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Safety

Jarring Juxtaposition

May 24, 2010 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 88, ISSUE 21

It disturbs me that the March 22 issue contains both a story listing the lack of fire-resistant laboratory coats as a safety violation that may have contributed to the death of University of California, Los Angeles, researcher Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji (page 9) and an ad for the Journal of Chemical Education in which three students are pictured working in a lab without lab coats (page 50).

Anyone who works in industry will tell you that basic personal protective equipment includes goggles, a lab coat, and gloves.

It is unacceptable for the Journal of Chemical Education to use a photo like this and for C&EN to publish it. This unfortunate juxtaposition illustrates the huge gap in safety awareness between academia and industry.

I truly believe that the picture in the ad reflects daily life in most U.S. undergraduate organic chemistry labs. If the Journal of Chemical Education and C&EN don't teach the importance of wearing lab coats, we have a long way to go.

Haiming Zhang
Princeton, N.J.

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