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Posts tagged with "Safety Warnings"

  • Chemical Biology

    4-Azidophenylalanine: A Warning

    There’s a reagent used in chemical biology and protein labeling that should be getting a bit more attention than it does. Not because it’s useful – that’s already known – but because it can explode. Here’s the paper (from UC-Irvine and Amgen), and the compound is the 4-azido derivative of phenylalanine. Interest… Read More
  • Chemical News

    How Not to Do It: TATP

    You may well have heard about an incident at the University of Bristol, where a student inadvertently prepared some triacetone triperoxide (TATP). That’s a substance that I definitely won’t work with, but I haven’t done an entry on it in that category because of its unfortunate significance. No one is going to make a batch… Read More
  • Chemical News

    Chemical Storage, Good and Not So Good

    Back to science! I will admit that my Twitter feed is going to be rather more politicized than usual for some time to come, but this is not a political site, and thank God for that. I have to say, it certainly brings in the comments and the traffic, but that’s not my goal in life. Read More
  • Current Events

    Explosion at BASF

    Bad news from Germany this morning. There’s apparently been a very large explosion at the BASF Ludwigshafen facility. If you’ve ever been through that part of the country, you’ll know that that’s a big site in a very dense industrial area: here’s some video taken a bit earlier today. German media reports are that man… Read More
  • Safety Warnings

    Trimethylaluminum Explosion in Massachusetts

    Word has come of a bad industrial accident in the town of North Andover, about 25 to 30 miles north/northwest of Boston. There’s a Dow facility there, the Advanced Materials division, and what makes this particularly bad is that they had an explosion and death there as recently as 2013. That one appears to have… Read More
  • Safety Warnings

    TMS Azide Explosions

    There’s been a lot of safety on the blog this week. One recent accident I haven’t talked about is an azide explosion at Minnesota – C&E News, though, has plenty of coverage. Back in June, a grad student was injured when a batch of trimethylsilyl azide exploded – a 200 gram batch. As more details… Read More
  • How Not to Do It

    How Not to Do It: NMR Magnets

    Here’s an NMR imaging blog with details of a recent problem in an Indian facility. Two people ended up stuck to the machine, pinned by an oxygen cylinder (!) that one of them brought into the room. Both sustained injuries. There are two questions here: one is how anyone is allowed to wheel a ferromagnetic… Read More
  • Safety Warnings

    Fatalities at DuPont

    As many readers will have heard, there was a fatal accident at a DuPont plant in the Houston area over the weekend. Four workers were killed by methyl mercaptan (methanethiol), and here’s more on what happened. As is often the case, there were fatalities at the site of the leak, and more from those first… Read More
  • Safety Warnings

    Safety Warning: Togni’s Reagents

    Some of you may have used the second Togni reagent (shown) as a trifluoromethylating agent. Well, there’s a new paper in Organic Process R&D that brings word that it’s an explosive hazard. A group at Novasep, in Leverkusen, Germany finds that it has a powerful exothermic decomposition, and (in addition) it’s about as combustib… Read More
  • Graduate School

    Accident Report, or One Damn Thing After Another

    I have this from a lab-accidents-I-have-known discussion over on Reddit. It is, of course, unverified, but it’s depressingly plausible. As a chemist, this one is guaranteed to make you bury your head in your hands – it’s the second law of thermodynamics come to take vengeance, with the entropy increasing as you go along: “A… Read More
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