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  • Hazmat called to Mt. Lebanon senior living community
    MT. LEBANON, Pa. — Hazmat crews were called to a senior living community in Mt. Lebanon Saturday afternoon. Channel 11’s Shelby Zarotney reported that cleaning products spilled and mixed in a storage area near a third floor kitchen of a building at Asbury Heights on Bower Hill Road. A worker called 911 about 5:30 p.m. after noticing a chemical smell, though it is unclear what chemicals were mixed. In addition to hazmat, fire crews and Allegheny County Emergency Services responded to the scene. The spill was cleaned up and crews worked to ventilate the building.
  • HFD investigating chemical spill in S. Houston
    Firefighters are investigating a puddle containing an unknown chemical substance in south Houston, authorities said. Callers reported a puddle containing an unknown chemical substance on the ground outside of a white building in 4700 Griggs around 4:38 p.m. Houston Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ruy Lozano said callers reported that the substance was causing eye irritation. A HFD Hazmat is at the scene. No further information was immediately availabl
  • Chemical mix sickens two from South Greensburg
    Two people from South Greensburg were taken to the hospital after mixing chemicals while cleaning Saturday night. South Greensburg fire Chief Eric Hardy said a mother and her teenage daughter were cleaning in their Elm Street home about 8 p.m. when a mixture of two cleaners caused a reaction to form chlorine gas. Firefighters were called to the scene along with the Westmoreland County Hazardous Materials Response Team to dispose of the chemicals and ventilate the home, Hardy said. The pair were taken to Excela Westmoreland Hospital for breathing issues, he said. Another woman in the house was not injured. Hardy said even household cleaning supplies, which should be used in well-ventilated spaces, can be volatile if mixed.
  • Chemical leak in Ashbury near Faringdon leaves man in hospital (From Oxford Mail)
    FIREFIGHTERS were called after a hazardous chemical leaked as it was being delivered to a property in Ashbury, near Faringdon earlier today. Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service said they were called to the incident just before 9am by the driver who was delivering the heavy duty acidic de-scaler. Two fire engines from Faringdon and Wantage were sent to the scene with a specialist hazardous materials unit from Rewley Road Fire Station, Oxford. It is believed the chemical leaked out through its packaging and gave off fumes which affected the delivery driver. Fire crews identified the chemicals and then put them in a secure container ready for disposal. One person who was affected by the chemicals was assessed by fire and rescue service and then taken to hospital by ambulance for a precautionary check.
  • Manufacturing plant cleared of hazardous material exposure
    Hamilton firefighters responded to a call regarding hazardous material exposure this morning at approximately 5:30 a.m. at Hamilton Caster & Manufacturing Co., 1900 Dixie Hwy. Dep. Fire Chief Jeff Shaw said that responders coded it a hazardous material run as three people were exposed to a volatile organic chemical, but were not injured. Shaw said that responders were not able to determine the cause of exposure. “We did some checks with hazmat detectors and did get a hit on a volatile organic chemical, but when we did a second check about 10 minutes later, it was already gone,” he said. The exposed individuals reported irritated throats, and paramedics checked them out and found all vitals to be fine, Shaw said. No one was sent to the hospital. The department’s hazardous materials truck, one engine, Battalion 20 shift commander and the West Chester Twp. hazmat truck responded and remained for approximately two hours. “We left frustrated, because we don’t like not knowing what’s going on,” Shaw said. Facility workers were advised to contact the fire department in the event of another exposure.
  • UCSD Building Evacuated for Hazmat Incident at Chemistry Lab
    A hazardous materials incident has prompted fire crews to evacuate the social sciences building at UC San Diego. San Diego Fire-Rescue officials say two unknown chemicals mixed by staff members in a school chemistry lab, possibly creating explosive material. An SDFD hazmat team and bomb squad were called in around 5:50 p.m. to deal with the situation. Once on scene, they ordered that the building be evacuated and that those in adjacent buildings shelter in place.  Roads in the area were closed as a precaution. However, by 8:30 p.m., the SDFD crews began downgrading the response as the threat no longer posed a problem.  They have since handed operations over to the UCSD hazmat team, which will dispose of the chemicals. 
