klenchin at REMOVE_TO_REPLY.facstaff.wisc.edu
Thu Jul 19 23:18:51 EST 2001
Wolfgang Schechinger wrote:
:> One of my "general rules" is this: if a substance reacts with
:> nucleic acids or proteins - give it some respect. When in doubt
:> or ignorant of something, be cautious - not careless.
:this is very good rule of thumb
:> If a safety person makes a recommendation, give it some heed.
:The problem with safety rules however is, that their basis is
:not safety issues in the first instance but that nobody wants to
:take responsibility. I wouldn't be astouned when suddenly
:even deionized water gets some orange label.
:Recently, I have disovered a dead head sign (poison) on a
:bottle with acetic acid (irritant and flammable is what I would
:expect to be there). The consequence is, that a newbie
:without a lot of practical experience will loose any sense for
:the real danger of chemicals. Where's the difference to the
:really toxic stuff now?
I agree. This overkill is a classic case of boy crying wolf.
My favorite notes on the subject are sucrose ("explosive")
and ATP ("toxic").
:Of couse I would have a sip of conc HOAc or have a bath in it,
:but I wouldn't doubt that my body easily will detoxify an
:accidental breath of it (what I would doubt in the case of EtBr).
:It seems to me there is a lot of hystery on lab hazards:
:micrograms of EtBr are detoxified (??) with grams of
:permanganate first using lots of HCl for acidification and the
:lots of NaOH for neutralization, potentiating the waste by
:magnitudes. But you have fulfilled the lab rule / satisfied the
:safety officer / peace of mind (!?)
:One could continue almost endlessly.
In the same vein. The worst part is when the rules become
too ridiculous and burdensome, many people stop following
them and - again - in the process lose track of what's reasonable
and what's not.
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