From: Samuella B. Sigmann <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**APPSTATE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] New Publications from ACS Committee on Chemical Safety
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2016 19:28:31 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 256d1262-344d-3f5f-ec09-e15061318ce1**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <156a9ebdfd2-da4-4919**At_Symbol_Here**>

On 8/20/2016 5:47 PM, Monona Rossol wrote:

The question is, after taking the course, would the students be able to do risk assessments? And I contend that this depends on the knowledge they had when they sat down at the beginning of the course. If they were already familiar with basic science concepts, then perhaps. But if you have to start out with people who have no idea what a chemical is, you have no foundation to build on.
Monona, of course you are right that some of what the student leaves with depends on what that student brings in, but I always hope that they leave with something more than the came with.

My course is a basic overview and primarily aims to introduce as much as I can
(regulatory agencies, intro to toxicology, RA to name a few) to the class. I only have an hour a week, but they do a lot of out of class work. I really concentrate on teaching them how to find information and learn to recognize what they don't know. They now actually have to do an intro level RA in the course. Whether they could do one on their own to protect themselves I don't know, but maybe they would know that (They know what they don't know)!

I do bring in some of the "politics" when we go through an SDS. I struggle deeply with how do you teach someone who does not know that the information on that SDS may not be complete and/or accurate. My favorite example is the SDS that I found last semester for con nitric acid that had, "no information available" in the reactivity section for that chemical. That really got my attention. I am pretty sure we know that nitric acid has some serious reactivity issues. Is someone that knows nothing about chemicals going to realize this is not best information? I also spend time explaining that "organic" does not equal safe!

Never mind sitting in - I need you to come lecture! My biggest struggle is getting our research faculty to implement and reinforce what I teach in training and the class. Actually, there is a collateral benefit of the working with the research students whenever I can - I have had them step up and actually say to their PI, "Shouldn't we be doing x, y, or z"

As always thanks for your insight,


We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do everything with nothing. Teresa Arnold

Samuella B. Sigmann, NRCC-CHO

Senior Lecturer/Safety Committee Chair/Director of Stockroom

A. R. Smith Department of Chemistry

Appalachian State University

525 Rivers Street

Boone, NC 28608

Phone: 828 262 2755

Fax: 828 262 6558

Email: sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**

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