HazMat: Chemical Mixing Gone Wrong

Friday, August 29, 2014 @ 04:08 PM gHale


A hazardous materials release caused by workers mixing large amounts of chemicals at a business Tuesday that closed four months ago in Hayward, CA, led to a shelter in place order for two hours.

The incident at the Contractors Chemical Inc. site in Hayward ended up reported at 1:38 p.m. The shelter in place order was for a one-mile radius. Fire officials lifted the order at 4 p.m., said Hayward Fire Capt. Don Nichelson.

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As a precaution, the California Highway Patrol closed off northbound Clawiter Road at state Highway 92 because of the release but the road has since reopened, CHP officials said.

Nichelson said Contractors Chemical was still storing chemicals at the site even though it went out of business.

He said the owner’s son and several other people were mixing chemicals, including epoxies and catalysts that solidify concrete, in an attempt to turn them into solids and then dispose of them, but a chemical reaction occurred that spread vapors throughout the area.

Nichelson said some people reported becoming dizzy, light-headed or nauseous but no one went to the hospital for treatment.

He said it generally is safe to mix small amounts of chemicals to turn them into solids, but it appears the problem was workers were mixing too large a quantity of the chemicals.



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