Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 07:10:01 -0400
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Subject: Chemical Safety headlines from Google

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SMALL CHEMICAL SPILL REPORTED AT MAINE PLANT, -Maine-p/landing.html?&amp;blockID=3&amp;apID=dcabf9a86cbf47d3 8e1bf419111a86a8

SANFORD, Maine (AP) =97 Officials say a small chemical spill has been cleaned up at a plastic sheet manufacturing plant in Sanford, Maine.

Fire Lt. Eric Neubert said officials were called at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday to the Cyro Industries plant on Main Street.

Neubert said an employee was accidentally sprayed with a chemical known as methyl methacrylate monomer when it spilled from a tanker truck that was being unloaded. In all, about 20 gallons of the chemical spilled.

By the time an emergency response teams arrived, the worker was taking a shower to clean off. Neubert said the employee, whose name is not being released, was taken to Goodall Hospital as a precaution.

Officials say Cyro employees cleaned up the spill.


TORONTO GROCERY STORE TO REOPEN AFTER ILLNESS SENT CUSTOMERS TO HOSPITAL, news/Chemical+leak+Toronto+grocery+store+sends+hospital+reports/3582140/st ory.html

TORONTO =97 A Toronto grocery store evacuated after some staff and customers became ill Saturday should reopen Monday after being given the all clear, Loblaw said Sunday.

The food chain said four customers and seven employees were affected by symptoms that =93include vomiting and to a lesser degree, diarrhea=94 but all were recovering.

While media reports said the illnesses were caused by a chemical leak, the chain said tests found no such evidence.

=93Testing at the store by an environmental company and the Fire Department has since shown no environmental issues, such as a chemical leak exist at the store,=94 the chain said in a statement, adding =93the store has been cleared by the local Fire Department and relevant authorities as being safe.=94



Many downtown residents and business owners had to hold their noses Sunday morning after routine maintenance at a south Macon pulp mill left a foul odor permeating through the air.
By Sunday afternoon, the stench still covered parts of downtown as a steady northerly wind combined with high humidity created perfect conditions for a lingering odor.
Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Donnie Mercer would not say the name of the factory that released the chemical causing the smell, saying he wants to wait until the company has had time to issue a release to the public. He said the chemical posed no danger to residents.
=93This is not a hazard at all. It could cause some people to have eye irritation, but a lot of that=92s psychological,=94 Mercer said.
Mercer said he doesn=92t know how long it will take for the chemical to clear the air, but that a forecast of evening showers could cause the stench to stick around for a while.



Two months after the fire and spill at J&amp;J Chemical Co. in Athens, a sickly sweet odor still hangs in the air along Trail Creek, and an unnatural turquoise tint still colors the water. Cleanup workers are laboring to reduce the stubbornly persistent chemical load in the creek. Concentrations of formaldehyde and other chemicals have mostly dissipated, but dichlorobenzene levels are still falling only slowly.
The book isn't closed on this spill, but those aren't the only reasons why. In addition to the full remediation of Trail Creek, our community and state still need a lot of answers about this incident. We all need assurances that procedures are being examined and adjusted for the "next time" that we hope doesn't come.
For some, the key line of questioning revolves around the fire response: In light of all the potential impacts to air quality, water quality, neighboring properties, and public safety from any course of action taken during the fire, is the appropriate response to apply a large volume of water to this type of chemical fire?


OIL SPILL IN STRAWBERRY, DUCHESNE RIVERS ESTIMATED AT 15-20 BARRELS | DESERET NEWS, http://www.deseretnews .com/article/700068589/Oil-spill-in-Strawberry-Duchesne-rivers-estimated-a t-15-20-barrels.html

DUCHESNE =97 An unknown amount of crude oil has gotten past booms set up on the Strawberry River and entered the Duchesne River, authorities said Saturday.

The paraffin-based black wax crude, which is produced in the oil fields of the Uintah Basin, is now affecting about three to four miles along both rivers. It has not been detected at booms set up near Bridgeland, about 10 miles away from the spot where it is believed it was dumped in the river Friday, said Mike Lefler, director of Duchesne County Fire and Emergency Management.



