What’s the most dangerous thing in the lab




Question of the day | What’s the most dangerous thing in the lab?

Recall autoclave with which scientists sterilized instruments. Or heat gun, which is used for drying dishes and heating devices is distilled. It can also ignite the fuel, which is too close. Glass flasks in a vacuum explode, spraying debris everywhere. Centrifuge breaks down, throwing flasks with chemicals throughout the lab. Steel containers that hold liquids and gases under high pressure per square inch, explode, and metal fragments flying in employees. With all of this, none of these devices is not as dangerous as that which is in every laboratory in the world: us.

When laboratory incidents result in death or serious injury, is guilty as always man. Or, as a rule, people. In 1997, Elizabeth Griffin, a 22-year-old researcher primates at Emory University, was left without points when macaque threw feces at her. She died from complications of herpes, six weeks later. In 1996, a chemistry professor Karen Vetterhan accidentally spilled some dimethyl mercury to the glove during a routine work in Dartmudskom college. Mercury leaked through the gauntlet, and 10 months later, Karen died of poisoning. In 2009, the 23-year-old assistant Shenarbano Sangha at UCLA was not wearing fire-resistant lab coat and died from burns after a chemical reaction ignited his sweater.

While scientists are trying to create in the laboratory of the artificial heart and transplant the head , people are dying.

All of these accidents, as you can see, there have been relatively young people. James Kaufman, president of the nonprofit Institute of Laboratory Security, said that the level of incidents in schools and colleges is 100 times higher than in the chemical industry. Although education laboratories is far more dangerous, the exact number of cases is impossible to know. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics only records accidents in professional laboratories. Therefore, if the Dow, DuPont and other manufacturers of chemicals comply with strict safety regulations, the security policy in the universities and schools comes to anecdotal violations. In addition, the school is full of inexperienced chemists: students. At Yale, choked Michel Dufour, working in a machine shop on the night of April 12, and then were taken tough security measures. Left alone, she could not do anything when her hair jammed lathe.

Routine tasks that killed Griffin, Vetterhan, Sangha and Dufour, statistically more dangerous than the situation in the supercolliders or where biohazard level 4, which did not pass without a spacesuit. One reason is the small number of people at risk. Another important point is the more dangerous equipment in the lab, the more complicated the security system. In the laboratory, Fort Detrick in Maryland researchers don costumes biosecurity and run 7-minute sterilizing shower. Automatic air supply system ensures that contaminated air with viruses Ebola and Marburg did not come out to the surface. Everywhere hang signs reminiscent of that work takes place in a dangerous environment, so scientists never feel safe. Gigi Gronvoll, an immunologist at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Biosafety says that “the most dangerous thing is human error, and the most scrupulous laboratory least affected by this.”
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