From: Joseph DiVerdi <joseph.diverdi**At_Symbol_Here**ColoState.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines - editorial comment
Date: Wed, 17 Jun 2020 11:20:06 -0600
Reply-To: joseph.diverdi**At_Symbol_Here**ColoState.EDU
Message-ID: 5ec4f8e8-9876-2a0b-d127-c67a70a4284b**At_Symbol_Here**


You are very welcome. Thank you for receiving them in the spirit I intended - constructively not destructively.

I recognize and appreciate your editorial decision to let the reports stand. Of course, the primary audience is very well equipped to critique the traffic blasting by. A risk that exists these days is that information is rarely embargoed and there is ample evidence of secondary audiences, with far less subject matter expertise, citing earlier sources (this one, possibly) as being authorities and so on and so forth. I recount what is certainly very well known by the members of the forum. Yet, I'll maintain that important decisions such as these often merit thoughtful questioning - not to distraction just once in a while.

I have received "back story" messages from CHAS members informing me of the not surprising efforts by others in the Division attempting to "correct the record." It is truly a disappointment to learn of failed efforts yet in my own experience there are the bright moments when the attempt works and those rare moments help buoy us enough to keep pushing.

Truly, I was surprised (pleasantly) when I received my first Headlines. I was (blissfully) unaware of the number of events occurring daily, the things that are actually going on out there (today's report of a ninth-grade science instructor's problematic ammonium dichromate volcano project - is it not remarkable that part of the school district's response was to transfer him to another school? There are too many examples of this institutional behavior already.) and, as you note, often their novelty. After many years I remain enchanted by chemistry - although I most decidedly do not revel in the loss of life, limb or property associated with the sometimes spectacular failures.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Society, its membership and our citizenry.


On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 10:49 AM, DCHAS Membership Chair wrote:
>> I am writing to comment about the editorial policy regarding the review (or not) of articles prior to forwarding them.
> Thanks for your comments on this topic. I thought about this concern a lot when I began the headline collection process 10 years ago. There are consistently errors in mass media reports that could arise from a variety of sources. After observing this pattern, I decided to let the reports stand as they appear on the web site, primarily as a reminder to the primary audience (the CHAS community), of the challenge chemical terminology presents to the public. Sometimes the results are confusing, other times somewhat humorous. Fortunately, there are enough reports that either 1) present a novel hazmat scenario or 2) represent an interesting reminder of established scenarios that I feel that they are worth including in the day's list.
> I know that several CHAS members have followed up, either with the web site carrying the story or the people on the scene of the incident, to collect better information about a particularly confusing report. They did not meet with much success in this effort.
> I do appreciate it when DCHAS-L readers take the time to identify items from the list that are of particular interest, either because the reports don't add up, or because they have learned something important from the headlines. With the economic downturn of the last few months, the number of reports of specific incidents has dipped significantly, and I am including more stories with contextual information relative to hazmat concerns in the list. I hope that this is a helpful approach to this situation.
> Let me know if you have any questions about this.
> - Ralph
> Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
> membership**At_Symbol_Here**
> Membership chair
> American Chemical Society
> Division of Chemical Health and Safety
> ---
> For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**
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Joseph A. DiVerdi, PhD, MBA
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
+1.970.980.5868 -

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