Very good points and I heartily subscribe to the goal of building bridges and relationships, and not undermining them.
At the same time, there is a real need to be sure that the facts of the matter do check out. Misunderstanding, misreading, misinformation, and simple human error abound. In my experience, too often what is purported to be a regulation is simply wishful thinking.. Respected scientists, educators, OSHA inspectors, and soccer referees to name just three!
Returning to the issue of pregnancy: A more positive approach, and one not yet mentioned in the numerous posts, is the idea of volunteering to speak with the person's physician (if so wished). In this way, the more chemically knowledgeable person (as previously suggested) can provide some helpful (bridge building) assistance in the decision making process.
A second constructive approach, and one which LSI is pursuing, is to review the chemicals used in the most popular high school and college chemistry lab manuals to determine which chemicals are known or probable human carcinogens, reproductive or fetal toxins, etc. If you are interested in volunteering to assist with this project, please let me know.
James A. Kaufman, Ph.D.
The Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI)
A Nonprofit Educational Organization for
Safety in Science, Industry, and Education
192 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760-2252
508-647-1900 Fax: 508-647-0062
Cell: 508-574-6264 Res: 781-237-1335
Skype: labsafe; 508-319-1225
Chair, ICASE Committee on Safety in Science Education
International Council for Associations of Science Education
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I find the phrase "trust with verification" to be internally illogical based on the common definition of the terms. "Trust" inherently involves the absence of the need for verification. (President Reagan - famous for this phrase - was right, in my judgment, not to trust the Soviet Union about nuclear arms deals. Using the word "trust" in these matters is disingenuous, although public international diplomacy invites such language.)
That aside, if one is sending sample for analysis, and paying on per sample basis, I think that it is fine to send along "test samples" that assess the accuracy of the testing procedure. The "cost per sample" factor eliminates the abuse of time and trust that would otherwise be involved in sending a "fake" chemical in a list of possible chemicals to be assessed by a physician for lab use by one of their patients. This is a subterfuge that seems entirely rude and disrepectful if not even unethical. Other CHAS list contributors have already commented, correctly, on this aspect of such a strategy.
Let's build bridges and relationships, not undermine them.
David C. Finster
Professor, Department of Chemistry
University Chemical Hygiene Officer
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