From: Meg Osterby <megosterby**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] heating/cooling issues
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 18:02:58 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**Princeton.EDU>
Message-ID: CAFQuLpOjBtqvai5jOfvBUB-c7Vmkczi5tdW_Oq4FANNruZLN4g**At_Symbol_Here**

When I was at Western Technical College in LaCrosse WI, we had a remodel going on, and the fellow in charge of the facilities unilaterally, without talking to me, had an electric space heater installed in the ceiling of he chem lab during the remodel "to maintain the OSHA required minimum room temperature". But it was a multi purpose lab that twice a week had an organic/ biochem lab with flammable volatile chemicals being used at he benches (they weren't toxic or sensitizing and there weren't enough hoods to run the lab with them.un hoods.). So, one day I walked into organic /biochem lab to find ceramic heaters hanging in the ceiling, when that days lab used hexanes. That's a recipe for a fire. I could not make the building manager understand that those heaters could ignite the hexanes vapors. I ended up doing a end run around him by explaining the issue to the construction foreman and getting those heaters power turned off. But eventually I got fired for embarrassing my supervisor by pointing out that his decision could cause a fire.
It's never easy getting the powers that be to change what they think they are required by OSHA to do, but which actually is a measure of their lack of understanding of the reason for the rule..
My experience is that it is really hard to get the right response from folks who have not been trained in science.
If you want more info from me, feel free to contact me off list at megosterby**At_Symbol_Here**

Meg Osterby

On Wed, Apr 14, 2021, 11:47 AM Rakers, Rosemary S. <rrakers**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

Hello all,

I am looking for resources, personal experience, anything that will help me with talking to facilities about maintaining an appropriate temperature in a science building. Obviously temperature (and humidity) are a concern. We can all agree that climate change is a thing and that we are going to get fluctuations in temperature. I'm having a difficult time convincing some people in facilities that having high temperatures in a science building is more than just an inconvenience. I'm looking for documentation, anything that will help my cause in convincing them that when we reach high temps (we were at 89.6 F last week in my flammable storage room) something needs to be done.

I've been searching the DCHAS website but not finding what I am looking for. I've looked at SDS's until I am blue in the face, but they tend to say "keep in a cool, well-ventilated location". What does "cool" mean? Facilities tells me I should move all my chemicals to a refrigerator when it gets hot. Obviously that is not feasible.

Any insight you can provide is a appreciated.

Thank you.


Rose Rakers, Ph.D.

Director of Chemical Laboratories & Chemical Hygiene Officer

Benedictine University

5700 College Rd

Lisle, IL 60532


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