Human and Environmental Incident List
--THIS LIST IS BEING UPDATED AS OF FEBRUARY 2022--
List of CIPP associated air contamination incidents reported by Noh et al. (2022), Sendesi et al. (2020), Ra et al. (2019), Teimouri et al. (2017), and others to date. Web links provided where available.
Information presented in the table is verbatim or summarized from the references; Table Notes: nr = not reported in the reference; PERSONAL COMMUNICATION indicates the source contacted co-author Dr. Whelton individually; FOIA indicates records were obtained from an organization by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records request. Information obtained from that request, where applicable, was described. Acronyms: DEP = department of environmental protection; DOL = department of labor; DOT = department of transportation; EMS = emergency medical service; HAZMAT = hazardous materials; HVAC = heating ventilation and air conditioning; MH = manhole; MSDS = material safety data sheet; MWRA = Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; PID = photoionization detector; PPE = personal protective equipment; SCBA = self-contained breathing apparatus; USFS = United States Forest Service.
|Year||Location||Styrene Level||Special Notes|
|nr||MEDIA REPORT: Tenants of a housing cooperative in Montreal were seriously inconvenienced by toxic fumes following rehabilitation work on a sewer line. The odors that normally disappear after a few hours after such work have infiltrated the building and remained there for months. Result: evacuated tenants and a condemned apartment. However, neither the City of Montreal nor the company in charge of the work, wants to take responsibility for the damages they suffer and the expenses that accumulate.|
|2021||Towson, MD||nr||MEDIA REPORT: An odor in Towson that closed a road Thursday morning (10/14) was determined to have been caused by epoxy. It was nontoxic, according to Baltimore County Emergency Management officials. Initially, firefighters said the odor in the 1000 block of Cowpens Avenue was believed to be natural gas. A hazardous materials crew was called, officials said. "The road is blocked," the Providence Volunteer Fire Company reported before 10:30 a.m. By noon, the fire company reported that investigators determined an epoxy used in a sewer line repair caused the odor in some homes in the area. Nobody was injured, and no schools were affected, according to the Providence Volunteer Fire Company, which used fans to ventilate the impacted residences.|
MEDIA REPORT: Spooner Middle School will remain closed and remote learning will begin next week after a strong epoxy-like odor prompted an evacuation Wednesday (11/10) and caused 60 staff and students to seek medical treatment. Spooner Area School District Superintendent told WPR a student first reported what they believed to be a gas leak around 8:40 a.m. Wednesday. Staff members investigated the source of the smell, which was near the gym and a classroom wing. Not long after, students and staff began reporting that they weren’t feeling well, and the principal ordered an evacuation to a nearby church a half hour later. The district closed the school for the remainder of the day, and students were sent home. The district reported 36 students and 24 staff members have sought medical care since Wednesday, reporting symptoms of nausea and lightheadedness. At least two students were transported to medical facilities outside the area. Officials have yet to identify the cause behind what made people sick. "There's been extensive ongoing carbon monoxide testing, which has all fallen within normal levels," the Superintendent said late Thursday (11/11). "We're working with local health and safety officials and also with a state agency. We will be looking to have more extensive testing conducted to determine the source of that strong epoxy-like odor that made many people sick." Environmental sampling is ongoing, and results of the testing are expected sometime next week.
One parent is frustrated she didn’t receive notice from the school about the situation until nearly two hours after the odor was discovered. She said her 12-year-old stepdaughter complained of a headache and nausea when her dad picked her up from school Wednesday. She said "I saw a couple of my friends have to go right to the hospital, get picked up by the EMTs, and headed off in the ambulances. My friend was pretty upset about the whole ordeal, and I am too". "I don't think they handled the situation properly." She said her stepdaughter is doing well, but she wants the district to be more transparent about what’s happening. She and her husband have three kids who attend school within the district. Classes are continuing as scheduled for Spooner Elementary School, Spooner High School and the Washburn County Alternative High School. She worries whether it’s safe for their kids to attend while the investigation continues. She also noted district administration sent out an email Wednesday to parents. According to the email, obtained by WPR, "students were evacuated from the middle school due to an epoxy odor that drifted into the building from the construction on the storm drains." "If it was something to do with the sewers, why are the sewers leaking into the school, for one? And, if it wasn't the sewers, then what was it?"
On Friday, the district said the focus of the investigation turned to a product being used as part of work on sewers in the neighborhood. "The sanitary sewer service notification provided to residents prior to the work beginning was not provided to the school. As a result, the school was not able to take the actions that had been suggested to homeowners," according to the Friday press release. No further details were offered on the work being conducted, the product involved, or the actions that were recommended. A woman reached at the district office Friday said officials had no further comment beyond the release.The district is working with local health officials and the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services as additional environmental testing is taking place. In a statement, the agency's communications director, said it enforces state plumbing codes and regulates employee safety in the public sector. "We have sent inspectors to look into both areas, and we are in the process of reviewing those initial reports. We cannot speculate regarding when we will reach any final conclusions or what those findings will be," he said. The agency will work with those involved if officials identify any concerns that fall under their authority. The district expects virtual learning to resume Monday for the roughly 360 students and 40 staff who work and learn at the middle school in Spooner, which is halfway between Eau Claire and Superior. Remote learning will continue until it's safe for students and staff to return the building. Parents and students will be able to collect any belongings left behind during the evacuation at Spooner Wesleyan Church on Monday.
|2021||Lewiston, ME||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Described by residents as similar to burning rubber, barbecued plastic, or “like when I am flat ironing my hair and I burn it accidentally,” city officials said a smell wafting in the air is likely from a sewer pipe lining crew working days and nights. Public Works Director said contractor National Water Main Cleaning company started work several weeks ago “all over town” and work will continue for the next six to eight weeks. “There is some night work in high traffic areas, but they are working during the day as well,” she said. “There may be a slight odor to it, but well under any health risk levels and not a ‘burning rubber’ odor. The contractor is required to notify all residents impacted prior to the lining.” The work involves rehabilitating the sewer main on about 60 streets by installing a “cure-in-place” liner on pipes that eliminates having to dig, according to a city news release sent late in the day. “During the lining work, there are odors associated with the epoxy used to cure the liner,” the release said. “The odors are associated with styrene in the epoxy and are vented during and after the curing process, and increased ventilation helps dissipate any odors. These styrene odors may be noticeable both outside and indoors but are at safe levels, and the contractor is monitoring styrene levels.” Residents were encouraged to add water to traps in showers, sinks and floor drains and check that sewer clean-outs in the basement were capped.|
|2021||Anchorage, AK||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: When the City of Anchorage began construction of the CIPP near he home, one resident felt she had been exposed to chemicals because of the odor in the home. She threw up and called 911.|
|2021||New Haven, CT||nr||
MEDIA REPORT: A resident caught a whiff of something that smelled like a gas leak coming from his basement. His Wooster Square neighbors smelled it, too, in their homes. The resident thought he was smelling acetone or xylene in his St. John Street home on 1/13 (Wednesday). He called the gas company to describe the smell to them and ask if any gas leaks had been reported. None had. He was advised to call the New Haven Fire Department (NHFD). He dialed 911.
A firefighter showed up. “When they opened my door, the firefighter could smell it in my house from across the street,” the resident said. “They told me the odor wasn’t at a high enough level to make my house to blow up.” After investigating resident’s basement, the NHFD determined that the smell was traveling from the sewer lining project being done on Grand Avenue. The resident was explained that the relining process requires the use of cleaning solvents that are nontoxic but have a heavy odor, said the New Haven Fire Chief. Alston said the resident was not the only one calling with concerns. “New Haven Fire Department informed them [contractors] of the complaints and calls we received. NHFD entered and investigated structures with meters. Found nothing abnormal,” Alston said via text on 1/14 (Thursday) afternoon. Then they made contact with WPCA and figured out what was up. Wednesday was the first day the WPCA was cleaning and lining the Wooster Square pipes. The contractor hired for the job, Insituform, expects to work on Grand Avenue, Olive Street, Court Street, and Commerce Street next week, the on to Wooster, Olive and Jefferson streets the following week, according to WPCA Director of Engineering. That will end this first phase of the work. A second phase is planned for late February or early March for other sections of Olive Street. Prior to the lining work, the crews cleaned the sewer pipes using high-pressure water hoses. Cleaning solutions used include Nitric acid, sulfuric acid, ASTM Fuel C, vegetable oil, detergent, and soap, according to WPCA Director of Engineering. He said the odors smelled in the neighborhood come from polyester resin/styrene, according to WPCA Director of Engineering. “Odors that occur in houses or buildings will happen with dry, incorrectly installed, or non-existent traps,” he stated in an email to the Independent, attaching this data sheet on the chemical’s safety. “In most cases, pouring several gallons of water down floor drains, sinks, or showers that haven’t been used in a long time will often stop the odor from entering the home. If odors do enter a home, they are asked to notify the field personnel who will assist. Generally, the odor is most prominent during the curing process which lasts for several hours. After curing, the odors quickly dissipate.”WPCA Director of Engineering said odor complaints are common during these cleaning/lining operations. For that reason, he said, the WPCA submits this form a week in advance with information about the chemicals used so authorities know what’s up.
|2021||New Haven, CT||nr||
MEDIA REPORT: Some residents on Wooster Street woke up to a strong smell of chemical odor Thursday (1/28/2021), which they described as smelling like a permanent marker. The smell was the result of a project to line century-old brick sewer lines with a resin material, according to the project engineer for Insituform Technologies. He said the smell was from styrene used in the resin.
While most of the work was performed overnight, there was still a strong smell inside the lower three floors of a Wooster Street building Thursday afternoon. "The stairwell going into our building makes me want to throw up still," said the resident who lives on the second floor. "there are no windows; there is no ventilation." She removed her three small children from the front room of her apartment, where the smell was strongest.
"We go from manhole to manhole and insert a liner. It kind of puts like a PVC pipe inside the existing pipe," the project engineer said. "Styrene is what you're smelling, and it seems like you might have an issue with the ... sewer trap, the plumbing trap in the basement." He said if the trap is dry it could cause the odor to rise into a building. A notice on the building had warned that there might be an odor and that pouring water down the drain would help reduce it.
"I tried that and it didn't work," said a first-floor resident. She said she had spent the night elsewhere because the notice said to limit water use and she smelled the styrene when she returned home at 8 a.m.
A resident on the third floor said the residents at first thought they smelled gas. "We all cleared out of the building. The gas company came and checked it and they said it is not gas but it is a super-strong smell," she said. "It is not on the street. It's definitely within the building." She also said the residents reported the issue on SeeClickFix, a website that is used for reporting concerns. A comment left by a project engineer with the WPCA said, "The positive is that those sewers were built in the 1870s and those are now good as new, ready to serve our community for the next 100 years."
