Monday, April 19, 2021

Doxycycline shortage in South Korea due to 2019 Jiangsu explosion?

Via a Google Alert, this interesting explanation of a recent medicine shortage in a Korean medicine outlet: 
Korean doctors are finding it difficult to treat patients due to the shortage of doxycycline, an antibiotic, industry sources said. A local drugmaker stopped manufacturing doxycycline-containing medicines in November because it could not import raw materials, they said...

...The shortage of the doxycycline supply is likely to continue. Industry officials said a chemical plant explosion in Chenjiagang Chemical Industry Park in Xiangshui County of Yancheng in Jiangsu Province led to a burndown of a raw material drug factory in 2019. Since then, the Chinese government has been delaying GMP approval for a renewed plant, they said.

Youngpoong Pharmaceutical said it discontinued the manufacturing of Youngpoong Doxycycline Tab. in November last year. It may resume production in May at the earliest, the company said.

“Raw materials come from China, but the Chemical Industry Park in Yancheng in Jiangsu Province had an explosion, which burned down the raw material factory,” an official at Youngpoong Pharmaceutical said. “To make matters worse, the Chinese government put brakes on the resumption of the plant citing environmental issues, which led to approval delay.”

The official had expected that the factory would win the license in March, but the approval was put off longer than anticipated, he added.

It's surprising to me that the Chinese haven't gotten this plant (or this supply chain) back up and running. (This explosion was rather prominent, and has sent all sorts of odd shockwaves through the chemical industry and into the broader economy.) 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Have a good weekend

 

Hope you're had a great week. Here we are at the weekend - hope you have fun planned. See you on Monday! 

I don't think I'd like to work there

Via Matt Levine's fascinating and hilarious newsletter, this story on an investment firm's perks (?): 

Houlihan Lokey Inc. will offer some workers an all-expenses paid vacation as it seeks to lighten the load for its workers amid a surge in mergers and acquisitions.

“Our team is going to celebrate our achievements with a global getaway,” the firm said in a memo to staff seen by Bloomberg, which contained a link to some of the available trips they could opt to take. “No not all together (after all there is still a pandemic), so whether you choose a secluded beach or a ski adventure or a culinary experience, the choice is yours.”

Houlihan Lokey also said it would no longer allow employees to work past midnight unless there was prior approval from a group head, and the firm promised workers they would get a full 24 hours consecutively each week during which no work would be expected of them.

The boutique investment bank will also offer analysts in the U.S. a one-time $10,000 bonus, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named discussing personnel issues. A spokesman for the firm confirmed the contents of the memo.

A boom in deals has left Houlihan Lokey and its rivals trying to address increasing burnout among young bankers, who are often given the task of preparing lengthy presentations and other materials for client meetings.

 Well, that's certainly generous. Makes you wonder what the typical workload was for their employees...

Thursday, April 15, 2021

43 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Common Organic Chemistry is resolving some technical difficulties, but has ported over the list to Google Drive for now. There are 43 new positions for April 14.

Don't forget to check out the Common Organic Chemistry company map, a very helpful resource for organic chemists looking for potential employers. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

World's Longest Rabbit Goes Missing

Via the New York Times: 
That's one big bunny
Credit: NYT
LONDON — Have you seen Darius, the world’s longest rabbit?

Four feet long and weighing 50 pounds, the heavyweight bunny should be easy to spot. But he went missing this past weekend, and now the police are involved, appealing for information about his apparent abduction from his home in a small English village.

Darius’s owner, Annette Edwards, has offered a reward of 2,000 pounds, about $2,745, for his safe return, no questions asked. She detailed his disappearance on Sunday from her home in Stoulton, England, in a post on Twitter, calling it a “very sad day.” She added that the rabbit was too old to breed now, “So please bring him back.”

A former model turned rabbit breeder who has held four world-record titles for the size of her animals, Ms. Edwards has previously sold Darius’s offspring for as much as £250 each.

You never know what people will steal, but a 50 pound rabbit would probably be tempting to someone. 
 

Strem Chemical sold to Ascensus

In this week's Chemical and Engineering News, this news from Craig Bettenhausen (emphasis mine):

After 57 years as an independent chemical supplier, Strem Chemicals has been acquired by the sodium borohydride (NaBH4) maker Ascensus Specialties for an undisclosed sum.

Strem, based in Newburyport, Massachusetts, is an important source for chemical researchers. It offers a wide range of inorganic and organometallic compounds, ligands, catalysts, and nanomaterials for both the research lab and manufacturing. It also provides custom synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Founder Mike Strem and his wife, Ann, tell C&EN that the acquisition completes a circle. Strem started the firm in 1964 in partnership with Ventron Corporation, which pioneered the commercial production of NaBH4 in the 1950s. Strem took his firm independent in 1977.

