Sunday, March 5, 2023

The Chemicals are Destroying Us

Yes, you have, I thought so too, that's why I started to look when I seen this here:

"Of the more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in the United States, most haven't been adequately tested for their effects on human health."

I found this list from just the 90+ last days, think about this as you go through the list... how many of those 80,000 have they looked into, I suspect it would get very ugly quickly if the truth was told. I am sure we had some real accidents along the way, but a few look suspicious as to just how they unfolded, and some might have an ulterior motive. 55 in 86 days is a lot in my book.

Ammonia leak, school evacuation, CF Industries, Donaldsonville, Louisiana

December 1, 2022
An ammonia leak at a chemical plant caused the evacuation of Donaldsonville Primary School, which is separated from the factory by a sugar cane field. The Ascension Parish’s Sheriff’s office also closed several local roadways near the facility. According to CF Industries website, “CF Industries' Donaldsonville Complex is located on 1,400 acres along the west bank of the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana. It is the world's largest and most flexible ammonia production facility, serving customers on every continent.” CF Industries is one of three plants profiled in the 2021 Coming Clean report, “, Unprepared for Disaster: Chemical Hazards in the Wake of Hurricane Ida.

December 7, 2022
An adhesives factory released hydrochloric acid vapors from a tank undergoing cleaning, and the facility was evacuated. The company asked residents from four nearby homes to evacuate as well. The company’s website says that Momentive provides silicones and specialty materials to a wide range of industries. 

December 8, 2022
An explosion at a biodiesel plant injured at least 10 people. Local residents were evacuated. “We evacuated several different areas and houses around us due to wind concerns, chemical concerns, and the fire,” Iowa State Patrol Trooper Bob Conrad was reported saying. C6-Zero converts used roofing shingles into biodiesel fuel. It was later reported that the smoke detectors, sprinkler system and fire hydrants at the facility were inoperable. It was also reported that C6-Zero had failed to provide an inventory of hazardous chemicals stored and used at the site to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

December 9, 2022
A fire protection product manufacturer spilled phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid. Employees evacuated the building; two were taken to the hospital with respiratory complaints BS&B Safety makes safety valves, flame arresters and explosion protection systems, according to the company’s website.

December 10, 2022
A rupture in the Keystone oil pipeline was reported to have released 588,000 gallons of tar sands oil into Mill Creek in rural Kansas. The Keystone pipeline runs 2,700 miles between the tar-sands drilling area of Alberta, Canada, and refineries in Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. It was built in 2012. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, now abandoned, was to be a larger-diameter, shorter-length extension of the tar sands pipeline network.

Sulfuric acid spill, Southwest Pickling, Durant, Oklahoma

December 12, 2022
A valve at an industrial metal cleaning operation released 2,000 gallons of sulfuric acid.

Chemical release, two injuries, Butterfield Color, Aurora, Illinois

December 15, 2022
Two incompatible chemicals were inadvertently mixed at a decorative concrete product facility. Responding firefighters wearing protective clothing and breathing apparatuses experienced burning sensations, left immediately, and called for hazardous materials responders. The firefighters were treated for chemical irritation and released. Butterfield Color produces decorative concrete products.

Fire, Westlake Chemical Polymers, Sulphur, Louisiana

December 18, 2022
A fire at a large chemical producer facility was accompanied by explosions and a “small” release. The exact chemicals that were released were not reported. This Westlake Polymers plant produces polyethylene resins.

Ammonia leak, one fatality, Home Market Foods, Norwood, Massachusetts

December 19, 2022
One contractor died, while another was hospitalized after a pipeline was accidentally severed causing the release of ammonia. Home Market Foods processes chicken, beef and pork products for food brands such as Bahama Mama, Eisenberg, and Cooked Perfect, according to the company’s website.

