From: Bruce Van Scoy <bvanscoy**At_Symbol_Here**TWC.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Likely Rainbow experiment injures 12 three year olds at Houston daycare
Date: Wed, 17 May 2017 21:02:04 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 014101d2cf72$5dd1af10$19750d30$**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <15c169d8d8e-1dc9-cf7f**At_Symbol_Here**>


We are in complete agreement on this perspective. But I think we are looking at this from different viewpoints.

I can't disregard the teacher's absolute stupidity in trying to display this to 3-5 year olds.

I just can't justify how this could, would or should have been approved.

Was approval even sought/obtained?

Which leads to my point, if approval was sought/obtained, where does the responsibility lie?

At what level or degree of incompetence is needed to ensure these injuries are not repeated?

How many proven examples/injuries need to re-occur and what is the mechanism we can enact to ensure they are not repeated?

The bottom line is, who is responsible/accountable?

Yet, these accidents continue to occur, so where is our responsibility and how can we prevent?

Maybe I'm looking at this from a bigger picture, yes the chemicals used are toxic, but maybe the question we should be demand answer is why are these chemicals allowed to be used in the first place, especially at this education level.

Just asking,



From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Monona Rossol
Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:34 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Likely Rainbow experiment injures 12 three year olds at Houston daycare


I fully understand that the fire hazard is primary, but damn, how dare they bring methanol, and perhaps toxic lithium or barium soluble salts into a freaking grade school class?  Lithium is toxic and mind altering in milligram amounts and soluble barium compounds are highly toxic in similar amounts causing death with symptoms similar to those of a heart attack. Methanol is toxic and exposure can be both by inhalation and skin contact. None of these chemicals should be anywhere near children.


Even copper chloride and boric acid should not be present in this form around very young children.  And if you watch and listen to the 5 year old interviewed and the reporter's comments it appears the slightly older children were "participating" in the experiment being done for the crowd of 3 year olds.  


The Consumer Product Safety Commission has some good guidelines about children's products that should apply to this project as well.  The chemical products allowed for grade six and under are those that are both acutely and chronically nontoxic by definition (LD/LC50s for acute plus any chronic data).  Only starting in grade 7 can toxic products be used WITH SUPERVISION.  Supervision of a crowd of 3 year olds is an oxymoron and an inappropriate precaution.  


The bottom line: The methanol, some of the color chemicals and the emissions to the air from burning them indoors are not appropriate in a classroom full of preschoolers.


However, don't let your knickers get in a twist over this one.  Nothing will happen since the school is both religious and in the state of Texas.


Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist

President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.

Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE

181 Thompson St., #23

New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062



-----Original Message-----
From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Sent: Tue, May 16, 2017 8:45 pm
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Likely Rainbow experiment injures 12 three year olds at Houston daycare

Very preliminary information, but look at the quote by the five-year old witness:


"Fire was changing colors and the last one wasn't working, so we put it a little bit more, and then it exploded," said Kate Earnest, a 5-year-old who was part of the group that participated in the experiment. "That's how the other kids got burned, and they were crying."


From the school's web site, "The Yellow School is an early childhood program for children 3 years old through kindergarten."  My god.  What utter stupidity and ignorance.


Another news reports says it was the school science teacher.  Who, one presumes, somehow thought this was age-appropriate despite the long and public track record of what happens with this demo over and over again.  Obviously this is not a target audience that any of us could probably have ever reached with our best efforts and national campaigns, and how this person could find information on how to perform the demo with also encountering the multiple reports of injuries and danger is beyond me: and    No wait, of course - go to YouTube and this is what you get:


I hope the Houston prosecutor doesn't give this teacher a free pass.  He or she should be criminally prosecuted for wanton endangerment which is, apparently, in most jurisdictions defined as "conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person."  It's time to stop calling these injuries "accidents"


Rob Toreki



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