The Ventron NaBH4 business, meanwhile, went on to be owned by Morton International, then Rohm and Haas, and then Dow. The private equity firm Wind Point Partners bought the business from Dow in 2015 and renamed it Ascensus in 2017...

Despite the corporate history with the buyer they chose, the Strems say the sale is the result of a “lengthy search for a worthy partner” that would share their emphasis on employee well-being and continue to serve customers in the research community well. “They said they want to keep the identity, the global reputation; that you don’t tamper with a good thing,” Ann Strem says.

Glad that the Strems seem to have emphasized this point to Ascensus. Best wishes to the Strems, and to the employees. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Chemistry Jobs Scramble: April 13 update

Welcome to the April 13 update for the upcoming 2021 Chemistry Jobs Scramble.

Are you a job seeker? Enter your contact information here. We currently have 74 job seekers. 

Are you an employer? Enter your job posting and contact information here. We currently have 15 potential positions. 

Guidelines (new)

  • Registration will open for one week, starting tomorrow, April 6, 2021. 
  • Registration for job seekers will close on noon Eastern, April 13, 2021.
  • Registration for potential employers will close noon Eastern, April 14, 2021.  
  • We will register both potential employers and job candidates.
  • Potential employers will be required to post a position with an intent to hire before September 30, 2021. 
  • Job seekers will have to attest that they have not accepted a position with another employer. 
  • On April 15 at noon Eastern, job seekers will be offered access to the list of potential positions. They will not be offered access to the list of job seekers. 
  • On April 15 at noon Eastern, potential employers will be offered the list of job seekers. They will not be offered access to the list of potential employers. 
  • There will be no matching - simply the provision of potential openings or candidates. 
  • Access to the scramble will be revoked on April 30, 2021. 
  • This is primarily intended to provide an opportunity for unfilled faculty openings and unmatched job seekers to find matches and permanent employment. Therefore, postdoctoral positions or adjunct positions will not be included; visiting positions of one year or longer will be considered. Industrial positions are welcome. 
Questions? E-mail chemjobber@gmail.com or ask your questions in the comments. 

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 324 research/teaching positions and 61 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 324 research/teaching positions and 61 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On April 14, 2020, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 554 research/teaching positions and 79 teaching faculty positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Go to the sixth open thread. 

Don't forget to click on "load more" below the comment box for the full thread. 

Job posting: research associate/postdoc, Reilly Lab, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

From the inbox: 

The Reilly Lab in the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University is taking applications for either a research associate or a postdoctoral research position. Either position offers an opportunity to develop novel bioanalytical methods and apply them to the study of protein folding and the interaction of ubiquitin with proteasomes with the goal of identifying new receptors. The successful applicant will perform cross-linking, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry experiments and will interpret data with in-house and publically available computer programs.

Experience gained will be beneficial for careers in both academia and industry. Trainees will receive regular guidance that will facilitate research progress and career planning. A background in analytical chemistry, biomolecule mass spectrometry or biochemistry would be advantageous.

Questions regarding the position or application process can be directed to: Prof. Jim Reilly, Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, 800 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, reilly@indiana.edu

Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested. 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 104 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 104 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Explosion in Columbus, OH paint plant

Via USA Today, this incident: 
COLUMBUS, Ohio — One person was killed andeight others injured Thursday after an explosion started a fire at a paint factory in Ohio's capital city. 

The two-alarm fire started around midnight at Majestic Paints on the city's Near East Side and involved at least one explosion. The paint company has had a history of workplace safety violations, including some with the potential to cause death, according to a federal workplace investigation.

Around 40 employees were believed to be in the building when the fire started. Fire officials said many employees were able to evacuate on their own, however, two had to be rescued by fire crews.

One of them had suffered extensive burns and was reported trapped between a railing and another object until a rescue crew could extricate and remove that person in a Stokes basket, according to fire radio traffic...

This CSB summary is interesting: 

  • A fire and explosion occurred at approximately 12:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
  • Yenkin-Majestic manufactures and markets industrial coatings that include acrylics, alkyds, coil and powder coatings, epoxies, primers, and urethanes.
  • The incident occurred in the OPC Polymers unit at the Yenkin-Majestic facility. The company reports that it has 180 employees.
  • The company reported the following casualties: 1 fatal, 5 hospitalized and 4 non-serious injuries.
  • Twenty-one employees were reported to have been in the facility at the time of the incident.
  • Incident resulted in substantial property damage, more than $1 million. 
  • A building in the OPC Polymer unit collapsed as a result of the incident.
  • Emergency responders reported that a local resident self-evacuated. No evacuation was ordered by the City of Columbus.
  • Materials stored onsite include maleic anhydride, phthalic anhydride, xylene, and mineral spirits. The company has not yet provided the quantities of the material at the facility at the time of the incident.
  • The OPC Polymer unit was engaged in normal operations at the time of the incident. The material being produced was manufactured in a batch process. 
Hard for me to fully understand what was going on there, and what exactly happened - will be worthwhile following. 

