From: Bruce Van Scoy <vanscoybruce**At_Symbol_Here**FRONTIER.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (16 articles)
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2015 21:55:19 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 00a601d0c8d8$75c091b0$6141b510$**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <2C365675AAA2A647A1BB74D723C5650B22F218**At_Symbol_Here**>

My personal experience was a bit different. I provided an introductory
chemical hazard analysis training class that included a basic introduction
to RCRA with proper waste handling to a group of teachers as part of a new
program. Most surprisingly, the science teachers had never evaluated or
considered the chemicals based upon their respective toxicity, physical
hazards and had never heard of RCRA.
After the class, I was approached by a new science teacher for a local high
school who informed me that while her background was in biology, she had
replaced a teacher who had a degree/background in chemistry who had been in
the position for ~30-years and she inherited a significant chemical
inventory, that she had no idea how to deal with.
I provided basic instructions to perform a chemical inventory and I would
help her classify the waste streams for proper disposal. Upon receiving and
reviewing the chemical inventory, I required her to obtain an EPA ID Number
(the school did not know that they needed to obtain one), to NOT touch any
container and simply lock the cabinets until qualified personnel could come
in and remove the peroxide formers, reactive chemicals, etc., that had been
accumulating in the storage spaces for the past 30-years.
I then had a qualified hazardous waste disposal company come in to properly
(and legally) classify, handle and dispose of the chemicals which had
accumulated over that time. The company I used performed the disposal
action in off-school hours and no incidents resulted.
What I was perplexed by then and now, is how can any science teacher assume
the role without knowing the fundamental and rudimentary requirements to
keep themselves and their students safe?
I honestly thought schools were beginning to teach safer science practices.

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of
Marlyn Newhouse
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 12:44 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (16 articles)

Dear Ones,

I would like to add to the discussion as a safety consultant to schools in
our area. When a major industry in our area closed, they "donated"
chemicals to the local HS years ago ( 70's or 80''s). EPA had a program (in
the 90's?) where they would collect at a reduced cost to the school "
hazardous chemicals". This was a day or two prior to the collection of
"household hazardous waste" in the community.

I was called upon to help distinguish between "hazardous", non hazardous and
recycle chemicals. Our university received the "recycled" chemicals as a
donation of chemicals that we could use. It was a "win-win" situation. I
can give more details, names, etc. when back to school.


Marlyn Newhouse, D.A.
Associate Professor of Chemistry
1050 Union University Drive
Jackson TN 38305

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] on behalf of Nail,
John [jnail**At_Symbol_Here**OKCU.EDU]
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (16 articles)

First, a correction: Dupo (IL) HS, not Dupont.

Now, more to the point - I'm not surprised that a HS chemistry lab would
have potassium cyanide - likely it was purchased decades ago - chem labs and
safety issues were MUCH different then than today. Many of us remember the
picric acid in HS chemistry lab stockroom stories.

Don't assume that the education environment is anything like the industrial
environment in regards to health and safety.

The problem is that for many schools, including some colleges and
universities, there isn't a good way of disposing of chemicals such as KCN
as the personnel involved may not know who to call or much more likely,
don't have the funds to pay for hazardous waste disposal. I note that KCN is
on EPA's 'P' list - EPA regulations (at least those from 10 years ago) made
it very difficult for CESQGs to dispose of more than 1 kg of P listed waste.

If you can't reasonably easily dispose of a chemical, the default is to keep
it; the result is that it occupies stockroom space until an unintended event

John Nail
Professor of Chemistry
Oklahoma City University

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List
> on behalf of
McGrath Edward J
Reply-To: DCHAS-L >
Date: Monday, July 27, 2015 9:10 AM
To: "DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU"
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google (16 articles)

Re: the chemical spill at Dupont High School:

What in the WORLD was potassium cyanide doing in a high school in the first


Tags: us_IL, laboratory, release, response, cyanide

DUPO, IL (KTVI) - A St. Clair County hazmat crew was called to Dupo High
School Friday night after a potentially dangerous chemical spill.

A teacher conducting inventory in the school science lab accidentally
knocked over a bottle of potassium cyanide. The chemical can be dangerous to
inhale if it interacts with other chemicals.

Residents in nearby homes were told to stay inside their homes and a few
businesses had to be evacuated.


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