Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2011 12:09:53 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
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From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety"

Subject: 3 re Yale death follow up

From: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
>With that being said, I do place blame, on the profes sor who authorized the student to have a key, the admin who gave the key and the EHS professional who allowed this to all take place under their watch, a nd this blame is criminal.
Bingo. If the equipment is in a particular department, that department is responsible. If the shop was under separate management to be used by ma ny departments, then who ever manages that shop is responsible.
But whether we are talking about chemicals, typical chemistry lab equipment, or shop machines, no one should work with any of this stuff alon e, not students, not faculty. And custodians should only work in pairs in a building within hearing distance of each other so they can check on each ot her.
There is no excuse for the Yale accident. The school has the ove rall responsibility and the Chemistry Department faculty's policies and/or l ack of enforcement of the rules are the proximate cause.
There is not one administrator or faculty member anywhere in the w orld that doesn't already know with great certainty and personal experience t hat s*** happens.

From: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM > "Chemphobia" is rampant (look at the number of schools evacuated becaus e someone smells something that turns out to be cleaning solvent). Nah. That's not it. Fear is the appropriate response for human beings when they do not understand. Fear is replaced with appropriate reactions when t he issues are defined and understood.
What do you really think the public should do? Should they just believe us when we say a particular odor poses no risk because we have init ials after our names? They learned through bitter experience not to do that .
The problem is our failure to include the right subjects in scien ce in schools from grade schools to grad schools. Every grade school stude nt can learn about odor thresholds demonstrated with food and common substan ces. They can learn that there are things that smell bad that won't hurt yo u, things we like the odor of that are not good for us, and things that have no odor that can either be innocuous or can kill. A rudimentary understand ing of dose and risk assessment is the next easy step.
The concept of the TLV and EPA outdoor air quality standards can e ven be taught in a simplified form to high school students in science. I've done it. It's not the details but the concept that is important. Besides, i f high school students have after school jobs involving chemicals, even at M cDonalds, OSHA requires they be trained about MSDSs. And there is no purpos e in making MSDSs available to workers if they can't read them.
So please explain to me again, why, why, during Lab Safety traini ng in most universities, I have to define and explain TLVs, PELs, & EPA N AAQS? I've thought about the problem, and the problem is us.
From: chemsafety**At_Symbol_Here**VERIZON. NET
>With that being said, I do place blame, on the professor who a uthorized the student to have a key, the admin who gave the key and the EHS p rofessional who allowed this to all take place under their watch, and this b lame is criminal.
To state that the blame for this unfortunate accident is criminal is foolish and unwarranted. A person who is not qualified (such as your self) should not make such an accusation. No one yet knows enough about the facts involved to be able to make the kind of assertion that you made. You should be ashamed of yourself.
You should apologize to everone who read what you wrote.
I feel very sorry for you. Jay A.Young

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