Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2010 19:18:03 -0400
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Subject: Chemical Safety headlines from Google

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Dozens of states and local communities across the U.S. have sponsored drug take-back programs to help keep unused pharmaceuticals out of the nation=92s waters and out of the hands of drug abusers. But about 10% of prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. contain controlled substances such as painkillers, which cannot be collected legally by most take-back programs under current Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations.

Lawmakers, particularly those from rural areas where prescription drug abuse is high, are urging DEA to loosen up its restrictions and allow take-back programs to collect all unwanted drugs for disposal. They are also calling for a single federal guideline to help consumers know what to do with unwanted medications.

Various federal entities, including the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Food &amp; Drug Administration, the Fish &amp; Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency, have offered guidelines for consumers on how to properly dispose of unused medicines. However, as pointed out at a June 30 hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, they have provided conflicting information.

FDA and the White House, for example, recommend mixing most unwanted drugs with coffee grounds or kitty litter to make them undesirable, placing the mixture in a sealed container, and throwing it out with the household trash. But at the same time, they suggest that narcotic pain relievers and other drugs that can cause life-threatening effects, such as breathing difficulties or heart problems, be flushed down the toilet to prevent accidental ingestion. EPA and the Fish &amp; Wildlife Service, on the other hand, are opposed to flushing any pharmaceuticals because of concerns about the impacts on fish and the environment.



Following a five-month internal review, officials at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, released a report on July 23 laying out a framework to improve laboratory safety at the university. The review was triggered by a serious accident that occurred on Jan. 7 in a campus chemistry laboratory. The accident critically injured a student researcher (C&amp;EN, Feb. 1, page 25).

The report's recommendations were drawn up by a working group chaired by Alice Young, faculty fellow for research integrity in the Office of Vice President for Research. Young is also a professor of psychology and of pharmacology and neuroscience.

The six-page report is a series of recommendations intended to improve lab safety and elevate the importance of safety culture at the university. The recommendations are not proscriptive and are somewhat general. It will be left to a newly created university-wide Research Safety Committee to implement most of them.

The safety committee will be led by Young. As of September, the university's Environmental Health &amp; Safety Department (ES&amp;H), which oversees research lab safety at the university, will report to Young.


TANKER SPILLS HUNDREDS OF GALLONS OF GAS IN TAMPA, ker-spills-hundreds-gallons-gas-tampa/

A tanker truck spilled 2,000 gallons of gasoline in the Port of Tampa area Thursday evening, Tampa Fire Rescue officials said.

A gasoline tanker, which was carrying 8,000 gallons of fuel, struck a yellow cement parking post while exiting a Marathon fuel terminal at Linsey and 20th streets about 6 p.m., according to a report.

Most of the spilled gas fell into drains on the property and into a fuel-water separator, preventing any pollution, according to the report.

The remaining fuel in the tanker is being pumped out. When it is empty, it will be moved back onto the terminal property.

Residences near the incident were alerted to the danger but no evacuations were necessary, the report said.

Driver Thomas D. Camery, 51, of Auburndale, who was driving the truck for an Atlanta-based Energy Dispatch, will be cited for an improper left turn, Tampa police said.



  READE TOWNSHIP, CAMBRIA COUNTY - Fire fighters respond to a Hazmat situation that started in a Cambria County couple's basement.

The shades in Reade Township got their fuel oil tank filled Wednesday morning. And just a few hours later Janet smelled the fuel upstairs when her air conditioner kicked on. She hurried to the basement and found it covered in oil.

Somehow the Shade=92s 250 gallon fuel oil tank ruptured sending it all into their basement on Mountaindale Road. It got into the septic system and was coming up in the yard.

Janet says it was just overwhelming and she didn=92t know what to do so she called the fire company. Fire crews were on scene quickly and started laying down absorbent materials. They got it contained before it could spread out of their yard and into the woods. Fire fighters say there's a stream about a quarter mile into the woods.

The Shade's neighbor lent a hand, and a Bobcat, and dug a trench to stop the fuel oil from spreading. After the fire crews got the fuel contained Sugar Run Spills, a certified Hazmat clean up crew, came in to clean up the basement and yard.

