From: Dan Kuespert <dkuespert**At_Symbol_Here**JHU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemistry classroom fire injures 6
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2015 13:43:01 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 42FC0A14-68D0-4E0D-A71F-7C5B6E92EF2F**At_Symbol_Here**

I've just skimmed through about 45 messages discussing how to raise awareness of the dangers of the rainbow demo, all good. I would like to point out a productive and easy method to help out that I didn't notice anyone else raise (if you did, I apologize for lifting your ideaÉ). It has the advantage of being immediately actionable.

Most of us in universities have K-12 outreach programs that run science/engineering camps, provide curriculum, etc. (Here at Johns Hopkins, it's the Center for Educational Outreach-- These organizations are typically very good at distributing information to schools and are particularly experienced in working with school systems and state education departments.

Yesterday, I stopped by CEO's offices and had a word with the director, who promised to insert a warning into their newsletter for schools, which is widely read within the school systems with which they work. This morning, I sent off a two-sentence blurb that cites the ACS warning and gives a link to the safer UC/Davis flame test procedure. I also sent a longer 6-sentence version, as she mentioned possibly doing a special warning a bit sooner. 

School administrators and science teachers are well-able to infer that they and their students are at risk, so belaboring the point is not really necessary. We just need to motivate them to look up more information on their own, and the words "serious accident" and "injury to students and teachers" will really get their attention well, I think.

If all of those of us who have access to such resources can arrange for such messages to be distributed, we should be able to reach a decent percentage of the school science teacher population relatively quickly.  I think it's not so much the source of the message (DivCHAS, ACS president, CSB, etc.) but the distribution channel you use. The educational outreach folks have the ears of the school systems, while neither we nor CSB apparently do, so let's team up with them.


Dr. Daniel R. Kuespert
Homewood Laboratory Safety Advocate
Krieger School of Arts & Sciences/Whiting School of Engineering
The Johns Hopkins University
103G Shaffer Hall
3400 North Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 516-5525

On Nov 2, 2015, at 19:41, Chris A Jakober <cajakober**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU> wrote:

Addressing the new requirements of NFPA 45 - 2015 would've gone a long way towards prevention as well:

"Laboratory Operations

12.1 General. This chapter provides fire protection and safety requirements for new and existing educational and instructional laboratories where experiments are conducted or  demonstrations are performed using hazardous materials.

12.2* Instructor Responsibilities. Where instructors are performing demonstrations or students are conducting experiments using hazardous materials, the instructor shall be required
to perform a documented hazard risk assessment, provide a safety briefing to students, provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), and place a safety barrier (as required) between students and the demonstration or experiment to prevent personal injury.

12.2.1* Instructors in teaching labs shall be trained and knowledgeable in fire safety procedures, emergency plans, the hazards present in the lab, the appropriate use of PPE, and how to properly conduct a hazard risk assessment."



Date:    Sat, 31 Oct 2015 10:04:06 -0700
From:    Laurence Doemeny <ldoemeny**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET>
Subject: Re: Chemistry classroom fire injures 6

While training is helpful the real need is getting the information about the hazard to the teachers and administrators.  Apparently some instructors don't know there is a problem.

My suggestion is for the ACS and teacher organizations to jointly contact local and national news media to have a segment on the dangers of some of these demonstrations and how to perform them safely.  That should get parent and school administrators attention.  This would make a nice PBS Frontline or 60 Minutes segment.

The Chemical Safety Board makes outstanding videos and excellent reports but their reach appears limited.

Laurence Doemeny

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List
[mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Casadonte, Dominick
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 1:42 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemistry classroom fire injures 6

This continues to beg for training for

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List
<dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**> on behalf of
"'sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**appstate. edu'"
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Friday, October 30, 2015 at 3:18 PM
To: "DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU"
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemistry classroom fire injures 6

I just showed the CSB video to our preteachers this week!

On 10/30/2015 4:00 PM, Harry J. Elston wrote:

Bang Head Here --->  (Rainbow Experiment)


On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 2:13 PM, Jyllian Kemsley <jyllian.kemsley**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

"She was demonstrating the experiment ... with the different elements causing the fire to change color, and as the fire was dying down she added more alcohol"

On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 9:25 AM, ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

Figured this one couldn't wait for Monday's

Two are in serious condition (presumably with
burns).  No chemistry details yet.   I think we
all have a good guess at what was involved based on unfortunate past experiences, but let's sit tight until there is confirmation.

Rob Toreki


Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.