Presentations from #ACSPhilly available to ACS members
Dec01

Presentations from #ACSPhilly available to ACS members

The American Chemical Society has posted videos from the National Meeting held in August in Philadelphia, including those from the Division of Chemical Health & Safety’s session on “Chemical Safety in Public Policy”: Sustainable chemistry and public policy Evaluating risks – Understanding multiple perspectives What you need to know about TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) reform California’s Safer Consumer Products Program: Asking the questions Some government relation lessons from the development of subpart K (for managing hazardous waste at academic laboratories) Influence of litigation on corporate behavior Safety policies of peer-reviewed journals Public policy statements: Advising policymakers and regulators As well as a session on “Biochemistry of Cannabis”: Pennsylvania’s hemp and cannabis history Cannabis and public health SB3: Medical cannabis legislation in Pennsylvania and addressing the public health concerns Patient focused certification (PFC) – Quality standards of cannabis products for medical use Chemotypic and quality control analysis of the California medical cannabis market Biochemical considerations in cannabis therapeutics Cannabinoid receptors: Nomenclature and pharmacological principles Can you pass the acid test? Critical review and novel therapeutic perspectives of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA-A) Hydrogenated cannabis oil Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision (CANN): Connecting cannabis chemists/scientists and creating opportunities The division already posted slides from these and other sessions at the meeting (scroll down to the Aug. 29...

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Juries award damages, CSB releases report for fatal Williams Olefins explosion
Nov30

Juries award damages, CSB releases report for fatal Williams Olefins explosion

Costs are mounting for Williams Olefins following a 2013 fire at a plant in Geismar, La., that killed two workers—Zach Green, 29, and Scott Thrower, 47—and injured 167 others. In the past few months, juries have awarded eight injured workers a total of $26.9 million after attorneys “argued that Williams, key management figures and others had known for years that one of two reboilers used in the refinery process was isolated from pressure relief—which meant there was a risk of over-pressurization and explosion,” the Baton Rouge Advocate reported. A reboiler is a heat exchanger that supplies heat to a distillation column. Last month, the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board released its investigation findings. Reported Jeff Johnson for C&EN: The reboiler that failed was one of two in the system that provided heat to the propylene fractionator—a distillation column that separates propylene and propane. The second reboiler was a backup and had been off-line for 16 months. Plant officials assumed the backup reboiler was clean and available for use. When the operating reboiler appeared to have fouled, plant operators began to shift operations to the idle reboiler. The plant operators did not know that the standby reboiler contained hydrocarbons and its pressure relief system was not in proper order, CSB found. As the reboiler’s heat increased, the confined liquid hydrocarbons expanded, resulting in a quick and dramatic pressure rise within the vessel. The shell ruptured, causing a release, an expanding vapor explosion, and a fire. A series of process safety management program deficiencies over the 12 years before the accident allowed the reboiler to be unprotected from overpressure problems, according to CSB. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) also investigated the incident. The agency initially cited the company for six safety violations fined the company $99,000, but that was negotiated down to $36,000. The case remains open pending abatement of violations, according to the OSHA inspection database. Another inspection in the fall of 2013 resulted in one citation and a fine of $7,000. That case is closed. OSHA appears not to have inspected the facility since then. Williams Olefins is a subsidiary of the Williams...

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Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, September-October issue
Nov29

Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, September-October issue

Here’s what was in the August-September issue of the Journal of Chemical Health & Safety. The theme of the issue was implementation of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s Laboratory Standard, drawn from a symposium held at the Fall 2015 ACS meeting in Boston. Editorial: The Lab Standard at 25, by Harry J. Elston Strategy of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research to influence laboratory safety among its funded researchers, by Steve Rupkey (Argonne National Laboratory) Reflections of a former OSHA official on the laboratory standard, by Fred Malaby The impact of OSHA’s Laboratory Standard on undergraduate safety education, by Robert H. Hill Jr. (Battelle) Where are we with lab safety education: Who, what, when, where, and how?, by Kenneth P. Fivizzani Should science departments have their own safety personnel? – An assessment of a centralized approach, by Kamilah Hylton (University of Technology, Jamaica) Laboratory safety: Engaging 600+ research groups, by Stephanie Tumidajski (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) The Laboratory Safety Standard at 25: Implementation of the Standard through the Chemical Hygiene Plan and the Chemical Hygiene Officer – Is it trickling down?, by Miriam Weil (Boston Children’s Hospital) Process dynamics and safety, by Dennis C. Hendershot (AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety) Enhance, don’t interfere, by Neal Langerman (Advanced Chemical...

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Kitchen chemistry: Thanksgiving is the peak day for home fires
Nov23

Kitchen chemistry: Thanksgiving is the peak day for home fires

“The average number of reported residential fires on Thanksgiving Day is more than double the average number of fires on all other days,” says the City of Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management. “Unattended cooking is the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.” To help keep your Thanksgiving fire free, here are some safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Never leave food on the stove or in the oven unattended. Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing and long sleeves that can easily catch fire while cooking. Keep children away from the cooking area or watch them closely if they insist on being mini chefs. Clean and keep surface areas free from grease build up. Keep flammable items like potholders and paper or plastic bags away from the stove and oven. Turn pan handles toward the back of the stove to prevent accidental knock overs. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in the kitchen as well as on each level of the home, and inside and outside bedrooms. Consider installing a photoelectric alarm because it is less likely to nuisance alarm during cooking. And be particularly careful if you’re frying a turkey, CPSC...

