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Bromine Spill Leaves Russian City in Chemical Cloud

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posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 07:48 PM

A story that should only happen in horror movies seems to have come very real. At least 42 people were hospitalized in the Russian town of Cheylabinsk following the leakage of potentially deadly bromine gas from a passing train, according to the BBC. There have been conflicting reports that as many as 207 of the city's 1.1 million residents sought medical attention following the incident. According to UPI, 10.5 to 13.2 gallons of bromine apparently leaked and floated over a portion of the city after glass jars containing the substance cracked when the train went over a rail hump. City officials said that there shouldn't be any serious damage from the incident, but were nonetheless encouraging people to stay inside. Russia Today reports that an estimated 100 firemen were involved in the relief operation, and a "cloud of toxic was clearly visible over some districts of Chelyabinsk."

With all the natural and man-made disasters of late, it can be easy to forget how much toxic material runs across our train tracks every day. IMHO, when we don't learn our lessons in smaller impact spills, we have no chance of avoiding the massive. Its just a matter of time if we don't smarten up as civilization.

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 07:59 PM
This sounds potentially devastating for some directly affected,

For people that are not familiar with Bromine, the MSDS sheet is found here.

Not sure what kind of exposure the town inhabitants may have received but one thing to note is the effects of long term exposure: (Which causes Bromism)

Bromism is the syndrome which results from the long-term use of the potassium bromide based sedatives. Bromism was once a very common disorder being responsible for 5-10% of psychiatric hospital admissions. It is now an uncommon disorder due to bromide being withdrawn from clinical use in many countries and severely restricted in others.

Bromide has a very long elimination half-life of 9–12 days which can lead to excessive accumulation. Doses of 0.5-1 gram per day of bromide can lead to bromism.

Bromism is caused by a neurotoxic effect on the brain which results in somnolence, psychosis, seizures and delirium.

A good example of some of the effects of inhalation are as follows:

Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract: Initial
symptoms due to irritation by bromine vapour
inhalation include: dyspnoea, coughing, choking, and
wheezing; immediate or delayed bronchoconstriction;
and the development of laryngeal spasm, glottal
oedema, asthma and tracheobronchitis. With increased
parenchymal penetration, there may be associated
peribronchiolar abscesses, pulmonary infiltrates
consistent with chemical pneumonitis, bronchiolitis
obliterans and pulmonary oedema (Edelman, 1991; Rom &
Barkman, 1983). Acute obstructive ventilatory
impairment may lead to severe hypoxaemia, metabolic
acidosis, measles-like rash and subsequent death. It
should be noted that more severe respiratory symptoms
may be delayed for several hours after the exposure
(Lossos et al., 1990; Kraut & Lilis, 1988).

edit on 2-9-2011 by boncho because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 08:38 PM
America: Strange clouds photographed over X town...everything okay?

Russia: Yez Yez Comrades! Eeeet Eeeez a acczident only not taste on populashun! Okeh friendz? Very Good now all Eeez Better! Dos Vedonya!

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 08:46 PM
I am guarding a bromine plant as I type, as it is my job. This is devastating to see. One can only hope for the best for those people and all involved.

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 08:49 PM
who ships a dangerous gas in FRICKIN GLASS CONTAINERS!!! really? you can't see how that is a bad idea?

in soviet russia, you don't breath gas, gas breathes you!

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 09:21 PM
heres a video of it crazy guy walks right upto the orange spewing train car pretty scary

video of spill

skip to 1:30 to see the actuall car spewing #

heres a video to see the huge cloud

edit on 9/2/2011 by toothpastert because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 09:49 PM

Originally posted by toothpastert
heres a video of it crazy guy walks right upto the orange spewing train car pretty scary

Proof that natural selection is indeed alive and well.

Bromine is some nasty stuff. In the lab I work in, we once had a student not close the lid on some bromine properly after putting it back into the corrosives cabinet. Needless to say it spewed everywhere and we had a lot of cleaning to do the next day. And the reason it probably isn't stored in metal containers is because it corrodes metal very easily, especially if it has water in it. If it's dry, then lead lined stainless steal is sufficient, but given that it takes up moisture from the air quite readily, it is more feasible to store in glass. Wet bromine can really only be stored in a select subset of metals such as niobium and tantalum, neither of which are particularly high in abundance.

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 09:52 PM
gees i am glad i only work with the granular and tablet bromine on a daily basis...not as dangerous but still dang, i hope that they come out of this okay.

we keep dry bromine in plastic containers...
edit on 2-9-2011 by CaDreamer because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 09:58 PM
reply to post by boncho

Thanks for adding this information, boncho - not a chemical to mess around with.

posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 10:16 PM

Originally posted by Open2Truth
reply to post by boncho

Thanks for adding this information, boncho - not a chemical to mess around with.

The first thing this reminded me of was a chemist friend who once told me all the hazards of working with bromine and bromides.

From his description I would say that I would rather be in Japan right now soaking up some minor radiation than be this Russian city.

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