Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 10:22:00 -0500
Reply-To: Steve <jsbonnell**At_Symbol_Here**FUSE.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Steve <jsbonnell**At_Symbol_Here**FUSE.NET>
Subject: Re: Working with chemicals and anosmia
In-Reply-To: <498CE366.8020602**At_Symbol_Here**>

Given that the sense of smell is variable and that some chemicals have poor warning properties, any SOP for lab safety should require that all volatile materials should be handled in a fume hood or ventilated balance enclosure. These devices need to be inspected for sufficient face velocity and should not be used for storage and equipment adequately elevated to prevent turbulent air flow. Sashes should be closed when not in use and opened only as far as need be during use. Traffic flow in the lab should be arranged to limit traffic flow near operational hoods and doors should be kept closed so as to maintain proper air balance in the lab and avoid eddy currents that can pull vapors from the hood. In cases where bench-top open handling is required, it would be worthwhile to perform air monitoring to determine the exposure level and put ALL personnel in appropriate respiratory protection if the airborne concentration is found to exceed a PEL, RES or TLV®.

Safe conditions should not require that a person needs to be capable of smelling the reagents.

Another item to address would be working alone. We require pre-approval for working alone and may, on a case-by-case basis, require additional safety precautions such as scheduled safety tours by building security. In the case where a person would be insensitive to the smell of a potential airborne hazard, that would seem to be a factor that would prohibit solo work. If the reagent in question has the potential to create a flammable atmosphere, a gas meter that alarms at some percentage of the lower explosive limit might make sense. If there is concern that the chemist might be insensitive to the smell of a natural gas leak, the LEL alarm would be a good idea.

I tell my people that the first safety rule is “Don’t lick the spoon.” Wafting went out with platform shoes and leisure suits.

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Samuella B. Sigmann
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 20:27
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Working with chemicals and anosmia

I am looking for any developed SOPs or protocols that can be used by a person who has anosmia (complete loss of smell) and works in a chemical research environment.  Any information that I can use to help protect this worker will be useful.



************************************************ ***************************************

Don’t always believe what you think.

Samuella B. Sigmann, NRCC-CHO
Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair
A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry
Appalachian State University
525 Rivers Street
Boone, NC   28608
Phone: 828 262 2755
Fax: 828 262 6558
Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**

 < /o:p>

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