June 30, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, June 5, 2012) A new study finds that children exposed to high levels of naphthalene, a common air pollutant and the active ingredient in mothballs, are at increased risk for chromosomal aberrations (CA's) that have been associated with increased cancer risk in adults. These include chromosomal translocations, a potentially more harmful and long-lasting subtype of CAs, which are of special concern as they result in a portion of one chromosome being juxtaposed to a portion of another chromosome, potentially scrambling the genetic script.
Source: Columbia University Press Release  Children Exposed to Naphthalene—a Common Pollutant Best Known as the Key Ingredient in Mothballs—Show Signs of Chromosomal Damage

June 29, 2012

The Third Annual Laboratory Safety Survey

Small but steady improvement across most lab safety categories.  By: Pamela Ahlberg - Published: June 16 2012
Three years ago we began surveying our readers to find out about their lab safety practices and to track how those practices change moving forward. Last year’s survey indicated fairly substantial improvement over 2010 despite the continuing economic pressures that might have made lab health and safety a “nice to have” and not a “must have.” But that was not the case last year, nor was it the case this year, when we found modest but steady improvement across nearly all lab health and safety categories.

Read article.

Remembering a chlorine derailment, puresafety.com, Dr. Scott Harris

Remembering a chlorine derailment
It doesn’t seem like eight years since I had a major run-in with a railcar of “skull and crossbones” material, but today was the day.  At that time I was a Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) with the U.S. EPA in Dallas, TX.  FOSCs are the lead for agency responses to oil and hazardous substance releases and have full authority to direct all public and private resources to stop or prevent a release.


Go to the EPA website for a close-up look at this unique event.  I also highly recommend the lessons learned report prepared for the National Response Team.

UL PureSafety’s software and information solutions empower employees to improve workforce health and safety.


June 27, 2012


AOPL Board Adopts Pipeline Safety Principles

Washington, DC - June 26, 2012 - This week, operators of our nation's liquid pipelines reaffirmed their commitment to safety through adoption of eight pipeline safety principles by the Board of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL). AOPL is the national trade association for operators of oil, natural gas liquid and carbon dioxide pipelines in the United States.

AOPL Board Chairman Todd Denton, President of Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC, said:
"Our Nation's energy liquid pipeline operators demonstrate they are serious about safety by valuing these safety principles. Making these principles part of our culture is how we act safely every day to protect the public and our employees."
The eight liquid pipeline safety principles are:
* Zero Incidents
* Organization-Wide Commitment
* A Culture of Safety
* Continuous Improvement
* Learn from Experience
* Systems for Success
* Employ Technology
* Communicate with Stakeholders
Read more:  06/26/2012 - AOPL Board Adopts Pipeline Safety Principles  

June 24, 2012

Rafael Moure-Eraso: It's time for government and industry to adopt inherently safer technology

"it is time for the EPA and other regulators to give this proposal another serious look and make IST a cornerstone of its accident prevention programs. It is time for industry to welcome the principles of IST -- substitute, minimize, moderate, and simplify -- and effect the changes needed to make chemical plants inherently safer." -- CSB Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso 6-24-12 Op Ed Charleston Gazette


June 11, 2012

Resources- School Crisis Guide

On June 10, 1999 at 3:30 on a beautiful spring afternoon the people of Bellingham learned the hard way that there is a 16 inch pipeline that runs through the middle of our community. Due to lack of care by the pipeline company, and lack of oversight by the responsible government agencies, we here in Bellingham were forced to live through grief unimaginable.

But here in Bellingham once the flames and smoke were gone, the dead were buried and the tears had dried, we did something quite unique in the history of such tragedies. We came together as a community to help those most affected, to heal the creek and land we love, and to try our best to make sure no other community has to experience such needless grief. Through our successes in these efforts we have made great progress in healing ourselves.

These pages tell the story of this journey.

We have come a long way since that day, but I do take a moment to think that day over each year. Some of us wrote our story, pictures, video, and other memories of that time. http://www.pstrust.org/whatcomcreek/GlennArchambault.htm

UGI cited over safety violations in Allentown gas explosion

Investigators recommend the utility be fined $386,000


By Scott Kraus, Of The Morning Call

1:34 p.m. EDT, June 11, 2012

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission investigators have cited UGI Utilities for multiple safety violations in connection with the devastating 2011 gas explosion in Allentown, recommending a series of corrective actions and the imposition of a $386,000 fine on the utility, the maximum allowed by law.

The cause, as suspected, was a leak emanating from a crack in an 83-year-old cast-iron gas distribution line buried beneath Allen Street. The formation of the crack was accelerated by corrosion where the pipe was supported by wooden blocks.

The findings are a result of a 16-month investigation conducted by the PUC in cooperation with UGI Utilities, whose gas lines erupted in the late evening of Feb. 9, 2011, at 13th and Allen streets, flattening eight homes and killing five people.
Wheeling school officials opposing proposed gas well near high school  The Republic, They cite the possibility of an explosion, a spill, and other threats. In an interview with The Intelligencer (http://bit.ly/LdCgjW ), Board of Education President Erik Schramm said school officials have a duty to ensure that development near the school is done responsibly and safely.

June 06, 2012

Clean, Green and Healthy Tribal Schools

 U.S. EPA Region 8 is hosting an all-day Clean, Green and Healthy Tribal Schools Workshop on June 11, in Denver, CO, in conjunction with the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Summer Institute. The workshop is designed for tribal school administrators and school stakeholders, with the goal of providing information and tools for tribal school personnel to ensure that tribal schools are clean, green and healthy for themselves, school children and their community. Detailed information on the workshop, including an agenda, can be found here: http://epa.gov/region8/tribalschools/. IAQ Tools for Schools will be showcased throughout multiple sessions as guidance schools can follow to help maintain healthy school environments.

The entire workshop will also be broadcast via an online livestream. To access the livestream on the morning of the June 11, click on this link http://www.livestream.com/cleangreenhealthytribalschools. No registration is necessary to view the livesteam and you will be able to view specific agenda topics of your choosing.

For further information and answers to questions, please contact Matthew Langenfeld, U.S. EPA Region 8, at 303‐312‐6284 800‐227‐8917 or langenfeld.matthew@epa.gov<mailto:langenfeld.matthew@epa.gov>.

June 01, 2012

Old science class chemicals removed The Beatrice Daily Sun (Nebraska) reports (http://bit.ly/JmSeKt) that a hazardous-waste disposal company based in Norwell, Mass., Clean Harbors, cleared away a total of 320 pounds of chemicals from Beatrice High School and Beatrice Middle School. 5 23 2012

Training Workshop on Preventing Chemical Accidents

On Thursday, June 7, 2012 from 8:00 AM – 4:00 p.m. ET the Rutgers University Busch Campus Center in Piscataway, N.J. will host a training workshop on preventing chemical accidents. The goal is to create an effective worker-management health and safety committee that can provide a safe venue for workers to report health, safety, and maintenance issues and resolve health and safety problems to prevent accidents and workplace injuries. This workshop is for individuals and safety committee members employed in the chemical and oil sector and use highly hazardous chemicals. Pre-registration is required.