From: Neil Edwards <Neil.Edwards**At_Symbol_Here**LIU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2013 21:46:48 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 24C4D896-60CA-4160-A5A3-00226A3510C9**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <8D0B0F72B621A4E-1EEC-11EA9**At_Symbol_Here**>

As usual, Monona, you are right on target. I had many of the same concerns upon seeing the video for this Kickstarter campaign. Your explanation of the issues says it all.

On Nov 16, 2013, at 11:15 AM, "Monona Rossol" > wrote:

You may think because I'm an industrial hygienist that I look at it in terms of worker safety, but that's not at all what I'm doing. I also vote on literally hundreds of ASTM consumer safety and labeling standards and I deal with all levels of school safety. The CPSC regulations define a "child" as grade 6 and under which is age 12/13. So my first issue is with the age RANGE for which this educational "toy" is the suggested.

Next, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act as amended in 1989 (by a law I helped get passed) limits chemicals in children's materials to those that do not have to carry serious hazard warnings. So I would suggest people not invest in this company, because the first lawsuit filed against them for an accident or even deliberate misuse of those chemicals by someone under grade six is likely to be dicey for the Defendants.

The next issue, as pointed up by others on this forum, is the "failure to warn" issue seen in the poor quality MSDSs. While MSDSs and SDSs carry some liability for worker exposure injuries, the worker cannot sue for workplace injuries so there is little case law to look to. But providing confusing or misleading information to consumers, who can be assumed not to be trained or educated in chemical safety, is a strict liability issue with a long history of precedent. If a jury composed of ordinary consumers can easily see how the parents were confused by the MSDSs/SDS, product literature, or labels, they will sympathize with the Plaintiffs.

Then I'd suggest lawyers top off that case by showing that other labeling laws, shipping regulations, and a number of other smaller issues I noticed are also violations. Now we have the Defendants for lunch.

If I were the owner of this company, I would get over the idea that my website was a version of the Sharks TV program on which he gets investors to make his business a big deal. He needs to: 1) restrict the customer age range; 2) sit with lawyers to develop literature that fully warns parents about the potentials for harm; 3) stop writing his own MSDSs as he proudly acclaims and for which he is unqualified; 4) direct link consumers instead to other free and respected sources such as the NJ DOH Right to Know Fact Sheets which ARE written for chemically unsophisticated people; and 5) obtain permission to use MSDS information from sources such as Aldrich or one of the major chemical suppliers and regularly updated.

The business would be smaller, but he wouldn't be putting his own livelihood and his investors money is in such obvious jeopardy.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Clark >
Sent: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 11:48 pm
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project

We're evaluating this chemistry set is as if it were a worker safety thing. By
the time we insert all the proper documentation and remove all the risky things
it won't be fun anymore. It would be more like work.

This chemistry set isn't some Walmart item from the toy department, it's a
serious learning activity that's also fun. If anyone is interested enough to
want to spend this kind of money and share this with their significant young
people, then they'll also provide some kind of proper supervision and be
responsible, and not try to figure out a way to blame John Farrell Kuhns if
something goes wrong. Btw, I thought that list of chemicals was pretty

Or, maybe we should download the smart phone app and just simulate the


Eric Clark, MS, CHMM, CCHO
Safety Officer, Public Health Scientist III
Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory
(562) 658-1486
(562) 401-5999 Fax

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of
Peifer, Patricia
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 1:10 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project

My sister is a dental hygenist and has a patient who many, many years ago got a
chemistry set for Christmas and gave himself a permanent gum injury by sticking
one of the chemicals in his mouth. I do not know what the chemical was, but
must have been rather aggressive from what my sister describes.

Of course she also has a patient who still has a BB lodged in his cheek (the
kind of cheek that would be involved in a dental x-ray) from an incident
involving his brother and a BB gun, also many, many years ago.

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of
Derheimer, Dan G
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 2:32 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project

Sounds like their safety information is "heirloom" also.

Dan Derheimer
Environmental Health & Safety
Indiana University Bloomington
1514 E. 3rd St.
Bloomington, IN 47405

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of
Peter Zavon
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 10:37 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project

This sounds kind of interesting but I begin to question the validity of the
entire enterprise (especially their stated concern for safety) when I see that
benzene is one of the compounds provided with their kit AND that the MSDS they
offer for benzene not only lacks any mention that it is a known human
carcinogen, but includes the line "Chronic Exposure: No information found." (It
does state "Known Carcinogen" under Section 16: other

It also states in Section 8 that no airborne exposure limits have been
established while burying the OSHA and ACGIH limits in Section 15 Regulatory

I've not checked any of their other MSDS, but benzene is so widely known in this
regard that I have to wonder what these people think they are doing.

Peter Zavon, CIH
Penfield, NY


-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of
Ralph B. Stuart
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 8:11 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project

Here's something that I think will interest many on the DCHAS-L list... it
addresses chemical safety issues in interesting ways.

- Ralph

Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project

This is the chemistry set you always wanted as a kid but either didn't get it or
you got stuck with some cheap plastic wannabe...

Ralph Stuart, CIH
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Cornell University

Find West on Twitter <!/WestPharma> and LinkedIn<>.

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