Date: Mon, 3 Jan 2011 08:35:18 -0800
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Looney, Bill" <bill.looney**At_Symbol_Here**AECOM.COM>
Subject: Re: Chemical Safety headlines from Google -- You may get a call
on this.
From: Looney, Bill 
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 10:19 AM
To: 'g.c.walton**At_Symbol_Here**'; DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google -- You may get a call on this.


1.    A number of years ago the military produced several different types of kits used for identification of chemical warfare agents.  The kits contained vials of various type agents See link:


The idea was that on field exercises the vials would be burst with blasting caps and the soldiers would identify the agents by odor and take appropriate protective measures (Yes, things were way different back then!).  


In any event, there was one type of kit that was contained in a gray plastic box with green stripes that contained several different types of agents including GB (Saren) - a nerve agent.  


The nearest Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squad should be immediately contacted.


William C. Looney

Senior Program Manager


D 414.577.1362   C 262.893.0658




11425 W. Lake Park Drive, Suite 100

Milwaukee, WI 53224

T 414.359.3030 F 414.359.0822  


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of George Walton
Sent: Monday, January 03, 2011 9:52 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google -- You may get a call on this.


Container of liquid-filled vials found in safe believed to - Local News - WRGB CBS 6 Albany 

ALBANY -- Police say a man brought into their headquarters Wednesday morning a plastic container containing what was originally thought to be a possibly hazardous substance. 


The man said his son found the container of liquid-filled ampoules inside a safe he'd opened this morning, and was afraid it may be hazardous, according to public safety spokesperson Det. James Miller. The Albany Fire Department haz-mat team responded and removed the ampoules, and State Police took them afterward. 


Investigators believe at this time the liquid may be phosgene, a chemical gas used in World War I, as well as to safeguard safes.

us_ny  discovery  response  phosgene  


Nitro-trichloromethane (nitro-chloroform, chloropicrin) has been around for a while.  It was used as a lachrymator and more, code Agent PS, by both sides in World War I; as deterrent for would-be safe crackers until the 1960’s; and as a soil and grain fumigant.  We have responded to commercial incidents where it was referred to as nitro-glycerin.   (You know – some kind of bad chemical.  They’re all alike.)  On a separate incident, an attempt was made by a bomb squad to destroy chloropicrin by open burning.  This would work well for nitroglycerin but not so well for nitrochloroform.  Several firefighters/bomb squad members were affected, severely but temporarily.  The involuntary reflex exposure level is about 30 parts per billion.  When shipping it for disposal, chloropicrin is regulated by DOT as Hazard Class 6.1, Packing Group I, Zone B.  This makes packaging and loading/segregation somewhat interesting.  Not all RCRA-regulated incinerators will accept it for disposal.


I have made a serious mistake here – I am assuming since the vials of liquid were in a safe, they were chloropicrin.  From my experience, vials of liquids on the back of a safe door are chloropicrin.  I cannot imagine why anyone would use phosgene or nitroglycerine as a deterrent for safe crackers.


The reason for this message is to alert everyone.  We have seen that once someone gets some bad news, they call around, hoping for a different opinion.  The best assumptions to make are (1) the caller is not providing complete and accurate information and (2) never make assumptions.


Happy New Year


George Walton

Reactives Management Corporation


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