UCSD building evacuated after chemical scare Friday morning


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. “


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


organic compound

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


or fuel additives. It is the saturated analog of


and can be prepared from it by


in a fused state in the presence of a


  1. Decahydronaphthalene easily forms


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.”