Chemist’s Death Highlights the Importance of Lab SafetyJune 29th, 2012
I don’t know who originally said “if you want to get an idea across, wrap it in a story,” but whoever it was knew what they were talking about. Here’s a perfect illustration. We’ve all been told of the importance of chemical safety—wearing protective equipment, using fume hoods, safely storing and measuring chemicals, etc.—but I defy you to not be moved by the story of Karen Wetterhahn, who died after being exposed to a miniscule dose of dimethylmercury. It’s a heartwrenching story, because Wetterhahn adhered to all reasonable precautions. The story points out that there’s a lot more to safety than keeping food out of the lab refrigerator.
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