CH&S News

Pinboard (dchas)

recent bookmarks from dchas
  • Fired science teacher did not have state license
    DENVER – Three weeks ago, Daniel Powell conducted a science experiment that went so wrong, four students were injured, one seriously. He has now been fired and state records show he did not have valid teaching license. "It's a horrible, unfortunate incident and our hearts bleed for the families and for those students," Nora Flood, president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, said. Powell was a teacher at SMART Academy which is part of a network of charter schools called Strive Prep. He was trying to show students a chemistry experiment with fire and methanol when a fire started causing serious burns to one student. "It could've been anybody at any school," Flood said. In a search of the data base which shows records of teacher licenses, there is no listing of a Daniel Powell with a current Colorado teacher's license. Charter schools are not required to have licensed teachers in the classroom. Flood says that's by design. "There are always challenges in finding good teachers and so we're actually able to go outside the realm of the traditional teacher licensure program to try to find the best fit for our schools," Flood said. "It's one of the things we hold dear and that is, that it is up to the school to be able to determine for themselves whether they want to have that licensure piece." Flood says that allows, for example, a science-based school to seek a professional engineer to teach students about engineering. "You have to be an expert in the field you are going to teach," Flood said.
  • Former Teacher Charged In Lab Explosion That Injured Students
    DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Charges have been filed against a teacher who was fired after four students were burned, one seriously, when a fire erupted in a Denver high school chemistry laboratory. According to Lynn Kimbrough with the district attorney’s office, Daniel Powell, 22, “has been served with a summons charging him with four counts of third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor.” Powell was conducting a demonstration with methanol when the explosion occurred on Sept. 15. Three of the students are back in school and the fourth student, who was not identified, continues to improve. “He has a long road ahead of him. We are providing counseling to students and faculty,” said Lindsay Neil, spokeswoman for the Science, Math and Arts Academy charter school on Oct. 7. Powell suffered minor injuries to his hands and declined medical treatment, Neil said after the accident.
  • Fire at UI lab put out quickly; no one hurt
    URBANA — Nobody was hurt in a fire at a University of Illinois laboratory on Wednesday afternoon. Urbana Fire Marshal Phil Edwards said firefighters were called to Roger Adams Laboratory (600 S. Mathews Ave.) at 4:13 p.m. “We got a call that somebody reported smoke and flames coming from a closet in one of the rooms,” Edwards said. “The person who saw it first grabbed a fire extinguisher, but he decided to pull the fire alarm and call 911.” By the time firefighters arrived, the building’s sprinkler system had already put out the fire, he said. Since the fire took place in an electrical closet, firefighters believe that electrical problems may have been the cause. Everybody was evacuated from the building as a precaution.
  • OSHA cites Walgreens after New Haven chemical spill; proposes $77,000 in fines
    NEW HAVEN >> The Walgreens pharmacy on York Street has been cited for three violations by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the store was inspected twice following a July chemical spill that sent four employees to the hospital. The chemical spill occurred July 9 in the pharmacy area at the 88 York St. store and involved technicians working there, city officials said at the time. PHOTOS: New Haven hazmat team responds to York Street Walgreens OSHA has proposed fines totaling $77,220 as a result of the two repeat violations and one serious violation found during the inspections, which took place in July and August. Walgreens by Oct. 30 must pay the fines and agree to abate the violations, schedule an informal conference about the violations or contest the violations.
  • Beautiful Videos Of Chemical Reactions
    Aside from its depiction in the hit series Breaking Bad, chemistry has long gotten a bad rap as the least sexy of the sciences. A new digital media project aims to change all that, starting with a series of eerily alluring videos that capture what happens when two chemical substances combine. The scientists behind the project, which they've aptly named Beautiful Chemistry, used a special camera to zoom in on some of the most common chemical reactions — and provide a new perspective on what's really going on inside those beakers. Say, for example, a researcher were to run a typical precipitation reaction — a run-of-the-mill test typically used to uncover a hidden element in a solution. Here's what she'd normally see in her test tube: A clear solution would turn cloudy when a few drops of another solution were added. Snore. So, Chinese researchers thought, what would happen if someone were to take that everyday reaction and run it outside of a test tube, with a camera lens that could zoom in on all the action taking place at a super small scale? That's precisely what they did, and the results are stunning.
