coming from the building.
Canada  fire  industrial  response  
5 hours ago 
Chemical spill closes UCO building =C2=BB Local News =C2=BB The Edmond Sun 
EDMOND =E2=80=94 A University of Central Oklahoma building was temporarily closed after spilled chemicals were found in a chemistry lab, a spokesman said. 

Tuesday morning university administration was notified of the spill, and the Edmond Fire Department responded to a suspicious substance call at 7:36 a.m., according to the city fire incidents report. 

UCO spokesman Charlie Johnson said the spill occurred in Howell Hall, the math and science building, which was evacuated since it could have presented a fire hazard. 

The chemicals, which included ethylene glycol, ethanol and acetone, were in a container which for an unknown reason went from a table top to the floor and broke, Johnson said. The amount of chemicals spilled was enough to cause concern, he said. 

Johnson said the classrooms in the building were reopened at 8 a.m. and the lab side was reopened by mid morning. Because it was summer, few people were in the building at the time, he said. No one was injured
Us_ok  leak  laboratory  higher_ed  solvent  response  
5 hours ago 
Applegarth Middle School in Monroe evacuated after flammable powder was exposed in science lab | | 
< div class="description" style="line-height: 15px; margin-top: 2px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85); ">MONROE =E2=80=94 Fire and HazMat crews responded to Applegarth Middle School in Monroe late Monday morning to remove a potentially flammable powder that was found exposed in a science lab, authorities said.

An employee found the powdered magnesium out of a container in a storage cabinet around 11 a.m., prompting officials to evacuate the school, said James Garbin, chief of the township=E2=80=99s second fire district. Crews from the Middlesex County Hazardous Materials Unit responded and went inside to secure the powder with the help of firefighters.

About 20 staff members were at the Applegarth Road school at the time, Carbin said. No one was injured during the incident.

Powdered magnesium is flammable if exposed to water and poses several other hazards, Carbin said. Employees at the school called authorities after recognizing the substance.
Us_nj  response  spill  laboratory  high_school  magnesium  
Chemical leak at Farmington plant | Farmington, N.M. | KRQE News 13 
FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) - Residents displaced by the chemical leak in Farmington can seek shelter at Bluffview Elementary School located at 1204 Camino Real. 

Battalion Chief Troy Brown with the Farmington Fire Department said there maybe as many as 100 people who can still not return to their homes after 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of Hydrochloric Acid leaked from a holding tank at the Schlumberger Plant Sunday evening. 

The fire department had hoped to lift all shelter in place orders by midnight, but Brown said the clean up is going to take longer than expected.
Us_nm  leak  industrial  response  hcl  
Press of Atlantic City Mobile Edition 
An Absecon man was hurt Sunday in an explosion caused by poolchemicals, police said.   

Frank Blee Sr., 79, of South Mill Road, was injured about 5:45 p.m.when a container of chlorine tablets exploded after pool water wasaccidentially splashed into it, police said. Blee was taken to theRegional Trauma Unit at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, CityCampus, in Atlantic City for treatment.   

Absecon police, a Galloway Township ambulance and an AtlantiCareparamedic unit responded to the initial call, and the Absecon FireDepartment and Atlantic County Office of Emergency Managementassisted to properly secure the remaining chlorine. Several homesin the immediate area were evacuated, and traffic on South MillRoad was diverted for a short time, police said.  
Us_nj  explosion  pool_chemicals  injuries  home  

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