From: Wayne Wood <wayne.wood**At_Symbol_Here**MCGILL.CA>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] More Students Burned by Alcohol in Labs
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2018 15:36:20 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: YQBPR0101MB21131E8BBF24F3AF832646808FA30**At_Symbol_Here**YQBPR0101MB2113.CANPRD01.PROD.OUTLOOK.COM
In-Reply-To


We had an alcohol explosion in our dentistry teaching labs just 2 weeks ago.  It occurred during the refilling of a Hanau alcohol torch that dental labs use to melt wax and heat thermoplastic prostheses.  One student received minor burns to his arm but was pretty shaken up by the experience of confronting a fire ball followed by the activation of the sprinkler head above him. 

This is what a Hanau torch looks like: https://whipmix.com/products/hanau-alcohol-torch/

We were surprised they were still using these devices, given the move away from alcohol burners in science labs, but were told that this is the way that everybody else does it in dentistry.     

We are pushing for a safer substitute.  Do any of you have any recommendations?  Would a butane-fueled torch be safer?

Thank you.

W.

 

Wayne Wood | Director, Environmental Health and Safety - Directeur, Sant, securit et environnement| McGill University | 3610 rue McTavish Street, 4th floor | Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3A 1Y2 | Tel: (514) 398-2391

 

 

 

 

 

From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Samuella Sigmann
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:24 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] More Students Burned by Alcohol in Labs

 

The incidents today read like a "best hits" list....

nitric acid
picric acid
alcohol fire
phenol exposure

S-


On 3/28/2018 11:17 AM, Wilhelm, Monique wrote:

Really????????  Another one in a Middle School...." he's not sure what the experiment aimed to demonstrate. he said it involved a metal pan, some sort of rubbing alcohol and a match stick."..."the first Friday of the class the teacher said every Friday we're going to blow something up."
 
Sounds like complete negligence to me.
 
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of DCHAS Membership Chair
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 8:01 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines (13 articles)
 
Article summaries are also available at http://pinboard.in/u:dchas
 
Table of Contents (13 articles)
 
COMPUTER FIRE SCORCHES BASEMENT LAB AT CALTECH
Tags: us_ca, fire, laboratory, response, unknown_chemical
 
GIRL KILLED, 3 HURT IN CHEMICAL EXPLOSION
Tags: india, public, explosion, death, fireworks
 
IGNITION OF VAPOR CLOUD BLAMED FOR VICKSBURG CHEMICAL COMPANY FIRE
Tags: us_mi, industrial, explosion, follow-up, solvents
 
DAY OF EXCITEMENT, AS DOWNTOWN GLOBE EVACUATED
Tags: us_az, public, discovery, response, picric_acid
 
CHEMICAL SPILL AT MEDICAL CLINIC HOSPITALIZES 15
Tags: us_il, public, release, injury, phenol
 
UPDATE: 2 INJURED IN NITRIC ACID EXPLOSION AT U OF U MEDICAL BUILDING
Tags: us_UT, laboratory, explosion, injury, nitric_acid
 
A TOXIC CHEMICAL KILLED MY SON—BUT WE COULD HAVE PREVENTED IT
Tags: us_TN, public, follow-up, environmental, methylene_chloride
 
OMNIBUS BILL PROVIDES STABLE FUNDING TO SAFETY AGENCIES FOR REMAINDER OF FY 2018
Tags: us_WA, public, follow-up, environmental
 
WHY ALL COLLEGES SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO A RULING ON THEIR DUTY TO PROTECT STUDENTS
Tags: us_CA, laboratory, follow-up, environmental
 
MAN KILLED IN EXPLOSION AT UTAH AUTO SAFETY PLANT
Tags: us_UT, laboratory, explosion, death, unknown_chemical
 
CHEMICAL EXPLOSION CAUSES SMALL FIRE AT BUSINESS IN VICKSBURG
Tags: us_MI, laboratory, explosion, response, unknown_chemical
 
SAFE PRACTICES TO AVOID CHEMICAL CATASTROPHE
Tags: us_CO, public, discovery, environmental
 
SCIENCE EXPERIMENT BURNS THE FACES OF THREE STUDENTS IN GRAN
Tags: us_OR, laboratory, fire, injury, other_chemical
 
 
---------------------------------------------
 
COMPUTER FIRE SCORCHES BASEMENT LAB AT CALTECH http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/fire-scorches-basement-lab-at-caltech/#.WruDcmaG9TY
Tags: us_ca, fire, laboratory, response, unknown_chemical
 
A fire broke out in a laboratory labeled with hazardous materials placards at Caltech Tuesday night, resulting in the evacuation of a building but no injuries, authorities said.
 
