Use and Misuse of Chemical Reactivity Spreadsheets

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Misidentifying chemical hazards can have serious deleterious effects. Consequences of not identifying a chemical are obvious and include fires, explosions, injury to workers, etc. Consequences of identifying hazards that are really not present can be equally as bad. Misidentifying hazards can result in increased work with loss of productivity, increased expenses, utilization/consumption of scarce resources, and the potential to modify the work to include chemicals or processes that are actually more hazardous than those originally proposed. For these reasons, accurate hazard identification is critical to any safety program. Hazard identification in the world of chemistry is, at best, a daunting ... continued below

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Simmons, F September 20, 2005.

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Misidentifying chemical hazards can have serious deleterious effects. Consequences of not identifying a chemical are obvious and include fires, explosions, injury to workers, etc. Consequences of identifying hazards that are really not present can be equally as bad. Misidentifying hazards can result in increased work with loss of productivity, increased expenses, utilization/consumption of scarce resources, and the potential to modify the work to include chemicals or processes that are actually more hazardous than those originally proposed. For these reasons, accurate hazard identification is critical to any safety program. Hazard identification in the world of chemistry is, at best, a daunting task. The knowing or understanding, of the reactions between any of approximately twelve million known chemicals that may be hazardous, is the reason for this task being so arduous. Other variables, such as adding other reactants/contaminants or changing conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, or concentration), make hazard determination something many would construe as being more than impossibly difficult. Despite these complexities, people who do not have an extensive background in the chemical sciences can be called upon to perform chemical hazard identification. Because hazard identification in the area of chemical safety is so burdensome and because people with a wide variety of training are called upon to perform this work, tools are required to aid in chemical hazard identification. Many tools have been developed. Unfortunately, many of these tools are not seen as the limited resource that they are and are used inappropriately.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2005-00554
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 890225
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc874774

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 20, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 1:45 p.m.

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Simmons, F. Use and Misuse of Chemical Reactivity Spreadsheets, article, September 20, 2005; [Aiken, South Carolina]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc874774/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.