The project engineer said the styrene is not a danger to health. It is listed on the Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. He also mentioned, "It's an unusual smell, not harmful and our guys work with it every day." According to an Insituform information sheet, "Some people are more sensitive to these odors. Common symptoms of exposure to the levels of styrene typically produced by the sewer rehabilitation process include headache, nausea, dizziness, and lightheadedness. These symptoms will likely go away after the exposure ends and the person is allowed to get some fresh air. If you experience a feeling of headache, nausea, dizziness, and lightheadedness, seek fresh air immediately. If these symptoms persist, seek medical attention."
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: A resident detected there was an awful pungent chemically “glue” smell. As the resident descended further down into the basement, he opened all of the windows as he had done the two previous times caused by nearby sewer lining work. A building occupant sought medical attention previously and the medical provider doctor suggested the illness was caused by chemical exposure/irritation in the house.
The first time that the contractor was lining sewer pipes they put a doorknocker in the resident's mailbox a couple days before they started work. The contractor used steam to “cure” the product, which reportedly contained styrene. The first time the resident called the number on the door knocker, he was put in touch with a local contractor supervisor who offered to come by. The second time his home was contaminated, a week later, the contractors moved a block north up the street and the resident he was not made aware that they were doing additional work. The resident saw several contractor trucks up the street with clouds of “steam/styrene billowing out.” The resident detected odor in his home and suspected that the odor traveled through the sewer pipes down the street. The resident called the contractor a second time and the supervisor "followed the script," suggesting the resident open windows and pour water in sewer traps and if the smell was still around, the contractor would drop by.
The 3rd time the building was contaminated, after opening house window and doors, the resident walked up the street and talked to a young worker for the contractor and asked to speak to the supervisor. Along the way the resident spoke to several people. One was taking her two small kids out for a walk in the park because of the strong “glue smell” in their home and another one who they had awful smell emanating from their basement. A third citizen had said that he had closed the door to his basement to try to alleviate the smell. Persons were concerned because their children were all inside the home. None of them knew the cause at the time. The young CIPP worker said that they “don’t know from one week to the next" where they will be working.
The contractor had a hand-held meter and offered to come into the resident’s house and take a reading. Because of the pandemic, the resident offered to take the meter into the house. But the resident had the windows open for 45 minutes before the meter was brought into the house. The meter registered 0 ppm. The resident told the contractor that the reason the chemicals entered the house was unlikely an issue with old “traps” as the building owner had done a complete underpinning renovation in the basement only 12 years prior and storm water backup preventers were installed. The contractor suggested the smell could have come from the "steam" coming out of the sewer grate across the street from the house. The contractor said they were repairing storm water pipes. Because of the cold outdoor temperature, the resident couldn’t keep the windows and doors open any long. The homeowner took their children out and when they returned the smell was still present and made them feel nauseous.
MEDIA REPORT: Some of the work on the $2.1 million Bedillion Lane Sewer Improvement Project recently brought with it some unpleasant odors and it affected neighborhoods. Sanitary sewer pipelining was conducted behind WesBanco Arena near 14th Street and the mouth of Wheeling Creek. The contractor noted that the work “may produce an odor, but it is not hazardous and is non-toxic.” “To say this sewer work is dirty and stinky is an understatement,” Ward 5 City Councilman said. He also said, “This work kind of emits odors of sewer gas and burnt plastic, but thankfully city staff came up with a great solution which included venting out manholes in Dimmeydale and Oakmont, and using high-powered fans to siphon odors out of our sewer lines.” The councilman, representing the city ward where the major sewer project continues, also thanked the city operations and fire departments for their efforts, along with the residents of Oakmont and Dimmeydale for their continued patience.
|2020||Bloomington, IN||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Firefighters poured water into sewer drains of some houses along the 400 block of West Graham Street Tuesday afternoon, where vapors related to a sewer relining project created noxious odors. The vapors apparently came from a chemical compound used in the relining of a sewer along North Center Street and migrated along sewer lines into houses with dry sewer drains. Firefighters are telling residents to dump water into the drains to take care of the problem.|
|2020||Chicago, IL||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Persons who live near the corner of North Avenue and Leavitt Street were warned chemical may enter their homes and they may notice a pungent odor in their homes. They were told the smell is the result of a sewer lining project to rehabilitate the existing sewer without the conventional digging method Alderman Brian Hopkins said. To prevent odors, he advised residents to pour two to three cups of water into each basement floor drain and limit water usage as much as possible.|
|2020||Jersey City, NJ||nr||
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: A resident was woke at 5 a.m. by "model glue smell" inside the apartment. The odor had lingered on the block for days, but this latest odor was the strongest it has been inside the building. Other residents had expressed similar complaints and concerns for 7 days earlier on Nextdoor and Reddit. The Jersey City Municipal Utility Authority posted a public notification on 8/19/20 that stated: “When this phase of rehabilitation work is being performed, it is essential to keep water usage to an absolute minimum until the work is completed.” The residents on Pavonia Ave were reportedly not notified whether work is complete and they do not know if water usage can continue as normal. At 9:15 PM on 08/19/2020, the fire department arrived at the residential building. A 4th floor tenant called about the odor from the "sewer work" and the fire department brought fans into that specific unit for about 15 minutes and then left. The resident was concerned because: 1) no notice or precautionary measures were provided by the city in advance of this work, 2) other neighborhood parents were reportedly equally concerned, and 3) the resident reached out to the Jersey City Councilman and the State Health Department to express those concerns.
|2020||Redfield, SD||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Redfield Fire Department reported that they responded to two separate fire calls on 09/24/2020. The first call was to a residence that had a power cord short-out. The second call was to a residence that could smell odor of Natural Gas. Upon, further investigation on the second call, the city sewer main was in process of getting lined & the epoxy adhesive smell had leached through the sewer.|
250 ng/L in the basement (house)
|PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: During the first week of November, the City of Shoreline conducted a CIPP pipe liner project on a building owner's street through the contractor. "Toxic styrene gas and possibly other gases" entered the residential house per the building owner. Levels were tested as "moderate to high" even after airing the house with all windows open for two days. In one house where the toxic fumes were exposed in the house, 250 ng/L of styrene was measured through an air test. But this measurement was conducted after window opening for two days since the pipe work was completed. The city convened a meeting and provided a hotel room for the building occupants to stay for a week. However, the city did not tell the residents how the styrene got in or was continuing to entering their home. The city said they had the CIPP contractor vacuum the storm drains in front of the house five times. They said they could feel suction on a small drain cover right on the ground/landing right in front of our basement door. The odor was strongest in the house basement, and particularly in the area where the foundation faces the street (storm drains). The city recommended to residents to air the house by cracking the windows, running the heat, and getting a charcoal filter to put inside the building owners electric air filter for the house. Even after this residents were still concerned their exposure. The odor was still mildly present in the basement days later, especially in the carpet and along the baseboard of the wall that faced the street.|
PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Sewer lining project was conducted for two days (12/3-12/4). Before and during CIPP manufacture, residents stated they were not warned of danger this project or product could cause. The fumes from the project infiltrated a home. The first day the resident noticed a strong adhesive-type odor in the kitchen and left the home. When they returned, the odor was throughout the house. Some building occupants remained outdoors to avoid the odor, but the odor outdoors was also overwhelming. They noticed a plume coming out of one of the trucks nearby. The contractor said the product wasn’t toxic, and the chemical was styrene. The resident informed the contractor that there were many children, infants, elderly in the neighborhood. The contractor asked if residents would like to stay at a hotel, did they need fans, and did they want some air purifiers. The residents kept the back doors and several windows open in an effort to rid the house of the chemicals, and also asked for a fan and air purifiers, but the air purifiers did not seem to reduce the odor. Opening all the doors and using a box fan to exhaust indoor air was helpful to reduce the odor per the residents. The resident thought the smell would have dissipated after 1 day but it hadn’t. The resident asked for air testing in their home by the contractor but did not receive an answer.
After contacting the city several times, the resident heard back from the City on December 15, 2020. The city employee who oversaw stormwater and sewer infrastructure admitted that there were problems with the project.
1) The information flyer that should have been distributed prior to the CIPP work on door tags was not issued.
2) The door tag included false statements about the safety and long-term effects of chemical exposure, so the city will not use it.
3) An additive called Styredux (a commercial product) was not used.
4) Contractors did not use fans upstream or downstream of their CIPP project.
4) The contractor and the city’s inspector did not report the reported odor problems to the city.The resident asked for the chemical composition of the product, the concentration used, and what remediation they were going to do. The city did not have or provide that information.
|2020||Regina (Canada)||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: An explosion occurred inside a private residence when the building owner turned on a sump pump in the basement. The owner smelled an odor on the 2nd floor and the basement when a CIPP project was being conducted in front of the house. The building was 1929, 3-story house. The building owner went into the basement to investigate. The window inside the basement was opened and the sump pump was turned on because the resident thought the smell was coming from a sump pit. When the sump pump was turned on, the explosion occurred, and flames shot into air out of the pit. The owner required medical attention for burns and other health impacts. The city concluded the CIPP project nearby caused vapors to build up in the building owners’ sewer pipe sump, which was connected to the city sewer system, and a spark from the sump pump initiated the explosion.|
|2020||Philadelphia, PA||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: A resident found her house filled with CIPP fumes which entered to the building through the basement. She left the house and contacted the water department and contractors. A water department inspector came to her house but only prepared a report. The resident was a cancer survivor with neuropathy, and that became worse after the incident.|
|2020||Harrisburg, PA||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: A resident noticed a strong glue-like smell in his basement coming from an underground work in the neighborhood. The resident asked the workers the cause of such smell and they assured him that the smell would vanish and not be as strong as it cures. The resident was concerned because: 1) the incident happened during the winter and they expect residents to open windows to ventilate; 2) it affected those who may be elderly, working remotely or children who may be home schooled or in cyber school; 3) nobody in the City of Harrisburg Codes was too concerned. They also said that there was no oversight from the City government of the process or possible health, safety, welfare of residents; 4) With the population being 25% under the age of 18, any type of chemicals can adversely affect brain development up until 25 years of age; 5) With older houses, many times there are floor drains that may not have a functioning trap as in the case of our house. However, the Capital Region Water released a notice in which they claimed that “the smell released in sewer rehabilitation process is in such small quantities that it does not pose a significant risk to human health, the environment, or the workers who are working on our behalf. It exists briefly in the environment and is destroyed rapidly in the air, disappearing quickly."|
|2020||Chicago, IL||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Sewer pipe repair construction caused a very strong chemical smell adversely impacted business at a bakery in Chicago.|
|2020||Decatur, IL||nr||Cancer Care Center of Decatur was evacuated due to an odor caused by city sewer projects. Decatur Fire Department responded to the incident.|
|2019||Seneca Falls, NY||nr||MEDIA REPORT: A teacher and several middle school students in a classroom became sick because of inhalation of odors caused by sewer pipe rehabilitation work at nearby area. Windows of the classroom were opened when the rehabilitation work was taking place. Nine students went home sick at the incident day. Eight students felt better and returned school the next day while one student still felt sick two days later. Styrene, as a volatile organic compound, was mixed with the resin to help it cure. An engineer for the project from Barton & Loguidice Engineers told the reporter that curing of the resin impregnated liner causes odors. He also mentioned that results of some studies showed that even though odors are a common occurrence in CIPP practices, styrene concentrations are less than exposure guidelines and do not lead to health risk. He said that individuals have different sensitivities towards styrene odors and can be inconvenient to those who are not used to working around it. After investigation it was concluded that a combination of weather conditions (i.e. breeze and air movement at the incident day) and opened windows resulted in increased odors from the CIPP process.|
|2019||Festus, MO||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Public Works director Matt Clemens announced that while fabric lining in sewer lines was conducting in Festus, residents may notice a strange odor. He said that this process has been conducted every other year on a rotating basis and nothing harmful exists in this procedure.|
|2019||Regina (Canada)||nr||MEDIA REPORT: One of the residents found going outside impossible because of massive maintenance project being conducted nearby her house. The noise and fumes from the project have disrupted her daily life. Some residents noticed sewer gas smell after steaming the pipe. said some people have been put as a result of the project, but only Residents directly affected by the noise and fumes were put in hotels while contractor decided when a house should be evacuated.|
FOIA/PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: An explosion occurred inside a private residence when the building owner turned on a sump pump in the basement. The owner smelled an odor on the 2nd floor and the basement when a CIPP project was being conducted in front of the house. The building was 1929, 3-story house. The building owner went into the basement to investigate. The window inside the basement was opened and the sump pump was turned on because the resident thought the smell was coming from a sump pit. When the sump pump was turned on, the explosion occurred, and flames shot into air out of the pit. The owner required medical attention for burns and other health impacts. The city concluded the CIPP project nearby caused vapors to build up in the building owners’ sewer pipe sump, which was connected to the city sewer system, and a spark from the sump pump initiated the explosion. Regina, CAN fire department measured 49 ppm of methane on fittings by the boiler.
