Environmental science

Course Syllabus

Course Description

A systematic analysis of how hazardous materials escalate an incident or emergency event. Examination of the basic fundamental concepts common to hazardous chemicals with an emphasis on how some key elements, compounds, and mixtures are inherently dangerous.

Course Textbook(s)

Meyer, E. (2014). Chemistry of hazardous materials (6). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

1. Examine chemistry fundamentals. 2. Discuss common units of measure. 3. Explain the chemistry of common substances. 4. Evaluate chemical interactions as they relate to control of potential hazards. 5. Classify hazardous materials according to Department of Transportation (DOT) classification and warning systems. 6. Determine strategies for dealing with chemical properties of specific types of hazardous substances. 7. Analyze important standards related to hazardous substances. 8. Apply information resources commonly used in emergency response operations. 9. Examine widely used hazardous materials classification and labeling systems.

Academic Integrity

Honesty and integrity are taken very seriously at Waldorf University. All students should be familiar with the Waldorf University Academic Integrity Policy (found in the current Student Handbook) and the consequences that will result from breaches of this policy.


Upon completion of this course, the students will earn 3 hours of college credit.

Course Structure

1. Study Guide: Course units contain a Study Guide that provides students with the learning outcomes, unit lesson, required reading assignments, and supplemental resources.

2. Learning Outcomes: Each unit contains Learning Outcomes that specify the measurable skills and knowledge students should gain upon completion of the unit.

3. Unit Lesson: Unit Lessons, which are located in the Study Guide, discuss lesson material. 4. Reading Assignments: Units contain Reading Assignments from one or more chapters from the textbook and/or

outside resources. 5. Suggested Reading: Suggested Readings are listed within the Study Guide. Students are encouraged to read the

resources listed if the opportunity arises, but they will not be tested on their knowledge of the Suggested Readings. 6. Discussion Boards: Students are required to submit Discussion Board posts in Units I-VIII. Discussion Boards

provide students the opportunity for student-to-student and professor-to-student interaction based on relevant course concepts and ideas. Specific information about accessing the Discussion Board rubric is provided below.

7. Unit Quizzes: This course contains Unit Quizzes. It is suggested that the quizzes be completed before students

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complete the Unit Assessments. Quizzes are used to give students quick feedback on their understanding of the unit material.

8. Unit Assessments: This course contains Unit Assessments, which test student knowledge on important aspects of the course. These tests may come in many different forms, ranging from multiple choice to written response questions.

9. Unit Assignments: Students are required to submit for grading Unit Assignments. Specific information and instructions regarding these assignments are provided below. Grading rubrics are included with each assignment. Specific information about accessing these rubrics is provided below.

10. Ask the Professor: This communication forum provides students with an opportunity to ask their professor general questions or questions related to course content.

11. Student Break Room: This communication forum allows for casual conversation with other classmates.

Unit Assignments

Unit III Essay

For this assignment, you will compose an essay about the concept of chemical incompatibility including practical information involving two common chemical products.

Choose bleach (a base) and another household chemical product that is an acid and review the product labels. You can access product labels and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) information on the Internet. Record each product’s chemical formulation. Review Section 7 of the product SDS and summarize that information as it relates to the chemical incompatibility and storage of the bleach and the other product that you chose. Use the U.S. EPA Chemical Mixing Compatibility Chart, which can be found by using your favorite search engine, and comment on any chemical incompatibilities associated with the product/chemical(s) that you selected. Include such information as the chemical reactions that could occur if the two products somehow became mixed with one another during an emergency response incident. Also, identify how the chemical properties, uses, and other unique hazards of these two products can affect the tasks and safety of first responders (environmental health and safety/fire service professionals) to an emergency response incident. Summarize and compare the usefulness of the SDS information and the compatibility chart. Were the two references in agreement, or did you find that the information was contradictory? Include a discussion on how you intend to use chemical incompatibility information to keep your workplace or home safe.

Your response must be at least one page in length. You are required to cite the SDS and the U.S. EPA Chemical Mixing Compatibility Chart in your response. All other sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced. Paraphrased and/or quoted materials must have accompanying citations in APA format. You must cite at least three sources in your response.

