Category Archives: Technical presentations

5 Key Safety Questions for Chemical Demonstrations

At the Spring, 2017 ACS national meeting, CHAS members Ralph Stuart and Sammye Sigmann made presentations in the Division of Chemical Education technical program on topics related to undergraduate research safety. Sammye’s  presentation was entitled:
Integrating Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment into Course-based Undergraduate Research (CURE)

Ralph’s (which Sammye co-authored) was entitled:
Providing laboratory safety education to REU audiences.

In addition, they co-authored a poster for Sci Mix. An overview of the poster and a link to it are provided below.
In 2016, the ACS Division of Chemical Education (CHED) updated their “Safety Guidelines for Chemical Demonstrations”. The Guidelines are available at the CHED web site. Look at DCHAS web site to see how these guidelines align with the “5 Key Questions”.

This poster provides a quick overview of the five key safety questions that anyone planning chemical demonstrations or experiments should ask and answer prior to work. It is also important to be aware that local jurisdictions may require more extensive planning for some demonstrations and so for everyone’s safety – check with the local Fire Department for help with planning your demonstration.

The Five Key Questions are:

  1. What specific chemical or physical reactivity hazards are associated with the way I’m using these chemicals?
  2. What type of ventilation do I need?
  3. What personal protective equipment do I need?
  4. What emergency response protocols will be needed if something goes wrong?
  5. What will I do with the waste?

Sigmann, S.; Stuart, R.

Assessing Risk: Five Key Questions for Safe Research and Demos. inChemistry Magazine, 2016, September/October, 6-9.

Five Chem Safety Questions poster


An exposure assessment of desktop 3D printing

The Editor’s Spotlight for the March / April 2017 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:

An exposure assessment of desktop 3D printing by Tracy L. Zontek, Burton R. Ogle, John T. Jankovic, and Scott M. Hollenbeck

A preliminary hazard analysis of 3D printing included process monitoring in two working environments; a small well ventilated materials development laboratory with a Makerbot printer (polylactic acid filament) and a poorly ventilated lab, home-like in terms of room size and ventilation with a Da Vinci XYZ printer (acrylonitrile- butadiene-styrene).

Particle number, size and mass concentration were measured within the printer enclosures, breathing zone, and room simultaneously. Number concentrations were elevated above background typically in the 103 – 105 particles/cm3 range. During printing >99% of the aerosol number concentration was within the ultrafine particulate (UFP) and nanoscale size range. Condensed aerosol emissions from the Da Vinci XYZ printer was examined by Fourier infra-red spectroscopy and suggested isocyanic acid and n-decane as two possible chemical components. Light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy with energy dispersive analysis by X-ray identified individual and aggregated particles highly suggestive of combustion, accompanied by a variety of metallic elements.

Adverse health effects associated with 3D printing related to chemical vapor off-gassing in well ventilated space appears to be low. At this point the significance of ultrafine particle emission is under growing suspicion in its relationship to inflammatory, pulmonary, and cardiovascular effects. Preliminary recommendations for particulate control developed from this analysis are based on good industrial hygiene practice rather than compelling adverse health effects.

You can download the complete article here. An exposure assessment of desktop 3D printing

EPA Symposium on new RCRA Generator Requirements

On January 31 in Boston, EPA headquarters staff gave a 6 hour presentation on the new RCRA generator requirements promulgated last November with specific emphasis on how these changes might impact laboratory waste generators. The staff acknowledged that there were specific issues raised by these changes that might have different impacts on laboratory settings compared to other generators. For example, their presentation indicates that the average RCRA hazardous waste generator has between 1 and 5 waste streams that they typically generate.

Attendees at this meeting were from around the country and had many questions about how these rule changes would be applied in the laboratory setting. The answers to many of these questions will depend on how specific states choose to implement and enforce these changes.

A pdf version of the powerpoint file (169 slides) for this presentation can be downloaded here. The symposium was recorded; contact Ralph Stuart at for more information about accessing this information.

Safety Culture Education Discussion

At the September CSHEMA regional meeting, three DCHAS members (Gail Hall of Boston College, Zehra Schneider-Graham of the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Ralph Stuart of Keene State College) participated in a panel discussion about how Environmental Health and Safety Departments can best support laboratory safety culture through their safety training efforts. The presentations discussed the challenge of developing training programs that reflected the institutional culture while also addressing regulatory requirements.

Three key lessons from the Lab-XL project with the EPA were highlighted:

  • Each academic institution is unique
  • Connecting to the academic mission is necessary to motivate organizational change
  • Flexibility goes a long way in laboratory settings

In addition to describing approaches to this issue in the undergraduate and graduate laboratory settings, the panel presented the results of a DCHAS/CSHEMA survey of safety education efforts. PDF versions of the presentations and the survey results are provided here:

Developing Safety Culture Education at a PUI Campus, Ralph Stuart

Naming the Dead Cat in the Middle of the Table, Gail Hall

Survey on Lab Safety Culture Education on Campus, Zehra Schneider-Graham

Safety Culture Education Survey Results Data (in PDF) (if you are interested in these data in Excel format for further exploration, contact Ralph Stuart at

Also note this related article from the Journal of Chemical Education on Using the Universal Design for Learning Approach in Science Laboratories To Minimize Student Stress

BCCE Risk Assessment Presentations

The links below provide access to risk assessment presentations and tools for teaching laboratories and chemistry demonstrations presented at the 2016 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE). The presentations were made by Ralph Stuart of Keene State College and Sammye Sigmann of Appalachian State University. These documents are still in development and they would appreciate questions and comments about ways to improve them.

