From: DCHAS Secretary <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (9 articles)
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2017 07:54:22 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 2419F955-9505-4A48-BB19-24659D34B398**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org


Chemical Safety Headlines From Google
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 7:54:11 AM

A membership benefit of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety
All article summaries and tags are archived at http://pinboard.in/u:dchas

Table of Contents (9 articles)

NONSTICK CHEMICALS SLIPPED INTO WATER, CAUSING HEALTH, ENVIRONMENTAL, REGULATORY MESS
Tags: us_nh, discovery, public, enviromental, other_chemical

NEW YORK MAN ARRESTED IN DRUG FACTORY FIRE
Tags: us_NY, public, fire, injury, illegal, clandestine_lab

SPRING CLEANING ENDS WITH HAZMAT SPILL AT WINTERVILLE HOME
Tags: us_NC, public, discovery, response, drugs

VERMONT OFFICE WORKERS GET NEW HOME AFTER TOXIC SCARE
Tags: us_VT, public, discovery, response, pce

FOUR YEARS LATER, WHO SET THE FIRE THAT CAUSED THE WEST EXPLOSION?
Tags: us_TX, public, follow-up, environmental, ag_chems, explosives

CRITICS: DUPONT SPENT MORE ON LEGAL FEES THAN CHEMICAL TESTS
Tags: us_OH, public, follow-up, environmental, other_chemical

CHEMICAL SPILL REPORTED AT TESLA GIGAFACTORY NEAR RENO
Tags: us_NV, industrial, release, injury, solvent

HAZMAT TEAM CALLED TO TANKER TRUCK CRASH IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
Tags: us_PA, transportation, release, response, flammables, styrene

CREWS INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE HAZMAT SPILL
Tags: us_AL, transportation, fire, response, sulphur


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NONSTICK CHEMICALS SLIPPED INTO WATER, CAUSING HEALTH, ENVIRONMENTAL, REGULATORY MESS
Tags: us_nh, discovery, public, enviromental, other_chemical

The early 1990s were the start of a sizzling decade for ChemFab, a producer of specialized plastics. The company‰??s water-repelling, heat-resistant fabrics were everywhere. Beta cloth, an insulator, lined the payload bay of the Space Shuttle Columbia. The roofs of the Metrodome and Georgia Dome, professional sports stadiums in Minneapolis and Atlanta, were draped with fabric coated with PTFE, a slick polymer. BusinessWeek took notice, naming the Merrimack, New Hampshire- based firm a Hot 100 growth company in 1991 after profits climbed 185 percent in three years.
The good fortune kept going in 2000 when the French industrial giant Saint-Gobain, a world leader in plastics, purchased ChemFab. After the acquisition, the product line continued to impress. The Dallas Cowboys, self- proclaimed as America‰??s football team, now play home games at AT&T Stadium beneath 19,000 square meters of Saint-Gobain‰??s gossamer Sheerfill fabric, which covers the retractable roof.
In several New England states, though, the company‰??s shine has worn away in the last year. State officials identified Saint-Gobain‰??s Merrimack facility, along with sister production sites in New York and Vermont, as sources of chemical contamination of household wells and public drinking water supplies.
Perfluorinated alkyl substances, or PFASs, that were used in the manufacture of a number of consumer and industrial goods at the facilities were detected in groundwater above the level that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says is potentially damaging to human health. The contamination zone around the Merrimack facility spreads across 30 to 40 square miles, an area of nearly unprecedented size for groundwater pollution from a single site, according to Brandon Kernen, a hydrologist in the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, who is investigating water contamination.
Saint-Gobain‰??s chemical releases are part of a much larger problem. PFASs in groundwater have been traced across the country to military bases, fire stations, landfills, hospitals, and schools ‰?? large institutions that use foams, waxes, or cleaners that contain the chemicals. In fact, the closer regulators and scientists look at drinking water supplies, the more PFASs they find.
‰??It‰??s not another contaminant du jour,‰?? Kernen says, noting the ubiquity of PFASs in household and industrial products and the tenacity with which they remain in the environment. ‰??It‰??s something we‰??re going to be dealing with for quite a while.‰??

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NEW YORK MAN ARRESTED IN DRUG FACTORY FIRE
Tags: us_NY, public, fire, injury, illegal, clandestine_lab

WATERTOWN ‰?? Police have arrested a New York man they say was manufacturing marijuana butter in a second floor apartment which went up in flames earlier this month.
After the fire department doused the late night blaze at 429 Main St., police said they discovered a sophisticated drug factory inside.
The renter of the apartment, Daniel Y. Fung, 42, primarily resides at 200 East 87th St. in New York, police said.
Fung sustained burns on his hands and face during the fire, police said, and was transported to Waterbury Hospital to treat his injuries.
Det. Tom McDonnell arrested Fung Monday, charging him with four counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree criminal mischief, operating a drug factory, sale of marijuana, possession of marijuana, and sale of marijuana in a school zone.

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SPRING CLEANING ENDS WITH HAZMAT SPILL AT WINTERVILLE HOME
Tags: us_NC, public, discovery, response, drugs

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) ‰?? Spring cleaning gone wrong, that‰??s what happened when a Pitt County family decided to clear out their parent‰??s attic. The Dunn‰??s found some old bottles that sent everyone into a panic.

‰??We decided to clean out the attic a little bit‰?|just to see what was in there,‰?? Carl Dunn said.

The family found unmarked old school medicine containers.

Dunn said, ‰??Next thing you know you‰??re coughing and wheezing and everybody said let‰??s get out of here.‰??

