Some past Measurement blog posts you might find useful include:
08/19/2014 Measurement and Significant Figures
08/24/2014 SI System & Scientific Notation
09/02/2014 Dimensional Analysis or
The Factor-Label Method
The book Chemistry on a Budget contains inexpensive chemistry labs that are useful with easy to obtain materials.
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I teach high school chemistry and this is exactly what i was looking for. Labs included simple household chemicals that could be easily found. Nice format, easy to follow along procedures, and touches on every topic of our chemistry curriculum.”
There are two versions of each lab, one with a ten-question conclusion and one with directions for a full lab report. This way the teacher has the option! Each lab is two pages to allow for one two-sided handout.
You can buy this lab book for $23 at amazon.com or lulu.com. It will take 1-2 weeks to get to you.
*Some of you have already purchased Chemistry on a Budget – be sure to check out Page 141 !
“Houston’s sprawling network of petrochemical plants and refineries released millions of pounds of pollutants in the days after Hurricane Harvey began barreling toward Texas.
Even under normal operations, the hundreds of industrial facilities in the area can emit harmful chemicals. But from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30 , 46 facilities in 13 counties reported an estimated 4.6 million pounds of airborne emissions that exceeded state limits, an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund, Air Alliance Houston and Public Citizen shows.
Federal and state regulators say their air monitoring shows no cause for alarm. But the extra air pollution is just the latest concern for residents and environmental groups in the days after the storm. At least 14 toxic waste sites were flooded or damaged, raising fears of waterborne contamination. And nearly 100 spills of hazardous substances have been reported.”
“Oil refineries and chemical plants across the Texas Gulf coast released more than 1 million pounds of dangerous air pollutants in the week after [Hurricane] Harvey struck, according to public regulatory filings aggregated by the Center for Biological Diversity.
While attention has zeroed in on the crisis at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, other facilities -- oil refineries, chemical plants and shale drilling sites -- have been reporting flaring, leaks and chemical discharges triggered by Harvey.
Emissions have already exceeded permitted levels, after floating rooftops sank on oil storage tanks, chemical storage tanks overflowed with rainwater, and broken valves and shutdown procedures triggered flaring at refineries.
The chemicals released in the week after Harvey made landfall include benzene, 1,3-butadiene, hexane, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, toluene and xylene.
All seven chemicals are toxic air pollutants documented to harm human health; several cause cancer. Other emissions would bring the total to more than 5 million pounds, the Center for Biological Diversity said.”
“Harvey then made landfall in south-central Texas late Aug. 25  as a Category 4 hurricane, threatening millions of residents with 130-mph winds, heavy rains, and a massive storm surge that swamped coastal areas. It meandered around southern Texas for days as a weakening hurricane and then downgraded to a tropical storm over the weekend.
By Aug. 27 , winds died down to as much as 40 mph, but the storm dumped a year’s-worth of rain in less than a week on Houston and much of southeastern Texas.
By Aug. 29 , two flood-control reservoirs had breached, increasing water levels throughout the Houston area.
Harvey made landfall again Aug. 30  over Port Arthur, Texas, and western Louisiana, bringing widespread catastrophic flooding. While authorities and first responders handled as many as 10,000 rescue missions around Houston, at least 30,000 people fled to temporary shelters.
Tropical Storm Harvey was then downgraded to a tropical depression late Aug. 30 , but it continued to dump massive amounts of rain on parts of eastern Texas, Louisiana, and southern Arkansas.”
“A group of first responders exposed to smoke from a Crosby, Texas, chemical plant fire after Hurricane Harvey are suing the owner of the plant for more than $1 million, saying that they vomited and gasped for air in the middle of the road in a scene the suit describes as "nothing less than chaos."
The responders allege that the plant owner, Arkema, minimized the dangers of exposure to the fire and failed to warn the responders manning the perimeter of the mandatory 1.5 mile evacuation area to move further away from the fumes after the first of nine trailers full of volatile organic peroxide burst into flames in the early nighttime hours of Aug. 29 .”
“The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is investigating the explosions, and warned about the dangers of bringing the plant back online after flood damage. But Arkema is far from the only petrochemical plant or refinery that faces hazards as its employees survey the storm damage and begin resuming operations.
