Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 09:17:19 -0400
Reply-To: rita calhoun <r.calhoun**At_Symbol_Here**MOREHEAD-ST.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: rita calhoun <r.calhoun**At_Symbol_Here**MOREHEAD-ST.EDU>
Subject: Re: Undergraduate Accident
Comments: To: Ernie Lippert
    Thanks, Ernie, for the reminder that there are always exceptions to any
However, I must admit that my thought upon reading the post quoting the rule was
"Wait a minute; isn't water a chemical?"  We spend so much time and energy
trying to get our students to realize that Chemical is not a four-letter word,
and to realize that all matter is made up of chemicals.  It is disheartening to
read professionals making such inexact statements.
    By the way does anyone really believe that after rinsing for 15 minutes
there would be enough NaOH or HCl left on the skin to cause a noticable
temperature change if treated with baking soda?  I don't.

Kay Calhoun
Lab Supervisor
Morehead State Univ.

Ernie Lippert wrote:

> Hi,
> Sorry to bring up two exceptions to the "I'll stress, as others have, NEVER
> treat a chemical injury with another chemical" Although this is may be
> excellent advice in this litigious world, I can think of two exceptions.
> Admittedly, neither are likely to come up in present day undergraduate
> laboratories (although I used HF in an undergraduate quant lab in 1951
> taught by Horace H. Bliss, a fine gentleman and chemist if any of you might
> remember him).
> 1.      Hydrofluoric acid skin contact areas must be immediately flushed
> with "tepid" water (or any water handy) for  2 - 3 minutes, not longer, (HF
> has a propensity to quickly eat through the flesh down to the bone) and then
> be covered with commercially available 2.5% Calcium gluconate cream before
> transporting to your local hospital (who, though your due diligence, will
> have information [and supplies] on how to treat HF burns, possibly with
> calcium gluconate injections around the exposure site). HF burns are serious
> and must have immediate treatment. Since 1954 I have direct knowledge of two
> serious HF burns and some minor exposures. Everyone lived.
> Indirectly I was involved via a hospital with interstate connections about a
> maintenance man who took a cleaning solution containing HF home from his
> place of employment to polish his door knobs.
> 2.      Lithium metal in contact with the skin will likely burst into flame
> because of moisture. The immediate action here is to immerse the (burning)
> part into a mixture of oil and graphite. The endothermic reaction between Li
> and C will extinguish the blaze. This knowledge comes from my 1953 job at
> Regards,
> Ernie Lippert
> Retired, Monarch Analytical Laboratories

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