From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Judge denies three Harran defense motions
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2013 13:09:14 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 027FD60E-5DAE-4416-9AB5-877BDF95DFD3**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG

From: Monona Rossol
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Judge denies three Harran defense motions
Date: August 29, 2013 12:59:20 PM EDT

In the middle and late 1950s when this old broad was a Chemistry undergrad at U of Wisconsin, we had to do a safety class before we could take a lab course. This course plus the eye washes, ventilation systems, extinguishers, gloves, eye protection, and other precautions in the Chemistry department are what got me interested in my current career.

When I went into the Art Department as a Chemistry grad, they were using the same acids, solvents, and compounds--only in much larger quantities and out in the open. There were no eye washes, ventilation or even the slightest attention to safety. After five minute of instruction, plus some filthy shared goggles, I was a welder in sculpture. And after a demonstration on how to use a potters wheel, I never saw the Ceramics professor again until exam time. He had his own work to do elsewhere and we students figured out stuff on our own. The first day the more experienced students showed me how to break and enter the kiln room at night since we also had to fire the kilns on our own.

And my! The accidents. But we don't have time. Oh, just two.

1. An electric fry pan was used to melt wax so we could dip the bottom of the ceramic pots to keep them free of glaze. One day when I was working just outside of the glaze room looking in, I noticed what appeared to be a sort of cloudy area in the air above the wax pan. Then the whole thing exploded in a fire ball wrecking the room. And I learned about paraffin fume.

2. Having read about salt glazing--every part except that the process generates sodium oxide fume and hydrochloric acid--a student who is now a famous California potter decided to build a salt kiln indoors in the school. The entire building had to be evacuated and the fire department squirted water on the kiln with the expected result when water hits refractory brick that is glowing white hot.

Oh, one more: We built the first glass department ever at a university (my MFA was the first in glass--despite what another 60s glass blower may say). The building was a steel and fiberglass Butler building containing brick furnaces, ceramic fiber annealing ovens, metal benches, tools, and the like. But the year after I left Madison, the students managed to burn it to the ground.

It seemed to me something just might be missing from the curriculum.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President: Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012 212-777-0062

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