July 1, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 13)


Strong Points: Useful information
Weak Points: Hopefully more incidents will be reported

Thank goodness for science ditties to help us remember our lab safety protocols. Perhaps you’ve found yourself preparing to add water to concentrated acid, yet you suddenly worry that you have it backwards. Calmly, you think to yourself, “Do as you oughta, add acid to water.” Phew—you avoided disaster there. While there aren’t chemistry jingles for every lab hazard, tales of the ensuing lab disasters have been compiled by a group of safety professionals from the UK chemical and pharmaceutical industry for our benefit. This site regales readers with recounts of unstable epoxide polymerizations, mechanical failures, and malfunctions in the laboratory with the purpose of hopefully avoiding similar mishaps in the future. The website also provides links to other lab safety and accident investigation resources, as well as software to calculate heats of reactions. All in all, the currently reported 152 incidents comprise a useful “how-not-to-do” lab manual for scientists.

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