1. #1
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    Exclamation Palm Beach HAZMAT Overkill?

    Check out this photostory link for a photo story of Palm Beach County response to a HAZMAT incident.

    The spill was 100ml of Chlorotrimethylsilane.

    I was intrigued by the scale of the operation:-
    * On scene time of approx. 10 hours
    * On scene were Rescue 33, Engine 33, Battalion Chief 9, Operations Chief 2, Rescue 31 and Tactical 31, Safety Officer 2, Rescue 23-Bravo, EMS Captain 9, and Light/Air 33. The Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad assisted Special Operations teams with entries into the contaminated building to retrieve personal belongings....
    * Level A suits were worn by responders entering the building


    I did a check up on this chemical to see how bad it was and this is what I found:
    * No UN number
    * No Hazchem code
    * No Dangerous Good class
    * No Subsiduary risk
    * No packing group

    FORM= Solid

    HAZARDS= Combustible. Toxic smoke/fumes in a fire

    EFFECT WITH WATER= Does not mix with water

    ACTION= Eliminate ignition sources. Avoid dust. Sweep shovel to a safe place

    FIRE FIGHTING= Foam

    MINOR SPILLS= Clean up spills immediately. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Wear impervious gloves and safety glasses. Use dry clean up procedures and avoid generating dust. Vacuum or sweep up. Place spilled material in clean, dry, sealable, labelled container.

    MAJOR SPILLS= Clear area of personnel and move upwind. Alert Fire Brigade. Control personal contact by using protective equipment and dust respirator. Prevent spillage from entering drains, sewers or water courses. Avoid generating dust. Sweep, shovel up. Recover product wherever possible. Put residues in labelled plastic bags or other container for disposal. If contamination of drains or waterways occurs, advise emergency services.

    SOURCE= Chemwatch 2002/4


    Now after reading this and looking at the photostory a bit more, I really beleive this is a major response overkill.

    This incident appeared to tie up precious resources for no obvious reason.

    I've always taught to use the resources available. If the chemical was in a laboratory, then the operator would more than likely be trained in clean up/spill procedures and would have the resources there to combat it.


    What's everyone elses thoughts?
    Luke

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    Lightbulb Maybe Not.....

    Well, when i looked it up on a regular search engine...

    "Chlorotrimethylsilane is a colourless liquid with a sharp hydrogen chloride-like odour. The chlorotrimethylsilane vapour is heavier than air, and travels along surfaces. At elevated temperatures or combustion, the substance decomposes producing corrosive and toxic vapours. It violently reacts with water producing hydrogen chloride. Hydrogen chloride is also released upon contact with surface moisture. Because of the high reactivity, chlorotrimethylsilane must be manufactured, stored, and used in airtight, highly specialised installations."
    ---National Institute for Working Life 2003

    http://www2.niwl.se/forlag/en/samm_en.asp?ID=1074

    That's the first match that comes up, so I didn't research this, but I'm not going to second guess them for their level of caution either.

    Hell, they probably laugh at me in full PPE/SCBA for still alarms...


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    Y'all be safe now, ya'hear?

  3. #3
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    Default

    I looked it up in the CHRIS Manual and found a fair amount of info. It's listed under its synonym of Trimethylchlorosilane, and has a UN ID Number of 1298.

    Flash Point: 18F C.C.; 0F O.C.
    Flammable Limits in Air: 1.8% (LFL); 6.0% (UFL)
    HAZARD CLASSIFICATIONS
    49 CFR Category: Flammable liquid
    49 CFR Class: 3
    49 CFR Package Group: II
    Marine Pollutant: No
    NFPA Hazard Classification:
    Category Classification
    Health Hazard (Blue).......... 3
    Flammability (Red)............. 3
    Instability (Yellow)............. 2
    Special (White)................... W
    EPA Reportable Quantity: Not listed.
    EPA Pollution Category: Not listed.
    RCRA Waste Number: Not listed
    EPA FWPCA List: Not listed