Janet Shade wanted to thank the firemen, the cleaning company, her neighbor and everyone who helped her. They do have home owner's insurance. And Janet says she just wants to get everything cleaned up and back to normal.



GRANBY, Mass. (WWLP) - They've neutralized a Hazardous Materials situation at the Granby landfill.

A truck driver arriving to drop off a load at the landfill told 22News they were turned away because a blue barrel started giving off fumes and smoke.



Two lanes of eastbound traffic have been restored to Interstate 94 after traffic was detoured because of a chemical spill for about 4 hours, according to reports on police band scanners.

The incident began at about 9:30 a.m. when a number of insecticide containers fell from a farm truck and broke open on the highway.

According to scanner reports, the spilled chemical is marketed by the trade name Govern. An estimated 15 gallons was involved. The Material Safety Data Sheet indicates fumes from Govern are an inhalation hazard and irritant and the chemical is flammable.

Reports indicated dirt or sand wasbeing used as an absorbent material at the location. The materials were cleared from both lanes, allowing limited traffic past the site. Officials said some dirt remains on the roadway.

No injuries have been reported in the incident although the Medina Ambulance was on standby at the scene.


SOUTH WEST CHINA CHEMICAL PLANT BLAST KILLS 5, INJURES 4, -west-china-chemical-plant-blast-kills-5-injures-4-news-international-khwl kgcchfh.html

At least five persons were killed and four injured in a chemical plant explosion in Xingyi in South West China's Guizhou Province on Thursday morning.

The China Daily and the Xinhua news agency reported that the accident took place at about 9 a.m. at the plant located in the Bouyei-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Qianxinan.

Chen Gang, director of the prefecture government's emergency response office, was quoted as saying: "The explosion occurred when workers were repairing chemical material pipelines."

The injured have been admitted to a hospital.

"We are investigating the cause of the accident," Gang added. (ANI)


ADEQ OVERSEES CLEANUP OF CHEMICAL SPILL AT WAREHOUSE , verseeing-cleanup-of-chemical-spill-at-rogers-warehouse/
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LITTLE ROCK =97 The Arkansas Department of Environmental says a chemical spill at a former waste disposal facility in Rogers is an emergency but is not serious enough to require evacuating the area.

During a routine inspection Tuesday, ADEQ inspectors noticed a pesticide odor coming from a warehouse at Haz-Mert, which is currently closed and involved in bankruptcy proceedings, the agency said today.

Inside the warehouse, inspectors discovered leaking containers of flammable liquids and liquid oxidizers. Liquids were moving toward each other on the floor, creating the possibility of a fire or other chemical reaction.

ADEQ said it issued an emergency order directing the bankruptcy trustee in charge of the facility to hire an environmental contractor to clean up the spill. Work began at the site Wednesday.

=93Right now, no evacuations are being required. The department continues to work with the Rogers Fire Department in the event that the situation changes,=94 the agency said in a news release.


HAZMAT CREWS RESPOND TO CHEMICAL LEAK - KANSAS CITY NEWS STORY - KCTV KANSAS CITY, http://www.kctv5.c om/news/24339653/detail.html

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City hazmat crews responded to a chemical leak at the Westin Crown Center on Wednesday morning.
The leak was reported around 10:30 a.m., and fire officials said a mixture of chlorine and other chemicals came from a pool maintenance room on the fifth floor.
The leak caused a pungent odor. Hazmat teams ventilated the area, but no evacuations were made.



Washington DC, July 21, 2010 - A U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) case study released today on the 2009 explosion and fire at the Veolia ES Technical Solutions L.L.C. facility in West Carrollton, Ohio, calls on the industry to improve safety standards covering hazardous waste processing, handling, and storage facilities. The Board also recommended that fire protection codes be revised to require companies to determine safe distances between occupied buildings and potentially hazardous operating areas.


          The accident occurred on May 4, 2009, when flammable vapor was released from a waste recycling process, ignited, and violently exploded. The blast seriously injured two workers and damaged 20 nearby residences and five businesses. CSB investigators found that the north wall of the lab and operations building - where the victims were injured -

was less than 30 feet from the waste recycling processing area where the flammable vapor was released.   


         CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said, =93This accident should not have happened. Our report notes that OSHA cited the company for inadequate attention to process safety management practices in the handling of flammable liquids. But in case of an accident, I believe it is absolutely critical that buildings at chemical facilities be sited safe distances from process equipment to maximize the safety of workers. We are making recommendations that would help ensure that operating areas with occupied buildings such as control rooms be sufficiently separated from process areas containing flammable liquids and gases that have the potential to explode.=94 



Monterey County and the city of Salinas are suing three entities to recoup nearly $1 million the governments spent responding to a chemical fire and toxic contamination after an explosion at a commercial building in May 2009.

It took 17 fire companies and 55 firefighters to extinguish the blaze at 1353 Dayton St. in Salinas. It took city and county workers nearly two months to clean up the resulting toxic runoff that killed 1,600 fish and thousands of worms in a storm drain and reclamation ditch that flow into Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Terry Spitz, chief assistant district attorney, confirmed late Tuesday that his office is investigating potential criminal or civil charges in the case.

Named in the lawsuit filed last week are Sequence Consulting Inc. and Excelligence Learning Corp., tenants at the property that together were allegedly storing large quantities of chemicals and dyes without permits. Also named are A-1 Moving and Storage and its partners, Warren Scarr, Mark Scarr and James Slaten, who own the warehouse.

On May 29, 2009, according to the lawsuit, Sequence was storing 500 pounds of hexamine, which is used to manufacture explosives, a number of 55-gallon drums of methyl alcohol and large quantities of dye, chemicals and other toxic materials at the site.

About 6:30 that evening, according to city and county attorneys, Sequence director Michael Delmar was trying to make a paint product by mixing 100 gallons of methyl alcohol, iron filings in a reactor.


CHEMICAL FIRE EVACUATES 3 HOMES, f-ae25-001cc4c002e0.html

An agricultural spray trailer possibly containing hazardous materials caught fire at about 7 o'clock this morning east of Ellensburg in the area of Denmark and TJossem roads, according to a news release.

When the chemicals were identified as soil fumigant/pesticides, crews declared the scene hazardous and evacuated three homes and closed TJossem road between Ferguson and Denmark roads.

Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue deputy chief Rich Elliott said there were no injuries and the spray trailer appeared to be the only property damaged by the fire. It was a total loss which he estimates at less than $20,000.

Elliott said officials are unsure how the fire started, but believe it might have been spontaneous combustion. He said the fire burned for three hours



A chemical fire closed a city block and sent a police officer and a firefighter to the hospital Wednesday in Durango.

According to the Durango Herald, the fire was reported just after 1 p.m. in a garage adjacent to an office building on Main Avenue.

Nearby offices were evacuated as light smoke, white in color, could be seen pouring from the garage.

A firefighter and a police officer were sent to Mercy Regional Medical Center with respiratory irritation. The two were evaluated and expected to be alright.

Durango fire officials later announced the fire was a hazardous chemical accident involving bags of sulfur that were stored in the garage. The chemical ignited forming sulfur dioxide, a gas known to produce respiratory difficulties.



Guilford County, NC-- Land being turned over to the state for a park got a visit from the Greensboro Bomb Squad Tuesday. A Guilford County man who is turning over land to the state for the Haw River Park called police and hazmat after finding dynamite and other explosive devices in an old barn.

The property is located off NC Highway 150 East in Guilford County. Officers told WFMY News 2, the dynamite is about 50 years old and was used to blast the area to make a creek bed.

Kelley Thompson, Superintendent for the park, told that it is common to find dynamite on old farms.

Police say rather than collect the dynamite, they will burn down the barn and destroy it.

In May 2009, the bomb squad burned an old barn in Rockingham County after someone found dynamite in it. Click here to see that story.



MORRISTOWN =97 A chemical explosion at a Hamblen County manufacturing plant sent one worker to a local hospital Monday afternoon, according to emergency responders.

The explosion, reported at 4:15 p.m., caused some structural damage to the Trelleborg Coated Systems plant in Morristown, which produces printing materials, said Morristown Fire Department Capt. Scott Moshier.