Carbon dioxide leak, Foster Farms poultry plant, Fresno, California

December 23, 2022
A high-pressure carbon dioxide line at a food processing plant developed a leak. All employees were evacuated while firefighters struggled, initially unsuccessfully, to shut down the leak.

Oil spill, Flint Hills Resources oil terminal, Corpus Christi, Texas

December 24, 2022
A pipeline failure at the Koch family-owned crude oil terminal led to the release of 14,000 gallons of crude oil into Corpus Christi Bay and Nueces bays.

Hydraulic oil leak, Anthony Timberlands mill, Malvern, Arkansas

Several local ranchers reported cattle being sickened and dying after drinking from Chatman Creek near a paper mill. The Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) investigated after several residents filed complaints. On December 22, 2022 the ADEQ issued a response to the complaints stating "unpermitted discharges" occurred when the facility failed to adhere to procedures. "It appears that [Anthony Timberlands] have been not following water permits and was using waste water contaminated with hydraulic oil to continuously spray on their wood products as a dust suppressant."

So 12 incidents in December

Industrial chemical leak, Sunbelt Forest Products, Brunswick, Georgia

January, 2023
Residents discovered a broken pipeline from a wood preserving facility was releasing industrial chemicals to a local creek used by residents for fishing. The leak was discovered after residents reported murky water and dead fish in the creek. "Sunbelt Forestry Products is a wood preserving facility, so we know there's wood preserving chemicals in the water," said Rachel Thompson, executive director at the Glynn County Environmental Coalition. "And that, as of now, we know it includes copper carbonate. But there could be other chemicals within those solutions as well."

Chemical leak, one hospitalized, Univar Solutions, Kent, Washington

January 4, 2023
A chemical tanker leaked an unnamed substance in a warehouse. One person was hospitalized and five others were treated at the scene. Univar is a national chemical distributor.

Fire, Celanese Industrial, Pasadena, Texas

January 6, 2023
A fire broke out after what was reported as “an incident” occurred at the facility. The Celanese Clear Lake Plant produces methanol, which is a highly flammable toxic chemical.

Fire, evacuations, Tiger-Sul Products, Atmore, Alabama

January 6, 2023
A home and country club were evacuated after a fire at an agrochemical warehouse caused the release of molten sulfur, which re-solidified in a local creek. The plant produces sulfur bentonite, an additive used by the agriculture industry. It was rebuilt in 2018 after being struck by lightning and destroyed in 2017.

January 6, 2023
The factory was evacuated and four employees were treated at a hospital for nausea after an An ammonia leak in the refrigerated section of a pork processing factory hospitalized four employees. The factory which employs 4,500 people was evacuated.

Ammonia leak, shelter-in-place, Chelan Fruit Cooperative, Brewster, Washington

January 8, 2023
Officials issued a shelter-in-place for residents after a “good-sized” cloud of ammonia wafted from a fruit warehouse.

Ongoing criminal investigations, Bi-Qem, Florence, Massachusetts

March 2022-current
After an unreported formaldehyde spill in March 2022 and a “major water leak” that caused damage to a resin plan in August 2022, the EPA’s criminal investigation unit conducted a surprise inspection in January 2023. Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra issued a statement in March acknowledging “a host of issues” within the factory, but the results of the recent inspection were not revealed. Bi-Qem, formerly known as Chemiplastica, produces thermosetting resins and compounds.

Massive Fire, shelter-in-place, Carus Chemical, LaSalle, Illinois

January 11, 2023
Residents in a three-block radius were advised to shelter-in-place after a massive blaze at the facility caused billowing plumes of smoke over the neighborhood. Additionally: “La Salle police said that a green-colored oxidizer had been released in the area and warned residents not to touch the substance.” Carus produces potassium permanganate, which is used to treat drinking water, wastewater and industrial chemicals, as well as phosphates, polymers and other chemicals.

