Chlorine leak leaves five injured at Apple's North Carolina data center

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
Five people are receiving medical treatment after being exposed to a chlorine leak at Apple's data center in Maiden, North Carolina on Monday, reports say.




Catawba Fire and Rescue dispatchers sent out multiple first responder units, including a hazmat team, to Apple's facility after receiving reports of a chlorine leak at around 2:30 p.m. EDT, reports The Charlotte Observer.

The cause and extent of the leak is unknown as authorities have yet to release additional information regarding the matter.

It is also unclear if those injured suffered from chlorine inhalation or physical exposure to a non-gaseous form of the chemical. Chlorine has a variety of industrial applications and was perhaps used in Apple's on-site cooling system to inhibit growth of fouling microorganisms.

Today's news comes less than one week after a large blaze was reported at Apple's Mesa, Ariz. facility. The fire was confined to the building's roof where it destroyed a number of solar panels.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Anyone know why they would store Chlorine at a data center?

  • Reply 2 of 16
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    mstone wrote: »
    Anyone know why they would store Chlorine at a data center?
    Easy. That's for gassing Samsung paratroopers if they make it to the second line of defence. Last week they had to use the flamethrowers, it seems...



    That's a joke, ok?
  • Reply 3 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,500member
    mstone wrote: »
    Anyone know why they would store Chlorine at a data center?

    The swimming pool? ;)

    Hope the folks are ok, it's nasty stuff.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 783member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Anyone know why they would store Chlorine at a data center?


    Chlorine gas is used in both water and wastewater treatment plants. Perhaps this location has one or both. There are two large tanks behind the facility along with an evaporation pond between the main structure and the electrical substation. I'd imagine they use chlorine gas to treat their own water.

  • Reply 5 of 16

    Chlorine is routinely used in cooling towers, yes, just like large swimming pools. A shot of gas now and then keeps the bugs (microorganisms) away. Those servers put out a lot of BTUs.

     

    John

    formerly in the water treatment business

  • Reply 6 of 16
    davendaven Posts: 646member
    zroger73 wrote: »
    Chlorine gas is used in both water and wastewater treatment plants. Perhaps this location has one or both.

    I was about to say the same thing but I doubt that the wastewater treatment system they would have would have a chlorine treatment step. It would be a relatively small system and would probably dispose of the effluent via a leachfield and no chlorine would be needed.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post

     

    Chlorine gas is used in both water and wastewater treatment plants. Perhaps this location has one or both.




    This photo shows emergency workers near the cooling systems which presumably uses water.

     

  • Reply 8 of 16
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,036member
    mstone wrote: »

    If they are using traditional water cooling tower system they may chlorinate the water to keep bacteria from growing. Remember Legionnaires Disease, it was caused by water cooling systems having bacteria growing in it.

    http://www.oxy.com/OurBusinesses/Chemicals/Products/Documents/SodiumChlorite/The Treatment of Cooling Water with Chlorine Dioxide.pdf
  • Reply 9 of 16
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    maestro64 wrote: »
    If they are using traditional water cooling tower system they may chlorinate the water to keep bacteria from growing. Remember Legionnaires Disease, it was caused by water cooling systems having bacteria growing in it.

    http://www.oxy.com/OurBusinesses/Chemicals/Products/Documents/SodiumChlorite/The Treatment of Cooling Water with Chlorine Dioxide.pdf

    Well, that's a nice and interesting explanation. AI is like Discovery Channel, only Apple related ;)
  • Reply 10 of 16
    mstone wrote: »
    Anyone know why they would store Chlorine at a data center?
    You can find that information towards the end of the article.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleinsiderFrm View Post





    You can find that information towards the end of the article.



    That statement about the industrial uses of chlorine was added later, after the article was first published and other members had speculated on that possibility.

  • Reply 12 of 16
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post





    If they are using traditional water cooling tower system they may chlorinate the water to keep bacteria from growing. Remember Legionnaires Disease, it was caused by water cooling systems having bacteria growing in it.



    http://www.oxy.com/OurBusinesses/Chemicals/Products/Documents/SodiumChlorite/The Treatment of Cooling Water with Chlorine Dioxide.pdf



    Yep, warm water can have some nasty mycobacteria, a whole bunch of people that went to do research up at Spirit Lake after Mt. St. Helen's blew developed variations of disease similar to what Legionella looks like (though a different genus).... the heated ash deposits warmed the water.... 

     

    and this speculation "physical exposure to a non-gaseous form of the chemical" is where I'd go if they were treating their cooling water, solid SodiumChlorite makes more sense (and is far less hazardous and difficult to handle( than Chlorine gas. And skin contact to industrial quantities would lead to injury:

    "




    Potential Acute Health Effects:

    Very hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (corrosive). Prolonged exposure may result in skin burns and ulcerations. Over-exposure by inhalation may cause respiratory irritation. Severe over-exposure can result in death. Inflammation of the eye is characterized by redness, watering, and itching. Skin inflammation is characterized by itching, scaling, reddening, or, occasionally, blistering. "




    http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924974

  • Reply 13 of 16
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 783member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Anyone know why they would store Chlorine at a data center?


    Is there a swimming pool?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     



    That statement about the industrial uses of chlorine was added later, after the article was first published and other members had speculated on that possibility.




    I thought that was the case! I may not be the chewiest cookie in the jar, but I swore the article made no reference to the purpose of the chemical in its original version. How sneaky of AI to update without adding an "UPDATED" tag! :)

  • Reply 14 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member

    More reasons to replace all Apple data center workers with robots.

  • Reply 15 of 16
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    It's possible that the news got the chemical identified incorrectly. It might be ammonia which is quite common for industrial cooling systems and is just about as hazardous as chlorine.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    xixoxixo Posts: 431member

    that's what I call a green data center...

Sign In or Register to comment.