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One Hundred Years of Progress



"Since 1973, I've been collecting anecdotal accounts of lab accidents.  The collection now includes more than 5,000 examples of what happens when you break the rules.  The first 1,500 have been published by LSI in a three-volume series, Learning By Accident.  In this compilation, I've included the most serious accident report for each of the last seventy years. I hope you'll find them to be an instructive and graphic reminder of the need for continued vigilance and understanding."                   
... Jim Kaufman        

This publication is a list of at least one hundred twenty-five major lab accidents which have occurred over the past one-hundred years.Updated in 2013 edited by James A. Kaufman, Ph.D.


Below is a list of accidents included in the publication.


2011  A solvent fire destroyed the Discovery Laboratory at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) in Hyderabad, India.

2010  A graduate student at Texas Tech in Lubbock lost three fingers and punctured an eye when the highly reactive material he was working with exploded.

2009  In January, the UCLA research technician died from the burns sustained in the incident.

2008  In December, a research technician , Sheharbano Sangji, at the University of California in Los Angeles was badly burned when pyrophoric t-butyl lithium sprayed from a syringe.

Windsor Pharmaceutical lab worker dies after exposure to toxic chemicals. The hood had been turned off due to roof construction. Ronald Daigle was the 46-year-old chemist. The chemical was trimethylsilyldiazomethane.

2006  Six students and the teacher were injured at Western Reserve Academy in January when a flame test demo exploded. Two students were reportedly burned over 40-50% of their bodies.

A cylinder of liquefied nitrogen gas exploded in the Chemistry Department of Texas A&M University (College Station). The cylinder went through the ceiling into the penthouse. Damage is estimated at over one million dollars.

Nancy, France - A large explosion rocked a university's chemistry department in eastern France on Friday, killing a professor who was blown through the ceiling and seriously injuring a student, authorities said.

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