From: Ken Kretchman <kwkretch**At_Symbol_Here**NCSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Facial hair and fire?
Date: January 25, 2013 8:27:21 AM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <F7700FBD6385EE44AD95343829AF74C1968C839C**At_Symbol_Here**>

Not to prolong this but I think only Sammye knows this person. I would not jump to question his character as he may be one of those who really wants the students to

retain the concept with something memorable (if not well advised). I like to think the best of people as a starting point... I might like to do the following if this came up here..

1. are you serious ? if yes..
2. Why do you want to do it this way ?
3. Is there already a video or demonstration that makes the point ? (I wish I had time to surf the net for the multitude of really great demonstrations properly and safely conducted among the many that are not ) If no..
4. If you want to make this point with this demo it can't be done here or in any way condoned by the university .. you are only your own..

In addition and in response to Patty's point, many of us have a Chemistry Safety Committee. I would use this opportunity to discuss with them the request and then discuss demonstrations in a larger context. For this one I would expect (am sure) the committee would ask that he find a different approach. It is much more effective to hear this from ones's peers than the "central safety office" that researchers often feel is risk adverse.

As Patty says a good opportunity to discuss demonstrations in general ...


Ken Kretchman, CIH, CSP Director, Environmental Health and Safety
Campus Box 8007 / 2620 Wolf Village Way / Raleigh North Carolina 27695-8007
Email: Ken_Kretchman**At_Symbol_Here** / Phone: (919).515.6860 / Fax: (919).515.6307

On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 7:01 AM, Olinger, Patricia L <patty.olinger**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
I like your idea Ken! This discussion does bring up a question about class room demonstrations and EHS sign off. I know that we don't have this but probably a very good idea. Especially with flammable liquids and beards.

Sammye, If you have a EHS committee that could handle a question that also has faculty on it I would bring it to the committee. Also, ask Risk Management or the Professors Chair or Dean for sign-off. One of our roles in EHS is to bring issues forward to management that does have more clout to say no. If they still allow it, they have at least been informed. Keep your documentation.


Patty Olinger, RBP
Director EHSO
Emory University
1762 Clifton Rd., Suite1200
Atlanta, GA 30322
404-727-5690 office
404-357-1679 cell

From: Samuella B Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**APPSTATE.EDU>
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2013 8:56 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Facial hair and fire?

Hey Ken - Funny that you should suggest trying it out at home - That's what I told him, but I did not think about filming it! I did tell him that I would visit him in the hospital. It actually might produce a video that we could see on Tosh.O!

Also not surprising that I cannot get him to protect his eyes.


On 1/24/2013 3:50 PM, Ken Kretchman wrote:
Hi Sammye,

You could forward him to Fire Protection to get a hot work permit. Just kidding although ours would not issue since this would not pass the common sense test and fire marshals are pretty serious about their jobs. Perhaps more helpful .. this surely falls into the category of an experiment that could make an interesting point but is not appropriate for demonstration on state property. If he was motivated, he could perform it at home in his backyard (with absolutely no request from the university to do so - (he's on his own) and video it, then show it to the class. Lots of demonstrations done by video these days.

Thanks for keeping things interesting..


Ken Kretchman, CIH, CSP Director, Environmental Health and Safety
Campus Box 8007 / 2620 Wolf Village Way / Raleigh North Carolina 27695-8007

On Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 3:08 PM, Samuella B. Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
All - Please let me know if anyone out there has had any any experience with this situation.

I have a PI who has a full beard (we are talking ZZ Top style beard here). He is insistent on doing demos with flames - including fire eating. Don't ask me what chemical principal that is demonstrating. Yesterday he asked me what I thought about doing the classic "money burning" demo where you dip a dollar in a 50/50 isopropanol/water mixture that shows how evaporation cools the money and prevents the alcohol from burning it, only he wants to use his beard instead of the money. I am not sure if he was serious or just trying to get a response out of me.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent this fellow from burning his face off? In general, I would like to tell him that if the beard stays, he cannot work with flames. Is that an option? It is so long that he can actually tie it up and fold it in on itself, but it is still hanging pretty low and could easily catch on fire with a Bunsen burner.




Don't always believe what you think.

Samuella B. Sigmann, NRCC-CHO

Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair

A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry

Appalachian State University

525 Rivers Street

Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828 262 2755

Fax: 828 262 6558

Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**

This e-mail message (including any attachments) is for the sole use of
the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged
information. If the reader of this message is not the intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution
or copying of this message (including any attachments) is strictly

If you have received this message in error, please contact
the sender by reply e-mail message and destroy all copies of the
original message (including attachments).

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.