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Safety

Not Safe Enough

August 31, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 35

As a new subscriber to C&EN, I am impressed with its wealth of information. An area of concern, however, is laboratory safety. The latest example is found in "Recession Chemistry 101" (C&EN, June 15, page 28). The article contains a picture of students in an organic chemistry lab at the University of Florida. Lab occupants are wearing safety glasses in lieu of indirectly vented chemical splash goggles. I believe heating liquids on a hot plate and the use of what I suspect are hazardous chemicals, would warrant the application of the Occupational Health & Safety Administration's personal protective equipment requirement. I have also seen other instances that are out of step with legal safety regulations and professional best practices.

C&EN has the important responsibility of setting the professional tone and practice in the science community. It needs to demonstrate safety as job one in all ways. Thanks and keep up the otherwise great work.

Kenneth R. Roy
Glastonbury, Conn.

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