Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 17:12:30 -0500
Reply-To: George Walton <g.c.walton**At_Symbol_Here**REACTIVES.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: George Walton <g.c.walton**At_Symbol_Here**REACTIVES.COM>
Organization: Reactives Managment Corporation
Subject: Re: Local Fire Department training?
Comments: To: Ralph Stuart
In-Reply-To: <D38DD5C1-D375-4C28-A9B1-433777610F8A**At_Symbol_Here**>
Sorry for the late response -- we were gone all last week.

We do two exercises that may be of benefit when conducting "chemical"
training for emergency responders who probably have minimal classical
chemical training.

Number 1: Four incompletely characterized materials

Materials: (1) ground lime in water; (2) household (3%) hydrogen peroxide;
(3) rubbing alcohol; and (4) citric acid crystals dissolved in water.  There
are approximately four ounces of material in each 8-ounce container.   There
is a laminated card listing the formula of each material, water solubility,
density, and pH, etc.  (to include some totally extraneous information;
discarding the less useful information is part of the exercise.

Observations to be made:
1.  Look at the stuff -- what do you see? Clear fluids, white crystals, grey
powder under water?
2.  Open one container at a time.  Holding a Q-tip in a small hemostat, dip
the Q-tip in the container.  Close the container.  Go to a safe area.
Attempt to ignite the end of the Q-tip.  Does it burn? If so, describe the
flame.  Put the burning end of the Q-tip in a pie pan of kitty litter until
the flame is extinguished.
3.  Using pH paper, check the pH of each material.  Compare the pH of each
container to the pH of tap water.  Which are acids and which are bases?
4.  To confirm hydrogen peroxide, use Quant-strips or acetic acid and an
iodide and notice color changes.

Number 2:  Some physical characteristics

Materials: (1) corn oil; (2) rubbing alcohol; (3) acetone-based finger nail
polish remover; and (3) non-acetone-based finger nail polish remover.

Watch glass exercise (Part 1):
Prior to the exercise, make two scratches at least one inch apart on a
three-inch watch glass.  Three watch glasses are required -- corn oil,
rubbing alcohol, and water.  Using disposable pipettes, drop five drops of
corn oil, water, and rubbing alcohol on one scratch.  Slowly tilt the watch
glass to allow the material to flow between the scratches.  Watch closely.
Does the material move slowly or quickly?  Does the material "stick
together" or spread out?  This is how we demonstrate viscosity.  Using a
Sharpie or china marker, trace the outline of the puddle on each watch
glass.  Set the watch glasses aside.

Small jar exercise:
Place about 1/4-inch of corn oil, acetone-based finger nail polish remover
and non-acetone based finger nail polish remover in a small jar (three jars
are necessary).  Using a disposable pipette, add 10 drops of water to each
material.  Watch what happens.  Shake for about 20 seconds.  Watch what
happens.  Add about 1/4 inch of water to each container.  Watch what
happens.  By selecting the correct non-acetone based finger nail polish
remover, you can demonstrate complete miscibility, partial miscibility, and
complete immiscibility.  This is how we demonstrate miscibility and density.

Watch glass exercise (Part 2):
Look at the watch glasses.  Which material has evaporated and which has not.

Ideas cannot be copyrighted.

George Walton
-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Ralph Stuart
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:27 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Local Fire Department training?

We have been working with the local city Fire Department on emergency  
planning for laboratories at UVM fairly intensively for about 1.5  
years, since a lab fire here in May of 2007. This work has included  
development of a variety of information tools, meetings and joint  
training with command staff, and one general "introduction to  
laboratory hazards" training for all firefighters last January.

The last item was well-received enough that the Fire Department is  
interested in repeating it this coming January, at a more advanced  
level. I am thinking about using some of their familiar hazmat  
response tools (ALOHA, CAMEO, etc.) adapted to a lab setting (with  
many limitations acknowledged), along with UVM specific information to  
develop scenarios for tabletop type exercises.

I wonder if anyone on DCHAS-L has used these tools in this way before  
or has similar experience they'd like to share as we think about the  
best way of approaching this "advanced" training for lab response.

Thanks for any information.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH
Environmental Safety Manager
University of Vermont
Environmental Safety Facility
667 Spear St. Burlington, VT  05405

fax: (802)656-8682

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