From: Alan Hall <oldeddoc**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] ACS and other resources on rainbow experiment and other demonstrations
Date: Sat, 20 May 2017 11:08:38 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: CALDugaa=tM+dJqBrTX=9WJs0X7_mvGazXJB=W2DTxVMzXg8cpg**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <1109037139E1524980CF9CBEB2476618010AEF4D40**At_Symbol_Here**>

Et al,

I've been trying to stay out of these discussions.

I will note that at the Annual Society of Toxicology Congress (next one, if I remember right) is in San Antonio, Texas) always has a special program for K-12 teachers and there are mentoring opportunities.I've done a number of them. There are also all kinds of programs for young scientists and students interested in science,and I've done that couple times. Even helped a couple put together a poster presentation.

So, while, as the Texas bumper sticker says,"You can't cure stupid",there are positive steps to be taken. And there's no question that the West, Texas disaster could have been prevented. I drove down to Waco when the CSB presented the results of their investigation. Quite mindshaking that anyone could have been that stupid. And this from a guy when much younger for a coal-and-grain place and hauled 10,000 gallonsof ammonia around to farmers behind a decrepit pick-up truck and was a volunteer firefighter. In the firefighter world, we're all brothers and sisters and losing one hurts.

Monona has been my Worthy Adversary for a long time and I thank her for that. It doesn't matter how smart you are, there'll be someone to find a typo or wrong formula in your manuscript.

I will point out (as a physician who has practiced in 5 different fields), what Theophrastustus Bombastus...etc. taught us all centuries ago: "All substances are poisons. There is none which is not. The difference between a poison and a remedy is the dose." A certain form of lithium is very efficacious in treating certain disorders of brain chemistry. In other circumstance, it is of course very toxic.

Why we have Poison Centers in America is because back in the 1960's, the American Association of Pediatrics did a study on "what kills children?". At least 25% of the time, it was poisons. About the same time, the Transportation Safety Board did a study on "why do some many people injured in traffic accidents die?" And from that, what we now have is well-trained and efficient emergency physicians, emergency department, emergency medicine nurses,paramedics, EMT's etc." You can't cure death, but sometimes you can put if off for awhile.

I just kinda wish that we wouldn't have religion and politics on this listserve. We're Americans or from other countries, and we're all entitled to our own feelings and beliefs. But perhaps we should keep them to ourselves sometimes. I will always remember the first time I saw a case of active tetanus. I was a medical student and the Rev. Jimmy Jones of infamy had a small commune near the medical school then. They didn't believe in immunization,so this unfortunate child literally stepped on a rusty nail in the pig pen.

My however many cents worth.

Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist

On Fri, May 19, 2017 at 1:13 PM, Wilhelm, Monique <mwilhelm**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
I am extremely pleased to hear that someone has contacted the Houston DA's office. This is the type of thing that I wonder about. This is an action we can take.

Another action proposed was in offering of training to school teachers. I don't know if I am "qualified" to do that, even though I would be the one teaching these things to them if they were at my own institution of higher learning (we discontinued our sci edu programs here quite a while back). But, I do know that somebody needs to be teaching them what we know. I also know that schools don't always have money to hire someone like LSI to come to out to them and that most non-chemistry teachers aren't going to attend an ACS or BCCE meeting to attend training there. So, any ideas in this avenue? Also, any ideas for reaching out to current education programs at schools (or higher levels like accreditation agencies) to start the discussions on the importance of including science safety as part of the curriculum?

I also like the thought about contacting YouTube/Google/etc. Is this part of what the CCS does?

I have contacted my local news channels and, of course, gotten no response. Have others done this with any success?

Monique Wilhelm
Laboratory Manager
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Michigan - Flint

-----Original Message-----
From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU] On Behalf Of Stuart, Ralph
Sent: Friday, May 19, 2017 8:35 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] ACS and other resources on rainbow experiment and other demonstrations

>why do science educators think that they must do demos with flame, explosions, or the like?? I hear the excuses "We have to get the students excited about science!"

I agree that that is a core question and this excuse ignores the likelihood that as many students are turned off of science by the flame, explosions, odors, etc. as get excited about science by them. And this is not a "chemophobia" issue - I've had many situations where chemists and other lab scientists are raising health and safety concerns to me related to emissions from neighboring labs. In my opinion, chemophobia in the general public is driven by these "educational" events at least as much as by the scientific confusion that is often cited by chemistry advocates...

>To echo Monique, "What do we do?"

I notice that J Chem Ed today published an article entitled "Development, Implementation, and Assessment of General Chemistry Lab Experiments Performed in the Virtual World of Second Life" about the use of virtual labs in the Gen Chem setting.

It will be interesting to read it with this conversation in mind.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts on this.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
603 358-2859


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