Cluster of Flash Fires Involving Methanol Used for Science Demonstrations

Category: Safety

Dateline:  March 2015

In a period of five weeks, there were three separate incidents in which children were burned when science demonstrations involving methanol burst into flames.   Each of the demonstrations used salts to generate colored flames from the burning of the methanol.


The first incident was in Reno, Nevada at the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum in September of 2014.  The “Fire Tornado” demonstration featured a spinning tray with cotton balls soaked in methanol that created a twisting fire with different colors.  In this particular day, the cotton balls did not ignite, so the demonstrator poured more methanol

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EPA: Chemical cleanup at Knoxville College could take weeks

Category: Environmental

Building Full of Chemicals Abandoned for 5 Years at Kentucky College

Emergency Response teams from EPA entered the A.K. Stewart Science Center Friday at the Knoxville College in Knoxville, TN, inspecting thousands of containers of chemicals that have been inside the building since it was reportedly abandoned more than 5 years ago. On Monday June 24th an EPA contractor began removing the chemicals from the building and packaging them for disposal.  

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