|2019||Herndon, VA||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Residents were concerned about a strong smell assumed to originate from chemical reaction to the epoxy in the sewer pipe. The chemical odor became worse in the past 30 minutes of incident report. It was advised that the odor would dissipate by the morning and was not harmful.|
|2019||Pitcairn, PA||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Three students and three teachers felt ill after breathing emissions from a sewer project near school. It caused nausea and watery eyes for students and staff. 280 students and staff were vacated from the school and students were sent home an hour later.|
|2019||Rochelle, IL||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Aldi evacuated the building and stayed closed for several hours as a result of smoke coming from restrooms. A strong odor was also noticed in the building and parking area. Sewer pipe rehabilitation work near the area was the reason for smoke and strong smell. Rochelle fire chief explained that they monitored the air nothing harmful, flammable or explosive was found.|
|2019||Evanston, IL||nr||MEDIA REPORT: City officials announced a sewer repair work will be conducted and advised nearby residents not to distress by unpleasant odors caused by heated styrene. The chemical has been commonly used in fiberglass industry and is not dangerous. They also asked the residents to pour a gallon of water into drains to avoid the odor in their home and repeat the process when the water evaporates.|
|2019||Festus, MO||nr||MEDIA REPORT: In March, Instituform was awarded $130,124 by Festus City Council to repair city sewer pipes by CIPP installations. There’s no need to worry about steam rising from Festus streets, Public Works Matt Clemens said.|
|2019||Moncton, NB (Canada)||nr||MEDIA REPORT: An unpleasant glue-like odor came from sewer lining activities and permeated homes in the city's north end. The city declared the smell isn’t a public-health risk. However, some residents developed headaches and felt nauseous. One resident rented an industrial fan to force the smell out of his building. A few of them smelt the odor on their cloths, furniture and even bottled water.|
|2019||Norwalk, CT||nr||MEDIA REPORT: All students’ after school activities were canceled due to an odor from an adjacent construction. The students left the building by local Fire Department personnel "out of an abundance of caution".|
|2019||Pitcairn, PA||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Students were sent home after several were sickened by an odor from a nearby sewer lining project. A 5th grade student was among the six people taken to the hospital after inhaling the odor.|
|2019||Ontario (Canada)||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: A resident found their house saturated with a peculiar chemical smell came from sewer pipes working in the neighborhood. The odor got into the house through sewer pipes of toilets. The house was also filled with a high roaring sound that came from some violent action in the toilet bowls. The resident alerted the authorities. A group of inspectors/engineers arrived at the incident place and after investigation they ordered the residents leave the house as the gas concentrations were beyond an acceptable level. The residents stayed at hotel overnight until the house is properly ventilated. In the incident place, windows were opened, and a large number of fans were installed to ventilate. Project engineers claimed that this has never happened before and then modified to a chance of one in a million.|
|2019||Warsaw, IN||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Several residents were concerned and complained about glue like odor in their homes as a result of sewer pipe lining conducted in their neighborhood. Wastewater Treatment Utility Plant responded to the residents by saying that the odor is not toxic and residents can avoid it by pouring water to their plumbing traps.|
|2019||Deerfield beach, FL||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Individual reported that emissions entered a single-family home during sanitary sewer CIPP installation in front of the house. When she arrived, she opened the door, smelled a glue-like odor in the house, and found 2 adults unconscious. The individual then called 911.|
|2019||Jersey City, NJ||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: The resident found the CIPP odor overwhelming and noticeable in his second floor apartment. The city never notified residents of this project.|
|2019||Le Grand Bouet (Guernsey)||nr||
MEDIA REPORT: A family in Le Grand Bouet was left unwell and fearing for their health after a ‘heavy, noxious, unbearable’ smell entered their home.
‘I don’t know who has approved the use of resins to repair the drains/sewer pipes, but the smell coming out of the drain covers and up through the U bends in our house last [9/8/2019, Saturday] evening and during the night has made us ill this morning [9/9/2019, Sunday],’ said a family member. The resident said they woke with a headache and coughing, while other household members woke in the night with coughing fits. He said the smell was heavy, noxious and unbearable. ‘I have had to open all the windows and still the smell fills the house.’ The smell did not go and yesterday they again woke with the resin smell and a headache, worrying that their health would be affected.
The source was cured-in-place pipeline liners which have been used for many years in Guernsey as well as in the UK and other parts of the world. ‘Guernsey Water has lined approximately 20 km of sewer using this technique with the same product,’ said the capital service manager. ‘We are aware that at times fibreglass-like odours are noticeable. This unfortunately is unavoidable, however, we would like to reassure islanders that short term exposure to these odours will not have any adverse health effects and that the materials used are approved and used as standard throughout the industry for the lining of sewers, as well as raw and potable water mains.’ He said an issue occurred on Saturday during section one of the sewer lining work which left that section heat damaged and unusable. An extension on the closure is not anticipated. ‘While investigations continue, our teams are also working to source a replacement liner for the continuation of the project.’This resident was not the only person to have smelt the chemicals. Another resident visited a house along Le Grand Bouet over the weekend and said she had smelt a ‘gluey, gassy,’ smell. ‘It’s not ideal with a lot of young children living round here and walking to school,’ she said. The person she had visited, Ben Le Prevost, has lost his sense of smell but she said even he was able to smell it. Kerry and Jane Moon said they had not smelt any resin but did smell the drains a lot. ‘It was just over a week ago it started, I’ve smelt it in the garden,’ said Mrs. Moon. ‘I’ve found the water tastes funny, I’ve been drinking just bottled water now,’ said Mr. Moon. Mr. Walker said he urged residents to call one of the numbers it had provided them with if they had any problems concerning the work.
|2018||Warrnambool, AU||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Warrnambool residents were told that a strong plastic-like smell originating from a sewer repair project and persisting in parts of the city was not toxic and disappeared very quickly|
|2018||Moncton, NB (Canada)||nr||MEDIA REPORT: News report says “the smell isn’t a risk to public safety” that is due to a resin from sewer lining project. The city statement said “the process only should last a total of 24 hours as the resin cures in the sewer pipe, and the sewer workers are aware of the situation and working on mitigating the issue by replacing manhole covers with grated catch basin covers to help alleviate odour”. The city also recommended to ensure p-traps are properly sealed.|
FOIA/MEDIA REPORT: Firefighters responded to a report of a gas leak around 8:00 AM at city hall; Employees inside city hall reported smelling a chemical odor, a paint thinner odor, in the building and called 911; Upon arrival, responders ordered the evacuation of city hall as a precaution; No hazards were detected on monitors, but an odor was present. Fire department recognized a similar smell was coming from manholes; The Chattanooga Fire Department determined that a subcontractor for the city's stormwater division had been spraying styrene to line the stormwater pipes underground; Fumes spread through the pipes and into some openings for the pipes underneath city hall; The Fire Chief said that while the styrene the workers used can produce very noticeable fumes, it is non-toxic and does not present a danger to the public. No one was hurt.” Public works responded with 2 crews to flush the lines so that the smell could dissipate. Once that was completed and the building was checked again, all parties were allowed to return.
The mayor issued a public statement: “[City Hall Building] has closed for the remainder of the day, out of an abundance of caution for its employees and any visitors. The building will reopen on Monday….” Also reported was "Last night, a contractor for the city began work on a process called cured-in-place-pipe. Cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) is a trenchless rehabilitation process used to repair existing pipelines using a resin (styrene). On rare occasions during the installation process, a distinctive resin-like odor may be detected. The odor will dissipate with exposure to fresh air and there are no residual health effects.'" Parts of the area were blocked off to the public during the investigation while crews from Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant ran water through and vented the sewer lines to clear any off-gassing from the CIPP process.”
