From: Marlyn Newhouse <mnewhous**At_Symbol_Here**UU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2013 18:02:16 -0600
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 346823CF-F045-4BD1-A7AE-FBE7171488FC**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <8D0B1D037D74DC8-1968-1AAC8**At_Symbol_Here**>

Dear Ones,

Sally Henrie, shenrie**At_Symbol_Here**, has had several undergraduate Chem Education Majors working with her on several Green Chemistry lab manuals.  I highly recommend her work.  My CHE 105 Fundamentals ofChemistry labs field tested a manual suitable for home schooling.  Most of the chemicals are available from the grocery store.  Modifications were made to comply with DOT regulations.  EScience Labs has produced a kit to accompany the labmanual(s)' 15experiments.


Sent from my iPad

On Nov 17, 2013, at 4:54 PM, "Monona Rossol" <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM> wrote:

Good points.  As Sammye also pointed out, fun chemistry can, with some thought, be safe chemistry.  And it has to be safe because just how much "informed consent" can you expect from a child under 12 years of age?   Or for that matter, their untrained parents?
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: Slawomir Janicki <slawomir.janicki**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Sent: Sat, Nov 16, 2013 3:53 pm
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project

There is a vast difference in a mindset of a consumer expecting a “safe” product, and of a trained chemist using a hazardous chemical with acceptable risk.
As a consumer I expect the products I buy not to harm me in a noticeable way when following 5th grade level directions. As a chemist I was trained to use hazardous chemicals with layers of protection that make the risk of use acceptable to me. I am also trained to dispose the results of my experiments in ways that minimize the damage to the environment.
Designing an interesting chemical experiment for 12 year olds at a “consumer” level of safety is a huge challenge. Perhaps it is too big for a for-profit organization.
Slawomir Janicki, Ph.D.
P.S. When I was in 6th grade I did walk around with singed eyebrows after a home chemistry experiment went wrong. By chance I was wearing prescription glasses, so the only things that got singed were my eyebrows and my pride. Would I become a chemist without this experience? Perhaps not. Just the same, there are better ways to educate about heat transfer than sticking my finger into a fireplace.
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Samuella Sigmann
Sent: Saturday, November 16, 2013 11:40 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Heirloom Chemistry Set Kickstarter Project
Thank you, Monona.  On a totally non-technical note, it bothers me that many propagate the notion that "fun chemistry" is not, or cannot be "safe chemistry".  
On 11/16/2013 10:25 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 <erclark**At_Symbol_Here**PH.LACOUNTY.GOV>
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
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