The facility was evacuated and one plant employee was transported by ambulance to Jefferson Memorial Hospital as a precaution, Moshier said.

The explosion, centered in an exhaust system, was sparked by a liquid solvent, toluene, he said.


CHLORINE LEAK: LAST CYLINDER DUMPED - MUMBAI - CITY - THE TIMES OF INDIA, m/city/mumbai/Chlorine-leak-Last-cylinder-dumped/articleshow/6193508.cms

MUMBAI: Rescue teams comprising experts from chemical firms, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the fire brigade, did a clinical job of completing clean-up operations at MbPT's Sewree warehouse. 

Failing to drill a hole or open the valve of the last lot of the cylinders- from which chlorine gas had leaked last week landing 120 people in hospital-the teams dumped the hazardous waste into the sea. 

A senior NDRF commandant confirmed that cylinders were dumped because "it was too risky to carry out the neutralisation process on them".



A security guard was hospitalized after a small chemical fire broke out at Nova Biomedical Corp. on Prospect Street late Monday night when lactic acid lithium was left in a stove with the temperature set too high, said Deputy Fire Chief Roger Hebert.

The guard was doing his rounds in the back area of the building, when he noticed smoke and called 911 at 9:51 p.m. Monday night, Hebert said.

The man, whose name was not disclosed, was taken to Newton-Wellesley Hospital as a precaution, but appeared to be fine, Hebert said.

Lactic acid lithium can cause respiratory problems when inhaled, he said.

The chemical powder is normally placed in the oven when it arrives at Nova, because it gets moist during the shipping process and needs to be dried out, Hebert said.

It should have been heated to 100 degrees Celsius, but the oven was turned up higher, to an unmarked temperature, he said.

Because the fire was in the oven, it was contained, and emergency workers shut the oven off and let the smoke vent out before inspecting, with the help of several Nova employees, Hebert said.



MADISON COUNTY, Idaho -- The Environmental Protection Agency has received the green light to go ahead and clean up the chemicals off the Madison County property found to contain hazardous substances.

Hazmat crews will move the more than 3,000 containers full of chemicals and paint products over the next three to five days.

Last week, the EPA conducted on-site testing of chemicals.

The containers were discovered by the sheriff's office while visiting the home due to neighbor's complaints of the dozens of junky cars on the property.

The warrant given by the U.S. District Court of Idaho gave the EPA 30 days to both clean up the property and gather soil samples.



EL PASO -- A railroad car sprung a gas leak in the Upper Valley this morning, forcing HazMat crews to close down a section of Doniphan near the intersection of Montoya street.

Firefighters say the railroad car, loaded with carbon dioxide, was traveling along the railroad tracks parallel to Doniphan when a valve opened. 

Railroad authorities moved the leaking car to a new location to remove the gas.



A cropduster plane crashed in Sandusky County Monday night. It happened just after 6 pm outside of Clyde off of County Road 294.

The pilot was the only person on board. He was injured and transported to Bellevue Hospital. Officials won't release his name, only saying he is in stable condition. Meanwhile, the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The chief of the Townsend Township volunteer fire department says the pilot of this cropduster plane was working, spraying pesticide in this field when it suddenly crashed. Chief Joe Parkhurst says, "A local cropduster was spraying fungicide on the corn here. And investigators are determining if he was under power or if he clipped something coming out of the field."

One of the wings of the plane clipped the empty gran bins in the back of this property. Also, part of the plane's debris hit the barn. The pilot was injured, but was up and walking around at the scene.

Parkhurst says, "When we arrived on scene he was standing by the homeowner's house. He was complaining of some chemical burn and some head injuries."

Hazmat crews were called because of the pesticide spill from the plane. Hazmat left the scene by 8:30. Parkhurst says, "Everything has been contained down on the ground. The ground has been so dry, it was absorbed into the ground."

Ohio Highway Patrol is in charge of the investigation. FAA officials are expected to be on scene Tuesday morning. The fire chief says the family who lives in the house next to the barn is staying with grandparents who live nearby. They were inside the home when the crash happened and were not injured.