  • Cub Scouts hurt in chemical explosion getting better
    RAYMOND — The three Cub Scouts injured in a chemical explosion in Montgomery County on Monday night are improving. Dan O’Brien, Scout executive and CEO for the Abraham Lincoln Council in Springfield, said Wednesday that two of the Scouts were released from Springfield-area hospitals Tuesday and the third is expected to be released Wednesday. “Full recovery is expected on all three of them,” O’Brien said. A parent who was an observer also was taken to a Springfield hospital for burns but was not admitted, O’Brien said. The Scouts and the parent were outside of a building in Raymond conducting an experiment that involved mixing boric acid and Heet antifreeze in a metal fire pit to produce a green flame when the substance exploded about 7:20 p.m. Monday, police said. The three Scouts and the parent suffered burns to their faces, hands and arms. The Scouts were flown to both Memorial Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital. The parent was transported to Springfield by ambulance, police said. Raymond Mayor Denny Held said Tuesday that neither the Scouts nor the adult were wearing eye protection. He said they had tried the experiment twice before but were unable to see any flames, so they may have moved closer to the fire pit and used more of each substance to try to produce a better result. No further information was available Wednesday on what caused the accident.
  • 7 Firefighters Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals After Blaze at Abandoned Factory: FDNY
    Fire officials say that seven firefighters were taken to the hospital in serious condition after being exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals during a blaze at an abandoned factory in Brooklyn early Thursday. An unknown substance in a kiln stove caught fire in the two-story factory on Belmont Avenue in East New York at about 1:15 a.m., according to the FDNY. Firefighters arrived on scene afterward and let the blaze burn itself out because of the possibility that dousing the substance with water could cause an explosion. The fire was brought under control at about 2 a.m. A hazardous materials crew was then brought to the scene to identify the substance that caught fire, according to the FDNY. While investigating, EMS workers with the HAZMAT crew determined that the seven firefighters who had been exposed to the chemicals should be taken to Kings County Hospital.
  • After Rosedale derailment, NTSB calls for ban on phone use in vehicles
    The freight train derailment and explosion that caused millions of dollars in property damage in Rosedale last year spurred National Transportation Safety Board officials on Wednesday to call for new laws banning the use of hands-free cellphone devices by drivers. John Alban Jr., who was driving a commercial waste truck that collided with the train and forced the derailment, was using such a device at the time, the NTSB found. He had received a call 18 seconds prior to the collision. "Current laws may mislead people to believe that hands free is as safe as not using a phone at all," acting NTSB chairman Christopher A. Hart said in a statement. "Our investigation has found over and over that distraction in any form can be dangerous behind the wheel."
  • Does White House moratorium on biodefense-related research have anything to do with Ebola?
    The White House recently announced a moratorium on federal funding for research studies which involve altering disease pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, to make them even deadlier either by increasing their transmissibility or virulence. Research studies designed to enhance the transmissibility and virulence of disease pathogens are called gain-of-function studies in official US circles. GOF studies have an essential dual purpose nature because the results are equally applicable for medical and bioweapons purposes. The US government released a statement Friday asking all researchers in the field to stop ongoing GOF studies while the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Health and Human Services set up a "deliberative process" to assess the risks and benefits of GOF experiments and to work out a consistent policy for safety in future and ongoing research work.
  • Temple: Firefighters Respond To Wal-Mart Hazmat Incident
    TEMPLE (October 22, 2014) Firefighters responded to a hazmat incident Wednesday at the Wal-Mart distribution center in Temple involving a small anhydrous ammonia leak from the center’s cooling system. The leak, which was in a valve in a stand-alone equipment room was reported just after 9 a.m. at the center at 9605 NW H.K. Dodgen Loop, did not require the evacuation of the center. Once the leak was stopped, the area was ventilated and a crew remained on the scene while repairs were made.