Unit IV PowerPoint Presentation

For this assignment, you have been tasked with presenting information to your company’s board regarding a hazardous materials incident involving the transport of toxic substances that falls under the hazard classifications that we have studied so far (water/air reactive, corrosive, or toxic) identified on the following Web page(s):


Your presentation must include the following information:

summary of the incident; identification of the information (hazard class, description, labels, markings, and placards) that the DOT requires when transporting toxic substances and information about workplace exposure concentrations of the substance involved in the incident; description of the elements of the emergency response to the incident including a discussion on its environmental and human health impacts (be sure to address how the toxic substance’s chemical properties, uses, and ill effects may affect the tasks and safety of an EHS and FS professional working the incident); Discussion of your opinion on the response to the incident

For this assignment, you will create a PowerPoint presentation consisting of at least 5 slides (not including your title slide and reference slide) containing the information described above. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced. You must include at least two sources. Paraphrased and/or quoted materials must have accompanying citations in APA format.

Unit V Research Paper

OSHA issued the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals Standard (PSM) (29 CFR 1910.119) which contains requirements for the safe management of chemicals for companies that exceed OSHA’s threshold quantities for highly hazardous substances. This standard requires the establishment of a management program that includes conducting process hazard analyses, establishing detailed operating procedures, and includes other important requirements to mitigate the possibility of a serious, chemical related incident occurring at the facility.

For this assignment, suppose you are a safety manager at a chemical manufacturing facility that manufactures concentrated nitric acid. You have heard that employees who load nitric acid into rail tank cars have been checking the pre- inspection checklist from the rail shipping office instead of actually inspecting the vehicles with the checklist in hand as

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required by the operating procedure. This has not been the first time the shipping crew has been lax about process safety related work rules. Based on this scenario, please compose a research paper which includes the following information:

Identify the chemical properties, uses, and primary hazards associated with common oxidizers including concentrated nitric acid. Identify important occupational exposure limits (OELs) associated with at least 3 common oxidizers. Identify PSM requirements that would be useful for preventing or minimizing the consequences of a significant oxidizer related incident. Using the OSHA Standard and your own experience, justify and validate the importance of the PSM standard to your facility (if it stores and processes highly hazardous materials) or a facility that may impact your community or a near-by community. Examples might include a water treatment facility that utilizes liquefied chlorine gas, a coal fired power plant that utilizes liquefied chlorine gas for water treatment, a food processing plant with a large ammonia refrigeration system, a fertilizer manufacturing or storage facility, a chemical manufacturing facility, etc..

Your research paper must be at least two pages in length. You are required to cite the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.119 in your response as well as at least two other sources, one of which must be the Waldorf Online Library. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced. Paraphrased and/or quoted materials must have accompanying citations in APA format.

Unit VI Essay

Your company has been contracted to assess and cleanup a site that previously had a manufacturing facility for an organochlorine pesticide (i.e., aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, eldrin, or heptachlor). You are tasked with shipping these wastes off-site to a treatment, storage, disposal facility (TSDF) for disposal. Review the information found in the 16-point GHS SDS for at least two of the organochlorine pesticides detailed in this question. Describe how you would prepare for transport of these materials and ensure proper shipping documentation based on DOT regulations (hazard class, descriptions, labels, markings, and placards). Describe the importance of having these regulations in place when transporting hazardous materials. Describe the chemical properties, uses, and ill effects that first responders, such as EHS and FS professionals, may encounter upon arrival to the site discussed in this assignment. Summarize the information found in the SDS, and explain how that information prepares EHS and FS professionals to assess and mitigate workplace hazards related to organochlorine pesticides. Your essay must be at least one page in length. You are required to cite the relevant SDS in your response as well as at least one other sources. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced. Paraphrased and/or quoted materials must have accompanying citations in APA format.

Unit VII Case Study

For this assignment, you are the lead incident commander for a hazardous materials incident similar to those that have been introduced in this course. In this scenario, HLF Polyurethane Manufacturing was undergoing a maintenance activity in which an acid gas feed line segment required replacement. Pressure gauges were not installed in the line to monitor activity or to indicate if the line was operational. Upon initiating the line breaking activity (opening the line to the atmosphere) under self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), there was an uncontrolled release of acid gas. A nearby welding operation provided the ignition source and the flammable gas was ignited.