The fire department was called back to the building later in the morning with occupants complaining of throat irritation and headaches from the smell. Responders discovered that the smell had returned. Fans were then used to apply negative pressure to the manholes until public works could respond back to the scene. Once public works personnel arrived on the scene, City Hall was closed at 1:00 PM to allow public works to properly ventilate the drains and give the building time to allow the smell to dissipate
|2018||Florida, Sarasota||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: In March 2018, Sarasota county government had a contractor line a 48 inch diameter pipe of the stormwater system. Styrene based resin was used by contractor. This contractor had conducted other jobs for the county using the same CIPP process. A nearby resident complained of odor through December 2018. The city, when they visited the site in December, confirmed the odor characteristic was similar to that of CIPP. “The odor comes and goes and some county government field inspectors cannot smell it.” In December, the city contacted Purdue University and wanted to know the cause and whether or not there is a health risk to the resident. They also wanted to know about inexpensive field tests they could use and what are the typical signs that the liner has not fully cured. The city reached out to the State, however, they did not have any field meters.|
|2018||Virginia, Salem||nr||FOIA/PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: The Fire Department responded to a two story house because of reports of a strange smell. The crew entered with a Q-rae3 (after fresh air cycle) [this is a 4-gas meter]. The homeowner stated that the smell was in the basement and that it started all of a sudden. Firefighters started getting a smell when they entered basement, and it didn’t seem like a natural gas or electrical smell but more of a like spray adhesive, paint type, or maybe dry drain. Several basement rooms had the smell, but the smell seemed to be coming from the unfinished part of the basement. Responders walked the throughout the basement and nothing was picked up on the Q-rae. The resident had an old bathroom that they no longer used, and when firefighters opened the door the smell seemed stronger. The resident had several plastic grocery bags balled up and sitting in sink. Responders picked one up and it seemed like what they had been smelling. Firefighters advised the homeowner of findings and suspected the smell was coming from the sink drain. Resident stated they would pour water, open windows, and let the basement air out. Firefighters advised the resident that no harmful readings were on the monitor. The homeowner called the fire department about 1 hr later to advise that there was a construction company doing work in neighborhood on some water pipes and using some kind of chemical in pipes and that was what the smell was coming from.|
|2018||Montreal, QB (Canada)||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Building inhabitant in Montreal Canada requested information from Purdue University “about safety of the gas emitted from the resin of CPP processes.” The city contracted out the task of retrofitting a sewage line underneath the person’s house. The … house filled with styrene gas and associated compounds during the three-day process of curing the pipe. A month later, person still smells styrene coming from an unsealed part of the old stone house foundation and claimed it was worse in cold weather. “It’s not as intense as it was, but it gives person headaches and makes person dizzy throughout the day in his own home, even at low concentrations. This is very upsetting and unpleasant to the person.” Person asked: “How worried should I be about the health effects? And how long is it likely to leach gas from the soil under the foundation?”|
|2018||Mississippi, Hattiesburg||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Mississippi Department of Transportation (DOT) worker visited a steam CIPP worksite and did not approach exhaust emission point that closely. Steam was not added for the first 30 minutes, instead just air blown through the chemical tube. DOT worker got a headache. DOT worker say visible emissions from the exhaust emission point where CIPP workers were standing. Respiratory protection was not observed on CIPP workers.|
|2018||Washington, Vancouver||nr||MEDIA REPORT: An odor permeating the air around Riverview Elementary School in Vancouver reportedly caused two teachers outside for playground duty to become sick. Once emergency responders arrived, they were treated and taken to a hospital. Teachers felt faint, dizzy, had nausea and vomited. Before going to hospital teachers complained of a solvent smell, itching in their nose and throat, dizziness, and gagging. Firefighters and medics responded after receiving reports that a smell was causing problems for some of the teachers. Nearby roads were shutdown. The school had students shelter in place and the HVAC system was turned off. Responders were approached by a representative of the city who declared emissions from nearby contractor who was relining a sewer pipe 600 ft away from the school. Contractor, when approached by responders, did not have an MSDS. Responders reported that the contractor was installing a resin a nearby pipe and their system was blowing a plume of gas 30-50 ft into the air. Also noted that the plume emitted would change direction regularly and would lay low near the ground. Firefighters stated that when the inverted atmosphere lifted, the emissions dissipated. Workers were asked if the process could be stopped if needed and contractor said no. Contractors said they perform the jobs regularly and were surprised to hear about issues at the school. Firefighters used a “PID” and 4-gas monitor to test air around the school and didn’t find anything. They concluded that an air inversion caused the styrene from the work crew lay low near the ground. The school superintendent reported that the teachers were outside for several hours and may have been exposed for a long period. Students also noticed the smell, but none reported being bothered by it. CIPP contractor was working nearby. Fire Department hazmat responders believed that a gaseous substance created by the steam treatment wafted toward the school. Fire Department noted the smell of styrene, described as heated Styrofoam. Hazmat crews monitoring the air around the school. Contractors working in the street were interviewed and had no complaints. Firefighters reported the workers had no evidence of symptoms.|
|2018||Massachusetts, Weymouth||“High readings, 6500 ppb”||
FOIA: Fire department with medical assistance responded to an Early Childhood Development School. Upon arrival, the custodian complained of light headedness and chest pains. Firefighters wore full PPE with SCBA. Personnel observed an acetone type odor in the area. The area was evacuated. A “4-gas meter” was used and did not respond. A new meter was brought onsite (RAE 3000 ppb meter) and fire fighter reported “high readings” up to 6000 ppb. Fire department concluded that the odor was from pipe sealing resin that was being used nearby for sewer pipe repair.
A second complaint was also called in and the fire department responded. Odor in basement was detected. Testing by fire department indicated 4500 ppb. Assumed it was “steam and smoke” being injected into pipe relining nearby by a contractor who was working with city. Fire department concluded an illegal sump pump connection in the basement allowed odor to enter the building.
MEDIA REPORT/PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Resident and US Forest Service workers were reportedly exposed to emissions. At Federal building a city contractor doing CIPP work discharged a cloud from a manhole cover 6 ft from a building passive air intake vent. Around noon on the day of the incident, the contactors activated their product and a cloud came out of manhole about 6 ft away from the federal building. The building is 1 of only 2 places in the US to make seed available for all US government agencies, and primarily involves “seed extraction.”. It's a light industrial factory environment (10 employees), emissions went into passive vents that entered interior filtration system (which typically handles indoor dust), some people in facility people were wearing respirators at the time, but other people smelled it. Employees stated the cloud was quite large and enveloped the outside of the warehouse and strong smell inside. 2 of the 10 had some of the symptoms of initial exposure runny eyes/nose and sore throat, 1 persons called in sick for their subsequent night job. USFS thinks 20-40 minutes of exposure before building was evacuated. Federal workers submitted DOL CA-2 worker compensation claims for the incident. All employees were dismissed from work and did not return to work for 4 days. CIPP contractor provided USFS the MSDS for the resin product (not materials emitted or final CIPP). The resin MSDS reportedly contained styrene, titanium dioxide, quartz and numerous proprietary organic peroxides. Federal agency was concerned emissions may adsorbed to filters in the building and worried about chemical exposure to workers. Federal agency purchased and installed all new filters (50) for the building for concern some chemicals may have been trapped on them. The same contractor that was cited by the resident below was involved in the USFS incident. City and contractor claimed to USFS the cloud (from CIPP) is not a problem.
A nearby resident was also reportedly exposed during the same project. “The resident began noticing gases being discharged at the construction site, took pictures while standing nearby. The resident experienced nausea, a loss of hearing, headache, confusion and other symptoms, and she went to a hospital. The city’s plant interceptor line, a reinforced concrete pipe built in the early 1980s, runs along the back boundary of their land, and they granted the city a temporary construction easement to allow access during repairs. Instead of excavating the pipeline, city staff opted to use a process called a cured-in-place pipe. The Bend City Council in June approved a $5.5 million contract with a CIPP company that’s specialized in cured-in-place pipes for more than 45 years. Construction began in September and is expected to wrap up by July 2019. This method is faster and cheaper than digging up the existing line and building a new one. It also means the city doesn’t have to stop sewer access at any point. According to the legal notice, the resident began noticing gases being discharged at the construction site near her home on Nov. 10. She drove over on the adjacent canal road and took several pictures while standing about 20 feet from the manhole. She also tried to talk to workers on-site, but they hid as she approached their vehicles, according to the notice. After about five minutes at the site, the resident returned to her car to drive home. During her drive, she experienced nausea, a burning sensation in her ears, nose and throat, ringing in her ears, a loss of hearing, headache, hypertensive blood pressure and confusion, according to the notice. She sealed her clothes in a bag and went to the emergency room at St. Charles Bend, where she was diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the notice.”
|2018||Michigan, Midland||nr||FOIA/ PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: On July 18, 2018 residents discovered a strong odor in their home. One inhabitant went to the basement, realized odor was stronger, and reported that they felt like their eyes started burning. The other building inhabitant reported the exposure made them sick such as nausea and gave headache, which lasted for almost a week. They reported the odor smelled like industrial strength contact cement. The building inhabitants called 911 and 911 operators recommended they evacuate. Once outside they noticed about 60 yards from their house workers seemed to be in street. Fire chief, 3 fire trucks, police, and a representative of local chemical company responded. Emergency responders confirmed a strong odor in the house and in the nearby storm drains. Firefighters got no result from their “5-gas meter” or “gas-trac.” A building inhabitant was told they could go to the hospital, but this person did not for concern about the state of the property and their pets were still inside. Emergency responders found that about 2-3 city blocks away workers were lining a sewer. Responders were told by the contractors that “the odor would get worse before it gets better” and the fire department should “fill the drains with water to prevent odors from getting into the house.” Responders told building owners that they talked to workers who said the chemicals were due to lining sewer lines. The fire department filled drains with water and used fans to help expel chemicals from the home. One building inhabitant went to neighbor’s home who had young child to warn them. When visiting their neighbor, no odor in that house was reported. A representative of DOW arrived onsite and conducted air testing the house and found “VOCs in air at 2.3%.” Fire Department advised residents to stay out of the house until the odor dissipated.|
|2018||New York, Bronxville||nr||MEDIA REPORT: During 2017 Halloween evening children walked by CIPP installation site near a school. Air smelled like model airplane glue. Air monitoring was not conducted because it was not ordered to be conducted according to a statement by the school superintendent.|
|2018||Hawaii, Honolulu||nr||MEDIA REPORT: “Building management at One Archer Lane got numerous complaints Tuesday night about an unusual smell coming from sewer work on South King Street. The city claimed small amounts of the chemical "styrene" are released during construction but does not pose a significant health risk. The city also claimed that someone exposed to the chemical for a long period of time can experience headache, nausea, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Sewer work was to continue from during the evening through tomorrow morning the day the complaints were made.”|
|2018||Virginia, Richmond||nr||MEDIA REPORT: It was estimated at least a dozen residents were exposed by chemicals associated with CIPP work. “Just opening the door to come down here in the basement was like getting hit in the face with it,” described a resident, “It really would be like putting your head in a can of rubber cement. It’s sort of that headache, get a kind of woozy feeling,” she added. Employees at a nearby business described the same strong odor and symptoms: “It just gave us sort of a light-headed feeling, …it really would hit you as soon as you walk in the front door. The inside was sort of thick with this intense smell. It was really unpleasant.” “We want people coming into our businesses feeling safe and welcomed. We don’t want them to come in like is my health at risk?'” An employee of a restaurant that was also impacted vomited after breathing too much of the odor. A health inspector investigated the restaurant and recommended to increase ventilation. A city councilor was involved in the investigation along with the utility, local and state health departments.|
|2018||New York, New York||nr||
MEDIA REPORT/ PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Numerous complaints of odors associated with nearby CIPP sanitary sewer lining activity. Utility declared “our HAZMAT staff have been called to homes complaining about these odors where we have done relining, which can be strong, and the readings they have taken never showed the presence of component chemicals of concern in the resin used like VOCs above the maximum safe level allowed.” The notice provided to residents created by the DEP declared “Odors released during the lining process may smell similar to modeling glue. These odors, though unpleasant, are not dangerous or toxic. You may alleviate by ventilating the area”. The city utility (Department of Environmental Protection DEP) city health department were involved. A New York State Assemblyman legislative aide indicated the 20 ppm of styrene was the most stringent exposure limit for residents. [NOTE: 20 ppm is a worker exposure limit for styrene and not designed for the general public].