    HEALTH HAZARDS
    Personal Protective Equipment: Acid-vapor-type respiratory protection; rubber gloves; chemical
    worker's goggles; other protective equipment as necessary to protect skin and eyes.
    Symptoms Following Exposure: Inhalation of vapor irritates mucous membranes. Contact of liquid with eyes or skin causes severe burns. Ingestion causes severe burns of mouth and stomach.
    Treatment of Exposure: Get medical attention following all exposures to this compound.
    INHALATION: remove victim from exposure; if breathing is difficult or stopped, give artificial respiration.
    EYES: flush with water for 15 min. SKIN: flush with water. INGESTION: do NOT induce vomiting; give
    large amount of water.
    TLV-TWA: Not listed.
    TLV-STEL: Not listed.
    TLV-Ceiling: Not listed.
    Toxicity by Ingestion: Grade 3; LD50 = 0.5 to 5 g/kg
    Toxicity by Inhalation: Currently not available.
    Chronic Toxicity: Currently not available
    Vapor (Gas) Irritant Characteristics: Vapors cause severe irritation of eyes and throat and can cause eye and lung injury. They cannot be tolerated even at low concentrations.
    Liquid or Solid Characteristics: Severe skin irritant. Causes second and third-degree burns on short contact and is very injurious to the eyes.
    Odor Threshold: Currently not available
    IDLH Value: Not listed.
    OSHA PEL-TWA: Not listed.
    OSHA PEL-STEL: Not listed.
    OSHA PEL-Ceiling: Not listed.
    EPA AEGL: Not listed

    Now for the real world stuff. 100ml is roughly the equivalent of about 7 tablespoons of liquid. The stuff admittedly sounds kind of nasty, but not particularly so.

    I'm with Lutan. It does seem a little on the overkill side under these circumstances. BUT...I wasn't there, so who knows what their rational was.
    Steve Gallagher
    IACOJ BOT
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    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  4. #4
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    Talking HazMat SOP's

    My HazMat training was deeply instilled by a very wise senior captain:

    "When arriving at a hazardous material incident, never go past the 1st dead cop."

    Words to live by!
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    Y'all be safe now, ya' hear?

  5. #5
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    UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!

    I've spoken to a chemist/scientis at work about this chemical.

    The proper name is Trimethylchlorosilane.(As has been pointed out earlier by Steamer!)

    When you do a search on Chemwatch it comes up with the following info:

    UN No= 1298

    DG Class= 3 (3.1),8

    Hazchem= 4WE

    Packing Group= II

    EPG= 3A4

    I suggest that you have a look at the info, it appears that their response is in fact correct! (Although I still query the scale and duration for 100ml) My apologies for questioning it, however....


    This also raises a very good training point- I searched the name as it was given, but didn't look into any more than that. At all Hazmat incidents, we must be absolutely thorough in our research when planning a response...
    Last edited by lutan1; 02-24-2003 at 10:15 PM.
    Luke

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    Thumbs down PALM BEACH HAZ MAT OVERKILL, NOT

    1. UNLESS ONE WAS THERE AND KNOWS ALL THE FACTS, PERHAPS ONE SHOULD NOT SHOOT FROM THE HIP AND MAKE A JUDGEMENT ON ANOTHER DEPARTMENTS HAZ MAT TEAM.

    2. IF YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH A HAZ MAT TEAM AND ACTUALY PUT ON THE GEAR AND GO INTO THE HOT ZONE, THEN YOU KNOW WHAT IS INVOLVED WITH MITIGATING A SCENE. IF YOU RUSH, SOME ONE WILL GET HURT OR KILLED.

    3. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK AT LEAST TWO, IF NOT MORE SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE PRODUCT YOU ARE DEALING WITH AND YOU USE THE MOST RESTRICTIVE SOURCE.

    4. YOU CAN LEARN SOMETHING FROM EVERY HAZ MAT INCIDENT, THAT IS IF YOU WANT TO.
    Last edited by TOBFM45; 03-06-2003 at 05:53 PM.

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    Default Hazmat

    Well i must say are any of you haz-mat techs if not just looking up a chemical dose not make you an expert. you to say it is over kill how do you know what it was for sure or what conditions were there to make them respond the way they did i think what they did was what they were trained to do.

  8. #8
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    Exclamation Settle Petal!

    To lieutenant310 and TOBFM45- calm down fellas!!

    If you read my "Update!" posting right below where you both posted, I apolagised and pointed out my error in my own research.

    I also suggested that others learn from my error in posting, at an actual incident....

    I DID learn something from my error- can others?
    Luke

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