Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 19:39:56 -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: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: New Video from UCSD "A Day in the Lab (A PIs Perspective)"
In-Reply-To: <ECF9B96387C47F43B0D7812262558BAB0E65E5BEB2**At_Symbol_Here**MBX2.AD.UCSD.EDU>

No matter how good an SOP you make, piranha is just too dangerous to  
use.  Its use should be discouraged, if not banned.

The firsthand account I referenced in my earlier response in this  
thread ( ) highlights  
the issue - no matter how well prepared you are, no matter how good  
the procedures, it takes just ONE **minor** slip with piranha and you  
could be severely injured or die.  Period.  There is no redundant  
safety system, there is no PPE that can protect you from that kind of  
explosion, there is NO margin for error.   Make a simple mistake like  
not seeing 20 mL of nearly invisible acetone in the receiving flask  
(or assume it's water, piranha solution etc.) and boom.

In the academic setting, we are already painfully aware of what  
engrained laboratory culture/procedures can lead to (the UCLA incident  
being just one).  All it takes is one person not remembering to tell  
the new guy about keeping acetone away, one language/comprehension  
issue, or one person thinking about the upcoming Superbowl party, and  
the incident I described will happen all over again.   It is insane to  
use such a hazardous material for cleaning glassware - a routine task  
during which people often let their guards down because they are done  
their "dangerous" experiment.  Cleaning glassware - we are not talking  
about some irreplaceable step in the synthetic method to make taxol or  
something here.

Yes, piranha cleans great, but there are equally great and ***far***  
safer alternatives.  Using piranha is like insisting on using  
nitroglycerin instead of C-4.

I've used 500 mL bottles of t-butyllithium, pure SiF4, phosgene,  
things that will crosslink your DNA, boiling benze extractions, you  
name it. I've seen explosions, fires, injuries in the lab.  I once  
held a 30 ml vial of diethylzinc that started spurting flames and  
there is absolutely NOTHING in the lab that I have encountered that  
scares me more than piranha solution.  I wish we had cell phone  
cameras back when I saw witnessed that piranha incident, because you  
would never believe that a person could lose that much blood in five  
seconds.  It was simply unbelievable how large a pool we encountered  
when we opened the door to that lab.   Yes, explosions are always a  
risk in the lab, but to *deliberately* invite them in order to clean  
glassware is, again, insane.

Rob "tell me what you really think about piranha" Toreki

Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
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On Jan 18, 2011, at 3:43 PM, Harvey, Doug wrote:

> The video references the EH&S SOP from the outset of the scene ( 
> ) and it is a discussion not the actual transfer.
> Douglas Harvey
> Environment, Health & Safety, CCHO
> Chemical Safety Officer
> University of California, San Diego
> Office phone:  (858) 822-1579
> Cell phone:  (858) 583-3257
> Email:  daharvey**At_Symbol_Here**
> Mail code:  0089
> From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On  
> Behalf Of Leslie Coop
> Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 12:34 PM
> To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
> Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] New Video from UCSD "A Day in the Lab (A PIs  
> Perspective)"
> It definitely has some terrific examples.  I agree about the safety  
> goggles.  The hood sashes open side to side (especially with the  
> piranha solution) is also disturbing.
> Leslie
> --
> Leslie B. Coop, CCHO | Lab Manager, Safety Coordinator | Chemistry  
> Department
> University of Arkansas at Little Rock | 2801 S. University Ave. |  
> Little Rock, AR 72204
> 501-569-3192 (o) | 501-590-6026 (c) | lbcoop**At_Symbol_Here**

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