A resident self-surveyed people located on the block in affected buildings. The following list of symptoms reported by the self-surveyed residents were: Headache, eye irritation, soreness in throat, tight feeling in throat, respiratory irritation, feeling dopey, feeling stupid, feeling sick, watering of eyes, burning in eyes and nose, nausea, coughing, itching, dried out and sore nasal passages, throat burning, sensitive eyes. The complete set of the comments from both surveys are below. The data is from two surveys sent out by a resident after each of the two days the CIPP contractor was on the block, March 6 and March 15. The surveys were sent to a mail list that has been used to assess mosquito impact and has a consistent set of responders of about 60-70 individuals representing a cross section of 21 of the 36 townhouses on the block and all 6 of the large apartment buildings. These two odor surveys had 65 responders with an almost universal overlap with the consistent responders to the Mosquito Survey.
Comments Reported by the Resident in an email to the New York City Health Department:
"No odor" responses were largely from the 6 apartment buildings with high floors.
|2017||New York, Nyack||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Residents called 911 and complained of dizziness due to strong odor that caused by sewer work near the neighborhood. Police, fire department, and ambulances personnel responded in two separate instances to reports of strong smelling burning plastic and airplane glue odor. The city sewer official suspected it was caused by a nearby CIPP activity. One resident complained of dizziness and was administered oxygen.|
|2017||California, Dublin||nr||MEDIA REPORT: 50-year-old of 8,000 feet concrete pipe was being rehabilitated using CIPP. The project manager declared that the smell residents detect is plastic that’s curing. She said the smell isn’t hazardous, but advised residents close-up their windows and doors if they smell it. The project manager called it an odor inconvenience. A couple residents complained to the utility when the liner was being installed near their homes.|
|2017||Indiana, Anderson||nr||MEDIA REPORT: 3,500 feet of existing sewer line was rehabilitated. During CIPP installation, a bypass sewer line was installed, but local water pollution control department got few calls about the odor problems in houses at basement drains. Contractor said “they have not been too many problems, and the problems we encountered are normal for a project this size”.|
|2017||Pennsylvania, South Heights||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Several residents were evacuated from 12 homes due to their contamination by an epoxy odor from a nearby CIPP project. Residents reported a gas smell and were told to evacuate. Firefighters used large fans to remove air out of homes then residents were permitted to return. The general manager of municipal authority said “P-traps should have prevented odor, but many homes did not have P-traps affected by the smell”. Utility said they have never seen so many homes affected in the same area.|
|2017||California, San Diego||nr||MEDIA REPORT: 36 elementary school students fell sick due to nearby CIPP construction site that was in process of pouring resin. Emissions entered first-grade school wing and playground area. Students said there was “fume smelling, and everyone started to cover their mouth and nose, smelling cause headache, Ambulance brought one student to the hospital. HAZMAT team was called. City spokesperson declared at a press conference that “the material being used was not hazardous. There’s no reason to believe it’s hazardous. We have crews doing this for years.” The following day the department of public works suspended planned CIPP activities.|
|2017||Missouri, Lee's Summit||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Residents expressed concerns to the CIPP contactor and utility. A liquid solution, Eco-Sorb, was offered to pour down floor drains to minimize odors. The residents were advised to open windows and doors to ventilate their homes and MSDS sheets/information about the products used during the CIPP process was provided by the contractor. Utility staff went door to door to follow up with residents to address any outstanding concerns. “We responded twice to the area for calls to 911 complaining of an odor,” said Lee’s Summit Fire Department Assistant Chief. “Each time there were no hazards found. When anyone called the business number to complain about the odor or get information on who to contact, if they had any kind of physical complaint, they were asked if they needed an ambulance. Everyone declined.” An informational video on the CIPP process was posted on the City’s YouTube site (www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxRxi87pqFE), but was removed after Purdue University researchers notified the city some of the statements the engineer stated in the video were false.|
FOIA/ MEDIA REPORT: On August 3, 2017, at 11:17 AM Fire Department responded to request of a business to investigate an odor. Fire Department learned the building inhabitants reported a chemical odor originating from floor drain in the bathroom. The responders reported they used a 6 gas meter and found no readings. Emergency responders recommended the building inhabitant pour water down the drain and believe the odor was caused by water and sewer pipe lining in the area.
On August 3, 2017, at 6:38 PM Fire Department responded to request of homeowners who complained of an odor of gas. When onsite, Fire Department explained that building occupants reported a chemical odor in the house. Fire Department checked residence with 5 gas meter and got no response, but odor was present. Some emergency responders stated a 6 gas meter was used. Emergency responders believe odor originated from contractor sewer lining activity in the neighborhood earlier in the day. Responding units vented the house.
|2017||North Carolina, Charlotte||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Office building evacuated due to odor and persons self-reporting adverse health effects. Private industrial hygiene testing company conducted PID sampling. Building was evacuated for 2 nights. Emissions were suspected to have entered through a nearby air handler outside the building due to nearby CIPP sanitary sewer installation.|
|2017||Toronto, ON (Canada)||0 ppm||“During installation of lining from MH-5 to MH-6 we received 2 complaints of odor from properties located to the west of the main entrance. Readings were taken inside the properties with the GasAlertMicro5 PID and recorded levels of 0 ppm.”|
|2017||California, Dublin||nr||MEDIA REPORT: “A couple of residents to called the utility and complained about the smell on Tuesday when the liner was being installed and cured.” The curing process is what causes the plastic smell which the project engineer says isn’t hazardous. But they are advising people to close up their doors and windows if they smell it.|
|2017||New York, Whitesboro||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Some residents noticed a bad smell in their homes; Commissioner of Water Quality and Pollution Control advised those exposed to “go outside and contact the project manager on site because the smell indicates a bigger problem within the residence.” Commissioner stated that “it means that there’s an air gap in your house from the sewer; you’re supposed to have traps inside the house — it’s a water barrier between you and the sewer,” he said. “If somebody’s getting odor inside their house, that means either they don’t have a trap or there’s a dry trap somewhere allowing that odor to get in.” The lining process was cheaper than digging up the streets, which cost about $150 per foot compared to the $30 to 40 per foot to line the pipes. Commissioner explained the process as: “We’re basically making a fiberglass pipe inside the existing one. The way you do that is you have what’s almost like a felt sock and it’s impregnated with resin. You snake that down through the pipe and you blow either steam or hot water into the pipe and it brings the sock out to full capacity on the inside of the pipe and then the hot water or the steam cures that resin. So now what you’ve made is basically a pipe within a pipe.”|
|2017||Missouri, Columbia||nr||FOIA: April 25, 2017 a person called 911 to report hearing a loud pop, smelled an odor, and saw a person down in a ditch. Upon arrival Fire Department smelled a strong glue type odor. Observer explained to Fire Department “white smoke” was coming out of the ditch and the person was no longer visible. Fire Department personnel then went into the ditch and found white smoke was coming out of a sewer manhole from a pipe placed there. The Fire Department’s combustible gas monitor showed normal readings. Fire Department met up with the sewer contractor about 100 yards from the open sewer manhole, and the contractor stated they were flushing and lining the sewer pipes, and there was no problem. Fire Department then contacted the observer who was the person who called and told them there was no problem.|
|2017||California, South Pasadena||nr||FOIA / MEDIA REPORT: The fire department was called to an adult school after 9 people reported feeling ill including “nausea.” After the fire department arrived, 2 persons continued feeling ill and were transported to the hospital. The fire department reported that the incident was “related to an odor from CIPP fiberglass sewer pipe lining that was being performed in the City system. Hazardous Materials experts responded and determined the smell was non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and was an odor only.”|
|2016||Missouri, Bolivar||nr||FOIA: January 26, 2016 fire department responded to a multifamily dwelling due to an odor report. Personnel investigated, and reported that the odor was from a nearby pipe sealing process. Personnel explained to the building inhabitants the chemical’s TWEL, and “residents was ventilation”.|
|2016||Missouri, Bolivar||nr||FOIA: January 6, 2016 fire department responded to a dwelling due to an odor report. Units physically surveyed location and did not find physical hazards on the property exterior. Resident told personnel the house started smelling like paint at 1100am. Fire department requested additional support and use of a 4-gas detection device. Fire department noted an obvious odor in the resident. Fire department reported that all interior readings were normal, O2 levels at 20.8. Bolivar Public Works was working 0.5 miles South of the incident location. Fire department confirmed with public works that the work on the sewer lines would be causing the smell, but there was no hazard involved. Having found the source and confirmed that there was no hazard, the fire department left.|
|2016||Virginia, Falls Church||nr||FOIA/MEDIA REPORT: Restaurant reported an “unusual odor in bathroom” and fire department responded as a hazmat investigation. Fire department observed workers relining pipes nearby and confirmed that the odor in the building was from the pipe relining work.|
|2016||Kentucky, Alexandria||2.0 [units nr]||FOIA: Utility has a specific category for calls associated with “odors from CIPP.” On August 10, 2016 received a complaint of bad odor/chemical smell from a single family home. Utility representative picked up a MultiRae on the way to the site. Talked with homeowner and person from the CIPP company was already there. Utility representative used the MultiRae in the house where the odors were reportedly coming up. Representative reported the highest reading was “2.0” and home owners had not added water in the trap yet. Homeowners had opened all windows before utility representative arrived to test. Utility representative said homeowner’s were ok.|
|2016||Kentucky, Burlington||nr||FOIA: Utility has a specific category for calls associated with “odors from CIPP.” On August 5, 2016 received complaint about odor in house and utility was working up the street. Caller said he talked to someone who told him to open windows and caller says he can’t because he has a new baby. Utility representative investigated and reported the odors were from slipline, customer is remodeling the basement and had an open drain, and was advised not to cover it. Utility representative could detect faint odor and advised person to call utility back if odor does not go away or get worse.|
|2016||Minnesota, St. Louis Park||nr||FOIA: 10:13 AM resident called 911 about a smell in the area giving the resident a headache. Fire Department saw contractor working on sewer lines. Fire Department was told contractor was re-lining sewer and there could be a harmless odor of styrene in people’s homes if they had dry floor drains. Contractors told responded residents were warned how to avoid odors in the home. Firefighter wanted to use a 4-gas meter/HCN monitor in the resident’s home and person refused entry. Person also stated that “it had gotten much better since opening windows and declined medical care.” As fire department was leaving site, another nearby resident approached them and claimed of strong odor in residence. Firefighter checked residence and received reading of 16 ppm HCN on their monitor. Evacuated residence and ventilated it. Firefighter called back to the station for additional support. When support arrived, contractor was told to discontinue operations until problem was understood. A VOIC level fo 126 (not units) was obtained at one residence that was tested with the additional responders. Residence was then ventilated. After rechecking residence where HCN monitor found 16 ppm, responders concluded they may have had a false positive. After two affected residences were ventilated, department personnel left.|
