Friday chemical safety round-up

Chemical health and safety news from the past week:

Fires and explosions:

  • An explosion at an Evonik plant in Germany killed two workers; the plant “produces cyclododecatriene, an intermediate used to make flame retardants, flavors, and fragrances.” My colleague Marc Reisch will have an updated story in Monday’s issue, but there’s no word yet on the cause.
  • A fire at Washington’s Westport Shipyard started in “a machine that mixes fiberglass resin with a catalyst”
  • A fire in a chemical drum at Bend Research in Oregon started when a filtering system malfunctioned, allowing vapor to build up to ignition concentration
  • A spark likely set alight methyl ethyl ketone at Wise Alloys in Alabama, when workers were “doing routine maintenance in the coating line area”; four were injured (that linked worked when I wrote the post, then didn’t when I went to check it. I’m leaving it up in case it’s a temporary server problem)

Leaks, spills, and other exposures:

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

Updated to add some discussion of the chemophobic grant reviewer that happened on Twitter Saturday morning:

[View the story “Chemophobia by a grant reviewer?” on Storify]

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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