Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 09:35:49 -0700
Reply-To: "Debbie M. Decker" <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Debbie M. Decker" <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Subject: Re: Baylor University evacuates science building after cyanide
In-Reply-To: <4720DC8C-64B7-48B8-B602-ADDDF1237F7A**At_Symbol_Here**>

And I remember labeling my very expensive high purity acetonitrile as "meth
yl cyanide" so others would leave it alone!

Great point, Steve.

-----Original Message-----
From: 	Arvedson, Steve 
Subject: 	RE: [DCHAS-L] Baylor University evacuates science building  
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 "cyanide" 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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