|2016||Wisconsin, Darlington||nr||FOIA: EMS, police, and fire departments responded to a residence where person complained of chemical odor in their home. Odor determined to have originated from sewer lining project two blocks away. Landlord was notified their plumbing traps had dried out or had faulty plumbing. Police department then issued a notice of “noxious odors” on their Facebook account. The Department stated “there is a company working on sewer lines in the city is using a resin-type substance to make some repairs. If a home is not properly plumbed or a sewer trap is dried out, it is possible the fumes will come into the home. If this happens, put water down all your drains to make sure all your sewer traps are full. The fumes cannot come into the home if the traps are full of water like they're supposed to be. Ventilate your home by opening windows and using fans.”|
|2016||Indiana, West Lafayette||nr||Fumes entered a University campus office building through floor drains; chemicals were generated by a nearby CIPP sewer pipe repair activity; building inhabitants complained to the University safety department and onsite CIPP contractor about odors; doors were opened to ventilate building before the safety department representative arrived to investigate; fire department was not called; University safety department conducted spot PID testing after building ventilation; contractor stated there was no health risk just an unpleasant odor.|
|2016||Illinois, Good Hope||nr||Report that ‘steam’ filled the post office four different times; no fire department called; lateral not plugged allowed chemical plume to enter building; "It blew the water out of the toilet," Town Manager said. "It blew the wax seal out because steam was coming out between the floor and the toilet, and steam was coming out of the toilet….and it was coming out of the roof vent. I came up here six times." I got phone calls from the post office out of Bloomington, out of La Harpe, out of Galesburg and like three times up here...The first time, it ruined their computer, and they had to replace their computer inside. It was so wet, there was water dripping from the ceiling. Everything in there was just covered, and the floors were just sopping wet.”|
|2016||Wisconsin, Madison||nr||Hazardous materials team responded; odor-permeating basements of local businesses and exiting storm drains; The reporter stated, “A white haze that was unidentifiable on monitoring equipment was seen coming out of a storm sewer drain, so firefighters called in the hazardous incident team. Chemical identified was styrene.” "An employee of the CIPP company said they used styrene and the chemical had been disposed of in a drain about four blocks away," per the fire department.|
|2016||New York, Bethlehem||nr||Reported stated that there was a foul smell up and down the street where cured in place pipe installation for sewer repair was occurring; Insituform hired by town for sewer work; Residents were asked to cover toilets.|
|2016||New York, Cheektowaga||nr||Resident complained “it automatically takes your breath away. You're like what is that smell?” The Cheektowaga resident said it's coming from a silvery liquid that settled in her basement sump pump. It stems from sewer work performed by a company called Insituform last week. The letter also said homeowners might experience an odor. Resident said “I woke up in the middle of the night sick to my stomach from it.” Resident said she contacted Insituform and they did come and check out the problem. But, she said it hasn't been resolved. Resident worries what kind of effect the smell might have on her health. “… What is causing that smell?” The Town of Cheektowaga said they've received a handful of complaints. It said the gas is coming through a faulty trap or an illegal sump pump. The town recommends running water through the trap to fix it. But, it is on the homeowner to fix a faulty trap or an illegal sump pump.|
|2016||Cornwall, England (UK)||nr||Resident claimed, “Suffered from burning eyes, abdominal pain, aching joints and memory loss at their home”; Water utility stated, "No evidence their work caused the family's ill health. As a gesture of goodwill, they were paying for the family to stay in a B&B.” In a letter, specialist doctor at hospital said, “resident presented with symptoms of styrene poisoning and was advised not to enter the house until it had been cleared of the chemical.” Water utility stated, “styrene is widely used across the country to line water mains and sewers and there is no regulatory requirement to wear respiratory masks whilst working with the substance.”|
|2016||Virginia, Alexandria||nr||FOIA: Fire department responded to a resident complaint; collected dräeger tube air sample; RK&K, Inc. contractor took them to the downstream manhole. Later, someone with a baby came by and said they called the fire department; fire department told her to open her windows and pour water down her basement drain. RK&K, Inc. contractor told person to additionally put a wet rag over the opening. RK&K, Inc. contractor thinks some people are more sensitive to styrene than others or their house somehow captures more odors due to their lateral location. Contractor recommends set up a fan “even if it is for show.” Per RK&K, Inc., “There was no visible steam or odor from the manhole although [fire department] took their reading about 4 inches from the bags' end which will/may result in a high reading. They did not return for further discussions.”|
|2016||Virginia, Alexandria||0 ppm||FOIA: City spoke with resident who filed odor complaint April 14, 2016 to report styrene odor; RK&K, Inc. contractor visited home and used PID, which stated “0.0 ppm at all times when they were in the house. ”Homeowner called again on April 27, 2016, 13 days after the lining cool down, to report the styrene odor again. RK&K went to the home again and this time there was a reading as they entered the front door. RK&K, Inc. walked outside, went back in and the reading was 0.0 both at the door and at the basement trap; Homeowner called May 16, 2016 (today) to request another reading; City explained to him that the work was accomplished over 3 weeks ago and that if there was an odor it was not caused by the sewer lining.|
|2016||New York, North Tonawanda||nr||Reporter stated “For about a month, noses have been picking up a distinctive smell near the site of the former Durez Corp. plastics and chemical plant that was torn down in 1997.” Sewer pipes were being repaired with cured in place pipe and the odor was suspected to be caused by the construction activity per the City Engineer. The reporter stated that community air monitoring was performed throughout the project.|
|2015||Deerfield beach, FL||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: On October 29, 2015 in Deerfield Beach, FL, a person found a family member and a handyman unconscious inside the family members home. The home contained an intense odor similar to styrene. A CIPP project was being conducted out front and a chemical odor was detected inside the building. The mother died several months later after the incident. This exposure is undergoing investigation.|
|2015||Indiana, Terre Haute||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Downtown businesses complained of odor during sewer lining by the city. A downtown restaurant owner first reported the smell to the city Wednesday. Descriptions of the odor ranged from turpentine to burning rubber. By the time city crews arrived to investigate, the smell had dissipated. The smell returns each time contractors move on to the next section of pipe, the city stated. The city discovered several buildings didn’t have traps in their basements to prevent odors from coming inside. The city advised anyone noticing the odor again to call the city engineering department.|
|2015||Massachusetts, Weymouth||nr||FOIA: Numerous concerns reported to a local elected official in 24 hours about MWRA sewer work being conducted. Release of gas reported and residents took and sent video of the construction activity to the elected official. Official asked city “What exactly is being spewed right now? Residents are claiming its styrene and a strong odor is being reported.” City also received call from residents and told resident the odor is styrene, is harmless for people and pets, and likely entered building due to faulty resident plumbing. Elected official asked why workers are not wearing protective gear and the city responded that the worker doesn’t come into contact with resin. Elected official also stated noise and odor at night caused by this activity was awakening residents. City said “contractor cannot stop in the middle of a relining segment pipe you have to go to completion". City officials communicated with one another that a Facebook video shows “steam exhaust” used to cure the liner not styrene gas. The liner does use a styrene based resin, and at times odors can be noticeable, however at very low concentrations. The workers follow their company’s health and safety plan to work with the materials.”|
|2015||Quebec (Canada)||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Fumes stayed in building for 1 month; installers claimed styrene trapped underground and drifted into house; installers installed blowers; after the 2nd month (1 month of ventilation) odor went away.|
|2015||Mississippi, Picayune||nr||Calls to utility during weeks and typically with older homes; Utility suspects most residents that notice a smell may be living in a home with inadequate vent or trap which is allowing the odor to enter the home from the wastewater lines; CIPP contractor recommends residents add water to sewer traps and if smell intrudes home they should open windows for a short time; CIPP contractor assures the smell is not harmful and cites a 2001 study to determine the levels of styrene concentration during the installation and a worst case scenario; Contractor states during testing the concentration detected with a working trap was 0.0002 ppm while faulty vents had 0.1 and 0.2 ppm; Claimed person standing over a manhole would experience 3.2 ppm styrene; Contractor reported that if odor does enter house it could remain for up to two days.|
|2015||Nebraska, Lincoln||nr||Several homes evacuated; fire department called and stated “The readings in one of the houses was significantly high, higher than expected levels or safe levels;" Fire department chief stated "When they inject steam into the sewer line and in that steam is a chemical called styrene.” City health specialist stated, “Our assumption is it pushed a bunch of this odor through the sewer line, on down stream of where they were working." Fire department opened windows in the affected homes and set fans up to help aerate them, and residents were allowed back inside later that day.|
|2015||Ottawa (Canada)||nr||Residents and businesses complained about chemical exposures: "The smell was so intense that I had to let my secretary go home because she was ready to vomit.” The city paid for one family to be put up into a home; the city stopped CIPP work to investigate; city recommended work only be conducted in summer when buildings can be better aired out.|
|2015||Ottawa (Canada)||nr||Residents state that odors come through drains and circulate in the building through air vents and started about a month ago, “Using incense to cover the smell”; Ottaway Public Health monitored air; City Hall recommends that residents open their windows until the smell goes away; the business owner interviewed however did not have windows that can be opened.|
|2015||Florida, St. Petersburg||nr||Resident filed complaint to city that “For two days having some strong chemical (epoxy or glue-like odor) coming from drains periodically. The smell has resulted in irritation to the back of our nasal passages in just a short period of time breathing it.”|
|2015||Wisconsin, Antigo||nr||Illness symptoms reported by child; pregnant woman concerned about the exposure; firefighters responded to homes; firefighters said, “According to the MSDS sheet it was not safe to just be breathing those inhalants.” Resident explained, “The basement was incredibly full of fumes, and whatever they're shooting into the pipes was shooting up out of our drain pipe into our basement so forcefully it was actually whistling.”|
|2015||Virginia, Alexandria||nr||FOIA: City tells residents, “Higher ambient temperatures have a tendency to exacerbate odors associated with the relining.” Homeowner association representative stated, “Different homes very near to one another have been affected to widely varying degrees. Just speaking in my home, the basement and main floors were worse than the second floor. Some houses were not affected. In addition, when all windows were opened, fumes dissipated fairly well and resident thought the threat was over. When resident closed windows, and turned on air conditioning, and left to go to the store, fumes became bad again. The fumes were also bad last night even though the crew finished work about 5:30pm the day before, albeit not nearly as bad as while they were working.” City declared, “People and Pets are safe because the contractors are not working with enough styrene to be dangerous. Styrene is only dangerous in large quantities.”|
