Tag Archives: 2021

Quality Data for Safer Experiments CHAS Chat

On March 11, 2021, Leah McEwen, chemistry librarian at Cornell University and Ralph Stuart, Chemical Hygiene Officer at Keene State College led a discussion on “Quality Data for Safer Experiments”.

We will talk about about finding and assessing the quality and relevance of chemical safety information sources. We will also discuss supporting researchers and educators with the emerging publication requirements for safety information.

Three take-aways we see from this discussion are:

  1. Safety considerations are part of your experimental method.
  2. You need quality data for risk assessment.
  3. Safety precautions should be described in your publications, both research and educational.

Key Web Sites mentioned:

In the video:

In the discussion:

Chat Comments during the discussion:

From Dave Finster: Love the video. A quick reference to PubChem in the video?
From Ralph Stuart: PubChem = National Library of Medicine
From Rob Toreki: I have an interesting insight about DMSO we did not know and only found out about AFTER the accident
From Rob Toreki: Exactly on stability decomp

From Samuella Sigmann: https://www.rxlist.com/dmso_dimethylsulfoxide/supplements.htm
From Ralph Stuart: DMSO is popular as a home remedy
From Ralph Stuart: https://www.thefrugallife.com/dmso.html

From Rob Toreki: Last I heard Brethericks is no longer being updated.
From Rob Toreki: They were searching for a new editor a couple years back
From Ralph Stuart: Yes, Brethericks is a historical document at this point with still useful information
From Rob Toreki: Agreed

From Neal Langerman: OPRD was the first ACS journal to require safety information along w/ a manuscript. The requirement preceded the ACS requirement and was used to develop the ACS requirement.

From Ralph Stuart: It occurs to me that DMSO is a good example of the impact of context on risk assessment. What level of students should be exposed to research? General chemistry, organic chemistry, research chemists?
From Ralph Stuart: In my remark, research = literature research. i.e. SDS vs LCSS vs process safety literature references

From Rob Toreki: Hah saw that firsthand 25 years ago now
From Rob Toreki: Took out the hotplate but nothing else in the hood luckily and blast shield was in place

From Grace Baysinger: https://safescience.cas.org/ – Pistoia Alliance Chemical Safety Library (CSL) which is hosted by CAS is a crowd-resourced tool for users to report hazardous reactions. Recent post: https://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Community/blog/safety-and-community/
From Samuella Sigmann: Pubs has made the chapter freely available as a pdf
From Ralph Stuart: The URL to the chapter is http://pubsapp.acs.org/paragonplus/submission/ACS_Guide_to_Scholarly_Communication_1.3_Communicating_Safety_Information.pdf

From Neal Langerman: Ralph, Leah – the title of today includes the word “quality” In the context of the mass of information Leah just discussed, will you address “quality assessment”?
From Ralph Stuart: Thanks for the question Neal, that’s part of why we wanted to do today’s session – to start that discussion

From Samuella Sigmann: Still requires presenting data and information in the educational setting where you can teach this.

From Grace Baysinger: https://guides.library.stanford.edu/lab-safety – This is a guide that I’ve been working on for Stanford users. Contains a combination of licensed and free resources. I’m still working on the search strategy page. Tried to group resources using RAMP for part of this guide.
From a very minimal use of vivid color with respect to the acronyms – good reinforcer of what everything stands for
From Ralph Stuart: Color is coming to the video in the final version

From M Sabolefski: Please explain the FAIR acronym again
From Ralph Stuart: FAIR = FAIR data are data which meet principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability
From Ralph Stuart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FAIR_data

From Rob Toreki: Question about data and provenance we can think about
From Rob Toreki: The purple book is the UN GHS model standard
From Rob Toreki: The GHS is only a model and implementation across the world varies significantly
From Ralph Stuart: GHS breaks Leah’s first rule of considering the situation first before gathering data
From Ralph Stuart: It is a hazard banding system rather than a risk or control banding system, although there are controls suggested in the system

From Samuella Sigmann: I would add the wayback machine for broken links.

From Ralph Stuart: Leah and Sammye are leading a 4 hour workshop on meeting the ACS safety publication requirement on April 2. See https://dchas.org/2021/01/22/spring-2021-professional-workshops/ for more information

From Neal Langerman: Leah and Ralph, – as always you are an amazing team. Thank you for this.
From M Sabolefski: thank you, this has been a worthwhile seminar/chat
From mwilhelm: This was so very helpful. Thank you for offering this topic.
From CJakober: Many thanks Leah, Ralph, et al!
From James Wright: Thanks Ralph and Leah!
From Pat Ceas: Great information, thank you!
From rossy: Thank you very much to Leah and Ralph
From Glenda Pons: Thank you!
From Marta Gmurczyk: Thank you. Great sessions.