With nearly 5 million barrels of BP's crude having gushed into the Gulf of Mexico for months on end, the summer of 2010 will long be remembered for environmental catastrophe. News of the oil spill came close on the heels of the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed 29 miners in West Virginia -- the nation's worst mining disaster in some four decades. In both cases, most of us couldn't help but wonder how things have gone so terribly wrong. How could corporate safeguards have failed so miserably? How could government regulators have been so feckless? As such questions linger, along comes "The Polluters," a remarkably timely, extensively researched and accessible book offering a fresh perspective as we search for answers.


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WORCESTER =97  Federal environmental officials told school and health officials this morning that the clean-up of the Grafton Elementary Street School is going smoothly, addressing the potentially hazardous mercury that was brought into a classroom by a student on Tuesday. 

=93That's really good news,=94 said Worcester schools Chief Academic Officer Jeffrey J. Mulqueen, who was at the school throughout the morning.

A specialized top-to-bottom cleaning of the building is ongoing.

A sixth-grade student brought nearly a pint of mercury to Grafton Street School to show a teacher on Tuesday, and that prompted an environmental investigation.

Despite the optimistic news this morning, Mr. Mulqueen said classes on Monday will be held at the Fanning Building on Chatham Street. He said parents and guardians were told last night that students would be moved from the Grafton Street Elementary School to the Fanning Building today and Monday. 

=93We are still planning school there Monday,=94 Mr. Mulqueen said. =93We want to avoid any confusion.=94

The district bused about 240 students in Grades 3 to 6 away from Grafton Street's Building 2 yesterday as a multi-agency decontamination effort got under way. 

Students and faculty in the building, plus second-graders who entered Building 2 to have lunch, had until 6 p.m. yesterday to voluntarily have their urine tested for mercury exposure. Mercury leaves the body quickly, so testing after a certain window doesn't make sense, Mr. Mulqueen said.



A chemical company in Gloucestershire has been fined =A366,000 following an explosion at its factory in 2006.

The incident at Biolab UK's site near Cheltenham saw chemicals leak into the River Coln, killing about 2,500 fish.

In May, the firm admitted at Gloucester Crown Court failing to take all measures to prevent the accident and failing to limit the consequences.

At Cirencester Crown Court on Friday, Judge Martin Picton also ordered the firm to pay =A380,000 in costs.

The fire broke out at the water and swimming pool treatment company's factory at Andoversford on 6 September 2006.



Salt River Fire Paramedics rushed on to campus after two students in the Natural Science building suffered from breathing complications while working with pure Ethanol on Tuesday Sept. 21.
The three-hour lab, taught by Professor Anne Healy, had been using pure Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or drinking alcohol, when the two girls began to feel nauseous.  Classmate, Diane Hannan, said, "they turned red and blush and couldn't breathe."
arly speculation, from administration, over the cause of the incident was possible equipment failure in the air vents.  However, according to Healy an inspection took place after the students were sent home, and found no problems or malfunctions.  
It is still unclear what caused the sudden complications but Healy believes it was a mixture of the heat and chemicals in the air.  According to Healy, the lab gets warm due to the use of sterilizers in order to inoculate needles and other supplies the lab uses.


"I think (it's) just a combination of a lot of smelly chemicals and it gets warm in there," said Healy.  "Some people just find it really irritating and unpleasant.  So I think that's all it really was=85 weird chemical odors."


 The two girls began to feel better after paramedics treated them with oxygen to breathe.  Healy ran into one of the students some time later and said she had been feeling a lot better since the incident.




A fire during a remodeling project in Hutchinson sends two people to the hospital. One of them is in critical condition.

It happened around 1:30 Friday afternoon at an apartment complex at 105 N. Maple.

Authorities say the pair was using a chemical to remove glue from the floor when the chemical caught fire. Investigators say the chemical got too close to a hot water heater and ignited.

A 32-year-old woman is now at a Wichita hospital with burns to multiple parts of her body, including her face.

Doctors are treating the other victim at Promise Regional Medical Center in Hutchinson with burns to his arms and legs.



TWO men were taken to hospital after a major chemical incident at an under-construction Aberdeen school.

Firefighters wearing hazardous material suits were called to Aberdeen=92s new Kaimhill School in Aberdeen.

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service said builders had created a chemical reaction which led to fumes being released.

The two victims, thought to be construction workers, had symptoms including burning throats and headaches.



PATIENTS EVACUATED FROM HOSPITAL, ional/patients-evacuated-from-hospital-20100924-15q90.html

Patients were among 80 people evacuated from the Gold Coast Hospital after a chemical gas leak on Friday.