The fire was first reported about 8 p.m. in a basement lab in the Linde+Robinson Laboratory building, near Wilson Avenue and California Boulevard, Pasadena fire and interim city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
 
Fire sprinklers quickly doused the flames, which remained confined to a single room, she said. But security officials noticed placards posted indicating the possibility of hazardous materials stored inside the lab.
 
Officials evacuated the building. No injuries were reported.
 
A fire department Hazmat team responded in case any hazardous chemicals were involved in the fire, Derderian said. But they soon determined the source of the blaze was a computer that had caught fire.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
GIRL KILLED, 3 HURT IN CHEMICAL EXPLOSION http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/jalandhar/girl-killed-3-hurt-in-chemical-explosion/565062.html
Tags: india, public, explosion, death, fireworks
 
A teenaged girl was killed and three persons were injured in a blast on the rooftop of a shed of a house in the congested Riaz Nagar area in the Central Town here on Tuesday afternoon.
The shed was found to have stored a huge quantity of fire crackers illegally.
The deceased was identified as Radhika (16), a native of Nepal who, along with the three injured persons, Karan, Sunil (18) and Deepa (18), was working in the warehouse at the time of the incident. They were reportedly working for Gurdeep Singh who, according to the victims, allegedly made fire crackers at his home and used to sell these to cracker sellers in Burlton Park during Diwali.
While Sunil received maximum burn injuries up to 60 per cent, Deepa and Karan too received burn injuries up to 20 per cent. Sunil was referred to a private hospital for super-specialty treatment, while the other two are getting treated at the Civil Hospital.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
IGNITION OF VAPOR CLOUD BLAMED FOR VICKSBURG CHEMICAL COMPANY FIRE http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2018/03/bridge_organics_fire.html
Tags: us_mi, industrial, explosion, follow-up, solvents
 
VICKSBURG, MI -- An explosion Monday evening at a Vicksburg chemical company was caused by ignition of a vapor cloud, a scientist at Bridge Organics said.
 
Brad Hewitt, senior scientist and vice president of engineering and facilities at Bridge Organics, said deflagration, or rapid burn of a chemical vapor cloud, caused a fire in one of the company's seven laboratories at about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 26.
 
Bridge Organics, a contract research and chemical manufacturing company, works with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in "early development" by creating chemical intermediates, or molecular entities, which are later combined by the customer companies to create ingredients.
 
About two gallons of a flammable solvent were involved in Monday's accident, when solvent was vaporized under a ventilation hood and ignited, Hewitt said.
 
How the vapor was released into the air and how it ignited are still under investigation. But, the incident was not caused by human error, such as mixing the wrong chemicals together, Hewitt said Tuesday.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
DAY OF EXCITEMENT, AS DOWNTOWN GLOBE EVACUATED https://silverbelt.com/article/day-of-excitement-as-downtown-globe-evacuated
Tags: us_az, public, discovery, response, picric_acid
 
On Wednesday, March 21 around 10 a.m., downtown Globe was evacuated because of hazardous material found at three locations in and around the downtown area.
 
It all began early that morning when a cleaning crew was emptying a building near CVS on Broad Street.
 
Gila County Historical Society President Vernon Perry happened to walk by and noticed some bottles that looked familiar to him.
 
"They were cleaning out the downstairs of the Masonic building and I noticed some bottles that I thought looked cool," Perry said.
 
Upon closer inspection, he saw the bottles contained Picric acid, so he brought it to the attention of the Globe Fire Department.
 
Picric acid is an organic compound once primarily used as an explosive, but that has also been used in medicine as an antiseptic and burn treatment, as well as in dyes. It is also used as a chemical reagent in metallurgy.
 
When the compound ages, it dehydrates and crystallizes, becoming more volatile than TNT.
 
