Protecting a global lab workforce
Jul10

Protecting a global lab workforce

ACS has posted presentations from the spring 2013 national meeting in New Orleans, and there's one from the Division of Chemical Health & Safety: "What's required vs. what's right: Protecting a global lab workforce," by Ken Fivizzani, chair-elect of the division. Here's his abstract: Organizations tend to respond to external regulations by ensuring that minimum requirements are met; additional internal rules may be added if they can be justified to management. In the case of global academic or industrial organizations, reliance on local regulations challenges safety professionals' natural instincts to provide comparable safety working conditions to all employees within the organization. Regional managers are often hesitant to commit resources implementing policies that are not required by local governments. Within organizations, site-specific safety policies and procedures should be reviewed for broader application to other locations. Ethical and cultural issues can hinder efforts to establish equitable safety policies to all employees. Access to the presentations is free if you're an ACS member who registered for the meeting or are in a couple of other member categories. Here's the pricing...

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Chemistry of the Bar: Amaretto 101
Apr19

Chemistry of the Bar: Amaretto 101

At last week’s American Chemical Society meeting in New Orleans, a group of chemists came together to discuss the latest and greatest in alcohol. No, this wasn’t on Bourbon Street. And karaoke, to-go cups, and beaded necklaces weren’t involved (as far as I know). Instead, these folks shared stories about cocktails and hangovers at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center during a symposium called “Chemistry of the Bar.” This week’s issue of Chemical & Engineering News features a column I wrote about one of the session’s presentations. Neil C. Da Costa, a researcher at International Flavors & Fragrances, in New Jersey, entertained the audience with tales of the hurricane, that rum-based drink the Big Easy is famous for. I featured Da Costa’s studies of the hurricane because of the soft spot I have for the cocktail: The first time I drank one was during my undergraduate years at, you guessed it, my first national ACS meeting. But I gave short shrift to other “Chemistry of the Bar” presentations. One particularly interesting talk was given by Jerry Zweigenbaum, a researcher at Agilent Technologies, in Delaware. Along with Alyson E. Mitchell and coworkers at the University of California, Davis, Zweigenbaum investigated the ingredients of the after-dinner liquor amaretto. If you’re like me, you might have thought that because amaretto smells like almonds, it’s made from them. Zweigenbaum says that’s not necessarily the case. According to legend, amaretto was first made in 1525 by soaking apricot kernels in alcohol. You can see the tale, conveniently located on the website of amaretto maker Disaronno, here. Apparently, one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s star pupils was asked to paint a fresco of the Madonna in the Italian city Saronno. His model was a local innkeeper who showed her gratitude by gifting the fellow a drink made from the infamous kernels. Today, Disaronno says its amaretto contains “herbs and fruits soaked in apricot kernel oil.” But the problem with alcohols like amaretto, Zweigenbaum says, is they are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives here in the U.S., rather than by FDA. That means companies don’t have to list the beverages’ ingredients or nutritional content. So what exactly Disaronno and other amaretto companies are putting in their wares remains a mystery. Zweigenbaum decided to find out. The Agilent researcher purchased seven different brands of amaretto (he won’t divulge which ones) and tested them with various analytical techniques—headspace gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and quadrupole time-of-flight liquid chromatography (Q-TOF LC), to name a few. One volatile compound stood out in all seven amaretto brands: benzaldehyde. This is the chemical that gives amaretto its sweet, yet...

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Chemical and laboratory safety at #ACSNOLA
Apr04

Chemical and laboratory safety at #ACSNOLA

My colleagues and I are gearing up for the 245th ACS National Meeting in New Orleans, which means that it's time for me to post the Division of Chemical Health & Safety programming for the meeting. As usual, the helpful DCHAS folks have also put together their CHAS-At-A-Glance reference for the meeting. Sessions are in the Convention Center room 237 unless otherwise noted. SUNDAY CHAS Executive Committee Breakfast, open to any CHAS or ACS member (8:30 am) Chemical Safety Aspects of Animal Use Protocol Risk Assessments (1:30-3:10 pm) Ask Dr. Safety About Dealing with Especially Hazardous Materials (3:15-5:25 pm) MONDAY Health, Safety, Security, and Environment: A Global Prospective (1:30-3:55 pm) Sci-Mix posters (8-10 pm, Convention Center Hall D) TUESDAY Complying with the New OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (9:00-11:40 am) Academia and Industrial Pilot Plant Operations and Safety (I&EC, 8:30-11:35 am and 1:30-4:10 pm, Convention Center 229) A New Vision for Chemistry Graduate Education (PRES, 1:30-4:50 pm, Convention Center Rivergate Ballroom) Social Hour reception with the Division of Small Chemical Business and the Division of Business Development & Management (5-8 pm, Tomas Bistro Gallery Room, 755 Tchoupitoulas St) For other meeting programming that caught the attention of C&EN staff, check out C&EN Picks! And for real-time updates of what we're up to at the meeting, follow us on Twitter and...

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C&EN Picks for ACS New Orleans #ACSNOLA
Apr02

C&EN Picks for ACS New Orleans #ACSNOLA

How can chemists mitigate the effects of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina? What are the latest chemistry mobile apps? And how are emulsions making a difference in medical imaging? Sessions at next week’s ACS National Meeting in New Orleans will be covering those timely topics. Watch all of our picks below. If you’ll be in New Orleans, you can also see these videos in the convention...

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