Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2003 16:23:29 -0400
Reply-To: Heinz H Trebitz <heinz.h.trebitz**At_Symbol_Here**VALLEY.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Heinz H Trebitz <heinz.h.trebitz**At_Symbol_Here**VALLEY.NET>
Subject: Fw: [DCHAS-L] safety and nomenclature
Comments: To: SAFETY approval account

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Heinz H Trebitz 
To: SAFETY approval account ; DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU 
Sent: Monday, June 02, 2003 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] safety and nomenclature

Sorry about the accidental mailing. Here's the complete message:

Hello to list:

On reading the various recounts of confusion over nomenclature and 
resulting accidents or almost-accidents, it occurs that correct 
nomenclature and the understanding of it may not always be helpful in 
preventing accidents. Unfortunately, we are dealing with chemical 
product names that have evolved over decades of use and in different 
countries and use scenarios.
We'll find it almost impossible to make the old names go away, and may 
not even want to loose that element of chemical history. 
Moreover, laypeople will not understand chemical nomenclature, just as 
we have difficulties with medical terms or the botanical names of 
plants. Since chemical products are used by professionals as well as the 
average consumer, teaching chemistry in the classroom should include 
some of the old names - association of a scientific name with what we 
have been taught or seen elsewhere is quite important. 
When writing material safety data sheets (MSDS) I'm careful in using 
both correct chemical names as well as trade or trivial names. I'd wish 
that all companies would use more diligence when generating MSDS. Taking 
into account the user's ability to understand the information offered in 
the MSDS  is very important for its usefulness.

I think that Ben Greene's list of nomenclature confusions and the use of 
accident stories in the classroom is great. It puts life into chemistry 
teaching and makes living with chemicals much safer.

Heinz H. Trebitz, Ph.D.
GBK/T.R.E. Service
480 Colby Road North
Thetford Center, VT 05075, USA
tel : 802-785-2129
fax: 802-785-2124
e-mail: heinz.h.trebitz**At_Symbol_Here**

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: SAFETY approval account 
  To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU 
  Sent: Monday, June 02, 2003 3:00 PM
  Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] safety and nomenclature

  Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2003 13:40:38 -0500
  From: wolsey**At_Symbol_Here**
  Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] safety and nomenclature

  I don't have a specific accident case, but there were several
  incidents in my 37 years of teaching in which student confused
  manganese with magnesium.

  Wayne Wolsey
  Professor of Chemistry
  Macalester College
  St. Paul, MN
  651 696-6352

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