Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 14:51:10 -0500
Reply-To: Margaret Rakas <mrakas**At_Symbol_Here**SMITH.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Margaret Rakas <mrakas**At_Symbol_Here**SMITH.EDU>
Subject: Re: Two Recent Lab Hazmat Responses
In-Reply-To: <670FF300-A229-408D-92CB-E72DF3498BE1**At_Symbol_Here**>

It would be wonderful if UMaryland is able to  share some of the
details, such as ID of the acids, quantity, and anything that might be
helpful to the safety community.

One of my Geology colleagues is stunned that the Chemical community,
particularly in academia, does not collect information on accidents in
any formalized kind of way.  He said that if he wanted to see whether
any students were involved in car accidents while performing field work,
or how many faculty had (unintentionally) walked off a cliff, those
statistics are reported and accessible by the Geology community.  

I understand if the attorneys are reluctant but in this age of the
twitter, the blog and facebook, it's hard to imagine being able to keep
details of published events secret, and I think safety personnel should
do their utmost to persuade administrators that safety information
should be shared.  

The above is my personal opinion only, not legal or business advice,
and may not reflect the opinion of my employer or any group to which I

>>> List Moderator  3/4/2009 2:00 PM >>>
March 3, DiamondBack Online * (Maryland) Chemical spill forces  
evacuation of building. An adverse chemical reaction at the University 

of Maryland*s chemistry building on February 27 prompted an
and the deployment of a hazardous materials team, according to the  
Prince George*s County Fire Department. During an experiment within 

the confines of a safety hood system designed to collect fumes, the  
experimenter mixed two unidentified acids together causing a reaction 

that resulted in broken flasks and some chemicals sprayed on the floor 

and counters, said a Prince George*s County Fire Department
Upon reaching the scene, firefighters and police evacuated wing five  
of the building. The experimenter was the only person evaluated by  
paramedics, and he was not transported to the hospital.


March 1, Idaho Statesman * (Idaho) Chemical spill injures Boise State
lab manager in Boise. A Boise State University lab instructor was  
wounded at about 2 p.m. on February 28 when 500 ml of nitric acid  
spilled onto his wrist, forearm, thigh, and knee, according to a  
police spokeswoman. When firefighters arrived at the third-floor  
chemistry lab in the multipurpose classroom building on the west side 

of campus, the instructor had already begun using sodium bicarbonate  
to neutralize the chemical. He was taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional  
Medical Center for burn treatment. About 60 people, including two  
uninjured lab students, were evacuated as the building was checked and 

the spill cleaned up. The incident did not affect classes or other  
activities on campus.


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