Last month a high school in Vancouver had a brief scare when school staff preparing to return a chemical that had been mistakenly delivered noticed a bubbling sound and thought they smelled smoke coming from the container.
Staff acted quickly, putting the container into a fume hood, evacuating the school, and contacting emergency personnel. Luckily, the responding firefighters did not find any trace of vapors in the building, however, this is a good reminder of the importance of properly training staff who handle hazardous chemicals, as well as having necessary policies and procedures in place to help them handle unexpected events.
Our industrial hygienist, Elizabeth Jakab, is meeting one-on-one with our districts to promote safe chemical use in schools. We encourage you to contact her to set up a time to meet if your district has not already done so. We also point you to two recent resources we have made available to districts to assist in managing potentially hazardous chemicals.