From: "Michael E. Richardson" <mrichardson**At_Symbol_Here**FLOWSCIENCES.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Medical Oxygen requirement for experiments with cyanides
Date: May 23, 2012 8:49:03 AM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <B6E6A07A-C98C-49B8-99D3-4001C33EA16F**At_Symbol_Here**mimectl>


            You are welcome and truly you can never go wrong erring on the side of caution. I am glad to see you company is willing to provide the funds for safety. That is why I had suggested submitting the purchase order with the available requirements. Your people seem to be safety conscious. Some companies would do nothing unless at gunpoint or just the bare minimum.

            In regards to the “Safe Work Australia” document, at least they provided some guidance. Some places have no regulations or guidelines and are doing quite a bit on the open bench. We actually train them on what PPE to wear and how to function under a safety enclosure.


Best regards,

Michael E. Richardson

Lab Manager

Flow Sciences, Inc.
corporate office 800-849-3429 Ext. 4849
corporate fax    910-763-1220
2025 Mercantile Drive
Leland, NC 28451



From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Paul Dover
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 7:50 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Medical Oxygen requirement for experiments with cyanides


Dear all,


Thanks for your replies, especially all the Michaels!

I guess initially I had a bit of a knee jerk reaction, as I'm sure we have all had experience of OHS consultants (who do not need to be 'certified' by our legislation) issuing sweeping recommendations which are always offered as advice not requirements. But who is game to then take the one in a billion chance of something happening and not having the 'recommendation' at hand?

So, reluctantly from me, we are taking the comparative easy way out. Having medical oxygen on site, arranging to have regular testing, training, documentation and so on. I can add we never use hydrogen cyanide gas, and as part of the risk assessment we always use fume hoods, cleared from any possible reactive materials, inform facilities management at least24hrs before (so no one works on the roof), and run the procedures (including spill management and disposal) through a committee of experienced chemists.

The documentation we have found that relate to oxygen requirements for cyanide in our 'territory' include this from 1993:


Which relates to 'cyanide poisoning' in a very general context, and almostembarrassing as an Aussie when you read through it.


Also this one, a little more recent, having been revised in 2008:


But as a lot of these government things have there is the usual 'back to you' disclaimer:


"Each site needs to undertake a risk assessment to determine the appropriate quantity and location of oxygen that should be available on site, taking into consideration the numbers of potentially exposed personnel and the duration to reach a tertiary care facility."


Then this article that states 'anecdotal' evidence the oxygen therapy is useful from the UK in 1996:


I don't think I have seen a document that ever states "Nah, you don't need it", unfortunately. The best it gets is like above.


Anyway, thanks again everyone.


Cheers, Paul



Paul Dover
Resources Manager (Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Action)

Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monash University (Parkville Campus)
381 Royal Parade, Parkville
Victoria 3052, Australia


Tel: Int + 61 3 9903 9551

Fax: Int + 61 3 9903 9143

E-mail: paul..dover**At_Symbol_Here**



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