I guess I don't think that paint factories typically explode? Hard to see how maleic or phthalic anhydride would be all that explosive as well. Guess we'll have to wait for the final report. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Have a great weekend!

We made it to the weekend! I've been vaccinated, which is nice. I hope you have a great weekend, and we'll see you on Monday. 

A scientist's scientist

Via the New York Times, this rather wonderful Gina Kolata profile of Dr. Katalin Kariko, one of the people who helped develop the field of mRNA vaccines: 

For her entire career, Dr. Kariko has focused on messenger RNA, or mRNA — the genetic script that carries DNA instructions to each cell’s protein-making machinery. She was convinced mRNA could be used to instruct cells to make their own medicines, including vaccines.

But for many years her career at the University of Pennsylvania was fragile. She migrated from lab to lab, relying on one senior scientist after another to take her in. She never made more than $60,000 a year.

By all accounts intense and single-minded, Dr. Kariko lives for “the bench” — the spot in the lab where she works. She cares little for fame. “The bench is there, the science is good,” she shrugged in a recent interview. “Who cares?”

By all accounts intense and single-minded, Dr. Kariko lives for “the bench” — the spot in the lab where she works. She cares little for fame. “The bench is there, the science is good,” she shrugged in a recent interview. “Who cares?”

This was a rather charming detail: 

On Nov. 8, the first results of the Pfizer-BioNTech study came in, showing that the mRNA vaccine offered powerful immunity to the new virus. Dr. Kariko turned to her husband. “Oh, it works,” she said. “I thought so.”

To celebrate, she ate an entire box of Goobers chocolate-covered peanuts. By herself.

I sure wish I could send her some Goobers - I'm good for a couple of cases. 


Thursday, April 8, 2021

32 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Common Organic Chemistry is resolving some technical difficulties, but has ported over the list to Google Drive for now. There are 12 new positions for April 5, and 20 new positions for April 3. 

Don't forget to check out the Common Organic Chemistry company map, a very helpful resource for organic chemists looking for potential employers. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Continued bad news at Emergent

Via the New York Times, this news on Emergent BioSolutions, the vaccine CMO that both Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca were using: 

But four former company officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements or feared retaliation, described an environment where top Emergent leadership tolerated and even encouraged the flouting of federal standards for manufacturing and marketing products.

One of the former officials said that as the company scrambled to meet the heavy demands of vaccine production, a senior manufacturing supervisor often responded to reports of quality errors by asking: “Do you want me to make drugs or fix issues? I don’t have time to do both.”

That's a pretty appalling statement, if true. Here's more details about the cross-contamination problem: 

The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines use the same technology: A harmless version of a virus — known as a viral vector — is transmitted into cells to make a protein that stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies.

Sometime in February, Emergent workers had unknowingly contaminated Johnson & Johnson’s viral vector with AstraZeneca’s. The error was not discovered for weeks, until, in one of the final checks before release, Johnson & Johnson sampled a batch of 13 million to 15 million doses’ worth of vaccine for purity.

In short order, top Biden administration health officials directed a hold on shipments from the Baltimore facility and instructed Johnson & Johnson executives to take charge of its operations. Days later, they quietly told AstraZeneca officials their vaccine would no longer be made at the Baltimore plant, to avoid a repeat of that error. 

That is extremely bad news, and the fact that they still don't understand why it happened (i.e. "unknowingly") tends to indicate to me that Emergent doesn't have control over its processes, which doesn't provide me much confidence in their products. It's a good thing Johnson and Johnson isn't relying on Emergent to provide doses for the ongoing vaccination campaign. (It's also really bad news for AZ that their manufacturing efforts are suffering another blow too.) 

Manufacturing problems aren't new. I feel like we have been extremely fortunate that we have been able to manufacture two vaccines that haven't seemed to suffer quality problems (that we know of yet...), and that there are manufacturing issues with one of the CMOs for one of the vaccines is a sign that we're not immune to the law of averages. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The 2021 Chemistry Jobs Scramble

Welcome to the 2021 Chemistry Jobs Scramble. 

Are you a job seeker? Enter your contact information here. 

Are you an employer? Enter your job posting and contact information here. 