Sulfur dioxide leak, Albemarle Corp., Magnolia, Arkansas

January 11, 2023
Officials shut down part of US 79, adjacent to Albemarle’s South plant and reported that the leaked chemical could cause skin irritation and possible blindness. The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management later confirmed the chemical was sulfur dioxide, according to the Magnolia Banner-News. However, it reported, “a security officer at Albemarle declined to share any details about the chemical leak. She said local residents should contact [the Office of Emergency Management] or the Columbia County Sheriff's Office for information about the leak.” Albemarle produces brominated flame retardants and biocides in Magnolia.

Fire, Nutrien AG Solutions, Lamar, Nebraska

January 11, 2023
A fire at a fertilizer plant caused complications for firefighters because of the chemicals involved. “We knew when we set up that water use would be limited. No one could enter the building because it collapsed with chemicals inside,” said an official with Nebraska’s State Fire Marshal's office. Firefighters were limited in using water to prevent hazardous runoff. In 2022, fires occurred at Nutrien fertilizer plants in Leoti, Kansas (April 19) and Sunnyside, Washington (Feb. 28]

Fire, six injured Phillips 66 Borger Refinery, Borger, Texas

January 17, 2023
Six people were hospitalized, two in critical condition, after a fire broke out at the refinery. A local highway was also shut down for hours due to the blaze. The refinery is a joint venture between Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy (based in Canada). According to the company’s website: “The refinery processes primarily medium sour crude oil and NGL delivered through pipelines from West Texas, the Texas Panhandle and Canada. Borger has a gross NGL fractionation capacity of 22,500 barrels per day.”

Ammonia leak, six injured, TNT Crust, Green Bay, Wisconsin

January 18, 2023
Six employees were treated for respiratory chemical burns after a “substantial” ammonia leak at a pizza crust factory. TNT produces crusts for manufacturers, retailers and distributors. Officials praised the quick evacuation of employees, saying “this was really close to being a mass casualty.”

Chemical vapor cloud, shelter-in-place, Florida Chemical Supply, Tampa, Florida

January 19, 2023
The leak of an unnamed chemical caused officials to shut down parts of Interstate 4 and advise a shelter-in-place for nearby residents. It was also not reported what caused the leak to occur. Florida Chemical Supply is a chemical compounder and distributor, with locations in Florida, Denmark and China. According to trade records, Florida Chemical Supply imports potassium fluorosilicate, sodium fluorosilicate and magnesium fluorosilicate from China.

Explosion, two fatalities, three injured, Quick Turn Anodizing, Guthrie, Kentucky

January 19, 2023
A tank containing an estimated 300 gallons of an “alkaline lye solution” exploded. One employee died at the scene and three more were seriously injured. One of the wounded workers later died of his injuries. Quick Turn specializes in aluminum and steel costings, including PTFE (Teflon).

Fire, PBF Energy refinery, Chalmette, Louisiana

January 21, 2023
A fire broke out at a refinery. Residents recorded billowing thick black smoke before the fire was brought under control. The Chalmette Refinery produces 185,000 barrels of crude oil a day, which is marketed both domestically and internationally, according to the company’s website. PBF Energy is a publicly traded company formed in 2008. It is based in Parsippany, New Jersey, and has acquired six refineries in the U.S., including Chalmette (from ExxonMobil and Petroleos de Venezuela) in 2015.

Hydrogen fluoride/chlorine leak, shelter-in-place, Honeywell blowing agent factory, Carville, Louisiana

January 23, 2023
An explosion led to the release of an unknown amount of hydrogen fluoride and chlorine from the facility. Honeywell officials ordered a shelter-in-place and shut down local roads. This is the latest of many serious incidents at the facility involving hydrogen fluoride. After a leak in July 2022, Honeywell’s Carville facility went into shelter-in-place mode, and an employee was treated for exposure. In October 2021, a worker was killed by another incident. Before that, the plant had “11 accidental releases of toxic or flammable chemicals in the past three years” according to the Advocate. Honeywell’s Carville plant makes hydrofluoric acid and PFAS, including fluorcarbon refrigerants and polychlorotrifluoroethylene homopolymer (PCTFE).

