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One hospitalized after hazmat incident in Palo Alto

 

One person was taken to a hospital and 13 others were evaluated for possible exposure after a hazmat incident in Palo Alto Tuesday morning.

Palo Alto Fire Department personnel responded to a call for assistance after a fire that was put out at 8:56 a.m. at a business located at 1066 East Meadow Circle. Arriving firefighters instead found a chemical reaction in a bucket that was off-gassing, Deputy Chief Catherine Capriles said.

Employees at Stangenes Industries Inc. were trying to dispose of epoxy resin by getting it to harden, but they had mixed the substance incorrectly. A chemical reaction caused the resin to release a hazardous gas, and it began to melt the bucket, Capriles said. Workers were able to remove the bucket from the 36,321-square-foot building.

Fourteen people with mild symptoms were decontaminated for possible exposure. Paramedics transported one of the workers, who complained of difficulty breathing and stomach pain, to El Camino Hospital. Paramedics monitored the other 13 people for one hour to make sure they were symptom-less.

Capriles said that 50 people remain evacuated from the building. Stangenes makes small custom-made transformers and magnetic components, according to the company's website.

As of 11:45 a.m., a cleaning company was on scene to clean any spilled resin from the building. The off-gassing bucket was still cooling down and was at a point where the chemical reaction could likely be stopped.

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Comments

10 people like this
Posted by chemist
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm

I see this a lot when temp agencies hire people without college degrees in chemistry or biochemistry that directly should require a college degree. They think that the job is easy though many of the temps do not know the difference between ppb and ppm .....or the difference in the chemical symbol Ag and Au. It is a big mistake to underpay and hire subpar workers to cut corners because it puts everyone at risk. I hope they do not get cancer from inhaling benzene compounds!


5 people like this
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Barron Park
on May 31, 2016 at 6:43 pm

They should have hired Walter White.


10 people like this
Posted by TorreyaMan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2016 at 10:15 am

TorreyaMan is a registered user.

Hi Chemist, I see no indication in the article that temps were hired or responsible for this incident. Reasonable general thoughts on your part but not based on any stated facts.


1 person likes this
Posted by PaloVerdeResident
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 1, 2016 at 11:00 am

Was this what the yellow helicopter was (supposed to be) hovering over? It actually spent most of its time south and west of the Eichler Club.
AND - was any attempt made to contact residents of the houses on the other side of the creek that borders Stangenes property? Were they in any danger?


Like this comment
Posted by chemist
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2016 at 1:56 pm

@TorreyaMan....I did not say that the incident in the article was caused by temps. I said "I see this a lot when temp agencies hire people without college degrees in chemistry or biochemistry that directly should require a college degree."

I have seen dangerous situations created by unqualified workers who do not understand the science.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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