Friday chemical safety round up

First up, our thoughts are with everyone in the Boston and West, Texas, areas today.

Secondly, on the fertilizer explosion in West: Although early reports all said that the incident involved anhydrous ammonia, C&EN’s Jeff Johnson reported yesterday that ammonium nitrate was likely the explosive material at West Fertilizer Co. Today, the Los Angeles Times and New York Times both say the facility had ammonium nitrate. The NYT gives numbers: “540,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate on the site and 110,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia.” The current toll is 12 confirmed dead, 60 missing, more than 200 injured, and many left homeless. I’m curious whether zoning laws actually allowed that amount of hazardous material so close to a residential area, two schools, and a nursing home. For local coverage, see the Waco Tribune and Dallas Morning News.

Now on to other news from the past few weeks, skipping incidents and focusing other things that I’ve collected:

Post updated April 22, 2013, with a paywall-free link to the workers compensation story.

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

Share This Post On