A crash Monday morning resulted in a hazardous materials spill injured four people and slowed traffic on a highway northeast of Tucson, authorities said. 
The crash happened about 9:15 a.m. on Arizona 77 at milepost 120, six miles north of Mammoth, and involved a tractor trailer and a pickup truck, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.
The trailer was carrying sulfuric acid which leaked out of the rig and required hazmat crews to respond, DPS said.
The road remained open in both directions during the cleanup, and traffic was routed around the collision area, DPS said.
The four people injured were flown to area hospitals, but none of their injuries were considered life-threatening, DPS said.


HAZMAT SITUATION AT RED ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO, http://www.ktnv .com/Global/story.asp?S=12834233

Las Vegas, NV -- Three people were taken to hospital after inhaling some strong fumes after some chemicals were accidentally mixed at Red Rock Hotel and Casino.

According to Clark County Fire at around 11am Monday, Hazmat teams were called to Red Rock Hotel and Casino because chlorine was pumped into an acid tank in the hotel's pool area.

This created fumes that caused respiratory irritation to people in the area.  Three people were taken to hospital by private vehicle for treatment.

Approximately 25 gallons of chlorine was pumped into the acid holding tank, that system will be flushed and cleaned out to eliminate any further problem.


HAZMAT TEAM RESPONDS TO SPRINGFIELD USPS FACILITY, ponds_to_springfield_usps_facility/srvc=home&amp;position=recent

SPRINGFIELD =97 Authorities are still trying to figure out what prompted a hazardous materials response at a Springfield postal facility.

A fire department spokesman says six postal workers had to be decontaminated Sunday after an unknown substance spilled out of a parcel at the U.S. Postal Service=92s Bulk Mail Distribution Center.

The workers had to take a decontamination shower and had their clothes bagged.

The workers did not require hospitalization and preliminary testing determined that the substance was not dangerous.

It will take additional lab tests to determine exactly what the substance is.

The area where the spill occurred was closed off, but work continued in the rest of the facility.


EPA, HAZMAT CALLED AFTER TRAILER TIPS ON TURNPIKE, 20/epa-hazmat-called-after-trailer-tips-on-turnpike/

NORTH RIDGEVILLE =97 A Lorain County haz mat team and the Ohio EPA were called Monday night after a semi hauling two trailers, including one containing 288 pounds of corrosive liquid, overturned on the Ohio Turnpike.

Fire crews were called to the Interstate 80 exit ramp at state Route 10 in North Ridgeville about 8:30 p.m. to find one trailer on its side and another trailer containing what appeared to be paint still upright.

=93When we went to the back of the overturned trailer, there was a cloud of gas and a smell of alkalide, so we called hazmat in right away,=94 North Ridgeville fire Lt. Greg Laborie said.

The liquid, which is used in manufacturing processes, remained in the trailer, but the hazmat team spent Thursday night assessing how much gas leaked out. Laborie said there=92s no harm to anyone in the area as a result of the gas.

What could be more severe is the =93quite a bit=94 of fuel that leaked into the drainage system below the off-ramp, Laborie said. The Ohio EPA was called out to assess how much of it flowed down the hill that the section of road sits on and whether it can be cleaned from the creek below.

=93We tried to stop as much of it as possible from getting down there, but some definitely went in,=94 he said.


CHLORINE PUMP FAILS, SENDS 17 KIDS TO HOSPITAL | ABC7.COM, cal/los_angeles&amp;id=7563707

ARCADIA, Calif. (KABC) -- Dozens of children were evacuated and given medical treatment Monday after a chlorine leak at an Arcadia pool caused kids to complain of breathing problems

A total of 30 people had to be treated by paramedics.

Seventeen had to be transported to local hospitals.

Nine of them were taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. All the children were treated and released, except for one that will be kept overnight.

Eight of them were transported to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia. Five of them have been released, while the other three remain under observation.

The emergency call to Arcadia County Park on South Santa Anita Avenue went out at about 11:30 a.m.

Dozens of children were at an open swim session when a pump at the pool malfunctioned, leading to the pool becoming over chlorinated, authorities said.

The kids and some life guards began complaining of shortness of breath, problems with breathing, burning eyes and throats.


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