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Hydrogen Fluoride Pyridine Incident 25-June-2010 EHS Coordinator Meeting 14 December 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Hydrogen Fluoride Pyridine Incident 25-June-2010 EHS Coordinator Meeting 14 December 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hydrogen Fluoride Pyridine Incident 25-June-2010 EHS Coordinator Meeting 14 December 2010

2 Basic Information 24 June, 6:30 PM Biological research Three individuals work in lab ◦Heard a loud bang ◦Saw under-hood chemical storage cabinet doors fly open Sensed acid-like odor No visible smoke or haze

3 Basic Information Waited about five minutes after hearing bang to investigate area Donned nitrile gloves and safety glasses Looked into cabinet and containers within to determine if any were damaged Found metal canister with a dislodged cover and bowed-out bottom (likely ruptured and caused noise, door movement)

4 Basic Information Label on container indicated ◦70% hydrofluoric acid ◦30% pyridine ◦Mixture is called Olah’s Reagent Lab occupants were not trained in HF use and were not aware HF was in lab Occupants moved damaged container into nearby fume hood Powdery substance coated other containers within cabinet Moved many coated containers to fume hood No other containers were damaged

5 Reporting Lab occupants did not report at time of incident ◦Did not want to cause alarm or building evacuation at time of incident, so did not report Contacted lab EHS Rep the following day EHS Rep contacted Coordinator after that Coordinator contacted EHS Office at approximately 10:30 AM the next day IHP on-call representative arrived on-scene at approximately 10:45 AM

6 Response & Initial Investigation IHP rep examined MSDS for HF pyridineMSDS for HF pyridine ◦Appeared to mimic effects of HF Tested residue within ruptured canister and on surfaces of other canisters in cabinet (now in hood) for HF with Spilfyter strips. ◦Fluorine present

7 Response & Initial Investigation IHP rep contacted EMP on-call rep to help with clean-up ◦Triumvirate called in IHP rep spoke to lab occupants about potential effects of HF exposure ◦Recommended that they visit MIT Medical Urgent Care – all did, but weren’t seen right away ◦Contacted Occupational Health Nurse & Physician at MIT Medical via email to alert them to incident

8 Response & Initial Investigation Occupational Health Physician contacted Chemistry professor (R. Danheiser) for additional info on HF Pyridine ◦Determined that pyridine binds HF and is not as biologically active as HF ◦Physician transmitted this info to IHP rep via email the next day ◦Medical did not directly relay this information to lab occupants - timing issue?

9 Initial Lessons Learned Don’t store what you don’t need ◦Incident may have never happened ◦Many, many containers became contaminated and complicated clean-up Know what you are storing in your lab Report incident right away ◦Although no one was hurt, results could’ve been more serious if HF compound was more biologically active

10 Initial Lessons Learned Communication between EHS, MIT Medical, & involved individuals needs to be better Do not clean up spills without proper PPE ◦Lab occupants wanted to do the right thing by handling spill/rupture themselves, but this may have required more PPE than they had available

11 Things Done Well Lab used opportunity to get rid of unneeded chemicals and improve housekeeping Communication lines, once established, were very strong between lab occupants, EHS Rep, & EHS Coordinator

12 Questions? Comments? Discussion?

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