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Process safety in labs, chemical compatibility, and other topics in process safety newsletters
Nov22

Process safety in labs, chemical compatibility, and other topics in process safety newsletters

From AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety, recent “Process Safety Beacons”: Process safety in the laboratory – “Wherever you work – in a process plant, a research laboratory, a pilot plant, a quality control laboratory, a maintenance shop, or anywhere else – make sure you fully understand the hazards associated with all of your materials, equipment, and operations. You can’t manage the risk from a hazard that you don’t know about!” Understanding chemical compatibility – “This is important information to understand so you can take proper precautions to make sure that incompatible materials are not inadvertently mixed. That can happen when making material transfers such as unloading shipments into storage tanks or other containers, when containers are stored adjacent to each other in warehouses or production areas, and when products are transferred to tank farms for storage before being shipped.” Dangerous chemical reactions at home – “Did you know that mixing some household cleaners could be fatal?” A little static can cause a big fire – “Static charge is generated by contact and separation of two different materials. Once generated, charge may remain on the materials until it finds a lower electrical potential, then it discharges. The spark can have enough energy to ignite flammable vapors, gases, or a combustible dust cloud.” Can you recognize a change – “On the passenger vessel that experienced the engine fire, couplings on three of the four engines had been replaced with threaded hose fittings and rubber hoses. One of those hoses failed and sprayed fuel directly onto the hot engine exhaust, which likely provided the ignition source.” 15 years of the “Process Safety Beacon” – “When you read a Beacon, think about what you can learn from it, even if it discusses an incident which happened in a very different kind of...

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Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, July-August issue
Nov16

Journal of Chemical Health & Safety, July-August issue

Here’s what was in the July-August issue of the Journal of Chemical Health & Safety: Editorial: Rainbows revisited and unintended consequences, by Harry J. Elston Promoting a culture of safety in academic chemistry, statements by American Chemical Society presidential candidates, Peter K. Dorhout (Kansas State University) and Thomas R. Gilbert (Northeastern University), candidates for American Chemical Society president Evaluation of safety climate at a major public university, by Jerry E. Steward, Vincent L. Wilson, and Wei-Hsung Wang (Louisiana State University) A case history of requalifying an older laboratory hood for use, by Lee C. Cadwallader and Robert J. Pawelko (Idaho National Laboratory) Hazards associated with laboratory scale hydrogenations, by Tilak Chandra and Jeffrey P. Zebrowski (University of Wisconsin, Madison) An evaluation of diesel particulate matter in fire station vehicle garages and living quarters, by Ryan L. Payne, Victor M. Alaves, Rodney R. Larson, and Darrah K. Sleeth (University of Utah) A new quantitative method for testing performance of in-use laboratory chemical fume hoods, by Kwangseog Ahn (University of Wisconsin, Whitewater; Michael J. Ellenbecker and Susan R. Woskie (University of Massachusetts, Lowell); and Louis J. DiBerardinis (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Baseline survey on the implementation of laboratory chemical safety, health and security within health faculties laboratories at Universitas Indonesia, by Fatma Lestari, Budiawan, Meily L. Kurniawidjaja, and Budi Hartono (Universitas Indonesia) Adipic acid, by William E. Luttrell and Garrett R. Klaassen (Oklahoma Christian University) Mini factories and process safety, by Dennis C. Hendershot (AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety) Safety as a “core value” in academia, by Neal Langerman (Advanced Chemical Safety) Toxic tips: Propylene, by William E. Luttrell and Nathaniel P. Giles (Oklahoma Christian...

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What’s your chemical storage story?
Nov15

What’s your chemical storage story?

At In the pipeline last week, Derek asked: So here’s a question to finish off with: what’s the worst/stupidest/most potentially catastrophic chemical storage you’ve had the displeasure of seeing? I think my own might have been when I came across about half a kilo of chromium trioxide baking in an open dish in a drying oven, the same one that people dumped solvent-soaked glassware into regularly. Or maybe it was the moment during my first year of grad school, studying at a little cubicle in an unused lab, and looking up to see that there was an old kilo jar of benzidine next to my head. No, scratch that one, at least it was in a sealed container. Go read the stories, share your own, and then perhaps see what’s in your lab that could be...

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Protective suit failure lands Canadian lab worker in isolation
Nov10

Protective suit failure lands Canadian lab worker in isolation

An employee of Canada’s national animal health lab is in isolation for 21 days following possible exposure to the Ebola virus, news agencies report. The employee was working with pigs that had been invected with Ebola to test how the disease responds to treatment with immune response proteins, CBC reports. The employee was going through standard decontamination procedures before leaving the lab when he or she noticed a split in the seam of their protective suit. Ebola is spread by direct contact with bodily fluids. “There is no reason to believe the employee involved in Monday’s incident was in contact with the bodily fluids of the infected pig, according to Rebecca Gilman, spokeswoman for the Public Health Agency of Canada,” CNN reports. The incident illustrates why personal protective equipment should not be the only barrier between a lab worker–or the outside world–and possible harm. Multiple approaches are necessary so that a single weakness does not lead to illness or...

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