Volume 91 Issue 50 | p. 18 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 16, 2013

CSB Video Focuses On High School Labs

Department: Government & Policy | Collection: Sustainability
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: CSB, high school
In this CSB video, Calais Weber describes the chemistry class demonstration gone wrong that resulted in burns on over 40% of her body.
Credit: CSB
An illustration used in the CSB video about the 2006 accident.
Credit: CSB
Screen grab from CSB video showing a high school teacher preforming an unsafe demonstration for her students.
An illustration used in the CSB video about the 2006 accident.
Credit: CSB

Potential safety dangers of high school chemistry labs are the focus of a Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board video released last week. The five-minute video centers on an accident that occurred in 2006 when a 15-year-old high school chemistry student was badly burned during a lab demonstration. The video is narrated by the injured student, who explains that the teacher ignited mixtures of various mineral salts and methanol to demonstrate that the salts produced different color flames. When one flame began to dim, the teacher added more methanol from a large jug, leading to an explosion and fire. The students were not wearing goggles or aprons, and the experiment was conducted on the teacher’s desk. The injured student was standing nearest to the experiment and was burned over 40% of her body. She spent a week in an induced coma and three months in a hospital before beginning reconstructive therapy.

Chemical & Engineering News
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