  • Mayor Hagen shocked, disappointed at Superior's hazmat response downgrade
    Superior, WI ( --- Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen says it's shocking that recent hazmat response cuts in the city's budget are happening when Superior needs it most. This month, Superior joined five other cities in Wisconsin that were downgraded from a top–tiered hazmat response plan to a tier two plan. That leaves the closest tier one response team in Eau Claire, which is two and a half hours away from Superior. Democratic State Senator Bob Jauch has referred to the hazmat funding cuts in Superior as unacceptable for a city dealing with 17 percent of the nation's crude oil. Mayor Bruce Hagen says, with six petroleum based industries in the city, it's shocking that the state's hazmat funding has dramatically shifted away from Superior. "Preparedness and prevention is everything," said Mayor Hagen, "and it seems to me that this is probably the worst of politics decision–making you could ever see." Mayor Hagen says the city is working independent from the state with the industries in Superior to provide greater protection, and equipment, in case of an emergency.
  • Ebola Outbreak: Do Hazmat Suits Protect Workers, or Just Scare Everyone?
    For health care workers and researchers, wearing pressurized, full-body suits around Ebola patients may be counterproductive to treating the disease, say three Spanish researchers in a new letter published in the journal The Lancet. But other health experts, wary of wearing less protective gear, disagree. Health agencies often require that health care workers caring for Ebola patients wear hazardous material (hazmat) suits that protect against airborne diseases. But the Ebola virus rarely spreads through the air, according to the researchers at the University of Valencia and Hospital La Paz-Carlos III, in Madrid. Ebola is transmitted through contact with infected patients’ secretions (such as blood, vomit or feces), and such contact can be prevented by wearing gloves and masks, the researchers wrote. Wearing full-body protection gear is "expensive, uncomfortable, and unaffordable for countries that are the most affected," they said. It may also send the message that such protection against the virus is being preferentially given to health care workers and is out of reach to the general public, they wrote in their article. [Ebola Virus: 5 Things You Should Know].
  • Minor fire extinguished in UD’s Spencer Lab
    A Friday afternoon fire prompted the evacuation and closure of a University of Delaware lab in Newark. No injuries were reported. The fire was reported at 2:48 p.m. in the Spencer Laboratory, a mechanical engineering facility of the Department of Engineering at 130 Academy St. ... The fire was quickly extinguished and fans were used to help clear smoke from the building. The fire started in and was confined to a piece of laboratory equipment on the first floor, UD officials posted on the university’s UDaily website. Smoke spread through the building and, the officials said, the odor may be lingering in some areas. The lab will reopen at 8 a.m. Saturday, except for Suites 131 and 133, which remain closed until further notice, they said. Because of the lingering odor, UD said, people are encouraged to avoid entering the building until after the Labor Day holiday weekend to let the building time to air out.
  • Chemical spill at Inland Lakes school cleaned up
    A chemical spill early in the week at Inland Lakes High School resulted in the postponement of a volleyball tournament and students at practices being sent home early. Superintendent Fred Osborn said the school has a chemical storage area between two of the chemistry labs, which is built specifically for storing chemicals used in the chemistry classes. It has ventilation, a fire suppression system and other safety features which help if there is a problem. This is a room that isn’t used very often, especially during the summer. “It’s specifically designed to house those chemicals. We went in there Monday and discovered a jar of something had broken and was sitting on the counter with several other jars of something,” said Osborn. “We noticed some deterioration of those other jars and were worried about cross contamination.” These were some chemicals which had been in the room for around 15 years or more and hadn’t been used by classes in about as long. To err on the side of caution, he called the emergency hotline listed on the container of the chemicals, who recommended he call the fire department. Osborn said he called Tuscarora Township Fire Chief Dave Carpenter, who responded to the school with Tuscarora Township Police Chief Gordon Temple and Megan Anderson from the Office of Emergency Management. “They determined the best course of action was to tape it off to try to contain everything,” said Osborn. “And the bad thing was we had students in the building who were at volleyball practice and band practice. So, we sent them home.”
