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Hazardous Organic Material Incident in the Workplace

Describe an incident (fire, spill, explosion, etc) you have experienced (or research one on the Internet, professional journal, or scientific magazine article) that involved a hazardous organic material(s) and required mitigation. The following items must be addressed:

A) Describe the incident and identify the hazardous organic material(s) involved;
B) Discuss the chemical interactions of the material(s) involved in this incident or hazardous properties relevant to the incident;
C) Discuss the mitigation required or implemented.

Solution Preview

Hi there,

I'd like to relate to you an incident that happened at my workplace about 3 months ago. I am a laboratory technician within the anatomy department at a university. Part of my job involves the embalming of cadavers. There are two different chemical means that we use to embalm: the more common method of formalin embalming and a newer method called Thiel embalming. It is this second method that resulted in a biohazard risk at the lab.

The main chemical component of Thiel embalming solution is ethanol. However, there is a small amount of phenol (also called carbolic acid or benzenol) that is used in the stock solution. The formula for phenol is C6H5OH. We first dissolve ...

Solution Summary

This solution (composed of nearly 450 words) details a specific case study regarding workplace safety involving a spill of hazardous organic material.