Friday chemical safety round-up

Chemical health and safety  news from the past week:

Fires and explosions:

  • Seven workers died from a fire in a medicinal alcohol bottling unit of a pharmaceutical company in India; “Sub inspector AM Sindh of Kadi police station, who is investigating the case, said that the incident occurred while the labourers were transferring the chemicals from one drum to another. The fire started due to a motor.”
  • Zirconium caught fire from a spark from a shovel at a magnesium chloride mixing plant at Prineville Freight Depot in Oregon

Leaks, spills, and other exposures:

  • Fumes from a paint stripper being used in a tank at California paint manufacturer Vista Paint may have caused the death of one worker, 62-year-old Roberto Magdariago, and the hospitalization of another
  • Chlorine at the New Page paper mill in Maryland, four employees were sent to the hospital
  • Mercaptans and sulfur dioxide from a BP refinery in Texas
  • Acetylene from Nation Coating Systems in Ohio
  • “Boron” (sodium borate, maybe?) after a fire at a New Zealand freight depot damaged containers
  • Sulfuric acid sprayed pedestrians when acid started leaking from a truck in London
  • Ethylene oxide at a Vanderbilt University facility, from a system used to sterilize medical instruments
  • At a high school in New Jersey, a sodium metal demonstration “created more smoke than the ventilation fans in the lab could handle and created a smoke condition in the building”

Not covered: meth labs; ammonia leaks; incidents involving floor sealants, cleaning solutions, or pool chemicals; and fires from oil, natural gas, or other fuels

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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