Category Archives: News

March, 2020 Call for comments on ISEA eyewash & safety shower standard

 

CHAS recommends that its members consider commenting on the current proposal to reaffirm the American National Standard for Emergency Eyewash and Shower Equipment (ANSI/ISEA Z-358.1) with no revisions. 

A Word template for a letter with suggested wording for  such a comment can be found below.

Questions and comments on this letter can be directed to Sammye Sigmann <sigmannsb@appstate.edu> or Mary Beth Koza <MBKoza@ehs.unc.edu>

SDS 23 Years Later updated with survey results!

In the December, 1995 issue of the Division’s Journal of Chemical Health and Safety, Neal Langerman reported on a survey he conducted among industrial clients of his company about the value of MSDS collections for the companies. His article can be downloaded here:

Twenty-three years later, much has changed in the world of chemical hazard communication, both in terms of the communications technology used to share the information involved and, with the advent of the GHS system, the contents of the materials itself. 

To help assess us what progress has been made in hazard communication performance, we did an informal poll of the CHAS membership. We received 139 responses, with distinct patterns to their responses.

You can download summaries of their responses and comments in 5 files:

Related to this topic, there is an interesting 2018 article on Evaluating the readability and suitability of construction occupational safety and health materials designed for workers that includes SDS’s as part of their evaluation of safety literature for construction workers.

Safety as an ACS Core Value

In December, 2016, the American Chemical Society’s Board of Directors adopted “Professionalism, Safety and Ethics” as a core value of the Society in its Strategic Plan.

In order to make this commitment more concrete, ACS’s 2018 President, Dr. Peter Dorhout (his twitter feed can be found here) convened an ACS “Safety Summit” in February, 2018. The report on the ACS Safety Summit can be downloaded here.C&EN’s report on the summit can be found here.

Ralph Stuart, the chair of the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety reported to the Committee on the summit and how the Society is planning on incorporating safety into its overall strategy to support its members, educators, decision-makers and the public. His presentation to the committee can be downloaded here.

Please feel free to share any questions and comments on this work with either Peter or Ralph.

Safety Presentations from the Atlantic Basin Conference on Chemistry

ACS Safety Initiatives: Impact On The Global Chemistry Enterprise
Neal Langerman

US safety initiatives as influences on global laboratory safety
Russ Phifer

Approaching research and scale-up safety through process-oriented solutions
Harry J. Elston, Ph.D., CIH

Social and Ethical Implications (SEI) of Nanotechnology
Larry Gibbs, CIH, FAIHA

Analyzing academic laboratory accidents to prevent accidents
Craig Merlic

Risk Perception in Academic Laboratories
Imke Schroeder, Ph.D.

ACS Opposes CSB Defunding Proposal

Hours after  the White House released its FY18 budget, ACS issued a press release opposing the budget.

ACS media quotes opposing elimination of CSB funding:

Bloomberg story

Forbes Story

Chemistry World

Additional ACS actions:

  • ACS, along with several other organizations sent a letter to Congressional appropriators urging them to include FY18 funding for U.S. CSB  (see links to letters below)
  • ACS is working with AIChE on a webinar to be recorded on 4/25 featuring CSB Chair Vanessa Sutherland and representatives from AIChE and ACS speaking about the role of CSB and its important mission in promoting safety in the chemistry enterprise.
  • ACS is working on developing a Congressional “Dear Colleague” letter to generate congressional support for CSB FY18 funding.
  • CSB will be taking part in the ACS Board of Directors Legislative Summit on April 25 – goal is to foster greater collaboration between CSB and ACS

CSB Funding Letter FY18 HOUSE

CSB Funding Letter FY18 Senate

 

 

Update on Chemical Safety Information in PubChem

PubChem LCSS Update – March 2017

The PubChem database, hosted by the US National Library of Medicine, includes a wide variety of data on over 90 million chemical compounds. PubChem’s  goal  is to make this data accessible to chemists, chemical safety professionals, chemical educators and others working with laboratory chemicals. Data are reported from multiple sources, allowing users to compare and determine the best use of this data in their work. The data are also organized to facilitate downloading in a variety of formats as well via programmatic access for reuse in local software applications.