2021 Annual CHAS Business Meeting

The annual open membership meeting of the Division of Chemical Health and Safety will be held virtually this year. Traditionally this is held at one of the 2 ACS national meetings, but because it is not clear if there will be any in person ACS meetings this year, the CHAS Executive Committee has decided to hold it on April 15,  from noon – 2 PM, Eastern time. The meeting will be held on Zoom at https://princeton.zoom.us/j/92215412283

If you are curious about how the Division works, want to get caught up on the latest news (traditionally spring meeting includes the announcement of the CHAS award winners for the year!) or would like to get involved helping the Division do its work, please join us!

Free On Line Chemical Safety Course from ACS!

A new on-line chemical safety course has just gone live at the ACS Learning Center entitled “Foundations of Chemical Safety and Risk Management for Chemistry Students.” The intended audience is students who have completed at least two semesters of General Chemistry with lab and one semester of Organic Chemistry with lab. The course is being offered at no charge to the community. 

The course can be found at https://institute.acs.org/foundations-chemical-safety.html

Some usage notes about the course:

1. What is the approximate length of time needed to complete the course?

The time to complete the course is estimated to be about 15 hours. Each of the 17 units are designed to be completed in under an hour. If a student chooses to access the advanced enrichment material, the time to complete the unit may be a bit longer 

2. Can I assign specific units to a class?

No. Each unit builds on the previous unit. A student must successfully complete the unit material and a unit assessment before proceeding to the next one.

3. Do I have to have an ACS log in ID?

Yes, registration on the ACS web site is necessary to access the course. However, you do not need to be an ACS member in order to create a log in ID at this site.

The Topics Covered are:

  • Introduction
  • UNIT 1: From Rules to Risk
  • UNIT 2: OSHA and EPA Regulations for Laboratories
  • UNIT 3: Communicating Hazards – GHS and the SDS
  • UNIT 4: Communicating Hazards – NFPA
  • UNIT 5: Recognizing Hazards – Toxicity
  • UNIT 6: Recognizing Hazards – Flammability
  • UNIT 7: Recognizing Hazards – Corrosivity
  • UNIT 8: Recognizing Hazards – Reactivity
  • UNIT 9: Recognizing Hazards – Physical and Biological Hazards
  • UNIT 10: Assessing Risk – Laboratory Operations
  • UNIT 11: Assessing risk – Hazard and Risk Assessments
  • UNIT 12: Minimizing risk – Chemical Storage
  • UNIT 13: Minimizing risk – Hazardous waste
  • UNIT 14: Minimizing risk – Elimination, Administrative, and Engineering Controls
  • UNIT 15: Minimizing risk – Personal Protective Equipment
  • UNIT 16: Preparing for and Responding to Emergencies
  • UNIT 17: Risk Management – Capstone RAMP Assessment
Questions and Comments about the course can be submitted to safety@acs.org

Submit an Abstract to the 25th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute invites you to submit an abstract to the 25th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. Held virtually on June 14-18, 2021, the Conference will feature 5 days of programming, over 30 oral and poster sessions with Q&A, and many opportunities to for online networking. Take a moment to browse the symposia and submit an abstract before February 15, 2021.

Note particularly the presentation opportunity in the symposium I am co-organizing. Last year, the green chemistry and safety symposium was most of best attended of the GCI conference.


Organizers: Ralph Stuart, Keene State College and ACS Division of Chemical Health & Safety; Kendra Denlinger, Xavier

Both green chemistry and chemical safety have direct connections to the ACS’s core value of “professionalism, safety and ethics”. The symposium will explore how these connections can be engaged in academic coursework, in the research laboratory, and in industrial and engineering settings. Papers that define, compare, and contrast the practices of green chemistry and green engineering with chemical safety and then connect these to their social context and goals within the chemistry and engineering enterprise are welcome.

No travel required!

Let me know if you have any questions about this.

– Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Membership Chair
American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety

Spring 2021 National Meeting Call for Papers

The CHAS Call for Abstracts for the 2021 Spring Virtual ACS National Meeting is now available at https://callforabstracts.acs.org/acsspring2021/CHAS

Note that the submission calendar is quite tight due to the pandemic’s impact on planning the meeting. The deadlines for submission is January 19. But the good news is that you can share your work more conveniently since travel will not be required.

CHAS symposia open for paper submissions include:

  • Chemical Safety Film Festival
  • Designing safety into an undergraduate laboratory curriculum, beyond safety rules
  • Safety Across the Scientific Disciplines: Where are the successes, and what needs improvements
  • Systems thinking in Chemical Health and Safety

CANN symposia include

  • Cannabis apart from Cannabinoids
  • Cannabis Derived Treatments for Specific Medical Condtions:
  • Women in Cannabis: Shaping an Emerging Industry

More details about these sessions can be found on the ACS web site