Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 09:59:00 -0400
Reply-To: "George D. McCallion" <medchem**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "George D. McCallion" <medchem**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Re: UCLA "Alert"
Comments: cc: NEAL LANGERMAN
In-Reply-To: <013001c9d560$1c410650$54c312f0$**At_Symbol_Here**com>

I was waiting for someone to strike this one up!

As a Process Chemist (solid 9 years experience), I also agree with  
Neal. there ARE proper ways of handling pyrophorics. I have handled  
many "pyros", such as n-BuLi, t-BuLi, Grignards, LAH, DIBAL and so  

There is NO WAY this student knew what She was doing! YOU DO NOT  
handle BuLi in the manner that was described, much less using the  
gloves that were mentioned, no PPE!! That is unacceptable!!!

Whoever said a syringe could be used should be questioned. There ARE  
other techniques that are used, even on small scale. The key point  
here is, never sacrifice safety for service!!!! If there are  
questions as to HOW to initiate such a transfer, I will be glad to  
describe it, free of charge but NOT free of acknowledgment!

Again, pilot gloves are the standard protocol, plain & simple.

The comments I have read that She was bright, intelligent, etc. don't  
mean a damn thing when it comes to safety (or in the case, a clear  
lack of it)!

The notion that the Professor was a noted scholar/chair doesn't  
account for anything either if safety was no adhered to!

I cannot tell You the anger that is inside Me when I read the  
articles relating to this incident. Yes it was tragic, Yes it could  
have been prevented, and Yes a clear attitude of familiarity lead to  
breeding of contempt in that laboratory.

Pyrophorics are not meant to be handled by anyone who is not versed  
in the techniques in handling/transfer/deactivation. Further these  
operations should be operated on a buddy-system, even on small scales.

The dumbest question is the one You don't ask. Nobody should be  
fearful of asking how to handle materials (pyro, flammable, etc.)!

George D. McCallion

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