Guidelines: 

  • Registration will open for one week, starting tomorrow, April 6, 2021. It will close on noon Eastern, April 13, 2021. 
  • We will register both potential employers and job candidates.
  • Potential employers will be required to post a position with an intent to hire before September 30, 2021. 
  • Job seekers will have to attest that they have not accepted a position with another employer. 
  • On April 14, job seekers will be offered access to the list of potential positions. They will not be offered access to the list of job seekers. 
  • On April 14, potential employers will be offered the list of job seekers. They will not be offered access to the list of potential employers. 
  • There will be no matching - simply the provision of potential openings or candidates. 
  • Access to the scramble will be revoked on April 30, 2021. 
  • This is primarily intended to provide an opportunity for unfilled faculty openings and unmatched job seekers to find matches and permanent employment. Therefore, postdoctoral positions or adjunct positions will not be included; visiting positions will be considered. Industrial positions are welcome. 
Questions? E-mail chemjobber@gmail.com or ask your questions in the comments. 

The 2021 Faculty Jobs List: 322 research/teaching positions and 60 teaching faculty positions

The 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 322 research/teaching positions and 60 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

In 2020-2021, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor." We are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

On April 7, 2020, the 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 554 research/teaching positions and 79 teaching faculty positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Go to the sixth open thread. 

Don't forget to click on "load more" below the comment box for the full thread. 

Job posting: instructor, general chemistry, Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, OH

From the inbox: 

DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY 

Invites applications for a faculty position at the rank of Instructor. 

Candidates must be committed to  excellence in undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and service. A PhD in chemistry and experience  teaching first-year and sophomore-level undergraduate chemistry courses with demonstrated  excellence in teaching are required. Normal teaching loads for Instructors are two introductory courses per semester. For this position, we expect the instructor to teach general and organic chemistry lecture  and laboratory courses with multiple sections. In addition, Instructors serve on committees as part of  departmental service requirements. The starting term of the position is Fall 2021. A letter of  application, CV, diversity statement, summary of teaching experience, class evaluations, and three  confidential letters of reference should be submitted at http://apply.interfolio.com/84428 by May 11,  2021.  

Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 104 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 104 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady and @nmr_chemist. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Coming: The 2021 Chemistry Job Scramble

Copying the annual Economic Job Market Scramble, Andrew Spaeth and I will be putting together a job market scramble to open tomorrow, Tuesday, April 6 for registration of employers and job seekers. This is an attempt to create a "thick" market for both job candidates and potential employers, especially those who did not get a faculty position this year. The basic contours: 
  • Registration will open for one week, starting tomorrow, April 6, 2021. It will close on April 13, 2021. 
  • We will register both potential employers and job candidates.
  • Potential employers will be required to post a position with an intent to hire before September 30, 2021. 
  • Job seekers will have to attest that they have not accepted a position with another employer. 
  • On April 14, job seekers will be offered access to the list of potential positions. They will not be offered access to the list of job seekers. 
  • On April 14, potential employers will be offered the list of job seekers. They will not be offered access to the list of potential employers. 
  • There will be no matching by Andrew or I - simply the provision of potential openings or candidates. 
  • Access to the list will be revoked after 2 weeks. 
Questions? Ask them in the comments, or email us at chemjobber@gmail.com. 

BLS: Unemployment rate for March was 6.0%; payrolls rose 916000 positions

Credit: Calculated Risk
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the national unemployment rate dropped to
6.0%, 
and payrolls rose by 916000 positions in March.

The broader U6 measurement of unemployment was 10.7%, down from 11.1% in February.

The chemical manufacturing subsector saw a rise in positions from 850300 in February to 853300 in March, a rise of 3000 positions (seasonally adjusted).

The unemployment rate of college graduates was 3.7% for March 2021, while by contrast the unemployment rate for people without a high school diploma was 8.7%.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Have a good weekend


Well, we made it to Friday. I hope you have a great weekend, and see you on Monday. 

Bad day for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine

Via the New York Times, this crummy news (emphasis mine):

WASHINGTON — Workers at a plant in Baltimore manufacturing two coronavirus vaccines accidentally conflated the ingredients several weeks ago, contaminating up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and forcing regulators to delay authorization of the plant’s production lines. The plant is run by Emergent BioSolutions, a manufacturing partner to both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish company whose vaccine has yet to be authorized for use in the United States. Federal officials attributed the mistake to human error...

...The problems arose in a new plant that the federal government enlisted last year to produce vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. The two vaccines use the same technology employing a harmless version of a virus — known as a vector — that is transmitted into cells to make a protein that then stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies. But Johnson and Johnson’s and AstraZeneca’s vectors are biologically different and not interchangeable.

