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3 Cases In Labs

1-Explosion During Experiment

Students in a high school chemistry class were studying the difference between mixtures and compounds. In the first part of the lab sulfur was mixed with iron and the sulfur was removed by dissolving the sulfur in carbon disulfide. In the second part of the lab iron and sulfur were mixed in the correct proportions to make iron sulfide. The sample was heated to bring about the desired reaction. Unfortunately some of the students were much faster than others and the two parts of the experiment were occurring at the same time. One student placed her solution of sulfur and carbon disulfide in the chemical crock and put the cover back on. Shortly thereafter a second student placed a hot test tube in the crock. The resulting explosion sent broken glass flying in all directions.

2-Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE)

In 1943, eight persons working in an isolation section of the Yellow Fever Research Laboratory in Brazil contracted VEE within 2 weeks . The cases occurred following experiments that exposed the operators to dust from mouse boxes. Eight individuals working in one laboratory in Buenos Aires were infected at the same time by the VEE virus under investigation . An outbreak that occurred in Russia in 1956 was remarkable not only for the large number of persons involved, but also for the fact that a single preventable accident and improper handling of the situation after the accident were responsible for the infections. Nine ampoules of lyophilized mouse brain infected with VEE virus were broken on a stairway. Although the immediate areas were disinfected, a door leading from the stairway was opened repeatedly, traffic was allowed to continue, the walls of the stairway were not disinfected, and potentially contaminated coats were worn for 2 days after the accident. As a result, 22 persons became ill within 24-28 hr after the accident and 2 more became ill after 4 days.

3-Skin Burn
A student was using a plastic pipette to transfer concentrated sulfuric acid into a round-bottom flask for an esterification experiment. he usually wears gloves all the time, but his old pair was all dirty and he didn't want a reaction ON the gloves ON his hands, so he planned to get the acid he needed AND new gloves all in one trip. somehow when he was squeezing the acid into the flask, a droplet of it jumped off the tip and landed on his right index finger. He didn't notice it until he had pulled his new pair of gloves on and felt a burning sensation on his finger; at that point he knew it was an acid burn and pulled off the glove to look at it. Sure enough, there's a red spot that's starting to welt up, so he flushed with a TON of soapy water and was alright. He doesn't think he got all of it though, because it continued to worsen throughout the day and stopped sometime when he washed up for a lunch break. The result - a nasty little blister that hurts when water is run over it. And all from one little droplet of acid, without wearing gloves.

Thank you All