From: "Stuart, Ralph" <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] C&EN: Thoughts on Kate the Chemist's "The Big Book of Experiments"?
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2020 23:38:58 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: 52828E07-FFDC-4081-9A75-13C8C85980EA**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU

> >The Unicorn Glue experiment recommends insulated gloves, but the photos show the experimenter working without any gloves.
This is a red flag for me - a picture is worth a thousand words when it come to delivering a message about expectations

On a related science communication topic, I was reading a chemistry article written for high school teachers today. It explains why ethanol is used in hand sanitizers. It went into pretty significant detail with regard to biochemistry, viral structure and the history of disinfectants as a medical technique. The article does mention that hand washing is more effective than using hand sanitizers as one down side of their use.
doesnČ??t mention either that 1) 60% ethanol hand sanitizers are flammable or that 2) ethanol can have toxic effects through dermal adsorption.

While these risks arenČ??t generated at the molecular level that the article describes, they are important considerations for the way these disinfectants are used. Is it reasonable to expect articles about chemicals written for an educated segment of the public to include information related to the risks of the chemicals being discussed in the context that they are being used? Personally, I think that a habit of an explicitly associating flammable and toxic mixtures (perhaps described in GHS terms) would be a public service that the technical press could provide.

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

- Ralph

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


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