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Don’t work in the lab alone

Working in a lab is safe most of the time, “except when it isn’t, and that’s when being alone compounds the danger,” says a new lab safety video about working alone. You can watch it on YouTube or download it for offline viewing from the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Health and Safety website. The video is the second produced...

#Chemsafety at #ACSSanDiego

Here’s what’s planned for chemical and laboratory safety at the ACS National Meeting in San Diego, which starts on Sunday. You can also take advantage of the Division of Chemical Health & Safety’s printer-friendly CHAS-At-A-Glance. Sunday, Aug. 25 Committee on Chemical Safety Open and Executive Subcommittee Meeting, 7:00–10:00 am,...

Don’t mix sodium hydride with polar aprotic solvents

Combining sodium hydride with some solvents can be a bad idea, as a group of researchers from Corteva Agriscience and Dow Chemical remind the chemistry community in Organic Process Research & Development ,(2019, DOI: 10.1021/acs.oprd.9b00276). An intact calorimetry cell (left) and a ruptured cell the authors used to study the explosive risk...

Liquid nitrogen calamities

Credit: Shutterstock Via @sarahdcady on Twitter, some liquid nitrogen stories from 2006. One wasn’t quite a calamity–but it easily could have been. Down the stairs at the University of California, Berkeley: Yesterday the LeConte elevator was out of order, which for most of us would have meant taking the long way around. However, one...

Send your favorite chemist a #labsafety valentine

Credit: Shutterstock University of California, San Francisco, chemical hygiene officer Caroline Hedge started a thread on lab safety valentines on Twitter, and they were too clever not to share. @CM_Hedge Roses are red Fire is too Review the SOP Especially if you’re new @CM_Hedge Your eyes are red You don’t feel good Get off the bench And...

10 years ago, Sheri Sangji died following a lab fire

The syringe Sangji was using to transfer tert-butyllithium when the reagent ignited. (Credit: UCLA) Today is the 10th anniversary of Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji’s death from injuries sustained in a laboratory fire at the University of California, Los Angeles. From C&EN: Her death pushed some chemists to try to improve academic lab safety culture...

Gas cylinder explosion in India’s premier government lab kills 1 person, wounds 3 more

The interior of the building housing the IISc Department of Aerospace Engineering, photographed in 2011. Credit: Mohammadulhaque. Contributed by K. V. Venkatasubramanian, special to C&EN. A gas cylinder blast in a laboratory at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) on Dec. 5 killed one researcher and left three others grievously wounded. The...

To reduce worker exposure to nanomaterials, follow workplace design recommendations

Earlier this year, the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health released new nanotechnology design recommendations to help reduce worker exposure to nanomaterials. “Workers in industries that use or make these uniquely engineered nanomaterials may inhale nanoparticles on a daily basis, posing a potential respiratory hazard,” NIOSH...

Aging equipment, vulnerability, near misses, runaway reactions, and natural disasters in process safety newsletters

From AIChE’s “Process Safety Beacon” newsletters so far this year: Aging facilities and infrastructure – “Aging does not necessarily relate to how old a facility or piece of equipment might be. It is really about how well it has been operated and maintained.” Maintain a sense of vulnerability – Understand the hazards of your process and materials....

Azidophenylalanine poses explosion risk

From C&EN a few weeks ago: Azidophenylalanine poses explosion risk, written by Carmen Drahl The unnatural amino acid 4-azido-l-phenylalanine (shown, left) carries an explosion risk, a new study shows (J. Org. Chem. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.8b00270). The azide group isn’t found in biology, which makes it handy for attaching probes to biomolecules....

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