Eye protection in Cuba lab photos
May23

Eye protection in Cuba lab photos

In a recent cover story about chemistry research in Cuba, C&EN included several photos in which people were not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment–eye protection in particular–in labs. The photos garnered several critical comments, such as: Please, please, please wear safety glasses in the lab! This should be a minimum requirement for all photos in C&EN. No glasses – no photo. [T]here is no excuse for conducting laboratory work, or even being in a lab, without proper PPE. … I’m actually surprised to see such photos in C&E News without a suitable editorial comment. C&EN generally does require that people must wear eye protection at a minimum in photos and video. We probably refuse a few photos a month for that reason alone. We made exceptions for Cuba story photos for several reasons. One was a sheer lack of resources at the high school and university levels. It wasn’t that people were choosing not to wear eye protection, they simply didn’t have it. A second reason was that we didn’t want to misrepresent lab conditions. Cuba’s Center for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology has better funding than the schools, but the lab culture there still didn’t involve wearing eye protection. For the purposes of this story, we thought it was important to show the lab environments as they are rather than how they ideally should be. (Would it have been journalistically ethical to ship eye protection to Cuba in order to get “better” photos?) Consequently, C&EN decided to show the labs as they were, noting the lack of safety gear explicitly in the body of the story and in a photo caption. We didn’t make the decision lightly, and we realize that some may still disagree with C&EN showing anything but best safety practice. But we also know that our readers value fact-based, accurate journalism–which for this story meant using photos that we likely would not have accepted for labs in a more industrially developed...

Read More
Creating a 21st century chemical research laboratory: Hazard assessments and fundamentals webinar
May09

Creating a 21st century chemical research laboratory: Hazard assessments and fundamentals webinar

Coming up this Thursday, May 11, an ACS webinar on “Creating a 21st Century Chemical Research Laboratory: Hazard Assessments and Fundamentals.” The description: Safety in the laboratory requires a full team effort to be successful. When everyone in the laboratory understands how to identify hazards, assess risk, and select the appropriate control measures to eliminate a hazard or minimize risk, accidents, injuries and near misses can be reduced. Join Ralph Stuart, an Environmental Safety Manager at Keene State College, and Kendra Leahy Denlinger of the University of Cincinnati as they discuss the new ACS resources that can support a safer and greener chemistry, and thus better science for the 21st century chemical research laboratory. What You Will Learn What are the newly created ACS technical and cultural resources to support laboratory safety How to incorporate the information provided by ACS’s Hazard Assessment in Research Laboratories in your specific research laboratory What is mechanochemistry and how to carry out chemical reactions without the presence of a solvent Green chemistry case study: how to avoid solvent-intensive process of column chromatography by using functionalized polymer resins which isolate products using simple gravity filtration Register...

Read More
#Chemsafety programming at #ACSSanFran
Mar30

#Chemsafety programming at #ACSSanFran

The 253rd ACS National Meeting starts on Sunday in San Francisco. Here’s what’s planned for chemical and laboratory safety; the Division of Chemical Health & Safety has its usual CHAS-At-A-Glance ready for printing. You can also find CHAS and the Committee on Chemical Safety in the Expo at booth 1125. Note: I did not have time to proofread this after putting it together. If there’s something that you want to see, double-check the time and location with the actual program! SUNDAY, April 2 Morning Division of Chemical Health & Safety Executive Committee Meeting (agenda book); 8:00 am-noon, Park Central, Franciscan I room Afternoon High School Program; 1:00-4:25 pm; SF Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate C2 room (CHED, WCC) Establishing a culture of laboratory safety in secondary education Sex, drugs, and the high school chemistry curriculum Best Practices in Selecting & Presenting Safety Training Content; 1:30-3:20 pm; Park Central, Olympic room (CHAS, CCS, PRES) Connecting safety culture to the educational mission Preliminary results of the chemical safety information and education survey Building safety culture through targeted training Flipped classroom techniques in safety training Relevant content, positive attitude, and memorable presentation Ask Dr. Safety: Chemical & Occupational Safety in the Cannabis Industry; 3:35-5:15 pm; Park Central, Olympic room (CHAS, CCS) Sensible approach to workplace drug testing for cannabis Chemical and occupational safety in the cannabis industry MONDAY, April 3 Morning Committee on Chemical Safety meeting; 7:00-11:30 am; Hilton SF Union, Continental Ballroom 6 Textbooks & the Practice of Science: Before, During & After Gutenberg; 8:45-11:25 am; Park Central, Metropolitan III room (CINF, CHED, HIST) Supporting transmission of knowledge for chemical safety education: An information workflow supplement to the laboratory textbook Cannabis: Emerging Challenges in Regulations, Product Analysis & Processing; 9:00-11:25 am; Park Central, Olympic room (CHAS, CCS, SCHB) Cannabis analysis: An overview of testing requirements and challenges in a rapidly emerging industry Quality control analysis of contaminants in the medical cannabis market in California: Pesticide, plant growth regulators, residual solvents, and microbiological contaminants in cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis infused products States as cannabis laboratories: The far-reaching implications of federal non-recognition in the regulation of marijuana contaminants Assessing regulatory compliance at medical cannabis operations in the United States for patient focused certification Challenges cannabis laboratories face in product analysis representative samples Hemp as a nutritional supplement: Ensuring potency, safety, and regulatory compliance in manufacturing cannabis-derived health products Teaching Laboratory Safety in the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum, exhibitor workshop by Flinn Scientific; 9:30 am-noon; Moscone Center room 250 Afternoon Undergraduate Research Posters; noon-2:00 pm; Moscone Center, Hall D (CHED) Chemical safety and chemical disposal Cannabis: Emerging Challenges in Regulations, Product Analysis & Processing; 1:30-4:05...

Read More
Exploding pumps trigger Sciex mass spectrometer alert
Mar29

Exploding pumps trigger Sciex mass spectrometer alert

From Marc Reisch’s story at C&EN: Scientific instrument maker Sciex has told owners of more than 2,000 mass spectrometers to immediately shut down the instruments because a catastrophic failure of turbo pumps manufactured by Agilent Technologies could “result in serious injury or death.” To date, Sciex says, no one has been injured. According to a safety notice dated March 13 for owners of API 4000, API 4000 Qtrap, and API 5000 model mass spectrometers, the rotors of the TV 801 turbo pump can suddenly fragment and be ejected at high speeds. The pumps are used to create a high negative pressure in the instrument’s vacuum chamber. For more, go read Marc’s story or see the information on Sciex’s...

Read More
Hazardous reactions database launched
Mar15

Hazardous reactions database launched

From my story at C&EN: A nonprofit group today released a database tool chemists can use to share information about hazardous chemical reactions. Called the Chemical Safety Library, the tool was developed by a group that included representatives from pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions. “We feel this will be a valuable and unique set of data that is currently not available and should advance safety for all researchers,” says Carmen Nitsche, executive director for business development in North America at the Pistoia Alliance, which brings together companies, vendors, publishers, and academic groups to address research and development challenges in the life sciences industry. Go read my story for more. This seems like it could be a very valuable resource for chemists to learn from others’ accidents and near-misses, but only if people put in the effort to share their own...

Read More