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>
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.
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
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"
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