Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 08:37:42 -0400
Reply-To: List Moderator <esf**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <esf**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: Accidents in Chemistry

An e-mail from a non-CHAS member that I thought CHAS people might be  
interested in and/or have useful responses to...

- Ralph

	From: 	  glasfeld**At_Symbol_Here**
	Subject: 	Accidents in Chemistry
	Date: 	June 18, 2006 2:34:22 PM EDT

I hope the following suggestion isn't from too far out in left  
field.  I just read a short article in Nature discussing chemical  
safety, with a particular mention to the relatively greater hazards  
associated with academic research (Nature vol. 441, p. 560).   
Alongside that article were a few dramatic and cautionary tales.  It  
struck me that there should be some way (and there may already be) to  
distribute these stories, particularly to undergraduates just getting  

As a sometime mountaineer, I'm reminded of a (fortunately) slim  
publication by the American Alpine Club called "Accidents in North  
American Mountaineering", which provides a summary of accidents  
reported to the club in a given calendar year, along with analyses.   
These make great reading.  They attract a certain morbid fascination,  
but also carry some important take-home lessons about safety.

I would be great if there were a similar resource on chemical safety,  
especially one that would attract the attention of younger chemists  
(and their teachers)  - perhaps something like "Accidents in North  
American Academic Chemistry".  Does something like this exist?  If  
not, I hope your division would consider some sort of publication  
that might serve that purpose.

Thanks in advance for your consideration - again, I hope I'm not too  
far out on this idea,


Arthur Glasfeld
Department of Chemistry
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202

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