Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 20:47:53 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "David C. Finster" <dfinster**At_Symbol_Here**WITTENBERG.EDU>
Subject: Re: UCLA Pyrophorics Video
In-Reply-To: <007701ca7500$900cacc0$b0260640$**At_Symbol_Here**>
Excellent video, in many regards... BUT

I strongly oppose the notion that the safety glasses that Dustin is wearing constitute adequate eye protection in this or any other lab circumstance where there is a splash hazard.   This egregious error seems the like most common mistake that is seen in photographs of chemists in labs, even in C&ENEws.  Arrgh.  (To the video's credit, Dustin puts on a face shield when working with the pyrophoric.  I'm still troubled by the implication, at least, that safety glasses are adequate eye protection.  Not in my labs.)

And, I advise against using MSDSs as the primary source of any information related to safe use of chemicals.  These documents are not required to be correct, and some studies have shown that they are, in fact, occasionally incorrect.  Even when factually correct, they are not always useful.  For example, the statement, "Dispose of chemical properly according to state and federal regulations" is correct, but not helpful.  Further, since they are sometimes (often?) written by computer programs rather than humans, we find not-very-helpful suggestions such as "immediately flush with potable water for 15 minutes and seek assistance from MD" when buffered saline gets in your eyes, or storing distilled water in a "tightly closed container."  I have become wary of using them, ever.  


David C. Finster
Professor of Chemistry
University Chemical Hygiene Officer
Department of Chemistry
Wittenberg University

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Erik A. Talley
Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 11:41 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] UCLA Pyrophorics Video

The UCLA EHS Department has created a pyrophorics safety video that is
available on YouTube:



Erik A. Talley, Director
Environmental Health and Safety
Weill Cornell Medical College
Cornell University
402 East 67th Street, Room LA-0020
New York, NY 10065


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