Presentation on Hazard and Risk Assessment for Chemical Demonstrations

Samuella B. Sigmann, NRCC-CHO Appalachian State University
Irene Cesa Flinn Scientific (ret.) and
Monique Wilham University of Michigan – Flint

Presentation: Chemical Demonstrations: Assessing Hazard and Risk

Text document: Aligning risk assessment questions with ACS CHED Demonstration guidelines

Text document: Sample Risk Assessment for the “Elephant’s Toothpaste” demonstration

Presentation on Meeting New Chemical Safety Expectations in Instructional Laboratories

Lab Risk Assessment Workbook
(Excel, Beta Version)

DCHAS Posters 2016

Posters from the DCHAS poster session in Philadelphia:

EHS challenges in 3D Printing
Pat Mulrooney, Sr. Staff Industrial Hygenist, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Vacuum System and Schlenk Line Safety
Tilak Chandra and Jeffrey P. Zebrowski

What’s in a Code of Conduct?
Frankie Wood-Black

Good Neighbors – What does it take to be a good neighbor?
Frankie Wood-Black

You have 5 minutes with your elected representaive. What would you ask him or her to do related to safety?
rankie Wood-Black

Incorporating chemical safety and security into the undergraduate curriculum
Ursula J. Williams, Sharon S. Yohn, Daniel R. Dries, Richard R. Hark, Amber J. Helsel-Ickes, John B. Unger Department of Chemistry, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA 16652

Establishing a Safe Workplace Culture
Mark Thomson Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI

Re-organizing the CPT Undergraduate Guidelines to Elevate the Status of Safety and Ethics in the Chemistry Curriculum
David C. Finster, Department of Chemistry, Wittenberg University

Safety & ethics in ACS and major engineering societies: A gap analysis
Daniel R . Kuespert PhD, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Laboratory Incidents in the University Of Sonora: Student’s Perspective
C.R. Álvarez-Chávez, R. Ruiz-Talavera, F.O. Muñoz-Osuna, L.S. Marín-Ramírez, A. Zavala-Reyna, R. Pérez-Ríos, M.E. Arce-Corrales
Universidad de Sonora. Hermosillo, Sonora, México

Risk Perception in Laboratory Students of the University of Sonora
K. Pérez-Gámez, C.R. Álvarez-Chávez, F.O. Muñoz-Osuna, L. S. Marín-Ramírez, L. E. Velázquez-Contreras, J. Esquer-Peralta Hermosillo, Sonora, México. Universidad de Sonora.

Using Public Information to Support Chemical Safety

Laboratory use cases for chemical safety information
Ralph Stuart

Risk assessment and crisis management in the research laboratory using online resources: A EH&S perspective
Neelam Bharti

UCal Chemicals: An overview of growing challenges
Chris Jakober, Russell Vernon, Phillip Painter

Chemical Safety and Hazard Information in PubChem
Jian Zhang

Semantic annotation of the LCSS in PubChem
Gang Fu

GHS and NFPA diamonds: How they can be useful
Roger Sayle

iRAMP & PubChem
eah McEwen

Chemical Classification ClassyFire Applications in EHS
Yannick Feunang

Surveying the chem safety landscape
Ralph Stuart

Related CHED and CINF presentations:

Co-developing lab safety and chemical information skills
Ralph Stuart and Leah McEwen

Regulatory Issues in the Lab: Chemical Security and the ADA

Chemical Security

Navigating CFATS in Academia. R.M. Izzo

Addressing Chemical Security Concerns in a Research Lab Setting. M.B. Koza

ADA Issues in the Lab

Overview of the Federal regulations that require physical accessibility in labs & the “Building Blocks of Accessibility” that apply in lab settings. J. Perry

Special Health and Safety Considerations for Persons with Disabilities Who Work in Scientific Research, Testing, or Teaching Laboratories. J. Baum

Accommodations and Modifications in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities. J.Zesski

ADA Technical Assistance Centers Who we are and what we do. C. Sweet

Institutional Responsibilities for Adapting Laboratories for Students with Disabilities Responsibilities. S.M. Kennedy, J. Boval

Tools for Adapting Laboratories for Students with Disabilities S.M. Kennedy, J. Boval

Brief overview of service animals C. Sweet

Chemical Safety and Public Policy

Sustainable chemistry and public policy. R.J. Garant

Evaluating Risks – Understanding multiple perspectives. F.K. Wood-Black

What you need to know about TSCA reform. A.M. Noce

California’s Safer Consumer Products Program: Asking the Questions. A. Doherty

Some government relation lessons from the development of Subpart K. R. Izzo

Influence of litigation on corporate behavior . N.R. Langerman

Safety policies of peer-reviewed journals L. Grabowski, S.R. Goode

Public policy statements advising policymakers and regulators. K.P. Fivizzani

EPA TSCA June 30 2016 webinar