Firefighters were called to the hospital in Southport at about 9.45am (AEST) after staff complained of fumes coming from a fire-proof cabinet.

The chemical vapour is thought to have been xylene, a solvent used in the printing, rubber, and leather industries, a spokeswoman for the Department of Community Safety said.

Level two of the hospital was evacuated of 80 people, including patients.

Firefighters in splashsuits isolated the spill and contained it.

Crews monitored air quality before declaring the scene safe just after noon.



Emergency crews set floating booms in the Strawberry River on Friday afternoon, after globs of a mystery petroleum product were seen sticking to the stream banks behind the Duchesne County Fairgrounds.

Mike Lefler, director of the County Fire and Emergency management office, said he is =93pretty sure=94 the substance is oil but investigators are still trying to confirm that.

=93It=92s an ongoing investigation at this point into what=92s happened,=94 Lefler said. =93We=92re not positive what it is.=94

Lefler said booms and buoys appear to have contained the spill. Cleanup begins today. Enviro Care, Inc., an environmental cleanup company based in North Salt Lake, was called in to assist hazmat and fire crews from the county, Duchesne City and Myton City.

The impacted stretch of river runs through backyards and neighborhoods. Lefler said Friday evening no injuries had been reported so far. He added that he could see fish jumping in the stream in front of him as the sticky material gathered on the river=92s edges.

Some people at the scene were identified as being with Chevron, but spokesman Dan Johnson said: =93It=92s not our spill.=94



PHOENIX -- A quick response by Phoenix Fire Department's Hazmat Unit kept a fuel spill in one neighborhood from getting too bad Friday afternoon. However, it did close roads in the area for a few hours.
A truck carrying 8,500 gallons of unleaded fuel ran over a piece of equipment that had fallen off another semi and ruptured the tank. About 50 gallons of the fuel spilled into the street near 51st Avenue and Van Buren Street.
Crews were able to use piles of dirt and dikes to keep the fuel from getting into any of the storm drains in the area. The rest of the fuel was transferred into another truck.



MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A man was sickened by a product Friday morning, which then caused four hospital workers to be overcome.

The 62-year-old man came to the Veterans Administration Medical Center about 7:30 a.m. Friday.  At the time, he was vomiting and complaining of nausea and difficulty breathing.

According to VA spokeswoman Willie Logan, the four employees immediately began feeling nauseous from an odor coming from the patient.

"We did have two employees to go home because of overwhelming fumes," Logan said. "We had two employees to stay here, but they were cleared and have gone back to work and the patients admitted to the ICU and we are watching the patient."

The patient was cleaned and put in the intensive care unit, Logan said.  Meanwhile, authorities did not have to evacuate the hospital, but they had to move some patients around as a precaution.

"I guess they had some kind of plastic stuff over him," witness Joy Spee said. "They had him wrapped up. I guess he had a lot of fumes on him. I guess they didn't want anybody else to get sick."

A hazardous materials team was sent to the man's home to find what sickened him.


TRUCK CARRYING ETHANOL ROLLS OVER ON U.S. 20 - FREEPORT, IL - THE JOURNAL-STANDARD, 538271/Truck-carrying-ethanol-rolls-over-on-U-S-20

Portions of U.S. 20 were closed for approximately 12 hours after a truck carrying ethanol rolled over east of the Stephenson County Visitors Center shortly after 3 a.m. Friday.

German Valley Fire Department Captain Randy Miller said the one-vehicle accident did not result in any serious injuries.

However, concerns linked to an ethanol leak drew the attention of numerous local agencies and disrupted traffic throughout the morning and early afternoon.

The Stephenson County Sheriff=92s Office first received a call about the incident at 3:08 a.m. After it became clear the truck was carrying ethanol, members of the Stephenson County Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) team were dispatched to the scene.

Local HAZMAT coordinator Scott Townsend said members of the HAZMAT team discovered minimal leaking when they arrived at the crash.

=93Once we saw no breach in the tanker and established that there was very little leaking, we turned the scene back over to the German Valley Fire District,=94 Townsend said.



Friday round-up
Jyllian Kemsley
Yesterday, 7:11 PM
Chemical health and safety news from the past week. Many incidents found here, plus more and some regulatory fine announcements.


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