Friday chemical safety round up

Chemical health and safety news from the past two weeks:

Other fires and explosions:

  • An acrylic acid reactor exploded at Shanghai Huayi Acrylic Acid in China, no one was injured
  • Also in China, “Workers at the Shanghai Shengying Petrochemical Co manually put chemical materials into a reactor kettle that exploded and caused fire in the factory. It was not only illegal but was not even experimented before, the Shanghai Work Safety Administration said. … The reactor was stuffed with nitric acid, epoxyethane among others. ” Six people were injured.
  • A fire involving 30,000 gals of butane being transfered from a train car to a transfer station in Pennsylvania badly burned one worker
  • A used solvent collection tank caught fire during start-up of a new process at Voltaix in Pennsylvania. The working theory is that oxygen got into the tank and reacted with something.
  • A fire at Drug & Laboratory Disposal in Michigan “started when a small amount of a chemical being neutralized under a hood by a chemist unexpectedly stared to spark and smoke.” The chemist was working in a hood and the fire was reportedly quickly contained, but somehow rekindled overnight (there’s got to be more to this story–a fire that didn’t involve large stores of chemicals rekindles after fire crews put it out?)
  • A cart containing acid and oxidizers mysteriously started fire at Penn State University, and two students put it out with a fire extinguisher

Leaks, spills, and other exposures:

Not covered (usually): meth labs; ammonia leaks; incidents involving floor sealants, cleaning solutions, or pool chemicals; transportation spills; things that happen at recycling centers (dispose of your waste properly, people!); and fires from oil, natural gas, or other fuels

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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