Friday chemical safety round-up

Before we get into the news from the last couple of weeks, I can’t pass up a haiku posted on the ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety e-mail list last week by Harry J. Elston, editor of the Journal of Chemical Health & Safety:

Hoods for prevention
noxious vapors spewing forth
closed sash protection

Now on to our regularly scheduled linkfest:

Fires and explosions:

Leaks, spills, and other exposures:

  • Two workers died at a Shintech PVC plant in Louisiana:

    Sheriff’s Maj. Johnny Blanchard says investigators believe Tory Sanchez, a contract worker employed by Performance Contractors Inc., was overcome by fumes while descending a ladder into the container to retrieve tools. Blanchard says Shintech employee Tommy Rivet also went into the container, possibly to assist Sanchez, and also was overcome.

    Plant manager David Wise told The Advocate the men likely suffocated in the oxygen-deficient container that was filled with nitrogen as part of the process to produce vinyl chloride.

  • A shuttered crime lab in Detroit became a hazmat scene, with a street blocked off for parking or walking: “One room is reportedly filled with black mold and chemicals that, if spilled or combined, could reportedly become toxic and dangerous or even explosive.”
  • 100 gallons of hydrochloric acid at Thornton Industries in Illinois; one worker was treated for skin contact
  • Chlorine gas at a Tennessee sewer treatment plant forced the evacuation of nearby homes; the source was a 1,400-lb chlorine canister
  • Hydrogen sulfide at a refinery in California
  • A 55-gallon drum of phenol was punctured by a fork life at a trucking company in Ohio
  • 500-800 mL of formaldehyde at a high school in Illinois; two workers were taken to hospital for evaluation
  • On roads, railways, and shipyards: alpha-methylstyrene, hydraulic fluid, hydrochloric acid, plastisol

Not covered: meth labs, ammonia leaks, and incidents involving floor sealants, cleaning solutions, or pool chemicals

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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