  • DuPont Hit with $1.3 Million Penalty for Multiple West Virginia Chemical Leaks
    DuPont will pay a fine of $1.275 million to settle a federal complaint over eight chemical releases from a Kanawha County production facility, one of which killed a worker. The Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the settlement resolves several alleged violations of federal law. The releases occurred between May 2006 and January 2010. DuPont said the releases occurred at the Belle plant between 2006 and 2011. The settlement requires DuPont to make improvements to safety and emergency response to prevent future releases at the plant. “Producing toxic and hazardous substances can be dangerous, and requires complying with environmental and safety laws,” said Cynthia Giles, head of the EPA’s enforcement office. “Today’s settlement with DuPont will ensure that the proper practices are in place to protect communities and nearby water bodies.” DuPont estimates it spent more than $6.8 million to comply with an EPA order issued in March 2010 and take corrective actions related to the chemical releases.
  • Firefighters battled blaze at hazardous chemical landfill
    ROBSTOWN — State officials will probe the cause of a fire that erupted Thursday at a chemical landfill outside Robstown. Thick black smoke billowed from one of two enclosed treatment facilities at US Ecology Texas around 10:40 a.m., prompting residents on nearby farms to call 911. Robstown firefighters responded first and calls were made for additional crews, including volunteers from nearby Annaville. The fire was extinguished just after noon. No one was injured, said Roland Padilla, director of Robstown Emergency Medical Services. An employee was treated on the scene, but declined further medical help, Padilla said. Located about 4 miles south of Robstown, US Ecology Texas treats and disposes hazardous waste and industrial waste and certain naturally occurring and low activity radioactive materials, according to the Boise, Idaho-based company's website.
  • Explosion at BP refinery in Whiting, fire extinguished
    WHITING, Ind. -- BP officials have notified the state of Indiana that more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide were released into the air following an explosion at refinery in northwestern Indiana. Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Dan Goldblatt says the agency is still preparing a report but the initial indication is that the release didn't cause any air quality problems. BP spokesman Scott Dean says there's no indication the explosion had any environmental impact. Dean says the explosion Wednesday night was caused by a compressor in one of the units of the refinery. He says the plant was continuing to operate Thursday. He wouldn't comment on whether it affected the production at the plant.
  • Academic lab safety: One chemist’s observations
    Contributed by Brenna Arlyce Brown, who received her PhD in chemistry in 2013 and is currently working in business development for a research funding organization. She is working on setting up a safety consulting business. A few weeks ago, when reading about the deal that prosecutors made with University of California, Los Angeles, chemistry professor Patrick Harran regarding the lab fire that led to researcher Sheharbano Sangji’s death, I commented on Twitter about how the case affected my graduate research group: “My old PhD boss was sure this can’t happen in our lab-then he found out that I used tBuLi-things soon changed .” This of course sparked questions: “What changed?” “Why didn’t he know that you were using the chemical?” Twitter’s 140 characters were just not enough to answer fully.
  • Old batteries cause of car fire in Nelson
    Discarded batteries were the cause of a vehicle fire in Nelson on Wednesday morning. At about 10:45 a.m. Nelson Fire Rescue responded to a report of a fire with batteries exploding. Upon arrival at the Nelson Leafs Recycling Depot, crews noted that the fire had been substantially knocked down by people in the area using two dry chemical extinguishers. Firefighters encountered a small amount of fire still in the vehicle that was quickly extinguished once they were able to access the interior. The fire appears to have originated in a bag of lithium watch style batteries that were being transported to be recycled at a different facility. The interior of the vehicle sustained fire damage in the front area and smoke damage throughout. No injuries were reported as a result of this incident.  Damage is estimated at $5,500.  The cause of the fire was the lithium batteries shorting out. Nelson Fire Rescue has had a number of instances where batteries have been stored in a drawer and something as simple as a paper clip has shorted it out and caused a fire.  Batteries should be kept in their original packaging until required. Proper battery storage in a dry, cool area with sufficient ventilation can extend the lifespan of most chemical batteries. Old batteries which have lost their charge should be discarded separately from regular household trash, much like other chemical substances such as household cleaners, paint and solvents.
