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Re: [Phys-L] chemistry explosion near Pittsburgh

But if it is dangerous and could explode it should be done with small
samples inside an enclosed hood. But at the least the teacher should have
worn a full face mask and a protective vest that covers the neck. That
actually would add to the drama. Of course students would have to be moved
farther away or have a clear protective shield between the demo and them.
Indeed being suited up for an experiment even when not dangerous might catch
students' attentions.

My daughter, a chemist, claims that chemists have shortened life spans. I
don't necessarily believe that, but it is a good thought to keep in mind
when checking safety precautions. Unfortunately HS teachers may not have
had enough training to be fully cognizant of what they need to do to protect
themselves. Fortunately most in class physics experiments have essentially
no risk unless you are dealing with bowling balls. This can be reduced with
duck pin bowling balls. Professional physicists however do deal with more
life threatening things. Then I knew of a physicist who lost an eye to
phosphorous and subsequently became a lawyer.

John M. Clement
Houston, TX

A colleague sent this sad/scary news story to me today:

Safety first!!