  • Can Better Design Stop Ebola? How Creative Minds Can Help
    On just one day’s notice, almost 200 people crowded an auditorium at Columbia University’s engineering school on a Thursday evening in early October. Engineers, designers, and public health researchers were there to learn and brainstorm, and do so quickly. Every week has meant hundreds of new cases of Ebola in West Africa. Soon, that number could be thousands. There are clearly no simple fixes to the Ebola outbreak. At a very basic level more money, gear and equipment, and medical workers are needed, and at the most high-tech, drug companies are now racing to test potential treatments and vaccines. But lower-level innovation is also in order--the kinds of simple design and engineering ideas that can make inroads quickly.
  • Chemistry lab fire evacuates UD buildings
    A small fire in a University of Delaware chemistry lab evacuated three campus buildings on Wednesday morning. The fire broke out at 11:40 a.m. in a piece of lab equipment in Room 108 on the first-floor of Drake Hall on Academy Street, said John H. Farrell IV, spokesman for Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder Co. Firefighters used two fire extinguishers to put out the fire. The incident triggered a response by the New Castle County HAZMAT team and UD’s own HAZMAT unit. “There are lots of chemicals in the building,” UD spokesman John Brennan said, noting that UD works with area fire departments to notify them of where chemicals and other dangerous substances are kept. “As soon as they know it’s a lab, they send everybody.” Farrell said the lab was labeled with chemical and radiological warnings. “Obviously, we entered with due care and caution,” he said. “We were very judicious with the number of people who went in.” Even though air quality tests came back normal, all the firefighters who entered the lab went through a decontamination process afterward, Farrell said.
  • A winter wonderland at Keene store
    Winter came early to Cumberland Farms on Main Street in Keene late Tuesday morning. The fire suppression system for the gas pumps accidentally went off while construction work was taking place on the site, said Derek R. Beckwith, a spokesman with Cumberland Farms. What was released was a white baking powder-type material, which is safe, he said. Left behind was a scene reminiscent of a fast-moving snow squall with vehicles, the parking lot, and the windows and part of the roof of the store building caked in white powder. The sidewalk in front of Cumberland Farms and the northbound lane of Main Street were also dusted. The store closed down right after the incident happened. Beckwith said Cumberland Farms has brought in a company to clean up the material, and expects to have the store reopened today by 5 or 6 p.m. 
  • New study charts the fate of chemicals affecting health and the environment
    n a new study, Rolf Halden, PhD, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, examines the trajectory of chemicals appearing as emergent threats to human or environmental health.  Halden’s meta-analysis of 143,000 peer-reviewed research papers tracks the progress of these chemicals of emerging concern or CECs, revealing patters of emergence from obscurity to peak concern and eventual decline, over a span of 30 years.  The study reveals that around 14 years typically elapse from the onset of initial safety concerns about a given chemical to the height of concern and appropriate action. This extended timeline implies protracted exposure to CECs for a large number of people. 
  • HAZMAT called to Humble post office after odor sickens 9
    HOUSTON – A hazardous materials team was called out to a post office in Humble Tuesday because of an odor that caused an allergic reaction in nine employees, Assistant Fire Chief Al Taska said. It happened at about 11 a.m. at 1202 First Street where a suspicious odor was reported emitting from a package. Everyone was evacuated from the post office as a precaution. Employees were told to sit in the back parking lot as the HAZMAT team went in. "They started to block everything off over here and clearing everything out. And asking everyone to leave," said Richell McKnight, who own the pet shop across the street. After a complete screening, the package was determined to contain non-hazardous fragrance oils and eCigarettes. Taska said nine people were transported to Northeast Memorial Hermann Hospital as a precaution. The individuals reported having itchy throats, along with coughing and sneezing. The package was later picked-up by the intended recipient and all operations returned to normal, a USPS spokeswoman said.
