Dow teams up with universities on lab safety, how’d the UC “Creating Safety Cultures” webinar go?
Oct29

Dow teams up with universities on lab safety, how’d the UC “Creating Safety Cultures” webinar go?

Following up on a blog post last spring about a new lab safety partnership between Dow Chemical and the University of Minnesota, I’ve got a story in today’s issue of C&EN delving into the details of what Dow and its partner universities have done so far. Since the program started, Dow has expanded it to include Penn State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and each school is experimenting with...

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The principles of “inherently safer” processes or experiments
Jul23

The principles of “inherently safer” processes or experiments

The U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board released a video a couple of weeks ago on “Inherently Safer: The Future of Risk Reduction.” Although the video stems from CSB and National Research CouncilĀ investigations into the BayerCropScience explosion in 2008, the principles of inherently safer processes can also be applied to research-scale experiments. As outlined in the video, those principles are: Minimize...

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Lab safety survey still open
Jul16

Lab safety survey still open

Happy Monday, all! The laboratory safety survey sponsored by the University of California Center for Laboratory Safety, BioRAFT, and Nature Publishing Group is still open for another week, until July 23. If you haven’t taken it, consider doing so at go.nature.com/7LDJlI.

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Explosion during phosphine prep
May23

Explosion during phosphine prep

We have a safety alert in this week’s issue of C&EN, regarding an explosion that happened at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, during distillation of (C6F5)PH2: While a researcher fractionally distilled the primary phosphine (C6F5)PH2, which was synthesized by the reduction of (C6F5)PCl2 with an excess of lithium aluminum hydride (LAH), the distillation apparatus containing the phosphine detonated. Fortunately, because...

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Another explosion at Texas Tech and a fire at UCLA
Oct25

Another explosion at Texas Tech and a fire at UCLA

A few days before the Chemical Safety Board report on Texas Tech University came out, TTU had another laboratory explosion of sorts in the chemistry department. This one didn’t involve energetic materials; rather, it centered on a waste bottle that contained dilute nitric acid, TTU Vice President for Research Taylor Eighmy said in a conference call for reporters last week. The nitric acid bottle was in a hood, next to a bottle...

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CSB video on Texas Tech incident released
Oct20

CSB video on Texas Tech incident released

The Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board yesterday released its report into last year’s explosion at Texas Tech University; today it released the video to go with that report. Yes, that Dr. Kemsley is indeed yours truly. I also wanted to highlight these passages from the report itself. It’s not often that one sees the first two paragraphs spelled out in a public document: In academia, the PI generally has...

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