Tornado strikes Ineos plastics factory near Houston, Texas

January 24, 2023
Plastics News reported that a tornado ran through the heart of the petrochemical industry east of Houston, Texas. Ineos’ plastics plant “suffered a direct hit from a tornado on January 24th, according to a letter to customers.” According to a National Weather Service storm survey, “three high tension power lines were flattened” north of Deer Park near the Ship Channel. This suggests EF-3 level damage in the petrochemical production zone. In addition to Ineos, Oxy Vinyl’s vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant was in the storm’s path as charted by the National Weather Service. VCM is used to produce polyvinyl chloride plastics. Total Energies’ polypropylene factory was quite close as well. Shell Chemicals and other factories in the vicinity reported operational issues including flaring due to power outages.

Organic peroxide leak, school evacuated, V2X aerospace services, Madison, Mississippi

January 27, 2023
A FedEx delivery person noticed something leaking from his truck en route to V2X. Students at a school a mile away began experiencing sore throats. The school, a nearby Wendy’s, a Levi Strauss plant and several other businesses were evacuated. Highly flammable and explosive, organic peroxide can emit irritating and toxic gases, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. V2X (recently renamed from Vertex) provides operational support services to the aerospace industry.

Methanol leak, Chattem Chemicals, Chattanooga, Tennessee

January 27, 2023
Firefighters were called to address a fire near a methanol tank at the facility. After extinguishing the fire, hazmat crews observed a leak from one of the valves in the tank. The plant was evacuated. Chattem Chemicals produces pharmaceutical ingredients, surfactants, catalysts and additives, according to the company’s website.

Propionic acid/acetic anhydride leak, evacuations, Union Pacific Railroad, Keatchie, Louisiana

January 28, 2023
About 130 people in a 1.5 mile radius were evacuated after two train cars carrying propionic acid and acetic anhydride derailed and began leaking. Propionic acid is “used as a preservative, fungicide, and antimicrobial agent, and acetic anhydride…is used in making plastics, drugs, dyes, perfumes, explosives and aspirin.”

“Chemical reaction”, two hospitalized, Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS), Erwin, Tennessee

January 30, 2023
Five employees were reported to have been exposed to vapors from a “chemical reaction” of unreported source materials. NFS provides fuel for the US Naval nuclear-powered vessels.

Fire, Martinez Refining Company, Martinez, California

January 31, 2023
Material from what was reported to be out-of-service equipment began to smolder. Firefighters addressed the fire while hazmat teams were called in to monitor air quality. Earlier in January, the Contra Costa Health department requested that the District Attorney take legal action against the company for an unreported release of 20 tons metal-laden dust from the facility into the surrounding community in November. (See November 24, 2022)

22 Incidents to start off 23, with 34 through 60 days we are looking at an incident every other day!

February 2, 2023
An unreported amount of chlorine was released from the facility. The leak was stopped and emergency personnel were notified.

Chemical leak, EMD Millipore, Kankakee, Illinois

February 3, 2023
An accidental mixing of chlorine and acid led to the evacuation of the building. EMD Millipore provides chemicals for bioscience and pharmaceutical industries.

Sulfuric acid spill, Perstorp Polyols, Toledo, Ohio

February 3, 2023
A private company delivering sulfuric acid to a tank at Perstorp Polyols spilled about 500 gallons of the chemical on the ground. Perstorp Polyols provides specialty chemicals through the US, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Middle East Africa and Latin America, according to the company’s website.

