Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 13:52:45 -0700
Reply-To: "Vernon, Russell" <Russell.Vernon**At_Symbol_Here**EHS.UCR.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Vernon, Russell" <Russell.Vernon**At_Symbol_Here**EHS.UCR.EDU>
Subject: Fire at UCR Organic Chemistry Stockroom
Comments: cc: "LABSAFETY-L**At_Symbol_Here**"

Dear DivCHAS members, (NACHOS, et al.) On Tuesday May 10 at about 2:30 PM there was an explosion and subsequent fire in the unoccupied Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Stockroom. Two students were at the help window and we jolted by the blast. Fortunately no one was seriously injured, and these students received only one small skin laceration each from the flying glass. One was on a student's forehead, the other on the other students' hand. There is a lot more to tell, and of course we are working on a report for the Chancellor. We are interviewing the relevant staff tomorrow morning and already have a couple of working theories as to the causes. The reason I am bothering you-all right now relates to one of the most likely immediate causes. The labs had been conducting the usual qualitative organic analysis labs for the previous couple of weeks and the explosion occurred in the area of the waste containers. We strongly suspect the Tollen's test reagents and/or waste were left unattended on a cart for at least four days, if not many more. For those interested, some websites that describe this method of testing for aldehydes include: 384525/MOVIE.HTM ch/D-Tollens-e.htm This is as RedOx reaction and the active species is the Ag+ ion which accepts an electron to plate out the silver mirror. Do you know of the mechanism for the tendency for the Tollens reagent to explode on storage? I'll follow-up with more information soon (probably after the AIHce conference in Anaheim next week). Sincerely, -Russ Russell Vernon, Ph.D. Laboratory / Research Safety Specialist Interim Integrated Waste Manager Environmental Health & Safety University of California, Riverside 900 University Ave. Riverside, CA 92521 russell.vernon**At_Symbol_Here** Direct: (951) 827-5119 Admin: (951) 827-5528 Fax: (951) 827-5122

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