From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] 4 Re; High School fire demonstration
Date: February 1, 2012 12:32:27 PM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <F5964E60-1D8D-4E37-9BA7-20A8EC7D7982**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>

From: Richard Gable
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] FW: ACS Thursday
Date: February 1, 2012 12:19:56 PM EST


I would not think it was a joke. Having taught chemistry for over 40 years I have seen many "interesting" activities permitted by teachers. I would discourage her from this activity. Nor would I demonstrate this by using my own hand. Students get ideas and want to try it on their own and the more adventurous of them will try it with different substances. It would be better to demonstrate by using a paper towel wetted with alcohol.

I do one demo called "fire underwater" [ethanol on top of conc. sulfuric acid and some potassium permanganate sprinkled into the cylinder. After observing the sparks and the noise I empty the cylinder into a sink and behind a shield. The sink catches fire and we discuss why it burst into flames]. Experience has taught me to have the shield and keep the volume of alcohol limited.

So there are many safer demos to illustrate almost any phenomena in chemistry.


Richard L. Gable
Associate Head
Shady Side Academy Senior School
423 Fox Chapel RD
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

412.968.3182 - voice
412.968.3002 - fax
412.352.7652 - cellular

From: kauletta**At_Symbol_Here**
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] FW: ACS Thursday
Date: February 1, 2012 11:52:36 AM EST

collective scream! can't they watch the videos on you tube & just realize its not such a good idea? what would be the purpose or scientific rationale for doing this?

Kim Auletta
Lab Safety Specialist
EH&S Z=6200
Stony Brook University
FAX: 631-632-9683
EH&S Web site:

Remember to wash your hands!

From: "CHANDRA, Tilak"
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] FW: ACS Thursday
Date: February 1, 2012 12:05:30 PM EST

Very sad and unsafe.


Tilak Chandra, Ph.D.
Chemical Safety Specialist
Environment, Health and Safety
University of Wisconsin-Madison
30 East Campus Mall
Madison, WI 53715
Ph. 608-890-0255
FAX 608-262-6767

From: Jo Anna Shimek
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] FW: ACS Thursday
Date: February 1, 2012 12:02:57 PM EST

I don't think you could print my initial response. Please strongly discourage this activity.

Jo Anna Shimek, PhD, CIH, CSP
Indiana University

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