UCSD building evacuated after chemical scare Friday morning

Urey hall. Courtesy
Urey hall. Courtesy

FROM UCSD REPORTS

The following statement from Garry MacPherson, Director of UC San Diego Environmental Health and Safety, was issued via e-mail to the

La Jolla Light

at 12:48 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9:

“After 7 a.m. this morning, we were made aware of a chemical called decalin that had crystalized in the basement of Urey Hall. “

photo
Urey hall. Courtesy

(

Urey Hall

is a seven-story laboratory, classroom and office building; the first major building to be completed on the Torrey Pines Mesa campus. Decalin is a

bicyclic

organic compound

, a colorless liquid with an aromatic odor, used as a solvent for many

resins

or fuel additives. It is the saturated analog of

naphthalene

and can be prepared from it by

hydrogenation

in a fused state in the presence of a

catalyst

  1. Decahydronaphthalene easily forms

explosive

organic peroxides

upon storage in the presence of air. Source: Wikipedia)

“Working with our partners, San Diego Fire, San Diego HazMat and San Diego County HazMat, we determined the best method to mitigate the condition of the chemical.

“The chemical was moved to outside the building, which removed any threat that might have been associated with any further transportation of the chemical.

“With safety as our utmost concern, we evacuated the building at which time the process began of removing the chemical. The chemical was destroyed with a blasting cap to neutralize the product safely. The building was then reoccupied without incident."

   
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