Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2010 11:14:15 -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: "Nail, John" <jnail**At_Symbol_Here**OKCU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Science Education & Safety - Follow-up
In-Reply-To: <009401cb6955$085c8990$19159cb0$**At_Symbol_Here**vernon**At_Symbol_Here**>

"when a student received a few milliliters (of dichloromethane) squirt into
 her nose"

I assume that the 'squirt' was liquid and not vapor, which is VERY
different from the assumed original issue 'does the volatility and respirat
ory exposure effects of dichloromethane make the respiration risks from pro
perly using dichloromethane too high to be acceptable?'

Assuming that all dichloromethane transfers and handling were performed in 
a hood with the sash at the proper position, students were properly handlin
g the dichloromethane, etc., this should not have occurred. 

I should note that organic solvents have viscosities that is much lower tha
n is water's; a consequence is that rough handling will result in splashes 
that would not have occurred with water. Still, the hood sash (assuming tha
t the work was in a hood) should have functioned as a splash barrier.

One other possibility is the exposure was the result of a squeeze (wash) bo
ttle filled with dichloromethane. If so, eliminate wash bottles except for 
DI water.

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Ru
ssell Vernon
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 10:00 AM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Science Education & Safety - Follow-up

Thank you all for an insightful and informative discussion. I agree that we
should be teaching safety while we teach science (or chemistry in this
example) but alas I fear we could do much better. 


I asked for alternative extractions because I want to provide the faulty in
charge of this lab choices.

Of course, one of the choices will be to continue with their existing
experiment, but with a heightened degree of hazard control.


You see, I became aware of the use of dichloromethane when a student
received a few milliliters squirt into her nose, complained of breathing
difficulty and sought medical attention.


As always there's more to the story but in my opinion the teaching lab does
not seem to be providing adequate ventilation control or administrative
control when this happens....






Russell Vernon, Ph.D.

Research Safety

Environmental Health & Safety

University of California, Riverside

900 University Ave

Riverside, CA 92521



Direct (951) 827-5119

Admin (951) 827-5528

Fax (951) 827-5122


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