Play it safe with fireworks
Jul02

Play it safe with fireworks

From my local newspaper last week: SAN JOSE — When Alazar Ortiz woke up at Regional Medical Center the morning after the Fourth of July last year, his gaze immediately went to the two huge fists of bandages and gauze at the end of his forearms. “I didn’t know what I had left,” said the 40-year-old San Jose resident. “So I tried to move my fingers, and I went ‘Wow. I don’t have any...

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Improving laboratory explosion protection
Jun30

Improving laboratory explosion protection

A guest post by Ralph Stuart, secretary of the ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety (DCHAS). A member of the DCHAS e-mail list recently pointed out to me a story in the Milwaukee Sentinel’s archives about a laboratory explosion in 1957. The story reported: Waukesha, Oct. 25 (AP) A Carroll College senior was reported in good condition Friday despite suffering injuries that led to the loss of his left eye after fluid, said to...

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Pregnancy and chemical lab safety
Jun25

Pregnancy and chemical lab safety

A query from my inbox last week: Are there any safety resources for women scientists who are pregnant, other than MSDSs? The short answer to this question is that your best resources is likely to be the safety office at your school or workplace. Otherwise, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health has a page with information on reproductive health and the workplace, as does the University of California, Davis. Yale...

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“I was blinded by a school science experiment”
Jun23

“I was blinded by a school science experiment”

Via @adchempages, a personal story of the repercussions of being blinded by a school science experiment, by Meredith Plumb: Throughout my childhood, I had 20:20 vision. But two weeks before my 12th birthday, in my first year of secondary school in Cheshire, my teacher asked me to conduct a science experiment, and gave me a pestle and mortar. I was told to measure three kinds of powder: black, orange and white. I did as I was told, but...

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Refinery safety systems include flaring
Jun16

Refinery safety systems include flaring

If you’ve ever wondered why refineries burn off–flare–hydrocarbon gases that might otherwise be useful, answers lie in the letters to the editor in this week’s C&EN: The answer to Allen Hoffman’s question, “Why does anyone flare anything ­anymore?” is that flares are part of safety systems (C&EN, April 27, page 2). Hoffman was referring to an article about oil refiners (C&EN, Jan. 26, page 27). When...

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