The Houston area is America’s petrochemical hub, with more than 450 plants, including dozens of refineries, which means literally billions of gallons of hazardous chemicals and fuels housed alongside millions of people in America’s fourth-largest city.”
“In accident plans Arkema submitted to the EPA in 2014, executives said a hurricane and a power loss were potential hazards. Yet the plans, which were supposed to address worst-case scenarios, didn’t explain what Arkema would do if faced with either.
Executives also acknowledged Friday that they didn’t have materials at the plant that could have neutralized the organic peroxides.
Instead, workers were forced to scramble and move the chemicals away from floodwaters after buildings were engulfed and power was lost. Workers transferred the compounds to refrigerated containers, but those failed, too, causing Thursday’s fire. “
“Floodwaters also have inundated at least five toxic waste Superfund sites near Houston and some may be damaged, though Environmental Protection Agency officials have yet to assess the full extent of what occurred.
Turner said Houston's drinking water wasn't affected by the storm but added on ‘Face the Nation’: ‘We would hope that the EPA would be on the ground now to take a look at those Superfund sites, to make sure that contamination is contained and limited.’ “
“Seven emergency workers filed suit on Monday [9/4/17] against the French chemical company Arkema, saying they were sickened by fumes from explosions last week at the company’s flood-stricken plant near Houston. They say they were not given ample warning of the dangers from volatile chemicals stored at the plant.
The workers were among those hospitalized after falling ill from the fumes, according to the lawsuit, filed in Harris County District Court. The local responders also claim that Arkema failed to properly secure the chemicals or draw up adequate emergency plans. They are seeking at least $1 million in damages.
The suit describes a chaotic scene at the plant when the first of nine trailers storing a highly flammable compound ignited on Aug. 31 .
‘Immediately upon being exposed to the fumes from the explosion, and one by one, the police officers and first responders began to fall ill in the middle of the road. Calls from medics were made, but still no one from Arkema warned of the toxic fumes in the air,’ the lawsuit claims.
Flooding from Hurricane Harvey knocked out electricity at the plant and also disabled backup systems meant to keep a class of unstable chemicals, called organic peroxides, cool. Workers at the plant moved the chemicals into trailers before abandoning the site under orders from the local authorities. The police ordered people to evacuate a 1.5-mile radius around the plant when Arkema officials warned that explosions were imminent.”
“At Shell's Deer Park refinery, two tanks were damaged and oil ran into a surrounding berm. At BASF's Beaumont pesticide plant, tanks overflowed and leaked unknown chemicals. At the Chevron Phillips Cedar Bayou plant, a cooling pump failed, causing overpressurized chemicals to be burned off in a flare.
When Harvey swept through the Gulf Coast and Houston area, it forced the shutdown of hundreds of industrial facilities across the region. Now, with waters receding, these operations will be coming back on line in the coming weeks, raising the prospect of cancer-causing gas emissions, toxic spills, fires and explosions, said Sam Mannan, director of a center that studies chemical process safety at Texas A&M university… [E]xperts noted, the long-term implications of flooding disasters of this scale in petrochemical clusters have been poorly studied, and the possibility of future plant mishaps - months or years away - stands to be worsened by damages that have yet to be discovered.”
A recent report states:
“The Environmental Protection Agency has opened an inquiry into whether the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas followed federal safety rules to protect against hazards, following explosions at the facility that resulted from Hurricane Harvey flooding.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told the Washington Examiner on Monday he authorized a request for information to Arkema under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act about whether the company complied with a risk management plan filed with the federal government.
Depending on the information obtained by the EPA, the agency can issue administrative, civil or criminal action against Arkema, a multinational company based in France.”
As this story develops, there continues to be reported. It could be an interesting topic for your students to research as they learn about Laboratory Safety; also, it could be an Extra Credit topic to investigate.
Other blog posts you may find useful as the school year begins:
07/13/2014 Chemistry Laboratory Safety
09/19/2014 Element Symbols & Intro to
*This Blog contains several entries that would be helpful to your chemistry classroom. Check out the Topic List to help you to find past Blog entries.
Also, Write To Me about your successes, challenges, or questions in the Chemistry Classroom.
Remember, buying a copy of the lab book Chemistry on a Budget can be very useful to your Chemistry classroom with labs and class article ideas.
Have a great weekend!