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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A radiation dosimeter to go on your hands
Jan13

A radiation dosimeter to go on your hands

I’ve seen radiation badges before, but never a ring. Courtesy of the International Atomic Energy Agency‘s Facebook page: This type of ring is a small badge that workers wear under gloves to monitor external exposure to ‪#‎radiation‬ as they work with different types of radioactive sources. The little diamond shape on the ring is worn facing the palm, as this is the area where highest exposure usually occurs. This ring is...

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Lawsuits detail injuries from rainbow demonstration fire in New York school
Jan06

Lawsuits detail injuries from rainbow demonstration fire in New York school

Three lawsuits have now been filed by families of students injured a year ago when a New York high school teacher poured methanol from a gallon container during a “rainbow” flame test demonstration. New York Post stories about the lawsuits give some details of the students’ injuries: Alonzo Yanes suffered second- and third-degree burns on his body, head, face, neck, torso, and hands. “He’s horrifically scarred,...

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Something to do in lab today
Jan05

Something to do in lab today

This seemed like such a useful lab safety activity that I thought I’d make it a monthly repost. From Derek Lowe, in memory of people who died in chemical incidents: So in memory of these four, here’s something that all of us who work in the lab can do today. Take a look around you. Remind yourself of where the fire extinguishers are (and there should be more than one kind). Think of how you’d get to the safety shower if you had...

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Another biosafety lapse at CDC
Dec31

Another biosafety lapse at CDC

Early last week, news came out that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention sent live virus internally to a lab not equipped to handle it. One technician was potentially exposed to the virus and is being monitored, but so far she is reportedly showing no signs of the disease. Stuart Nichol, chief of the CDC’s Viral Special Pathogens Branch, attributed the incident to human error, the New York Times reported. Earlier...

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