|2015||Maryland, Kensington||nr||FOIA: Resident called utility and left message about complaint and claimed he and several neighbors who were ill due to the smell exposure that caused a nose bleed; utility CIPP contractor was lining a 30 inch diameter sewer pipe in the area with steam curing and utility suspects that would cause the styrene odor; utility spoke with one resident who claimed that there was a shift in the wind causing the odor to linger about his house and his neighbors causing temporary illness; utility staff explained they are working to figure out what chemicals were used; follow up by utility indicates that, “Customers contacted WSSC regarding the resin odor which is typical when lining sewers.” CIPP contractor installation failed (400 linear feet of the 500 linear foot liner) and contractor has been cutting/removing the failed liner.|
|2015||New York, Rensselaer||nr||Chemical entered homes from sewer CIPP lining; one resident taken to hospital; city paid for hotel rooms for 5 homes impacted. Resident claimed, “Styrene permeated the clothing in their drawers, closets, and couches.”|
|2015||New Jersey, Botany Village||nr||Resident reported strong and fragrant sewer odor pervaded the neighborhood; yearlong project.|
|2014||Colorado, Aurora||nr||“….lining was completed adjacent to a school. Due to a combination of events, the entire school was evacuated because the exterior dampers were opened up and the styrene smell infiltrated the school.”|
|2014||Missouri, St. Louis||nr||Residents report odors in homes; Described them as “toxic, permanent-marker-type smell.” Sewer utility [Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District] spokesperson stated: The heating/curing process is known to release smells that, while gross and annoying, don't pose a health risk, says LeComb. "Odors do come off sometimes, and we certainly apologize for the inconvenience. This is a very large sewer, so it'll have more of an odor impact than we usually see," says LeComb. However, Lacomb adds, it is possible for the smell to emanate from inside a home, likely through dried-out sink traps or basement drains. If you start to smell something funky indoors, he suggests pouring two or three cups of water in the sink or down the drain to seal those smells away.”|
|2014||Kansas, Prairie Village||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Resident reported the smell of superglue in house, headaches and nostrils burning; utility contacted and told resident vapors nontoxic; windows and doors opened for ventilation, but odor remained; county did not investigate and told resident chemicals were nontoxic.|
|2014||Manchester, England (UK)||nr||Steam cured CIPP was installed; residents complained about odor, and health effects such as headaches and nausea. “A number of households were relocated to stay with relatives or in hotels. Subsequent investigations indicated that a small breach occurred in the liner during the early curing process. This allowed chemicals to escape and enter nearby properties, most likely through connections to the culvert.”|
|2014||Maryland, Baltimore||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Resident evacuated house after detecting odor caused by CIPP sewer pipe repair activity nearby and experienced chemical exposure symptoms; sought medical attention; fire department responded conducted air testing but discrepancy between resident observed results [400 ppm styrene on draeger tube] and fire department filed report [nothing found]; moved out of house for 1 month; odors got stronger when it rained.|
|2014||Illinois||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Resident claimed fumes from CIPP sanitary sewer installation backed-up into private residences and residents reported chemical exposure symptoms.|
|2014||Maryland, Kengington||nr||FOIA: Resident called utility and filed a complaint, chemical odor from nearby sewer work happening behind his house; utility staff recommended borrowing language provided to them by the CIPP when responding to the resident. The contractor language stated, but not limited to, “Don’t be alarmed. The CIPP industry is a worldwide 100 billion dollar industry that installs more than one million feet a year and thousands of people are involved with no diverse effects.”|
|2014||Tennessee, Nashville||nr||Complaints from residents about chemicals emitted during CIPP activities; “We're having a hard time breathing, getting dizzy," Zach Shedd said. "Pretty much have to leave the house. It's got a very think, pungent smell, like burning plastic. When you inhale or breathe it, it literally coats the back of your throat." Utility stated “There is no research or studies showing that this is hazardous, styrene is actually in things we use every day. It's in certain foods, like strawberries or coffee. It's in automobile exhaust."|
|2013||Massachusetts, North Attleboro||“zero ppms”||FOIA: Chemical fumes from a sewer relining project prompted the temporary evacuation of a dentist’s office across from the Community School. Liner company setup fan to “draw out odor in basement area from a manhole”. Fire department officials said no one was injured as a result of the strong odors, which came from a work site located nearby. Incident report stated that odor in school was reported and it was being vented. Fire department reviewed a MSDS sheet. A draeger test was conducted and “zero ppms” were found. Fire department requested that city and liner company setup fan at affected buildings.|
|2013||Pennsylvania, Philadelphia||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Resident took 4 month old baby to a medical center after exposure to fumes inside a house generated during nearby CIPP sanitary sewer repair.|
|2012||New York, Fayeteville||nr||Odors permeated into nearby residences; residents complained and evacuated their homes; city engineer stated odor “Is not toxic, not dangerous”; contractor stated, “Odor from it is not harmful. There is no health risk. The contractor’s personnel are trained in handling the liner properly, and once it hardens, there is no residual left. There is no exposure other than an odor blown off the material. It’s no different than smelling turpentine or gas.”|
|2012||Brisbane (Australia)||nr||PERSONAL COMMUNICATION: Resident reported that odors were detected and exposure lasted 5 days in home; person hospitalized; health department investigated and demanded home be decontaminated; resident reported his and his neighbor’s pets died.|
|2012||Ontario (Canada)||nr||Odors detected kilometers from worksite and within nearby private residences; exhaust fans used for manholes.|
|2012||Ontario (Canada)||nr||CIPP wastewater discharged to sanitary sewer; odors reported near worksites.|
|2012||Oregon, Willemette River||nr||Contractor discharged steam cured CIPP waste to Willamette River; “Styrene levels were so high that the responder had to wear a respirator to collect samples.”|
FOIA: November 17, 2011 (7:57 AM) the Effingham Fire Department responded to a request for assistance where strong odor in a building was reported. Upon arrival the Fire Department discovered a sewer company was relining sewer pipes one block away. Upon entry of the building a strong smell of chemical was detected and concluded due to the sewer lining activity. O2 levels, NO, CO, and no explosives were found [likely used a 4-gas meter].
Same day (8:14 AM) the Fire Department responded to another request for assistance to a residence. Residents complained they were getting a headache and had a small baby. Upon arrival fire department found no CO, O2 levels were okay, but a strong odor was present. [likely used a 4-gas meter]. Fire department associated this odor with nearby pipe relining and claimed they had other calls [plural] on bad odor in the area. Resident was going to go to their mother’s home until the odor cleared out.
City of Effingham Fire Department public announcement that “some citizens may have experienced odors in their residence and businesses” and the majority were caused by sewer lining work. The contractor installed fans to “correct the odors and manholes were opened to let the fumes escape”.
|2011||Wisconsin, Milwaukee||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Alderman said CIPP was used recently and that some residents complained about an odor coming into their homes. This odor was not the regular sewer gas but a result of the CIPP process. A reinforced felt liner is pulled through the damaged sewer pipe after it has been cleaned. A resin, styrene, is sprayed on the felt and activated with heat (steam or hot water). The off gassing occurs during this activation process and it disperses quickly.”|
|2011||Minnesota, St. Paul||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Resident reported on city website that “….there's a strong smell of adhesive that started last evening in my basement and now pervades my home and office.” Person reportedly spoke with City Utilities Division who explained that “crews are putting new fiberglass-type liners inside the sanitary sewers.” Person indicated that City Utilities Division advised this person to “pour a bucket of water down your basement floors drain(s) and any other drains (sink, shower, etc.) that aren't used often. That should refill your pipe trap with water and seal off the odors.”|
|2011||Massachusetts, Worcester||60-70 ppm||Fumes caused daycare center evacuation; headaches reported; emergency responders called to site; Fire chief reported, “For the styrene to be dangerous, it needs to be 10 times that amount.”|
|2011||Minnesota||nr||Odor caused by resin spill prompted building evacuations; residual remained for five months.|
|2011||Michigan, Port Huron||nr||Daycare owner sent children home early and remained closed; claimed odors made staff and children sick and dizzy; residents reported strong odors in homes; firefighters responded and said no toxic or flammable fumes in homes; officials told residents to pour water in their traps to keep odors out of homes.|
|2011||Michigan, Port Huron||nr||Firefighters responded to reports of a strong odor; resident claimed it smelled like turpentine, started puking, removed her three dogs, and opened house windows.|
|2011||Michigan, Southfield||nr||Five students and one staff member at high school transported to hospital after becoming nauseated; 20-25 classrooms affected; fire fighters responded with local HAZMAT unit; odor reportedly entered building day before and students were moved by teachers to different part of building; Oakland County Water resources (water utility) manager stated, “At levels present in the resin, neither the styrene nor the other chemicals were toxic.” Civil Engineer at water utility stated, "It's not uncommon to have people complain about the odor, and we have had complaints (about the odor) from the public before, but we've never had people go to the hospital until this incident. Up to this point, it's really just been about odor. We have had complaints about eye irritation and gastroenterological problems, but nothing worse than that. It's never really been a public health concern…..the process only produces one to three parts per million when you're exposed.”|
|2011||Massachusetts, Saugus||nr||Firefighters ordered evacuation of elementary school because of strong odor; dizzy and light-headed symptoms reported; the following day, after the building had been evacuated, the state health agency conducted air testing using a PID; odor detected outside above a manhole cover but PID did not respond; PID did not respond for VOCs in the in-building locations.|
|2011||Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh||nr||Two schools evacuated; elementary and high school students evacuated for fear of gas leak, but odors turned out to be caused by nearby CIPP operation; theory was “The wind was blowing in such a way that the smell drifted to the schools, where windows were open.” Utility stated, “Did not believe chemicals used in the process would cause any danger to people in the schools, especially since schools were not in close proximity to the work and the contractors doing the work aren't required to wear masks or other breathing apparatus.”|
|2011||Colorado, Clear Creek||nr||“Source Type: Culvert Lining. Cause Information: Styrene was released to the water of Clear Creek after it had been used on 2/4/11 by CDOT [Colorado Department of Transportation] as part of the process of lining a culvert near the water intake on Clear Creek for the Loveland Valley Ski Area. The ski area noted the smell on 2/7/11 and did a test that showed the presence of styrene.” It had contaminated their drinking water. “…February 7, 2011 at 1125 a.m. the Clear Creek County Environmental Health Dept received information of a possible contamination of the waterway of Clear Creek at the Loveland Ski Area. An elevated, but unknown amount of styrene has been detected, and is suspected to be at the CDOT culverts …” Investigation discovered unknown amount of uncured resin was discharged to creek and styrene as well as other compounds known to be present in resin or produced during CIPP manufacture were detected in downstream waterways. Community affected by drinking water contamination was provided alternate drinking water supply followed by actions to remediate the affected area and wide area environmental sampling.|
