A couple of safety-related letters in C&EN this week respond to the University of California, Berkeley, explosion earlier this year.

From Michael R. Marvel:

I synthesized about 1 g of tetramethylammonium permanganate and was using a metal spatula to transfer the compound from a small glass filter frit when the compound exploded. I, like the student in the UC Berkeley incident, "became a little complacent" but was lucky to avoid lasting injury.

From Stephen L. Nicolosi:

Academia continues to follow more of the same, which evidence shows to be inadequate. Turning young researchers back to reviewing material safety data sheet (MSDS) documents and reviewing standard operating procedures is not the answer to hazardous operations safety. It is, however, a first step. It is imperative to know that one is working with a hazardous material. What is missing is how to proceed.

Full letters available here.