This response (below) from "P. Ford" strikes me as highly
irresponsible, for a number of reasons.
First: Ford is not taking into account the possibility that in fact
there is no problem. Is Ford aware of the fact that aqueous solutions
of phenol (also called carbolic acid) are used as topical antiseptics?
In fact, I've used throat lozenges that contain phenol. Let's not
fuel hysteria here, please!
Second: A letter to the editor of the school paper is not an
appropriate forum for such an issue. IF THERE IS A SERIOUS LAB SAFETY
ISSUE HERE (and that is certainly not clear from the facts as we have
them), there are appropriate channels that should be used. All major
research universities have mechanisms in place for lab safety training
Third: It does not seem appropriate to lash out wildly (i.e., "making
trouble") without even knowing the facts, and without making some
serious effort to first communicate rationally.
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Exposure in Labs (help)
Author: "P. Ford" <PXF3 at psuvm.psu.edu> at NOTE
Date: 6/20/94 7:08 AM
I'm just browsing here, but I want to mention two things you should do: Go
to a doctor so that there will be a record of your exposure/injury. This is
very important because effects might not show up for several (many?) years.
(Aside: when I was in college, I had an injury to my neck that I thought was
minor so I didn't bother to go to the doctor. Twenty years later, scar
tissue had built up and it's not minor at all. If I had reported it,
someone else would be paying for my phsyical therapy.)
This leads to my second point: by allowing such a neanderthal to be in
charge of the lab, your college has allowed inself to be liable for injuries
caused by poor instruction in lab safety. I would write a letter to the
editor of the school paper expressing my disappointment. Then I would get
my applications for transfer to another college in the mail ASAP. Why? Two
reasons: I would not want to be attend a school that has so little regard
for the safety of its students, and I would guess that by pointing this out
publicly I would be labelled a troublemaker.
Good luck. PF