Department of Chemistry
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For many years in the UK we have operated a scheme that was suggested in Professor Behrman’s letter. At CLEAPSS we call the scheme “risk assessing” and by having a National (prosecuting) government body called the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) — which has never challenged our advice — students can wear safety spectacles when using solids and solutions classified as irritant to the eyes but will wear goggles when the chemical poses a serious risk or is corrosive to the eyes.
I just had a moment. Not a moment, but a MOMENT. A super-moment-of-science moment. It all started with a pretty lacklustre, results-wise, experiment that I — and most of us (probably) — have our students perform. It concerns the determination of the empirical formula of magnesium oxide.
I am not a fan of pedagogical zealotry. I feel that those touting the next educational “breakthrough” as the only way to teach have something to sell. If you have read through my articles over the past few months, please don’t mistake my enthusiasm for extremism.
I get real satisfaction teaching about health risks associated with engineered nanomaterials as students are keenly interested in both new technology and the hazards or environmental impact of chemicals. These health risk lectures are part of the required courses for students enrolled in our nanotechnology engineering program, with an aim to allow the students to better understand occupational, consumer and environmental health risks associated with nanomaterials.