Laboratory hazards

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  • THERE IS probably no single course in “laboratory safety or chemical safety” at your college or university. Why not? Chemistry curricula have developed over many decades with a focus on the main topics of chemistry: organic, inorganic, physical chemistry, analytical chemistry, and (more recently) biochemistry. For decades, the topic of chemical safety was included at the margins of lab courses, mostly taught in a small way as a footnote to various lab experiments and procedures. Some chemists and chemistry teachers were aware of the importance of safety, while many were not.

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  • Clean air is a basic requirement of life. The quality of air inside homes, offices, schools, day care centres, public buildings, health care facilities or other private and public buildings where people spend a large part of their life is an essential determinant of healthy life and people’s well-being. Hazardous substances emit- ted from buildings, construction materials and indoor equipment or due to hu- man activities indoors, such as combustion of fuels for cooking or heating, lead to a broad range of health problems and may even be fatal....

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  • Within the overall transport process, attenuation processes may cause movement of the chemical to differ from that of the bulk flowing groundwater, for example dispersion, sorption and chemical or biological degradation of the chemical. Such attenuation processes potentially act to mitigate the impact of chemicals and are a function of both the specific chemical and geologic domain. Indeed, attenuation may vary significantly between individual chemicals and within different geological settings.

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  • The air pollution accumulating in the interior of automobiles consists almost exclusively of gaso- line and diesel exhaust. This toxic soup of gases, aerosols, and microscopic particles includes ben- zene (a known carcinogen), carbon monoxide (which interferes with the blood’s ability to trans- port oxygen), particulate matter (which studies have associated with increased death rates), and a host of other hazardous chemicals.

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  • In assembly, the principle impact relates to the use of glues and adhesives. The main issue associated with the use of adhesives is related to the solvent content of glue and the consequent emissions of VOCs, although other hazardous substances may also be present in certain glues. Therefore, in order to minimise the negative environmental impacts of certain glues, criteria shall be set to limit the content of VOCs in adhesives and the content of hazardous additives.

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  • With the increasing complexity of modern medicine, we now have literally thousands of possible investigative techniques at our disposal. We are able to examine our patient’s serum and every other body fluid down to the level of individual nucleotides, as well as being able to perform precise imaging through CT, MRI and other imaging technologies. The problem we have all faced, especially as senior medical students or junior doctors is: which test should we use in a given setting? What hazards are associated with the tests?...

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  • New cases of active pulmonary tuberculosis admitted to our critical care unit from January 1999 to January 2006 were identified. Data were collected retrospectively from medical records including demographics, clinical presentation, number of sputum samples, therapy provided and patient outcome. Setting: Data were collected from the ICU database and microbiology laboratory records. Patients and participants: Thirty-three patients were diagnosed with active pulmonary tuberculosis. Age was 63±17, and 60.7% were males.

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  • The toxicity or carcinogenicity of each reagent used in this method has not been precisely defined; however, each chemical compound should be treated as a potential health hazard. From this viewpoint, exposure to these chemicals must be reduced to the lowest possible level by whatever means available. The laboratory is responsible for maintaining a current awareness file of OSHA regulations regarding the safe handling of the chemicals specified in this method.

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