From: K Roy <safesci**At_Symbol_Here**>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Flaming Snowballs @ ACS
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2017 13:14:06 +0000
Reply-To: K Roy <safesci**At_Symbol_Here**>
Message-ID: 2029024930.505735.1491916446879**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <1109037139E1524980CF9CBEB2476618010AE886EF**At_Symbol_Here**>

Monique et al -

Over a decade ago, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) was getting similar concerns expressed by national and regional conference attendees/participants.  After looking into it and following up, NSTA decided to have every presentation involving a demo or hands-on activity vetted for safety compliance.  This was based on promoting sound safety protocols and practices, and also protecting all involved from any legal entanglements should there be a safety incident.  In this way, as Chief Science Safety Compliance Adviser for the NSTA, I review with each potential presenter by initially posing 3 questions: 

1. What exactly is the activity and materials/equipment (biological, chemical and/or physical) for your session?
2. Are these demos or activities for audience participation?
3. What safety precautions will you be taking to meet legal safety standards and better professional practices based on doing a hazards analysis, risk assessment and safety action for your session?
Once I have that information, I determine if they are meeting the NSTA Presenter Safety Practices and Regulations Guidelines document established by the NSTA Safety Advisory Board.  This can be found at the following site: 
You bring up an important point and hopefully it will be addressed.

Thanks -


Kenneth R. Roy, Ph.D.
Chief Science Safety Compliance Adviser
National Science Teachers Association

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On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 7:35 AM, "Wilhelm, Monique" <mwilhelm**At_Symbol_Here**UMFLINT.EDU> wrote:

Hello Safe Ones,

I have a question related to the recent ACS meeting: Are live demos performed at ACS meetings reviewed for safety before they are approved to be done?  I know there was an approval process for the Demo Exchange this year, but do not know if safety was part of it. 

I ask because this is the second year in a row where my students have come back to tell me the horror they felt seeing what others were doing..  Last year it was liquid nitrogen explosions with only safety glasses as PPE during a workshop.  This year it was a video of "Flaming Snowballs" being presented as a demo at the Demo Exchange.  I do not have the exact video or know what chapter was showing it.  You can see an example of these Flaming Snowballs here: I have not personally seen the exact video that was shown at this year's meeting.  However, my students did specifically point out lack of PPE, even though my bigger concern was throwing a flaming ball around.  I am glad that my students can identify the problems with such things, but do worry about the influence on other students who may not have as much safety knowledge (especially considering I will have a new group of chemists in training to take with me when my current gr!
oup graduates next year).

Has anyone else seen these demos being done or shared these concerns?

Monique Wilhelm
Laboratory Manager/Adjunct Lecturer/Chem Club Co-Advisor
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Michigan-Flint
Flint, MI 48502

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