Derailment, vinyl chloride leak, thousands evacuated, Norfolk Suffolk Railways, East Palestine, Ohio

February 3, 2023
A train carrying vinyl chloride, butyl acetate and benzene residues derailed causing a massive fire and fears of “catastrophic failure” of at least one of the containers, which would release toxic compounds and shrapnel into the area. Five of the 20 cars that derailed carried vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic compound used to make PVC plastic. After three days officials conducted a “controlled release” of the chemicals in train cars to mitigate the danger of an explosion. Officials ordered a mandatory evacuation of residents in a one-mile radius of the facility, that lasted five days. Local schools were closed for a week.

The fire was hardly a "controlled release", not even close!

Anhydrous ammonia leak, Lamb Weston, Quincy, Washington

February 6, 2023
An unplanned release of anhydrous ammonia, used in the potato processing factory’s refrigeration system, led to air quality monitoring to be conducted around the plant.

Explosion, chemical fire, evacuations, Olon Industries, Geneva, Illinois

February 7, 2023
“Multiple chemicals” caused an explosion and fire in the factory where countertops are produced. A nearby senior center and park were evacuated.

Explosion, fire, one injury, Select Energy Services disposal site, Williston, North Dakota

February 11, 2023
One person suffered severe burns after several tanks exploded and caught fire at a “saltwater disposal” site for oil and gas fracking waste. Select Energy Services provides water and chemicals, including “friction reducers, surfactants, biocides, crosslinkers, polymers and other chemical technologies to optimize production,” according to the company website.

Anhydrous ammonia leak, shelter in place, 99 Cents Only warehouse, Katy, Texas

February 12, 2023
A leak from a refrigerator line at the warehouse caused officials to order a shelter in place for the surrounding community. Because of the flammability and respiratory issues related to the ammonia, the building was deemed too dangerous for hazmat crews to enter initially.

Nitric acid spill, evacuations, shelter-in-place, Tucson, Arizona

February 14, 2023

A tanker truck containing the highly explosive nitric acid overturned killing the driver and causing a “fiery wreck” that shut down parts of interstate 10. Officials ordered the closest residents to evacuate and others to shelter-in-place. According to the Centers for Disease Control exposure to nitric acid can cause “ irritation to the eyes, skin, and mucous membrane; it can also cause delayed pulmonary edema, pneumonitis, bronchitis, and dental erosion. Nitric acid is highly corrosive. Workers may be harmed from exposure to nitric acid.” Nitric acid is used in the production of plastics, dyes, and fertilizers.

Massive fire, Covanta Energy, Doral, Florida

February 13 to Feb. 19, 2023
A fire at a garbage incinerator (also called waste-to-energy) was described as being the size of “two football fields of trash”. The fire reached at least four of the facility's 11 buildings and was expected to burn “for several days.” As of February 19, smoke continued to pour from the destroyed incinerator while Covanta was demolishing the complex. “Due to the smoke, officials are asking anyone who lives in the area to stay indoors with the windows closed, and that it’s important to run their air conditioners. Anyone driving in the area was urged to keep their windows up,” reported Local 10 News.

Peroxide spill, Stonyfield Farms, Londonderry, New Hampshire

February 14, 2023
A 250 gallon tank of peracetic acid was punctured and leaked in the parking lot of the yogurt plant. According to the USDA, peracetic acid is highly corrosive and unstable.

Oil tank fire, evacuations, Port of Catoosa, Oklahoma

February 15, 2023
An oil tank caught fire causing officials to shut down the inland port. Local businesses and an elementary school were evacuated and residents sheltered in place. Catoosa, outside Tulsa, is a key inland port where petrochemicals are transferred to barges that traverse the Arkansas River.

February 16, 2023
A “massive” fire involving plastic products led officials to order a shelter in place for the surrounding community. Nursery Supplies is a leading producer of flower pots, made from unspecified recycled plastics, polyethylene and polypropylene. The conflagration left a 2-acre mass of burnt planters. Recycled “black plastics” often contain toxic chemicals. “Due to the lack of recycled black plastic, the demand is often met with e-waste (discarded electronics like old computers, phones, TVs, monitors, speakers, and appliances) that contains toxic chemicals such as phthalates, flame retardants, and heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, nickel, chromium, and mercury,” notes Beyond Plastics.

