Chemical health and safety news from the past week:
- Monday, June 4, is the day to celebrate lab personal protective equipment! Send a photo of you decked out in your lab gear to LabPPEDay@gmail.com and Chemjobber will post them to Tumblr on Monday. Anonymous contributions are welcome.
- A few more #ToxicCarnival posts trickled in after last Friday.
- For the entrepreneurs out there: Meth-testing houses the new big thing, at least in Texas
- Lab tests apparently confirm that phosphate was on those rocks that set fire to a woman’s shorts in California; UC Irvine chemistry professor Ken Shea weighs in on what possibly happened, although he seems to be talking about elemental phosphorus. I’ve reached out to the Orange County Health Care Agency to try to find out what, specifically, the lab tested for and found.
- The June issue of AIChE’s Process Safety Beacon focuses on nitrogen asphyxiation
Fires and explosions:
- A plastic bottle overpressurized and blew in a chemical lab at Tufts University, spilling some “mild acid”
Leaks, spills, and other exposures:
- 450 gallons of acid + 1,500 gallons of “caustic liquid” = chlorine gas at a Darigold plant in Oregon and a trip to the hospital for 11 workers
- Chlorine was also released at a Mead Johnson Nutrition plant in New Zealand, affecting seven workers
- An estimated 4,000 gal of hydrochloric acid leaked at a Sasol North America plant in Arizona
- Ozone released at Analog Devices sent six workers to hospital in Massachusetts, but “strictly for precautionary reasons”; the company’s emergency response plan reportedly worked flawlessly
- A shelf collapsed at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Institute for Genomic Biology, resulting in one worker rinsing off in a safety shower and a full hazmat call-out (as an aside, the tweet initially sent out by @Illini-Alert told people to “Escape area if safe to do so.” Is “escape” unnecessarily frightening, as opposed to evacuate?)
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.