Monday, February 2, 2009
Tert-Butyllithium yields a fatality
Sadly Sheharbano Sangji, research associate/laboratory technician, succumbed to her injuries from a laboratory accident at UCLA on January 16th. Ms. Sangji sustained severe burns from an accidental mishandling of tert-Butyllithium...an agent that ignites on exposure to air. Details of the accident are inconclusive but it may well be attributed to careless handling of the agent in an unsupervised laboratory. This situation will certainly tighten and rewrite safety and operation procedures in a laboratory environment especially when working in organic chemistry. I have had my share of laboratory mishaps and can appreciate laboratory safety.
Here is a very detailed source for links relating to Sheharbano Sangji, laboratory risks, and the chemical apparatus needed to work with volatile substances.
tert-Butyllithium Claims Fellow Chemist at UCLA