Book cover - Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students

Robert H Hill and David C Finster
2016 | 576pp | £50.50 (PB)
ISBN 9781119243380

Chemistry safety for students is mostly confined to a two-hour introductory lecture and some form filling in further down the line. Laboratory safety for chemistry students – now on its second edition – offers an alternative approach. Written for a US audience, the legislative elements may not be relevant for the UK but the fundamental principles very much are.

This is a surprisingly engaging book for what can be a dry subject. This is achieved in no small part by the use of quotes ranging from Nobel winning chemists to Han Solo and the real world examples at the start of each chapter. This gives food for thought and grounds the theory giving it much needed context. This is vital for students who may not have encountered anything but a standard cookbook experiment before.

The RAMP system (recognise hazards, assess risks, minimise risks, prepare for emergencies) takes centre stage throughout giving a useful aide-memoire underpinning the diverse range of safety topics. No hazard that may be encountered in the lab is neglected. The book includes informative chapters on biological and radiation safety that broaden its appeal to all scientists as well as all aspects of chemistry.

The chemistry content in this book is by no means trivial; sidebars explore kinetics, thermodynamics and advanced organic chemistry. The detail and the contextual information require the application of chemical knowledge rather than simple lists of rules and regulations. This combined with the many questions provided would make it an ideal companion to most lab based courses. Indeed the information is broad enough and detailed enough for this to be a useful reference for professional practitioners of chemical safety.

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