Monday, September 27, 2010

Off to lab safety training!

This morning is the mandatory lab safety training new graduate students have to go through. I probably shouldn't be excited, since I heard this is actually just a boring lecture. But we do get to use a fire extinguisher at the end, so I'm holding out for that bit of excitement.

But we all know the cool part about working in laboratories is the potential for disaster, right? I mean, who didn't go to chemistry lab secretly wishing something would explode? Be honest.

What's your best lab disaster story?

Mine actually happened when I was teaching, rather than as a student. We were using Bunsen burners and the rubber tubing connecting the Bunsen burner to the gas source caught on fire. The professor, other TA, and I all just sort of stared at it dumbfounded for a couple seconds before one of us thought to just turn off the gas. Molten rubber is not a nice smell.

1 comment:

  1. I once let methane loaded soap / detergent travel back down the gas
    pipes because we hadn’t released the primary valve to let the gas flow,
    and by the time we had the soap was already deep into the pipe system.
    So we used a vacuum pump and a Erlenmeyer flask to attempt to get the
    soap out of the gas lines. The air quickly began to fill with Methane
    and apparently the rust and damage was already long since done