1922 Lab Explosion with Clues for Today

“The funeral of William Eastman Spandow . . . will be held in the Chapel at 11 o'clock this morning.” This was the introduction of the obituary given by the Columbia Spectator in 1922 on the unusual death of a 24-year-old chemist. The obituary describes a shocking...

What are the rules of lab safety?

Labs vary from place to place and even within the same academic institution or industry. A high school science lab has different requirements from a commercial testing lab. This variety can make it difficult to come up with a standardized set of rules. While there is...

Lab Safety Posters in the Bathroom?

You have some great lab safety posters laminated and mounted strategically around the lab. Great! Problem is, after a few months, people get used to seeing them and don't notice them anymore. Your shiny new posters might as well be wallpaper. Here's an idea you may...

Should Your Chemical Hygiene Plan Lose Weight?

As the years went by, what started as a skinny 25-40 page document has gradually bloated to over 150 pages before anyone realized it. Let's face it: your chemical hygiene plan (CHP) is overweight. And the problem isn't just cosmetic. When many people see a policy...

Chemical Companies Operating Under the Radar

Photo: Associated Press On March 15, an explosion at a Tri-Chem Industries chemical plant in Cresson, Texas left one person dead and two injured. Days later, hazardous chemicals were still burning. What chemicals exactly have burned into the air since the explosion?...