The Fall 2020 ACS National Meeting will be held virtually. This page provides an overview of the CHAS activities associated with this meeting. You can download a printable version of the page here. Details about our technical program can be found at the ACS national meeting web site. You can also Visit the ACS Safety and Green Chemistry Booth near the exhibit hall entrance.
The 2019 Southeast Regional Meeting hosted a Division of Chemical Health and Safety symposium related to safety culture in the laboratory. The symposium was entitled Teaching, Creating and Sustaining a Safety Culture. This symposium was supported in part by a Corporation Associates Local Section grant in the amount of $1,000.00 which was used to support the speaker’s travel costs. PDF versions of these presentations of this symposium are available below.
Nurturing a safety culture through student engagement, Ralph House, UNC-CH
Supporting a Culture of Safety with Teachable Moments Melinda Box NC State University
Successful Execution of Top-Down Safety Culture at UNC-Chapel Hill Jim Potts UNC-CH
Collaborative safety training and integrative program development Mark Lassiter Montreat College
Cultivating a culture of safety in undergraduate chemistry labs at UNC Chapel Hill Kathleen Nevins UNC-CH
From rules to RAMP: Embracing safety culture, expanding frontier as a recent graduate Rachel Bocwinski ACS
SOPs, SOCs, and Docs: Developing peer-to-peer safety to fight complacency in synthetic inorganic chemistry Quinton Bruch UNC-CH
Laboratory Safety Culture at UNC-CH Mary Beth Koza UNC-CH
A Symposium of the 23rd Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and 9th International Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry
Organizers: Peter Reinhardt (Presider: firstname.lastname@example.org), Ralph Stuart
How major incidents can drive safety, sustainability and profitability: Lessons from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board,
Kristen Kulinowski, U.S. Chemical Safety Board
For 20 years, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has investigated more than 100 major incidents where the accidental release of hazardous substances resulted in harm to people, property and the environment. Our investigations aim to understand and communicate the root and contributing causes of these incidents so they can be prevented in the future for a safer and more productive industry. As a non-regulatory, investigative Federal agency, the CSB issues recommendations for changes to industry practices, standards, and regulations and advocates for these changes to be propagated throughout the industry.
While major incidents are always disruptive, and often tragic, they can present opportunities for facility management and employees to take stock of the facility’s overall operational efficiency and make improvements to the process that meet the twin goals of safety and sustainability. A facility that experienced a major incident may be motivated in the aftermath to assess and address other unrelated safety hazards as well as longstanding inefficiencies in plant operations. When equipment has been damaged or destroyed, the feasibility of redesigning a process to make it inherently safer and more sustainable can be assessed as part of the rebuilding or repair phase.
This talk will present cases in which a major incident resulted in changes to processes that made them both safer and greener. One recent case, in particular, involved a top-to-bottom assessment of a facility’s operations that resulted in the complete phaseout of one hazardous chemical and ongoing efforts to drive toward more sustainable operations across the plant, even in areas that were uninvolved in the incident. The company reports that these changes have resulted in a streamlining of operations that is enhancing their bottom line. By talking with its peers about the incident and its post-incident improvements, this company is amplifying the message that safety, sustainability and profitability can be mutually supportive goals.
Paradigm shift in approach to safety through green chemistry,
Jane Wissinger, University of Minnesota
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)’s Hierarchy of Controls pyramid pictorially illustrates that the most effective method to improve safety is through elimination or substitution of the hazards. Yet, many research labs still choose to use old protocols, with, for example hazardous solvents and procedures, without considering recent green chemistry innovations demonstrating safer alternatives.
This presentation will assert that green chemistry education is key to creating a paradigm shift that prioritizes minimizing the hazard for reducing risk instead of seeking ways to minimize exposure. More specifically, intersection exists between RAMP, the stepwise student learning tool developed by Hill and Finster, and the goals of green chemistry. Green chemistry metrics can be applied for Recognizing and Assessing the risk and, the increased abundance of green chemistry/safer alternatives resource guides and hazard assessment online tools can offer mechanisms to Minimize the risk. Initiatives by the green chemistry community to provide educational tools for teaching basic chemical toxicology informing safer chemical design and processes can also be impactful.
