Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 07:30:43 -0400
Reply-To: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: Re: Baylor University evacuates science building after cyanide

From: 	Arvedson, Steve 
Subject: 	RE: [DCHAS-L] Baylor University evacuates science 
after cyanide spill
Date: 	October 14, 2009 8:27:13 PM EDT

It appears that this situation was created by an incomplete  
understanding of the meaning of the term =93cyanide=94 in this context.  
If they had called in an isovaleronitrile spill instead (same  
material, different name), they probably could have just cleared the  
room and cleaned up the spill wearing the appropriate respirator and  
other PPE.  The material has an NFPA health rating of 2, a boiling  
point of 128 degrees C and an oral LD50 in mouse of 233 mg/kg.  Did  
anybody on staff at Baylor pull up the MSDS and try to work with the  
emergency responders to ease their concerns?  This is a good reminder  

that all chemical-using institutions, whether academic or industrial,  

should be trying to work with their local responders to establish two- 

way communication, so that the appropriate level of response can be  
applied to each incident.


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