  • WAKE FOREST: Hazmat team contains formaldehyde leak in Wake Forest
    WAKE FOREST — Firefighters and a hazmat team were called to an old factory building Thursday morning after a liquid began spilling from a severed pipe. Just before 10:15 a.m., firefighters arrived at the old Burlington Mills factory at 9701 Capital Blvd. after a crew working in the building cut into a one-inch pipe, according to Wake Forest Fire Chief Ron Early. “A clear liquid came out of the pipe,” Early said. “The workers smelled something unusual and called 911.” A hazmat team from the Raleigh Fire Department contained the leak, Early said. The team determined the liquid was Formalin, a mixture of methanol and formaldehyde, a toxic substance. “It’s more of an irritant than anything,” Early said. “It’s not dangerous unless you ingest it or get it on the skin.” No injuries were reported.
  • 57 students hurt as science projects explodes at St John’s Roma School
    A SCIENCE project gone wrong at a western Queensland school has resulted in 57 students and four teachers requiring treatment. St John’s School Roma released a statement saying a total of 37 children from Years 1 and 2 were transported to Roma Hospital after being exposed to sodium hydroxide, with the remainder being treated on site. Most suffered minor eye and skin irritations but a QAS spokesperson confirmed two children had needed treatment for significant injuries. “One student remains in outpatient observation and all others have been released,” the school’s statement said. It is believed the project, which formed part of National Science Week celebrations, had involved mixing sodium hydroxide with another chemical. An explosion occurred at an all-school assembly about midday. According to the statement, the school’s principal Nicholas Lynch contacted families of the school’s students. Several parents linked to the school took to Facebook to express their discontent. Among them was Mel Thornthwaite, who commented: “My daughter got wet and I am not impressed about how long it took to be notified!! Not good enough St John’s!!!”
  • Crews respond to Sacramento propane tank fire
    Sacramento City Fire Department responded to a propane tank fire Wednesday morning in the area of N. 12th Street and N. B Street. The explosion happened near a recycling center, causing the center to be evacuated according to Sacramento City Fire Department's spokesman Roberto Padilla. The tank exploded on a bus that was scheduled to be scrapped. The bus itself did not explode, said Padilla.
  • Chlorine leak contained on Ganson Street
    A chlorine leak caused a brief evacuation of the ADM Milling Co., 250 Ganson St., shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday, Buffalo Fire officials said. The elevated level of chlorine gas was detected in a chlorine storage room, and the system automatically shut down, said Jackie Anderson, company spokeswoman. The leak sparked an alarm which evacuated the plant, said Anderson. Once the air quality in the storage room was restored to safe levels, workers were allowed to return and operations resumed. No injuries were reported.
  • Shelter-In-Place Order Lifted After Hayward Hazmat Situation At Chemical Company
    HAYWARD (CBS SF) — A hazmat situation at a Hayward chemical company has ended after nearby residents and businesses were ordered to shelter in place within a one-mile radius. The incident was reported at 2:08 p.m. at 3130 Depot Road, according to Alameda County fire officials. The company is in the process of going out of business and workers were mixing chemicals in large quantities that produced the gas, according to Don Nichelson of the Hayward Fire Department. Juan Torres, an employee at nearby Filter Recycling Services at 3200 Depot Road, said their company was told to shut all windows and turn off their air conditioning.