Overall, applying green chemistry principles to chemical safety provides a unique opportunity for the chemical enterprise to meet our responsibilities to safeguard human health and the environment sustainably.
Incorporating chemical safety into green chemistry graduate research and undergraduate curriculum
Kendra Denlinger, Xavier University
Green chemistry and chemical safety considerations connect in many different places in academic chemistry work. Two of these connections in both the graduate research laboratory and undergraduate curriculum will be discussed. Recently, an online green chemistry course for undergraduate students was introduced into the curriculum at the University of Cincinnati. This course, designed by 5 chemistry graduate students, walks participants through various aspects of green chemistry: history, solvent use, green chemistry metrics, various green methodologies, and community engagement.
The incorporation of chemical safety into this course is discussed, along with proposed areas of improvement. Several examples of incorporating chemical safety into a graduate research setting are also discussed. These examples include using a near-miss incident and a green chemistry metric to improve the safety, as well as the greenness, of the research.
Enhancing laboratory safety: Principles of safe synthetic chemistry,
Craig Merlic, UCLA
The twelve principles of green chemistry established in 1998 by Paul Anastas and John Warner elegantly prescribe ways to conduct chemical research and production in order to minimize hazardous effects on human health and the environment. As these principles address hazardous chemicals they also then directly impact safety in the conduct of chemical research and production. However, there is more to conducting safe synthetic chemistry than just these principles. This talk will outline the principles of safe synthetic chemistry that can broadly impact the chemical enterprise with concepts and examples relevant to both organic and inorganic synthesis.
An active collaboration between faculty and research safety to evaluate green chemistry and safety from the bench to the institutional level
Christopher Weber, Clemson University
Green chemistry methods in academic teaching laboratories are widely acknowledged as being inherently safer than traditional organic synthetic methods, however, this may not always be the case when viewed from the broader institutional perspective. A green synthesis may provide greater safety for the student in the lab but may present unforeseen challenges at the university level in terms of waste disposal, chemical storage, and cost. The Clemson University organic teaching laboratories serve over 1,000 students per academic semester presenting the challenge of designing a green chemistry curriculum which is both green and safer at the bench and institutional levels. To address this challenge, a collaborative effort was made between the organic lab teaching faculty and the university’s Office of Research Safety to design a lab module which is greener and safer at both levels while providing the necessary chemical knowledge to the students.
We have designed a 2-week laboratory module for chemical engineering students in which groups compare a new green synthesis of crystal violet with the traditional synthetic route. The methods are compared in terms of green chemistry principles and safety from the perspective of the bench chemist and the university safety professional. This approach provides the students with the requisite chemical and analytical knowledge as well as providing the Office of Research Safety and teaching staff valuable data with which further course improvements can be made in keeping with Clemson’s ongoing commitment to education, safety, and environmental stewardship.
Suggested enhancements of green chemistry assessment tools crowdsourced from the ACS Committee on Chemical Safety
Peter Reinhardt, Yale University
Assessment tools have been developed to determine the relative “greenness” of chemical reactions, processes and products. These tools often overlook key safety factors that could render the “greenest” alternative impractical or unusable. In many cases, researchers and engineers assume that safety risks that may arise during green chemistry can be addressed with administrative and engineering controls, rather than averting safety risks altogether through experimental or production design.
In August 2018, the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Chemical Safety reviewed two green chemistry assessment tools—EcoScale and Green Star. Multiple suggestions were made to improve the tools. By incorporating safety factors, the tools could be useful in choosing alternatives that optimize both greenness and safety. This paper will review the Committee’s suggested additions, explain the consequences of not considering safety, and recommend some reasonable changes so the tools can be more versatile and usable in the real world.
The 2019 ACS National Meeting was held in Orlando, FL from March 31 to April 3. Our thanks to the authors who agreed to share their technical presentations below.
Educating the Educators
Ten Years After the UCLA Fire
Managing chemical safety as a social construct:
A paradigm shift in chemistryDownload
Improving Academic Safety Culture: Undergraduate & Graduate Student Leadership in Laboratory Safety
The Chemistry of Disasters
Posters Presented at SciMix
Nanomaterials: Applications, Safety Considerations, & Implications for Human Health & the Environment
CHAS Awards Symposium
What’s the point of your story?