Hazardous waste fire, shelter in place, Clean Harbors storage facility, Braintree, Massachusetts

February 18, 2023
Multiple trailers which were reported to be full of “paints, epoxy, oil filters, solvents” and other waste materials spontaneously caught fire. Braintree officials advised residents to remain in their homes with their windows shut. Clean Harbors is a nation-wide company that collects, transports, and processes hazardous wastes. Its Braintree site is the largest hazardous waste collection and storage facility in New England, according to the company.

“Hazmat scare,” one fatality, ExxonMobil, Baytown, Texas

February 18, 2023
Firefighters responding to a medical emergency found an employee in cardiac arrest. The worker was transported to a nearby hospital where he was admitted for possible chemical exposure. He did not survive. Although firefighters reported that the man and the ambulance had a “chemical smell” and the hospital limited access to the emergency room while addressing the situation, Exxon ruled out chemical exposure as a reason for the incident. Emergency personnel exposed to the victim were decontaminated and will be monitored for health issues.

Fire, Hazardous waste collection center, Doral, Florida

February 21, 2023
A fire at a household hazardous waste collection facility sent “plumes of black smoke over Doral.” According to the Miami-Dade County Solid Waste Management website, this facility allows residents to “dispose of items that can otherwise potentially harm the environment.” This was the second fire involving household waste in Doral this month. (See February 13 to 19)

Explosion and fire, two fatalities, two injuries, Laurie’s General Welding, Medley, Florida

February 21, 2023
An explosion and fire at a welding company left two people dead and two more in critical condition. According to news reports: “The fire was reportedly caused by a spark when workers were using acetylene for welding.” The fire spread to surrounding trucks and downed electrical lines. EPA’s Risk Management Program regulates facilities that have at least 10,000 pounds of acetylene on-site.

Fire, evacuations, Oak Ridge Y-12 Uranium Processing Facility, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

February 22, 2023
Hundreds of workers were evacuated after a fire broke out at a uranium processing facility at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The exact location of the fire was not reported but visitors and workers in other sections of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory were sheltered-in-place. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials reported there was no release of radioactive materials.

Fire, Pemex, Deer Park, Texas

February 23, 2023
Pemex’s emergency unit extinguished a fire at Pemex’s 312,500 barrel a day refinery in Deer Park. No injuries were reported in the Deer Park incident. The same day, Pemex reported fires at two facilities in Mexico. U.S. News and World Report said “Five people were unaccounted for after a fire at a storage facility in the state of Veracruz that had sent three others to a hospital, the company said in a statement. The cause of that fire, which had been put out, had not yet been determined, the company added. Pemex confirmed in a later statement on Thursday evening that a separate fire at its Minatitlan refinery, also in Veracruz, was under control after injuring five people.”

Hydrofluoric acid spill, Schultz Xtruded Products, Hernando, Mississippi

February 25, 2023
A fire at the plant reached a container of hydrofluoric acid causing it to leak into nearby Mussacuna Creek. Crews built a temporary dam in the creek to prevent the chemicals from flowing downstream to Arkabutla Lake. Schultz makes pipes and fittings for the oil and gas industry.

Chemical exposure, evacuations, BNSF and Union Pacific rail yard, Liberty County, Texas

February 25, 2023
Four rail yard workers were taken to the hospital for evaluation after complaining of nausea, respiratory irritation and headaches. It was feared they potentially were exposed to a chemical leak. The facility was evacuated while a survey of the contents of the rail cars revealed several hazardous chemicals such as ethylene oxide, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid. “We were relaying information back to the hospital. They were treating them appropriately for ethylene oxide and sulfuric acid exposure. We had ruled out hydrochloric acid because they weren’t experiencing really bad respiratory issues. They were all treated and released,” said Bill Hergemueller, director of the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management.

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