Firefighters, donning PPE and SCBA‰??s went into the attic to remove the contaminated flooring that the bottles were both on (they were already outside when responders arrived). Without any markings or labels on the bottles, determining the contents was extremely difficult, fire officials said. It also made treating the patients that inhaled the substance difficult. In tandem with the County Emergency Management, North Carolina RRT-1 (regional state hazmat team), members of Winterville Fire-Rescue-EMS, and Pitt County Public Health officials, fire and EMS crews worked to properly treat the patients and determine a course of action for each bottle. It‰??s believed that both of the bottles date back to the 1920‰??s or 1930‰??s.

Family members say they have an idea of where the bottles came from.

‰??It came from a drug store so it was possibly something that somebody drunk years ago, but whatever it was, it was an awful chemical smell that you could not really stand to be around,‰?? Dunn said.

While this story has a happy ending with an interesting story to tell, the Dunn‰??s know there could have been a different outcome.

The bottles now sit in a shed behind the Dunn household in Winterville. The family plans to properly dispose of them in the next few days.

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VERMONT OFFICE WORKERS GET NEW HOME AFTER TOXIC SCARE
Tags: us_VT, public, discovery, response, pce

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) - Vermont has reached an agreement on new offices for nearly 80 state employees who were displaced from their building earlier this month because of elevated levels of cancer-causing chemicals in the air.

The Caledonian Record reports Tuesday that the former microDATA building in St. Johnsbury has been chosen. Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services Commissioner Chris Cole said the state signed a five-year lease for the building.

About 85 state Human Services employees were moved earlier this month. Test results found that PCE and TCE were present above levels of concern in two of the three buildings, while chloroform was present slightly above a level of concern in one of the two buildings.

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FOUR YEARS LATER, WHO SET THE FIRE THAT CAUSED THE WEST EXPLOSION?
Tags: us_TX, public, follow-up, environmental, ag_chems, explosives

WEST, TEXAS - Four years after the West Fertilizer Plant Explosion, homes and a school are rebuilt, but victims' families do not know who intentionally caused the fire that spurred the blast that killed 15 people, injured more than 200 and leveled hundreds of homes.

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is still offering a $50,000 reward for tips to find the person who set the fire, which led to the explosion -- an explosion so powerful that its force was equal to that of a magnitude 2.1 earthquake.

Federal investigators have interviewed hundreds of people in the years since, but no arrests have ever been announced. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, which published a final report on the explosion in 2016, called it one of the most destructive tragedies its staff ever investigated.

Twelve first responders were among the dead.

Emergency crews first received word of the fire at 7:30 p.m. on April 17, 2013. The massive explosion happened approximately 20 minutes later.

To date, the ATF has spent more than $2 million on the investigation, which the bureau said was one of its largest in history.

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CRITICS: DUPONT SPENT MORE ON LEGAL FEES THAN CHEMICAL TESTS
Tags: us_OH, public, follow-up, environmental, other_chemical

COLUMBUS, OHIO
Critics say DuPont has spent too little on testing Ohio and West Virginia residents for contamination from a chemical used to make Teflon, while paying millions to a lawyer overseeing the testing program.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2oik01H">http://bit.ly/2oik01H ) reports DuPont spent about $860,000 on testing for contamination from the chemical used to make Teflon.

A court filing this month revealed the lawyer who oversees the medical testing program was paid nearly $15 million.

Cincinnati attorney Robert Bilott filed a class-action lawsuit against DuPont alleging the company released C8-tainted water into the Ohio River. The company settled in 2004 and agreed to pay 70,000 residents to have their blood tested for C8.

About 2,020 people have been tested. Bilott says the company has more than enough funds to cover the program's cost.

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CHEMICAL SPILL REPORTED AT TESLA GIGAFACTORY NEAR RENO
Tags: us_NV, industrial, release, injury, solvent

Several Tesla employees were hospitalized Monday after a chemical spill was reported at the Tesla Gigafactory east of Reno, according to Tesla officials.

The Storey County Fire Department's hazardous materials team responded to the spill of a standard construction cleaning solvent at about 12:45 p.m. Monday, according to Joe Curtis, the county's emergency operations director.

"There's no threat to the public, there's no plume, it's in an isolated area near a vehicle," Curtis said.

The chemical was contained in a 55-gallon drum that toppled over at one of the loading docks on-site.

Per Tesla's safety protocols, a small portion of the Gigafactory was evacuated and "a couple of employees who may have been exposed are being transferred to the local hospital," a local spokesperson said in an email late Monday afternoon.

About nine factory employees reported symptoms such as upset stomachs after being exposed to the chemical, according to Curtis. The clean up effort was expected to take several hours, but officials did not believe that it would affect production.

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HAZMAT TEAM CALLED TO TANKER TRUCK CRASH IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
Tags: us_PA, transportation, release, response, flammables, styrene

FINLEYVILLE, Pa. - A hazmat team was called late Monday morning after a tanker truck crashed in Finleyville, Washington County, officials said.

The truck crashed about 10 a.m., forcing the closure of Yohe Street. The truck was hauling styrene, a highly flammable chemical used in making Styrofoam.

Some of the chemical spilled, requiring hazmat to be called in to clean it up. The company that owns the truck has been called to tow the truck.

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CREWS INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE HAZMAT SPILL
Tags: us_AL, transportation, fire, response, sulphur

UPDATE (10:15): Mobile Fire-Rescue crews have identified the substance as sulfur. At this point, it is still unclear how the substance ended up on the ground.

‰??It is burning,‰?? said Steve Huffman of Mobile-Fire Rescue. ‰??The plan of action right now is to cover it in dirt. The clean-up contractor is on-site right now, they will monitor it and once it cools down then they will put it in barrels and dispose of it properly.‰??

Huffman said the substance covered about a 4ftx12ft area on the ground.

Mobile Fire-Rescue crews are on the scene of a possible hazardous materials spill on Industrial Canal Road in Mobile.

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