From: "Hakkinen, Pertti (NIH/NLM) [E]" <000006218e0446d0-dmarc-request**At_Symbol_Here**LISTS.PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] FYI, very recent poster at the NACCT. RE: [DCHAS-L] Sodium Azide Incident on Listserve
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2018 16:02:11 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: SN6PR09MB28135136EF99448B993FACC3D6CD0**At_Symbol_Here**

FYI, the very recent North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology (NACCT) in Chicago had a poster related to this.  The title was "Prime eligible and only $17.00 on AmazonĘ: fatal sodium azide poisoning."  The authors were from the Maryland Poison Center at the University of Maryland's School of Pharmacy, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. The author to contact is Dr. James Leonard (  jleonard**At_Symbol_Here** )


Bert Hakkinen


Pertti (Bert) J. Hakkinen, Ph.D., F-SRA -
Senior Toxicologist, and Toxicology and Environmental Health Science Advisor -
Specialized Information Services -
National Library of Medicine -
National Institutes of Health

From: Jeffrey Lewin <jclewin**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 11:19 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Sodium Azide Incident on Listserve


Note that Sodium Azide is a "P" listed (highly toxic) waste...under our SQG license, we can only accumulate of 1 kg (total) P waste at any given time.


Starting last June, we now require all chemical purchases to go through our University Chemistry Stores (there are some special exceptions, but they need EHS approval).  We've decided that USC will NOT order chemicals from Amazon, eBay, etc.;  all orders need to come directly chemical vendors.






On Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 10:56 AM Janice Umbaugh <janiceu**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:


I'm not really surprised by this. Amazon doesn't do a great job of policing its listings, even the ones that are listed as "Sold by and ships from" My company goes to great lengths to make sure our chemicals go only to legitimate businesses. We check every address to make sure it isn't a residential address. We don't sell to anyone without a federal tax ID number. We only sell through registered distributors. Yet you can find 20 pages of our items for sale on Amazon that we didn't list there. At least whoever listed them had enough sense to only list items that aren't DOT regulated for shipment, but there is no  hazard information or Prop 65 warning on Amazon's website. And some of the listed products cause cancer.

Without seeing the shipping envelope, I would guess that your bottles of sodium azide didn't come from HiMedia, and they may not have any idea how they got to you. Last year one of our customers sent us a picture from his local newspaper of chemicals from a meth lab, and one of them was ours with our label on it. How did it get to them? We certainly didn't ship it. Was it one of our distributors? Was it stolen? Was it part of a lab buyout that was then listed on Amazon or ebay or other site with few controls? Just like the owl with the Tootsie pop, the world may never know.

Janice Umbaugh



From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Samuella Sigmann
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 9:51 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Sodium Azide Incident on Listserve


I found this article of particular interest because in September I received a bubble mailer with 2 hundred gram bottles of sodium azide in my mailbox sent by USPS to me from someone in the general public asking that I, "use or dispose of safely".  Fortunately for me, and the postal workers, the bottles were not damaged in mailing. 

I am currently working with the USPI and the Homeland Security Coordinator for the state to track down the sender.  This interesting part of this story is that the chemicals were purchased on AMAZON
( from a company called HiMedia - the same as the bottle shown in the listserve article.  These are bottles clearly marked, "For sale in India only"

The chemical mailed to me was in what appears to be the original AMAZON mailer and so it appears they are shipping this chemical with no protection or placards. I am dumbfounded that Amazon can sell this chemical and ship without warning.



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 Jirec ek (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**


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Jeff Lewin

Chemical Safety Officer

Compliance, Integrity, and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety

Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI 49931


O 906-487.3153

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