Playing with Fire.
The Genres of Science
Turning safety observations into messages.
T.C. Gallagher, R. Brian, R. Stuart
From Storytelling to StoryMAKING.
Preserving Institutional History of Chemical Incidents..
Chemical safety information in PubChem.
J. Zhang, P. Thiessen, A. Gindulyte, E. Bolton
The Editor’s Spotlight for the May / June 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:
The abstract for this article is:
During the education process, each person strives to acquire the necessary skill set or set of competencies needed to be successful in their selected career. For example, a job listing for a bench chemist might state that the successful applicant should have a BS in chemistry, (knowledge), be familiar with common laboratory operations (skills), and be a contributing member of a team (attitude). It is our job as curriculum designers and educators to give our students the competencies they will need to be successful. The chemistry curriculum must include those competencies needed for working safely in a chemistry research laboratory.
This can be accomplished by weaving the knowledge component of competencies spirally into the chemistry major’s curriculum. We cannot assume that a student who has successfully completed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry has acquired the necessary competencies to perform a risk assessment or read a safety data sheet (SDS). Skill-based laboratory activity is valuable and can be specifically transferred to the next task, but knowledge and attitudes assist future learning in a nonspecific transfer and must be taught as ideas and principles. This work looks at the competencies required to be a chemist from an historical point and suggests ways that chemical safety information can be infused into the twenty-first century chemistry curriculum using embedded safety professionals, risk assessment, and SDSs to broaden and deepen safety knowledge.
This article and the rest of the issue can be found at ScienceDirect site
Also included in this issue of JCHAS are:
Chemical safety information in the 21st century
Collecting reaction incident information: Engaging the community in sharing safety learnings
Carmen I. Nitsche, Gabrielle Whittick, Mark Manfredi
Baseline survey of academic chemical safety information practices
Leah McEwen, Ralph Stuart, Ellen Sweet, Robin Izzo
The chemical safety gateway: Beyond Google’s limitations
Abe Lederman, Sol Lederman
ACS’s Hazard Assessment in Research Laboratories website: An important safety culture tool
Kendra Leahy Denlinger
The Editor’s Spotlight for the March / April 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety is shining on:
Chemical suicides: Hazards and how to manage them by
Michael Logan and Christina Baxter
Michael Logan is affiliated with Research and Scientific Branch, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, GPO BOX 1425, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia.
Christina Baxter is affiliated with Emergency Response TIPS, LLC, Woodbridge, Virginia 22191, USA.
The abstract for this article is:
Emergency response to chemical suicides has become more common place in recent years. In order to address the operational implications of these events, it is first important to understand the methodologies which are commonly used, the locations where the events often occur, the concentrations of material generated, and how those concentration relates to exposure standards and flammability. Using hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, and phosphine as examples, guidance is offered about risk control measures including personal protective equipment and decontamination strategies to effectively and safely mitigate the incidents.
This article and the rest of the issue can be found at ScienceDirect site
Also included in this issue of JCHAS are:
Expanding our Boarders: Safety at ABCChem 2018
Anatomy of an incident—Multiple failure of safety systems under stress
Make safety a habit!
Robert H. Hill
The state of the arts: Chemical safety — 1937 to 2017
Contamination control monitoring at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Plutonium Facility
Michael E. Cournoyer
In the 21st century, chemistry research is more varied and expansive than ever before, the rules that keep one lab safe will not adequately address the possible risks in others. Rather than having a universal set of rules, a more adaptive system is needed for both academic and industry labs. Ralph Stuart, Chemical Hygiene Officer at Keene State College, and Samuella Sigmann, Senior Lecturer at Appalachian State University, propose a new way of thinking that builds a dynamic safety system based on your own needs and conditions as well as provides resources on how such programs can be developed.
You can download a PDF of the presentation here.
The webinar was attended by over 850 people, who asked many more interesting questions than we were able to answer during the webinar. We built a web page to answer questions we didn’t get to and provide our initial answers. Some of these questions have many possible answers. Let us know if you have comments or questions on what we’ve said or ask an additional question on the web page.
In case you’re curious, you can see what some of the comments from those who attended in the 2018-03-08 Safety Webinar Speaker Feedback infographic.