Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 15:37:22 -0500
Reply-To: lmstroud**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: lmstroud**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Confusing risk message?
Comments: To: rstuart**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To: <50709175-AB3C-4D8A-B66E-F7122D477FE9**At_Symbol_Here**>
You are exactly correct.  The message is indeed mixed.  Rarely do you see a photo in a newspaper, on the web, or in a book where students are wearing Chemical Splash Goggles when working with any type of fluid-not to mention the mouth pipetting issue.
As i assess middle/secondary school laboratories, I find that many teachers do not know the correct type of eye wear.  They simply tell me that the science catalog indicated the safety glasses met the ANSI Z87.1 standard-not knowing it is an impact standard only. Many science catalogs also promote safety glasses as the most popular form of safety eye protection.  Somehow, we must send a clear message regarding laboratory safety.
My own daughter had conc sulfuric acid to blow back in her face in organic lab this year. I had taken her safety glasses  (llike all the other students were wearing) and given her chemical splash goggles to wear. She said that everyone teased her over the funky goggles. Thank God! she had the funky goggles on!!
Linda M. Stroud, Ph.D
Science & Safety Consutling Services
Raleigh, NC 27607
-----Original Message-----
From: Ralph Stuart 
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Sent: Mon, 19 Dec 2005 11:56:10 -0500
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Confusing risk message?

I received the December 12 issue of C&EN news today and found the cover photo to be a rather confusing risk message. It shows two high school girls participating in National Chemistry Week activities with lab coats and safety glasses on. They are using straws to blow air into liquid soap to form bubbles. 
My gut reaction in looking at the picture was "oh my god, they're mouth-pipetting; I thought we got rid of that last century". Looking at the picture more closely, I realized what was going on and understood why they wanted to use straws for better pressure control. However, my question is "Are the lab coats and glasses appropriate in this setting?" 
By using these ppe in this situation, are the girls building good lab habits, or perhaps, receiving a confusing risk message that says liquid soap is as dangerous as any other chemical you might work with? When they get to college chemistry lab are they less likely to use ppe when working with a strong corrosive because they "too old" for high school habits now? 
I don't expect a clear answer, but I'd be interested in hearing CHAS people's thoughts... 
- Ralph 
Ralph Stuart, CIH 
Environmental Safety Manager 
University of Vermont 
Environmental Safety Facility 
667 Spear St. Burlington, VT 05405 
fax: (802)656-5407 

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