Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 16:00:47 -0400
Reply-To: chemcon**At_Symbol_Here**JUNO.COM
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Jay Young <chemcon**At_Symbol_Here**JUNO.COM>
Subject: Re: Chemical lists for schools - Whoa! Wait a Minute! Elston
Chimes In
Comments: To: helston**At_Symbol_Here**FGI.NET
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Harry is so right!  Listen to him!

Jay Young


On Tue, 3 Oct 2006 12:29:58 -0500 "Harry J. Elston" 
> >
> >
> >But requiring gloves and N-95's
> >isn't out of the question necessarily and could be an important  
> >lesson on
> >real world management of risk.
> With respect to respirators, this is a darn stupid idea.  There 
> should NEVER be a cause to use a respirator in exposure control in 
> an academic, secondary school environment.  Period.
> Using a respirator is more than slapping on a facepiece, sucking in 
> to see if you have a seal and calling it good.  Yes, an "N-95" is a 
> RESPIRATOR and if you're requiring their use, you're buying into a 
> full-meal-deal program that includes, but is not limited to....
> 1.  A complete risk assessment to ensure there are no other viable 
> alternatives such as engineering controls and adminsitrative 
> controls (including chemical substitution) that will provide the 
> necessary exposure control.
> 2.  A complete respiratory protection program, written, reviewed 
> annually, blah, blah, blah.
> 3.  Medical evaluation as required by the Respiratory Protection 
> Standard.
> 4.  Fit testing to the level required by the Respiratory Protection 
> Standard and the local respiratory protection program.
> 5.  Training as required
> 6.  Maintennace as required
> And the list goes on.
> Now, how many secondary school teachers are qualified to do that?  
> My bet that it exponentially approaches ZERO.
> As a parent, chemist and safety professional, I would have a real 
> field day if ANY teacher of my kid required the use of a respirator 
> in their class; the first question being, "Just what the hell are 
> you using that requires the use?" and then moving on from there, 
> including the entire school administration hearing about it.
> While it may be true that "any chemical can be handled safely" the 
> bottom line is that some should be restricted from use until these 
> skulls-full-o-mush get some EXPERIENCE in handling the not-so-bad 
> chemicals.  Let them handle the cyanides in 300/400/500 level 
> college classes, not in high school.  You can teach a whole lot of 
> chemistry with some low-risk/low-hazard chemicals and their 
> dilutions.
> Harry "taking a cleansing breath" Elston
> Harry J. Elston, Ph.D., CIH
> Principal
> Midwest Chemical Safety
> Editor, Chemical Health & Safety
> "I'm your wife.  I'm the greatest good 
> you're ever gonna get"
>            -Mrs. "Frozone", The Incredibles

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