"I know that the potential hazard for an explosion from crystallized Picric acid is great," Perry said. "My sister taught chemistry in Ajo and found a crystallized Picric acid in her stockroom. The bomb squad removed it and detonated it the desert."
 
---------------------------------------------
 
CHEMICAL SPILL AT MEDICAL CLINIC HOSPITALIZES 15 http://abc7chicago.com/chemical-spill-at-medical-clinic-hospitalizes-15/3271278/
Tags: us_il, public, release, injury, phenol
 
BERWYN, Ill. -- Authorities say 15 people were hospitalized after a substance spill at a suburban Chicago medical clinic.
 
Berwyn firefighters were called Tuesday to JenCare Senior Medical Center after phenol - a chemical substance used in certain medical treatments and to kill bacteria - spilled in an exam room.
 
Fire Chief Denis O'Halloran says at the time of the spill there were 35 people in the building, with some experiencing difficulty breathing, coughing and nausea. After first responders arrived, 15 were taken to area hospitals. Their conditions weren't immediately disclosed.
 
O'Halloran says the building was evacuated and closed. The clinic won't reopen until a hazmat remediation company can clean it up and the city's building department deems it safe.
 
JenCare president Frank Mancuso in a statement said the company is investigating what happened.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
UPDATE: 2 INJURED IN NITRIC ACID EXPLOSION AT U OF U MEDICAL BUILDING http://gephardtdaily.com/local/2-injured-in-explosion-at-u-of-u-medical-building/
Tags: us_UT, laboratory, explosion, injury, nitric_acid
 
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 27, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A chemical explosion injured two people at the University of Utah on Tuesday.
 
The incident occurred shortly after 5 p.m. in the third-floor laboratory of the Emma Eccles Jones Medical Research Building, 15 N. Medical Drive (1830 East).
 
Salt Lake City Fire Department issued a news release late Tuesday night, saying two people had chemical-burn injuries resulting from an explosive chemical reaction that included red fuming nitric acid.
 
RFNA is an oxidizer used as a rocket propellant.
 
"The victims followed decontamination protocol, self-evacuated, and walked to University of Utah Hospital's Emergency Room," the news release says.
 
The condition of the injured people wasn't disclosed.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
A TOXIC CHEMICAL KILLED MY SON—BUT WE COULD HAVE PREVENTED IT https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2018/03/27/opinion-toxic-chemical-killed-my-son-but-we-could-have-prevented/319396002/
Tags: us_TN, public, follow-up, environmental, methylene_chloride
 
Last April, I lost my son, Kevin, to a chemical you can find in any hardware store.
 
I was shocked to learn that the chemical - methylene chloride - is responsible for dozens of tragedies across the country. Yet, you can still buy it by the gallon, just as easily as you can a gallon of milk. 
 
Federal officials recently announced they will postpone consideration of a ban on this killer chemical - a delay that will almost certainly cost lives.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
OMNIBUS BILL PROVIDES STABLE FUNDING TO SAFETY AGENCIES FOR REMAINDER OF FY 2018
http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/16853-omnibus-bill-provides-stable-funding-to-safety-agencies-for-remainder-of-fy-2018
Tags: us_WA, public, follow-up, environmental
 
Washington — The passage and signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act - also known as the omnibus bill - on March 23 means stable funding for safety agencies through at least September. Among the highlights: NIOSH avoids a potentially large cut to its budget, the Chemical Safety Board stays open and OSHA's Susan Harwood Training Grant Program continues.
CSB and the Harwood Grants were slated for the chopping block in President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2018 budget request, issued May 23. NIOSH was in line to receive $200 million, a sizable decrease from its $335.2 million budget for FY 2017.
Instead, NIOSH will receive $335.2 million again for FY 2018, which ends Sept. 30, and CSB - which was budgeted to receive $9.4 million to wind down operation - is getting $11 million.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
WHY ALL COLLEGES SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO A RULING ON THEIR DUTY TO PROTECT STUDENTS https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-All-Colleges-Should-Pay/242942?cid=wcontentlist_hp_latest
Tags: us_CA, laboratory, follow-up, environmental
 
he California Supreme Court ruled last week that a woman who was stabbed by a classmate in a lab can sue the University of California at Los Angeles, where the stabbing took place. The judges wrote in their decision that "universities have a special relationship with their students and a duty to protect them from foreseeable violence during curricular activities."
 