In addition to structural, physical and toxicological raw data, the PubChem collection includes chemical safety information from national and international agencies. For human browsers, this chemical safety information in PubChem is organized into a data view based on the Laboratory Chemical Safety Summary (LCSS) format described in “Prudent Practices in the Laboratory“.  This LCSS view chemical and physical properties and safety information for compounds that have Globally Harmonized System designations publicly available. The number of records with this chemical safety information has increased from 3000 in 2015 to more than 103,000 today. LCSS data provided by PubChem are intended to support, but not replacelaboratory risk assessments, Safety Data Sheets and institutional guidance for safe laboratory practices and procedures.

Notably, the data compiled by PubChem includes safety information beyond that generally provided by Safety Data Sheets. This additional information is found in sources such as the NIOSH Pocket Guide, CAMEO and European Chemicals Agency, among others. There are also specific incompatible reactions reported from the  Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), sourced from Sigma Aldrich Safety Center notes, the National Fire Protection Association Fire Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials, Sax’s Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Bretherick’s Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards and others.

LCSS data can be viewed online, or downloaded either by individual compound or in bulk.  In this way, PubChem information can be used to support electronic safety tools such as institutional chemical inventory management systems or laboratory-specific personal protective equipment guidelines. More information about this feature can be found here.

Traffic to the safety information in PubChem has increased over 80% in the past year. The PubChem staff are interested in continuing to improve the usability and accessibility of this information to the laboratory community. To this end, representatives of the ACS Divisions of Chemical Information (CINF) and Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) are working with the PubChem staff to identify additional sources and uses for health and safety data. Efforts are also underway to improve annotation of the data and enable more specific data retrieval options.  We welcome  ideas for organization and presentation of the data. To participate or provide comments, contact the CINF safety representative, Leah McEwen at lrm1@cornell.edu or the CHAS secretary, Ralph Stuart at ralph.stuart@keene.edu.

DCHAS comments on ISEA eyewash & safety shower standard

DCHAS was invited by the ISEA to participate in its first round of discussions on the next revision of the standard for emergency eyewash and shower equipment. Summaries of this standard can be found at these locations:

To support their participation in this meeting, the Division conducted a poll of its membership, which 88 people participated in. You can find the results of the eyewash shower results here with a summary  report here. Comments referenced in the report about how this standard relates to ADA considerations is available here and here.

On December 2, 2016, the ISEA Shower and Eyewash Product Group met in a round table discussion seeking input from various stakeholders on the next revision of Z358.1 (anticipated for 2019). Sammye Sigmann and Mary Beth Koza represented the Division of Chemical Health and Safety of the American Chemical Society (DCHAS ACS). Their report can be downloaded here.

Another topic of discussion was the recommendation to rinse eyes for 30 minutes in case of exposures tor bases. Three links which suggest this are:

Questions and comments on this information can be directed to Sammye Sigmann <sigmannsb@appstate.edu> or Mary Beth Koza <MBKoza@ehs.unc.edu>

Chemical, Sample & Asset Management Tools

Wednesday’s presentations on Chemical, Sample & Asset Management Tools discussed a variety of aspects of how the safety program collects, organizes and uses data and information related to chemicals and their hazards. The morning’s presentations focused on chemical inventories: why institutions need them; some platforms for collecting and reporting the information associated with them; and what they look like “on the ground”.

The afternoon presentations took a more global approach to chemical safety information in the lab, discussing the organizational, environmental and information contexts of this data.  The last speaker of the day described an emerging innovative approach to collecting “Lessons Learned” information from laboratory events,

Chemical inventories: What are they good for? R. Stuart

How UNHCEMS has evolved from a Chemical Inventory Tracking system to an Environmental Management Tool. C. Myer, P. Collins, A. Glode

Use of RFID and scanning technologies for managing large Chemical Inventories. J.M. Pickel 10:25: Intermission.

Developing a cloud based chemical inventory application for the University of California System (UC Chemicals). H. Weizman

Using a chemical inventory system to optimize safe laboratory research. G. Baysinger, R. Creed, L.M. Gibbs

Chemical stockroom management: Lessons learned ten years in. S.B. Sigmann

UC Safety: An Integrated Approach to Your Chemical Management Needs (link to demo site) J. Ballinger

PubChem’s Laboratory Chemical Safety Summary (LCSS). S. Kim, J. Zhang, A. Gindulyte, P. Thiessen, L. McEwen, R. Stuart, E. Bolton, S. Bryant

Socio-Legal Issues in the Application of Semantic Web Technology to Chemical Safety. J.G. Frey, M.I. Borkum

Precompetitive collaboration to advance laboratory safety C.I. Nitsche. Link to the project web site.