> I cannot, in good conscience, recommend putting your hand into a fire or into liquid nitrogen for "demonstration" purposes. Doing so invites the potential for injury and I have seen impressionable youth try to imitate such actions without the proper understanding of the principles involved.
I think that this is a significant challenge for many "exocharmic" chemical demonstrations; while they can attract the attention of people who don't understand them, they also model behaviors that don't scale or transfer well into other settings. They also don't represent the scientific approach of planning the work and understanding risks before proceeding with the physical process. That's one reason that I think the new NFPA 45 standard's requirement for a briefing for the audience of the hazards of the demonstration makes sense.
We expect this briefing of commercial airplane flight, which has a lower incident rate than chemical demonstrations...
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College
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