College and university sector response to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board Texas Tech incident report and UCLA laboratory fatality

Mary Beth Mulcahy, Alice Young, James Gibson, Cheri Hildreth, Peter Ashbrook, Robin Izzo, Bruce Backus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


In January 2010, an explosion seriously injured a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University (TTU) when he was working with energetic materials. In December 2008, a laboratory researcher at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) was fatally burned by an air sensitive chemical. In 2011 in response to the fatality, the Los Angeles District Attorney filed felony criminal charges against UCLA and a UCLA chemistry professor. In a settlement agreement, where the University of California regents agreed to follow comprehensive safety measures and endow a $500,000 scholarship in the name of the researcher killed by the incident, the charges against UCLA were dropped. As part of the agreement, the UC regents acknowledged and accepted responsibility for the conditions under which the laboratory operated on Dec. 29, 2008. At the time of the writing of this report, the felony charges against the UCLA chemistry professor are still pending.This report is a an update on the ongoing work by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), TTU, UCLA, Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA), American Chemical Society (ACS) and other organizations since the release of the October 19, 2011 CSB investigation report on the TTU incident.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Health and Safety
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


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