The following actions were initially taken:

The evacuation alarm was sounded and the facility emergency response team (ERT) was activated. The plant manager and the local fire department were notified of the incident. The incident command was established at the facility office near the main access gate to the south (this is the furthest distance within the property boundary from the incident location). The incident commander implemented actions required under the approved emergency response plan. The ERT was not able to immediately isolate the source of the incident. The fire department arrived on location and assumed the incident command of the event.

Additional Relevant Information:

The facility encompasses an area measuring 2000 feet by 1400 feet. The nearest residential community is located approximately 1000 feet to the northeast. A plastic recycling plant is located along the south fence boundary of the refinery. A major interstate highway runs directly parallel to the plant. The ambient temperature on the day of the incident was 85° F and the wind was blowing at 7 mph from the southwest to the northeast. Work crews were scheduled to work 12-hour shifts, 24-hours a day, to complete the incident response. The facility has a trained ERT that can respond to incidents.

Your essay must address the following:

Summarize the incident. Identify all hazardous materials involved, their classifications and their physical properties. Discuss chemical incompatibility and interactions relevant to this incident. Discuss any short or long term mitigation necessary. Explain how the lead incident commander should respond to this incident based on the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). Click the link below to access the ERG at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

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Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. (n.d.). Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). Retrieved from http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/library/erg

Explain the corrective action plan that should be implemented based on the ERG to prevent a reoccurrence of this event. Your response must be at least one page in length (not counting the cover page or reference page). All sources used, including the text, must be referenced. Paraphrased and quoted materials must have accompanying in-text and reference citations in APA format.

Your response must be at least one page in length (not counting the cover page or reference page). All sources used, including the text, must be referenced. Paraphrased and quoted materials must have accompanying in-text and reference citations in APA format.

Submitting Course Papers/Projects

Once you have completed your papers/projects, submit your completed papers/projects by uploading through the Assignment tab in each unit. Do not e-mail your paper directly to your professor. By using the Assignment tab, your record will automatically be updated to indicate you have submitted your papers/projects, and the assignment will be provided to your professor for grading. Instructions for submitting your assignment can be found under the Assignment tab in each unit.

APA Guidelines

Waldorf College requires that students use the APA style for papers and projects. Therefore, the APA rules for formatting, quoting, paraphrasing, citing, and listing of sources are to be followed. Information about using APA style can be found in APA Style Help in the Course Menu. This area provides links to Internet sites, tutorials, and guides that provide comprehensive information on APA formatting, including examples and sample papers.

Grading Rubrics

This course utilizes analytic grading rubrics as tools for your professor in assigning grades for all learning activities. Each rubric serves as a guide that communicates the expectations of the learning activity and describes the criteria for each level of achievement. In addition, a rubric is a reference tool that lists evaluation criteria and can help you organize your efforts to meet the requirements of that learning activity. It is imperative for you to familiarize yourself with these rubrics because these are the primary tools your professor uses for assessing learning activities.

Rubric categories include: (1) Discussion Board, (2) Assessment (Written Response), and (3) Assignment. However, it is possible that not all of the listed rubric types will be used in a single course (e.g., some courses may not have Assessments).

The Discussion Board rubric can be found within Unit I’s Discussion Board submission instructions.

The Assessment (Written Response) rubric can be found embedded in a link within the directions for each Unit Assessment. However, these rubrics will only be used when written-response questions appear within the Assessment.

Each Assignment type (e.g., article critique, case study, research paper) will have its own rubric. The Assignment rubrics are built into Blackboard, allowing students to review them prior to beginning the Assignment and again once the Assignment has been scored. This rubric can be accessed via the Assignment link located within the unit where it is to be submitted. Students may also access the rubric through the course menu by selecting the “Grades” link.

Again, it is vitally important for you to become familiar with these rubrics because their application to your Discussion Boards, Assessments, and Assignments is the method by which your instructor assigns all grades.

Communication Forums

These are non-graded discussion forums that allow you to communicate with your professor and other students. Participation in these discussion forums is encouraged, but not required. You can access these forums with the buttons in the Course Menu. Instructions for subscribing/unsubscribing to these forums are provided below.

Click here for instructions on how to subscribe/unsubscribe and post to the Communication Forums.