|2011||Birmingham, England (UK)||15-200 ppm||Odor complaints reported by residents; residences evacuated homes at contractor’s recommendation; one resident claimed, “My 3 children (6yrs, 4yrs, 17 mths) have all been sick during the night and we have all suffered headaches, dizziness, tight chests and nausea. My baby has swollen & inflamed tonsils & throat which the GP feels is due to the irritation caused by styrene.” 3 days after, reported styrene above 20 ppm in one home still; 8 days after incident 100 ppm styrene measured in one home and resident reporting chemical exposure symptoms; responders theorized there was a leak in the lining used for styrene CIPP sewer pipe repair; building ventilation conducted; health department did not conducted testing, relied on contractor results to make safety decisions; contractor did not disclose styrene present in homes above health limits until days after health agency involved.|
|2010||Ohio, Williams Co. Village||nr||Residents complained, “Smelling a glue-like odor inside their houses for the last two weeks, and have suffered from severe headaches, nausea, and dizziness.” Some claimed, “They only began to link their symptoms to the fumes this week after the odor intensified.” Family began experiencing upset stomachs, diarrhea, severe headaches, dizziness, and lethargy about 2.5 weeks ago. Residents moved out of house and afraid to return home; some went to emergency room to seek help, hospital told them they do not have facilities to test for the chemicals. Village manager evacuated 19 families from their homes and put them up in a hotel for 2 nights at a total cost of about $3,000. Town manager stated, “There's flu going around. I can't tell you why they were sick.” Town manager said, “Smell came from a chemical called styrene which was used as a sealant for the sewer pipeline… odor got into people's homes through floor drains.” Reporter stated other substances - acetone, a polyester resin and chemical products named "Perkadox 16" and "Trigonox 42S" - also were used during the project.|
|2010||Montana, Helena||nr||Fire department evacuated affected building because of complaints of strong odors, nausea, and headaches.|
|2010||Montana, Helena||nr||Workers at local businesses left the office after smelling the CIPP causing odor. Businesses opened doors to ventilate their buildings; city hired contractor to test air, but was unaware of complaint by business interviewed by reporter; the prior week firefighters evacuated an area due to odors; businesses filed insurance claims due to lost business.|
|2010||Montana, Helena||nr||Businesses closed; residents reported chemical exposure symptoms to include headaches; part of the old sewer pipe being repaired was exposed in a building’s basement, making it easier for the chemicals to escape. Complaints about the smell of paint thinner or glue caused firefighters to evacuate the building 3 days ago; at that time a peak of 67 ppm in the building’s basement was detected; following day, it was 10.2 ppm on average, and 3 days later, the level was 2.5 ppm. City workers set fans to pump fresh air into the building, which made the problem worse by pushing gases into other areas.|
|2010||Ohio, Lorain County||nr||Residents claimed, “They became nauseated or dizzy last week from 8 days ago from an overpowering chemical smell coming from their toilets or floor drains.” CIPP contractor stated, “Styrene odor can be irritating to some people but that rarely does anyone become ill.” 5 days after odor, engineering contractor conducted testing per residents; resident claimed, “Went in the bathroom and the pressure had shot up water out of the toilet -- and the smell just about knocked you over…couldn't breathe right and got a headache from it….felt confused, groggy, like I was drunk or slurring my speech."|
|2010||Virginia, Arlington||nr||Nearby CIPP installation caused odor; residents called, fire department responded; city publicly claimed, “The resin is not harmful to pets or people.” City claims pouring water in sewer traps “prevents sewer odors from entering the home.”|
|2010||Washington, Bellevue||nr||CIPP storm water pipe cured by steam; plug failed and released waste to local waterway including styrene two different days; odors detected; city closed area to the public near spill to prevent exposures; odor remained for more than 14 days after the spill.|
|2009||Vermont, Barnet||nr||Transportation agency employees identified a potential safety problem with chemical air emissions at a worksite: “The 54” culvert located at MM 117.96 along I-91 was repaired in July of 2008. The largest issues documented during the installation were safety related, most particularly the strong styrene odors that were released during the curing process.”|
|2009||Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh||nr||Firefighters evacuated apartment buildings; initially suspected cyanide gas, but styrene was ultimately detected from nearby CIPP.|
|2009||Iowa, Des Moines||nr||Odor inside government building caused by CIPP nearby caused building inhabitants to evacuate twice; downtown workers and residents also noted the odor. Fire department stated, “Smell is harmless and will dissipate quickly.”|
|2008||Massachusetts, Cambridge||nr||Contractor released contaminated process water down sewer line which exited downstream manhole; fans were used to divert fumes away from a neighborhood; cease and desist order issued by utility to contractor.|
|2007||Georgia, Snellville||nr||Resident contacted health department about chemicals entering homes during a recent storm sewer rehabilitation project and reportedly caused neighbors to experience headaches. Health department contacted the contractor who installed in-place polymer liners. The process involved running a polyester resin tube inside existing storm pipe, then filled with 180 degree water. A styrene based thermoset resin and catalyst system was used to cure the resin in place when the 180 degree water was added. According to the contractor, during this process, all the styrene was gassed off. Upon complaint by the resident, the contactor discovered an illegal drain pipe coming from the home that was connected to the storm pipe. Resident ventilated the house during the day, which health department told him was the right thing to do. Four days after the incident, the resident stated that the smell had diminished, but was still present. The health department informed the resident that the NIOSH relative exposure limit was set at a TWA of 50 ppm. Without measuring the actual indoor air concentration, the health department reported that there was no way of knowing whether his family was exposed to styrene gas above the REL. The resident continued to ventilate the home and the health department informed the resident that this was all that could be done and that the styrene gas would eventually dissipate.|
|2007||Somerset, England (UK)||nr||Foul CIPP styrene odor permeated into residence through drain because of nearby installation; resident stated odor persisted for 12 days and rejected the offer of a masking spray. Utility (Wessex Water) stated, “The smell of styrene is not harmful and is generally short-lived.”|
|2007||New York, Brooklyn||nr||Foul CIPP styrene odor permeated into buildings through drain because of nearby installations; Department of Environmental Protection adds pine deodorizer at the site cover the smell; odors first detected in 2006.|
|2007||Massachusetts, Boston||nr||CIPP installation prompted chemicals to enter the basement of a nearby restaurant.|
|2004||Virginia, Alexandria||500 ppm||HAZMAT team responded because of styrene vapor backup into nearby buildings; illness symptoms reported by residents and residents evacuated homes. Police officer stated he felt nauseated, light-headed, short of breath and his eyes were burning, like they were on fire. Went to urgent-care center and was diagnosed with an inhalation injury. Another resident who worked at the World Bank said, “The smell was so strong that he was afraid to return to his home with his 19-month-old son.”. He reported vomiting repeatedly the next day, and thought he had food poisoning. City officials said yesterday, “That the toxic fumes might have affected more residents than they initially disclosed.” Hose left behind by contractor was emitting 500 ppm of styrene; public works conducted tests in sewer and homes and declared styrene was “within acceptable levels”; city recommended residents fill “dry pipe traps with water to prevent fumes from entering through pipes. Workers also planned to ventilate manholes and flush sewer lines with water. Contractor stated, “On rare occasions, we've had people overreact, as we've had in this situation, and go to the hospital as a result of smelling the styrene . . . which can cause your eyes to burn and your nose to run, much like smelling ammonia.”|
|2004||Ottawa (Canada)||20 ppm, 115 ppm||Venting determined to be helpful to prevent air backup into nearby residences/ buildings.|
|2004||Alexandria, Virginia||500 ppm||HAZMAT team responded because of styrene vapor backup into nearby buildings; illness symptoms reported by residents and residents evacuated homes. Police officer stated he felt nauseated, light-headed, short of breath and his eyes were burning, like they were on fire. Went to urgent-care center and was diagnosed with an inhalation injury. Another resident who worked at the World Bank said, “The smell was so strong that he was afraid to return to his home with his 19-month-old son.”. He reported vomiting repeatedly the next day, and thought he had food poisoning. City officials said yesterday, “That the toxic fumes might have affected more residents than they initially disclosed.” Hose left behind by contractor was emitting 500 ppm of styrene; public works conducted tests in sewer and homes and declared styrene was “within acceptable levels”; city recommended residents fill “dry pipe traps with water to prevent fumes from entering through pipes. Workers also planned to ventilate manholes and flush sewer lines with water. Contractor stated, “On rare occasions, we've had people overreact, as we've had in this situation, and go to the hospital as a result of smelling the styrene . . . which can cause your eyes to burn and your nose to run, much like smelling ammonia.”|
|2004||Wisconsin, Milwaukee||0.01 - 0.32; 30 ppmv for total VOC||An office building became contaminated; building evacuated for 2 days. Occupants complained about irritant symptoms and strong odor. US federal health agency investigated; styrene and other VOCs detected; 4 months required to reduce styrene levels to background; greatest styrene levels detected in basement; ASTDR declared the exposures a public health hazard due to styrene levels exceeding acceptable ATSDR chronic (long-term) exposure levels. Recommendations made to ventilate the building basement to reduce exposure and odor. A temporary exhaust system was installed in the building basement near the point of vapor entry.|
MEDIA REPORT: Odor from a city sewer project drifted through pipes and into a branch of St. Anthony's Hospital on Thursday morning, forcing employees and rehabilitation patients to evacuate the building for several hours, authorities said. The St. Petersburg Fire Rescue hazardous materials team arrived at the fourth floor of the St. Anthony's Hospital Resource Center at 9 a.m. after a foul smell was reported and a hospital employee had trouble breathing, said Lieutenant. About 40 people were evacuated from the building at 500 Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) St. N, which houses an adult day care for senior citizens and a patient rehabilitation center, as well as several hospital employees' offices. HAZMAT originally thought the odor came from a ventilation problem within the hospital. Firefighters thought chlorine fumes from a rehabilitation pool were pushed onto the fourth floor, but St. Petersburg Fire Rescue was not satisfied with that explanation. The employee who was having trouble breathing was treated at the hospital.
In another incident in April 2001, fumes from an CIPP job caused a several hour evacuation of about 40 people many of them older people from a branch of St. Anthony's Hospital. The resin, when activated by hot water that is pumped in, gives off a smell like a newly manufactured fiberglass boat, CIPP Contractor officials say. One woman in the hospital was treated for breathing problems. Odor from one CIPP job baffled the hazardous materials team in April, when 40 people were evacuated from St. Anthony's Hospital for four hours. The hazardous materials team originally believed the smell was caused by chlorine from a hospital rehabilitation pool. "Yeah, that was us," said the division manager of wastewater maintenance for St. Petersburg, who added that the hospital's P-trap should have caught the smell.”
|1993||Texas, Austin||nr||MEDIA REPORT: Seven people were overcome by fumes when a ventilator at a stormwater line in stopped working and vapors escaped from a manhole. The injured, employees at the Austin Travis County Humane Society, were taken to Brackenridge Hospital after complaining of nausea and dizziness. Fire Department's hazardous material unit said the fumes contained an alcohol and benzene mixture. Industrial waste control supervisor for the city's water and wastewater utility department, said a private contractor hired by the city to coat the surface of stormwater lines near the intersection caused the accident. "What we think happened is they ran water down the line and the water reacted with those chemicals and caused the vapors," said spokeswoman for the city's water department. The CIPP contractor had workers underground at that site coating the pipes with resin when a ventilator nearby stopped working. The Humane Society workers were overcome by fumes when they removed the manhole to find the cause of an odor, fire officials said. Executive director at the Humane Society said 30 dogs in kennels near the manhole were moved to another site.|