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Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Medical Oxygen requirement for experiments with cyanides
Date: May 23, 2012 8:49:03 AM EDT
Author: "Michael E. Richardson"
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Subject: [DCHAS-L] Make your contribution to the DCHAS Health and Safety FAQ
Date: May 23, 2012 1:00:23 PM EDT
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 least  24hrs 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:
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."
Resources Manager (Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Action)
Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Monash University (Parkville Campus)
381 Royal Parade, Parkville
Victoria 3052, Australia
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