Ask the Professor

This communication forum provides you with an opportunity to ask your professor general or course content questions. Questions may focus on Blackboard locations of online course components, textbook or course content elaboration, additional guidance on assessment requirements, or general advice from other students.

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Questions that are specific in nature, such as inquiries regarding assessment/assignment grades or personal accommodation requests, are NOT to be posted on this forum. If you have questions, comments, or concerns of a non- public nature, please feel free to email your professor. Responses to your post will be addressed or emailed by the professor within 48 hours.

Before posting, please ensure that you have read all relevant course documentation, including the syllabus, assessment/assignment instructions, faculty feedback, and other important information.

Student Break Room

This communication forum allows for casual conversation with your classmates. Communication on this forum should always maintain a standard of appropriateness and respect for your fellow classmates. This forum should NOT be used to share assessment answers.


The following pages contain a printable Course Schedule to assist you through this course. By following this schedule, you will be assured that you will complete the course within the time allotted.

Unit I Introduction to Chemistry [ Weight: 10% ]

Read/View: Unit I Study Guide Chapter 1: Introduction, pp. 3-4; 17-23; 24-27 Chapter 2: Some Features of Matter and Energy, pp. 35-42; 54-56 Chapter 4: Chemical Forms of Matter, pp. 111-116; 119-121

Discuss: Unit I Discussion Board 2%

Submit: Unit I Assessment 8%

Unit II Chemistry of Some Common Elements [ Weight: 10% ]

Read/View: Unit II Study Guide Chapter 6: Use of the DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations by Emergency Responders, pp. 179-217 Chapter 7: Chemistry of Some Common Elements, pp. 227-267

Discuss: Unit II Discussion Board 2%

Submit: Unit II Assessment 8%

Unit III Chemistry of Acids/Bases and Water/Air-Reactive Materials [ Weight: 17% ]

Read/View: Unit III Study Guide Chapter 8: Chemistry of Some Corrosive Materials, pp. 270-304 Chapter 9: Chemistry of Some Water- and Air-Reactive Substances, pp. 308-342

Discuss: Unit III Discussion Board 2%

Submit: Unit III Quiz Unit III Essay

5% 10%

Unit IV Chemistry of Toxic Substances [ Weight: 12% ]

Read/View: Unit IV Study Guide Chapter 10: Chemistry of Some Toxic Substances, pp. 345-416

Discuss: Unit IV Discussion Board 2%

Submit: Unit IV PowerPoint Presentation 10%

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Unit V Chemistry of Some Oxidizers [ Weight: 17% ]

Read/View: Unit V Study Guide Chapter 5: Principles of Chemical Reactions, pp. 140-142 Chapter 11: Chemistry of Some Oxidizers, pp. 421-463 Reading Assignment (1 article): See Study Guide

Discuss: Unit V Discussion Board 2%

Submit: Unit V Research Paper 15%

Unit VI Chemistry of Some Hazardous Organic Compounds [ Weight: 12% ]

Read/View: Unit VI Study Guide Chapter 12: Chemistry of Some Hazardous Organic Compounds: Part I, pp. 466-527 Chapter 13: Chemistry of Some Hazardous Organic Compounds: Part II, pp. 533-600

Discuss: Unit VI Discussion Board 2%

Submit: Unit VI Essay 10%

Unit VII Chemistry of Polymers [ Weight: 12% ]

Read/View: Unit VII Study Guide Chapter 14: Chemistry of Some Polymeric Materials, pp. 606-642

Discuss: Unit VII Discussion Board 2%

Submit: Unit VII Case Study 10%

Unit VIII Chemistry of Radioactive Materials [ Weight: 10% ]

Read/View: Unit VIII Study Guide Chapter 15: Chemistry of Some Explosives, pp. 654-680 Chapter 16: Radioactive Materials, pp. 684-731

Discuss: Unit VIII Discussion Board 2%

Submit: Unit VIII Assessment 8%

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OSH 3640, Interactions of Hazardous Materials
Course Syllabus
Course Description
Course Textbook(s)
Course Learning Outcomes
Academic Integrity
Course Structure
Unit Assignments
Unit III Essay
Unit IV PowerPoint Presentation
Unit V Research Paper
Unit VI Essay
Unit VII Case Study
Submitting Course Papers/Projects
APA Guidelines
Grading Rubrics
Communication Forums

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