Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 05:11:17 -0700
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: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: access to chemical stockroom
In-Reply-To: <AANLkTimSLYL1gCC7qF2-4zO4hF+EFfY9NZ=m3gS0F+ej**At_Symbol_Here**>

Pat et al,
This throws open questions about chemical security and exactl y what chemicals and in what concentrations/volumes are stored in th e chemical stockroom.  The issue of hazardous reactivity I mention b ut leave to others with more expertise.  When does container "A" + C ontainer "B" + on ad infinitum become a serious hazard when mixed?
In the throws of idiocy, when I approached one of the major chemical supp ly houses to obtain some 0.1 M HCl and NaOH for neutralization demonstratio ns, they asked me to spend hours upon hours filing out ridiculous registr ation forms.  When I rebelled and simply went to the local auto part s and hardware stores, I bought off-the-shelf 6-13% HF, 8% phosphoric a cid, and up to 20+% sodium hydroxide as chrome wheel cleaners and drain c leaners.  Curriouser and curriouser.  They worked just fine i n the neutralization demonstrations and I could even travel, buy locally , and do them without being subjected to nonsense by the TSA.
To buy a simple week's dose of a decongestant containing pseudoephedrine in my state, it is now necessary to register and fill out various forms so that Big Brother can decide if you are really using it to make methamphetam ine rather than desiring relief from cold symptoms.  A recent public ation suggests strongly that such programs are a decided failure.
When my daughter was teaching science in a school in rural Montana in the r ecent past, there were enough reagents stored in an open classroom in anc ient, poorly-locked glass cabinets that her students showed her how to un lock with a bent paper clip to be a serious problem.  I think I got a state agency to dispose of them properly.  At least I tried.  ; Things that were stored together in containers (many leaking) left over from before I was born had a great potential for flammable/explosive react ions.  I did segregate what I could based on Bretheric k's and general knowledge.
So I don't really have an answer to your question other than that common se nse and concerns for safety should prevail.  As the founder of my sp ecialty noted some centuries past, "All Substances are Poisons.  T here is None which is Not.  The Difference Between a Poison and a Re medy is the Dose."  Paracelsus
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist


Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 21:10:48 -0600
From: ceas**At_Symbol_Here**STOLAF.EDU
Subject : [DCHAS-L] access to chemical stockroom
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU

Hi all,

I know that this or a similar question has been asked before, but pl ease allow me to ask it once again in a simplified form: For your central c hemical storeroom, how is access to chemicals controlled?    ;(assume that the person who is picking up the chemical is wearing approp riate PPE & uses an appropriate transport container):
(a) Open Access: all faculty are allowed to enter and take what they w ant as long as they log the user & amount.
(b) Closed Access: no faculty are allowed to enter, and only a few i ndividuals (e.g., trained stockroom employees) have access to the chemica ls; faculty request a chemical, and that chemical(s) is either delivere d or can be picked up from a check-out window.
(c) Limited Access: all faculty have "Open Access" to a subset of chem icals with "lower" hazard ratings and they can simply log out the amount ta ken; however, for chemicals with "higher" hazard ratings (e.g., NFPA of 3 or 4) it is "Closed Access."

Thanks.  Feel free to reply directly to me or to the list.


Dr. Patrick Ceas
312 Regents Hall of Natural Sciences
St. Olaf College
Northfield, MN 55057

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