In late February, one or more workers somehow confused the two during the production process, raising questions about training and supervision. In the past year, Emergent has hired and trained hundreds of new workers to produce millions of doses of both vaccines that were supposed to be ready by the time clinical trials showed whether the vaccines actually worked.

Vaccine production is a notoriously fickle science, and errors are often expected to occur and ruin batches. But Emergent’s mistake went undiscovered for days until Johnson & Johnson’s quality control checks uncovered it, according to people familiar with the situation. By then, up to 15 million doses had been contaminated, the people said.

None of the doses ever left the plant, and the lot has been quarantined. 

I'm not surprised this happened - I can't imagine the pressure that Emergent is under (especially if they're manufacturing two of the COVID vaccines). As I said on Twitter, I expect that the root cause will be found far from the plant floor.* Here's hoping the relevant folks there dust themselves off and get back to their important work. Best wishes to them, and to all of us.  

*Bad day to be on the QA investigation team there for sure. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Professor Who Fed Graduate Student into Woodchipper Reprimanded

(CJ Press) In an unsurprising turn of events, a professor who stuffed a graduate student into a woodchipper was not fired by his university. The University Office of Impotent Investigations sent two reports to Professor F.M. Jones and the chair of the Department of Chemistry. The reports say the preponderance of evidence shows that Professor Jones did indeed tell a graduate student that he deserved to be fertilizer, and that he then picked up the student and forced him into a running woodchipper feet first. A separate letter sent to administrators by UOII recommended they fire Professor Jones for mistreatment of university property.

After deciding not to fire Professor Jones, the dean of the College of Science sent him a letter sanctioning him for his woodchipping ways. Professor Jones lost his position as the head of the university’s Center for Abattoir Excellence and cannot supervise undergraduates and graduate students for 6 months. 

According to sources, university administration and department heads had differing opinions about the facts of the case, whether the graduate student felt pain as they were pulled into the woodchipper, whether it mattered that Professor Jones rendered a human being into a puddle of flesh, as well as whether firing was an appropriate punishment for this lapse in judgment. In the end, both the dean of the College of Science and the department chair decided differently than the UOII. 

“A simple punishment, like firing, which students often think is what you should do, is not always the right thing. That’s why there are different punishments for different crimes,” the administrator says. “I think that is one of those very tricky cases” in which it wasn’t clear whether Professor Jones should be fired.

32 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

 Common Organic Chemistry is resolving some technical difficulties, but has ported over the list to Google Drive for now. There are 32 new positions for March 27.

Don't forget to check out the Common Organic Chemistry company map, a very helpful resource for organic chemists looking for potential employers. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Chemical Activity Barometer up 1.2% in March

Via the American Chemistry Council: 

WASHINGTON, March 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), rose 1.2% in March on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following a 1.0% increase in February. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer rose 5.5% in March.

The unadjusted data show a 1.2% gain in March following a 0.9% gain in February. The diffusion index rebounded to 82% in March, well above the long-term average of 58%. The diffusion index marks the number of positive contributors relative to the total number of indicators monitored. The CAB reading for February was revised upward by 0.18 points and the reading for January was revised downward by 0.57 points. The March data are provisional and subject to revision.

"The latest CAB reading is consistent with solid expansion of commerce, trade and industry into the fourth quarter," said Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC.

The CAB has four main components, each consisting of a variety of indicators: 1) production; 2) equity prices; 3) product prices; and 4) inventories and other indicators.

In March, production-related indicators were positive. Trends in construction-related resins and related performance chemistry were solid and suggest further expansion past the weak February home sales and housing starts. Resins and chemistry used in other durable goods were strong. Plastic resins used in packaging and for consumer and institutional applications were positive. Performance chemistry for industry was mixed. U.S. exports were positive, while equity prices showed further gains. Product and input prices were positive, as were inventory and other supply chain indicators.

Well, here's hoping the trend continues and strengthens! 

Chatham, VA Arkema site acrylate drum fire on Tuesday

Via WSLS: 

Arkema, the chemicals company whose Chatham site was affected by the fire, issued a statement regarding what caused the chemical fire Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said it involved the overheating of one of their products, an acrylic building block used in products like coatings and adhesives.

The acrylic building block was stored in drums inside of the building, but when the product inside the drums overheated, it caused a polymerization reaction. That means the small building blocks formed into a long chain of molecules, causing overheating and polymerization in some of the drums nearby.

Arkema officials said they, along with local fire crews, are working to cool the materials to reduce potential polymerization.

(Reports indicate no one was injured, which is great.) Glad I'm not the warehouse manager at this site!