If you’re tempted to brush your teeth at the lab sink…
Mar18

If you’re tempted to brush your teeth at the lab sink…

Don’t. Just don’t. That goes double for PIs. I would really like to know why on earth this one thinks it’s a good idea.

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Safety Madness at UT Austin
Mar04

Safety Madness at UT Austin

March is fast approaching and with it March Madness, also known as the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament (go Cardinal!). The chemistry department at the University of Texas, Austin, took a page out of the basketball book last year and created a “Safety Madness” tournament—complete with brackets–for its department. Lab groups divided into the “makers” (organic and inorganic divisions) and “measurers” (analytical and physical...

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Waste explosion at Texas Tech
Feb26

Waste explosion at Texas Tech

On Feb. 2, a glass waste bottle exploded in a Texas Tech University teaching laboratory, injuring three undergraduate students and a graduate teaching assistant. TTU has nowposted its investigation results online. In short, a nitric acid wash step was eliminated from the lab but the written instructions were not revised (I don’t know how this was communicated–with a verbal “skip step X”?). Nitric acid waste...

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Piranha solution explosions
Jan16

Piranha solution explosions

From the C&EN archives, but I believe still relevant today: April 23, 1990, page 2 SIR: We wish to report two violent explosions experienced with a sample of “piranha solution” used routinely in many laboratories to clean badly soiled glass frits and other surfaces. At Berkeley an explosion occurred in a bottle of this mixture that had been stored for several days. In this case, the solution was prepared by carefully...

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Solvent stills and fire repercussions
Dec16

Solvent stills and fire repercussions

I recently came across this 2002 letter regarding still safety and lab emergency preparation from William J. Evans of the University of California, Irvine. I thought it was worth sharing again for its lessons learned: As described in the article “Putting Safety First,” my laboratory suffered major losses on July 23, 2001, as a result of a fire originating with the malfunction of a solvent still (C&EN, May 20, page 43)....

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Judge says Harran complying with prosecution agreement in #SheriSangji case
Nov20

Judge says Harran complying with prosecution agreement in #SheriSangji case

Post written by Michael Torrice Attorneys for University of California, Los Angeles, chemistry professor Patrick Harran were in court today for a status check on the chemist’s compliance with an agreement with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Harran made the deal in June so that the DA’s office would eventually drop charges of four felony violations of the state labor code stemming from a 2008 fire...

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