  • Another hazmat spill draws responders
    For the second time in as many months, hazmat workers in protective full-body suits were in Brownfield to control a dangerous situation on the railroad tracks just a block from downtown. Dispatchers were alerted to the situation at 10:43 a.m. when callers reported chemicals spewing from a rail car and injured persons. Fire Chief Dennis Rowe said responders found one man with burns to his arms and legs and saw another man jump from the top of the rail car. The pressurized contents of the rail car could be seen spraying more than 20 feet into the air and carried northward by slight winds from the south. Similar to July’s spill near the same site, the chemical was hydrochloric acid -- a potentially deadly substance commonly transported and used in the oilfield.
  • Hazmat gives all clear after Brownfield acid spill
    BROWNFIELD, TX (KCBD) - An acid spill in Brownfield sent two people to the hospital Tuesday morning. Brownfield Fire Rescue arrived at an unloading station on North 9th Street around 10:45 a.m. Firefighters say crews were working on a railcar when hydrochloric acid somehow spilled. The workers were burned by the acid, but the extent of their injuries is not known right now. Fire Chief Dennis Rowe says there is no longer a public safety issue. "Most of the spill is contained to a pit area. We had Wolfforth Hazmat come in and confirmed that the tank car is secure. So at this point, I think we're down to minimal danger, Rowe said. The area was evacuated as a precaution, and a train passing through was forced to stop for a short period of time. Cleanup is now underway.
  • Hayward: Alert lifted after hazardous vapor release at shuttered chemical plant
    HAYWARD -- Authorities lifted a shelter-in-place order after a hazardous materials release Tuesday afternoon at a chemical company, and police said there were no reports of damage or injuries. Two schools and a busy state route were closed after workers reported potentially noxious gases seeping into the air, authorities said. The incident was reported at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Contractors Chemical, located at 3130 Depot Road. The company is out of business but still stores chemicals at the site, including epoxies and catalysts that solidify concrete, said Don Nicholson, a spokesman with the Hayward Fire Department. The all-clear was given about 4:20 p.m., police said. On Tuesday, workers began mixing large amounts of chemicals in an attempt to turn them into solids, then dispose of them, according to Nicholson. But a reaction spread the vapors through the neighborhood and prompted a shelter-in-place alert. Students and staff at Ochoa Middle School and Mount Eden High School as well as residents living within a 1-mile radius of the business were asked to stay indoors and close all doors and windows. Nearby residents and businesses were also asked to turn off heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.
  • Chemicals spilled in U.S. 23 semi rollover not expected to harm the environment
    The chemicals that spilled during a rollover crash on southbound U.S. 23 at eastbound M-14 Monday were a silicone cleaner and solvent and a chemical commonly used as a base fluid in personal care products. A fire official also said the chemicals were contained in the semi trailer and not spilled on the roadway. Earlier information from officials indicated that the chemicals had been spilled on the road. Michigan State Police officials said one chemical was a mix of hexamethyldisiloxane and octamethyltrisiloxane. Together, that mix makes up Dow Corning’s OS-2 silicone cleaner and solvent. The other fluid that spilled was the Xiameter PMX-200 Silicone Fluid, officials said. According to information from Dow Corning, the OS-2 silicone cleaner and solvent is volatile and has a short half-life, which means it doesn’t present a risk to water-based organisms. It can also be more than 90 percent removed during wastewater treatment, “with approximately equal amounts going to the atmosphere and the sludge.”
  • Fire alarm brings out hazmat crews at Miramar business
    MIRAMAR— A hazardous materials team and Miramar Fire Rescue responded to a fire alarm Monday night at a business that routinely handles cleaning materials that could be considered hazardous. Miramar Fire Rescue received a call around 8:40 p.m. about a fire alarm going off at Propulsion Technology, 15301 SW 29th St., spokesman Jose Gregorisch said. When crews arrived, the building’s occupants were already evacuating to the parking lot. With a light haze in the air, the public was asked to stay at least a half mile from the building while hazmat crews investigated. Sprinklers extinguished a very small fire underneath a container of chemicals; a small chemical spill was contained and the company was completing cleanup, Gregorisch said.