The victim, Katherine Rosen, survived the stabbing. She alleged that the university did not do enough to protect her from the attacker, Damon Thompson. Thompson had already been expelled from university housing and had reported hearing voices and having paranoid thoughts, according to the ruling. (He was found not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity.)
 
Benjamin C. Zipursky, a law professor at Fordham University, has been following the case, and he thinks its implications could be significant. He spoke to The Chronicle about what it means for California's universities and, possibly, for universities in other states. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
MAN KILLED IN EXPLOSION AT UTAH AUTO SAFETY PLANT https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/utah/articles/2018-03-26/man-killed-in-explosion-at-utah-auto-safety-plant
Tags: us_UT, laboratory, explosion, death, unknown_chemical
 
CORINNE, Utah (AP) — Authorities say a 64-year-old man has been killed in an explosion at a northern Utah factory for auto safety company Autoliv.
 
Autoliv spokesman Tom Hajkus says the explosion occurred in a laboratory around 2 a.m. Monday at the company's plant in Promontory, where it makes propellants for air bag inflators.
 
Hajkus says a technician was killed and two other workers nearby were injured.
 
He says the company and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are trying to determine what caused the blast.
 
Box Elder County Chief Deputy Dale Ward identified the technician to KSL-TV as Ronald Larson of Cache Valley.
 
The plant is one of four Autoliv facilities in Utah and the same site of a 2015 explosion that injured an employee and a 2013 flash fire that left another man with burn to his arms and face.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
CHEMICAL EXPLOSION CAUSES SMALL FIRE AT BUSINESS IN VICKSBURG http://wwmt.com/news/local/chemical-explosion-causes-small-fire-at-business-in-vicksburg
Tags: us_MI, laboratory, explosion, response, unknown_chemical
 
VICKSBURG, Mich. — An explosion sparked a small fire inside a Vicksburg chemical lab on Monday.
The fire chief says the explosion happened because of a chemical reaction inside a mixing room at Bridge Organics Company on West Washington Street.
Witnesses say several fire trucks were called to help out and the Vicksburg fire chief said a hazmat team also responded as a precaution.
The fire was quickly extinguished and the scene was cleared around 8:30 p.m.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
SAFE PRACTICES TO AVOID CHEMICAL CATASTROPHE https://www.chieftain.com/life/health/safe-practices-to-avoid-chemical-catastrophe/article_aa628aab-079e-54b0-b77d-a89c3eba2750.html
Tags: us_CO, public, discovery, environmental
 
Chemicals can be found in almost every aspect of our world. Chemicals are used for processing foods, cleaning and working.
 
Although chemicals come in all forms and can be very simple, they must also be treated with caution.
 
Never store chemicals in the open, especially around children. Some chemicals are appealing to children, such as laundry pods and dishwasher tabs that can be mistaken as candy, or floor cleaners that can be mistaken for flavored drinks.
 
Follow all safety requirements from the vender. Some products require gloves when handled, a splash mask or a respirator.
 
Never mix chemicals. Some chemicals react with others and can create a secondary safety issue, such as the formation of vapor that can lead to breathing problems.
 
If an emergency arises involving chemicals, be sure to call 911. When calling into 911, remember to state what the chemical was, and how much and how the person came into contact with the chemical. The dispatcher will be able to stay on the phone and provide rescue instructions. Do not induce vomiting unless directed.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
SCIENCE EXPERIMENT BURNS THE FACES OF THREE STUDENTS IN GRAN http://www.kdrv.com/content/video/477165003.html
Tags: us_OR, laboratory, fire, injury, other_chemical
 
School officials are investigating how three students received flash burns to their faces after a science experiment didn't go as planned.
 
---------------------------------------------
 
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For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas
 
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Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

 

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We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do everything with nothing. Teresa Arnold paraphrased from Konstantin Josef Jirecˇek (1854 - 1918)

 

Samuella B. Sigmann, MS, NRCC-CHO

Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom

A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry

Appalachian State University

525 Rivers Street

Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828 262 2755

Fax: 828 262 6558

Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**appstate.edu

 

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