Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2011 05:48:29 -0800
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 Bunzow <davidbunzow**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Re: New Video from UCSD "A Day in the Lab (A PIs Perspective)"
Comments: To: neal**At_Symbol_Here**CHEMICAL-SAFETY.COM
In-Reply-To: <01cb01cbb78b$2060e7f0$6122b7d0$**At_Symbol_Here**com>

Neal and Rob,
As a semiconductor process engineer for 40+ years, I must say I agree 
Neal on this one. The IC industry has safely used both acidic and basic
piranha at temperature of 100-150 C. with very few significant incidents 
the lab.  The few times we have had problems with it were due to 
disposal (failing to wait for it to cool properly) of the waste solution
into improper plastic waste containers with tight lids...Piranha can be
managed safely if people are properly trained to assess the risks in 
use/waste procedures and demand accountability of themselves and those
around them.  


-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 7:44 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

Rob -

I really hate to disagree with you, but you are wrong. Piranha has been 
since the 60's in both semiconductor R&D and production with very few
problems.  The issue is NOT the hazard, which you are addressing, but 
risk, which must be managed.

So, if the PI makes the case for using "tetra-ethyl-death", it is our 
job to
help make it happen safely.

I cannot buy into telling a PI (I was one for 15 years) "you cannot do 

Sorry, even though I tend to agree with most of your postings, you are 


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-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 4:40 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

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

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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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