Chemical reaction sends MU graduate student to hospital

Thursday, October 6, 2011 | 9:57 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — An MU graduate research assistant was sent to University Hospital mid-morning Wednesday as a result of a chemical reaction in a chemistry building lab. The reaction injured the student’s hands.

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety is currently investigating the incident, MU spokesman Christian Basi said.

“We want to determine why it happened and how it could be prevented in the future,” Basi said.

The graduate student’s condition is undetermined, but the injuries are not life-threatening, Basi said.

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Mark Foecking October 7, 2011 | 3:23 a.m.

What was the chemical reaction? Any updates?

I've done a lot of chemical synthesis, and sometimes you can't "prevent it in the future". The best you can do is know what you're working with, use appropriate safety equipment, and pay attention to what you're doing. Even so, sometimes things don't go as planned.

I hope the student recovers fully, but I also know that a certain danger is inherent in these things. Good luck.


(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 7, 2011 | 8:44 a.m.

The only way to make chemistry 100% safe is to stop doing chemistry. I don't think that's a very good idea.

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