  • One injured as fire burns at laboratory near Dexter
    Editor's note: The story has been updated to reflect that this is not an official University of Michigan laboratory. Additional details about the fire have also been included. Firefighters from several departments were called to the 6800 block of Marshall Road Tuesday afternoon to battle a blaze that engulfed research laboratory and residential home just south of Dexter. A least one person was injured in the fire. The lab, MKP Structural design, employs nearly a dozen University of Michigan researchers, and the 13-year-old company "has been dedicated to the development of new technologies for simulating, designing, and manufacturing innovative structural and material concepts. These can be used for a wide range of applications, including next-generation air and ground vehicle systems," its website reads. According to John Ren, a University of Michigan graduate student who works at the lab, the fire started in or near a bathroom inside of the facility as a man was in the process of replacing a toilet. Ren said water may have sprayed onto some electrical components inside the bathroom, starting an electrical fire at 1:10 p.m. The man suffered burns on his hands and smoke inhalation, and was treated by Huron Valley Ambulance before being taken to an area hospital. Flames were still shooting into the air from the building as of 3:30 p.m., and firefighters had been evacuated from the building as a ladder was brought in to dump water onto the blaze. Nearby trees had also caught fire and rescue crews were battling to extinguish them as well.
  • Cub Scouts injured in chemical explosion
    RAYMOND, Ill. - Three Cub Scouts and their den leader were injured Monday when an experiment with chemicals exploded. The incident occurred in Raymond, Illinois, about 20 minutes north of Litchfield in Montgomery County. City of Raymond Mayor Dennis Held said the scouts were having a meeting outside The Living Center at A Community of Faith Church earlier in the evening. The group was conducting a yearly experiment, mixing borax and Heet anti-freeze over a fire pit, with the intention of creating a green-blue flame. An explosion occurred during the course of the experiment, burning the scouts and den leader. One scout conducting the experiment suffered burns to his arms, face, and hair area. The other two suffered facial burns. The den leader was also burned. The Cub Scouts were airlifted to a Springfield hospital. The den leader was also taken to a Springfield hospital, but by ambulance.
  • Chemical Spill Closes I-75 For Hours In Madison County
    Both south and northbound lanes of Interstate 75 in Madison County were closed from exit 90 to exit 97 due to a chemical spill for hours on Tuesday. Officials say a truck carrying more than 3,200 gallons of ferric chloride solution leaked between KY 627 and Exit 97 (US 25) near the 96 mile marker around 10 a.m. It's not clear how much leaked. The southbound lanes were reopened around 3:00 p.m. An hour later, the northbound lanes were reopened. The trooper who pulled over the truck was taken to the hospital as a precaution. A shelter in place recommendation was issued for residents in the area, but it was called off by 4 p.m. "That inhalation hazard could affect anyone traveling on the interstate," said trooper Robert Purdy. "If they have their AC on and brining in from the outside, if that chemical is in the air, then it can be an inhalation hazard and that's why we immediately shut down the interstate." The traffic backup caused a headache for some people who aren't from the area and just happened to be driving through. "We heard there was a hazmat spill, so we took a detour and it's put us behind on our travels," said traveler Brad Benett. "We're headed up north to Pittsburgh, so we're behind today because of that."
  • Man Catches Fire In Borough Park Home, Runs For Help Covered In Flames
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a dramatic scene on the streets of Borough Park, Brooklyn Tuesday afternoon, as a man caught fire and ran for help covered in flames. Only CBS 2’s cameras have video from inside the building where the fire broke out around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday. As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported, surveillance video showed the man running in a panic into oncoming traffic, trailing smoke and flames. A witness, Alex Mayer, ran to his aid. “It was a very scary scene,” Mayer said. “I chased him. I told him to drop and roll, basically.” Another Good Samaritan also helped with a fire extinguisher. Witnesses said it all started with an explosion inside the building at 910 McDonald Ave. in Brooklyn. “We heard a loud bang, and we started seeing, smelling smoke rushing up — upstairs,” a woman said. Fire investigators believe the fire started in the basement, where the young victim was spraying some kind of flammable flavoring on some material that is used in hookah pipes.
