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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
Various federal entities, including the White House
Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Food & Drug
Administration, the Fish & 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 & 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&EN, Feb. 1, page 25).
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
The safety committee will be led by Young. As of
September, the university's Environmental Health & Safety
Department (ES&H), which oversees research lab safety at the
university, will report to Young.
truck spilled 2,000 gallons of gasoline in the Port of Tampa area
Thursday evening, Tampa Fire Rescue officials said.
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
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
Residences near the incident were alerted to the
danger but no evacuations were necessary, the report
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
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.
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.
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.
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
LANES OF TRAFFIC RESTORED ON I-94 AFTER HAZMAT SPILL, h
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
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.
Gang, director of the prefecture government's emergency response office,
was quoted as saying: "The explosion occurred when workers were
repairing chemical material pipelines."
injured have been admitted to a hospital.
investigating the cause of the accident," Gang added.
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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.
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
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
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas
City hazmat crews responded to a chemical leak at the Westin Crown
Center on Wednesday morning.
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
The leak caused a pungent
odor. Hazmat teams ventilated the area, but no evacuations were
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.
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
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
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
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
Terry Spitz, chief assistant district attorney,
confirmed late Tuesday that his office is investigating potential
criminal or civil charges in the case.
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
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
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
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
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
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
chemical fire closed a city block and sent a police officer and a
firefighter to the hospital Wednesday in Durango.
to the Durango Herald, the fire was reported just after 1 p.m. in a
garage adjacent to an office building on Main Avenue.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
MORRISTOWN =97 A chemical explosion at a Hamblen
County manufacturing plant sent one worker to a local hospital Monday
afternoon, according to emergency responders.
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
The facility was evacuated and one plant employee was
transported by ambulance to Jefferson Memorial Hospital as a precaution,
The explosion, centered in an exhaust system, was
sparked by a liquid solvent, toluene, he said.
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
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.
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
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,
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.
have been heated to 100 degrees Celsius, but the oven was turned up
higher, to an unmarked temperature, he said.
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.
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.
crews will move the more than 3,000 containers full of chemicals and
paint products over the next three to five days.
week, the EPA conducted on-site testing of chemicals.
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
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
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.
authorities moved the leaking car to a new location to remove the
A cropduster plane crashed in Sandusky County Monday
night. It happened just after 6 pm outside of Clyde off of County Road
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
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."
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
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
The trailer was carrying
sulfuric acid which leaked out of the rig and required hazmat crews to
respond, DPS said.
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
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.
created fumes that caused respiratory irritation to people in the
area. Three people were taken to hospital by private vehicle for
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.
SPRINGFIELD =97 Authorities are still trying to figure
out what prompted a hazardous materials response at a Springfield postal
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
=93We tried to stop as much of it as possible from
getting down there, but some definitely went in,=94 he
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
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.
children were at an open swim session when a pump at the pool
malfunctioned, leading to the pool becoming over chlorinated,
The kids and some life guards began complaining of
shortness of breath, problems with breathing, burning eyes and