  • 11 Killed in Massive Explosion at Andhra Pradesh Fireworks Factory
    Eleven people were on Monday killed, while seven others have sustained serious injuries when an explosion occurred at a firecracker manufacturing unit located in the village of Vakatippa in the coastal district of East Godavari. An senior police official who addressed reporters over the phone has confirmed that there had been a massive explosion at the firecracker manufacturing factory, and added that the police have so far come to know that eleven people had been killed. The private firecracker unit is located in the village of Vakatippa in Uppada Kothapalli mandal close to Kakinada, the district headquarters town, located approximately 500 kms from Hyderabad. The workers had been working at the factory when the explosion had taken place in the afternoon today. The police have said that there had been 18 workers present in the factory at the time of the explosion.
  • SAFETY: The drilling industry's explosion problem -- Monday, October 20, 2014 --
    Temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit froze the valve on the back of Greg Bish's frack truck. To thaw it, he fetched a blowtorch and put the 4-inch flame to the metal. The explosion blew him 75 feet, over a 7-foot-tall barbed-wire fence, and killed him. It might seem dangerous to apply a propane torch to the back of a large metal tank holding natural gas production waste, as Bish did that morning in 2010 just outside Elderton, Pa. But in the oil and gas industry, it's not unusual. The oil and gas industry has more deaths from fires and explosions than any other private industry, according to an EnergyWire review of federal labor statistics. It employs less than 1 percent of the U.S. workforce, but in the past five years it has had more than 10 percent of all workplace fatalities from fires and explosions.
  • Blast rocks chemical plant in Donetsk, claims of tactical missile — RT News
    A huge blast has rocked a chemical factory in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the city council says on its website. The blast wave reportedly shattered windows in houses in a radius of several kilometers. The explosion reportedly took place at 12:10pm local time. Local militia has said that the plant was targeted by a tactical Tochka-U missile (SS-21 Scarab).RT’s team in Donetsk is trying to verify this information.
  • Chemical Leak Contained At Refinery In Linden, NJ
    LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A chemical leak at a Phillips 66 refinery in Linden, New Jersey has been contained. Police, firefighters and a hazmat team responded to the Infineum plant inside the Bayway Refinery Complex around 8:30 a.m. Monday on a report of a chemical cloud, Linden authorities said. The plant shares part of the building with Phillips, CBS 2’s Ilana Gold reported. In a statement on the company’s website, the plant said a 25 percent concentration of ethylaluminum dichloride in a hydrocarbon oil was released and plant employees were ordered to shelter in place. Video from the scene showed crews dousing the area with water after a giant plume of smoke filled the air. Jennifer Taylor, who lives just two blocks away, ran outside to see what was happening. “I seen a whole big black cloud right over Exxon,” she said.
  • How Hospital Workers Are Supposed to Treat Ebola Safely
    The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that worker safety guidelines were not followed at the Dallas hospital where a nurse became infected with Ebola in the course of treating a Liberian man who died from the disease on Oct. 8. The director, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, did not identify what the failure was, but suggested there should be further investigation of certain aspects of the care by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
  • Officials: Teen made very sensitive homemade explosives
    ROLFE, Iowa (KCCI) -- Officials said the state fire marshal and an FBI bomb tech from Omaha were called to the town of Rolfe after a student said he had homemade explosive materials at his house. Ron Humphrey, of the state fire marshal's office, estimated officials obtained around a quarter of a pound of chemical-based explosive material known as TATP. "He had the product, it was a good product," Humphrey said. "He could have, if he wanted to, cause some damage or injuries or hurt somebody pretty seriously, or himself or anybody else in the house." Humphrey said the material was kept in plastic pill bottles around the house at 605 Garfield Street and was very sensitive. He said an explosion could have occurred if a bottle was dropped or lid screwed on incorrectly. Humphrey said crews gathered all the bottles and materials used in chemical-making processes, packed it in sand and transported it to a county property. They said crews would perform a controlled explosion to destroy the material.