Help build the Chemical Safety Library!

A screen shot of a reaction entry in the Chemical Safety Library. Credit: Pistoia Alliance

Scour your memory, lab notebooks, or the literature to find reaction safety information to enter into the Chemical Safety Library, a database tool that chemists may use to share information and avoid repeating dangerous events. To expand the library, the nonprofit that developed it is holding a two-week datathon from Oct. 17 to 31.

The Pistoia Alliance launched the library earlier this year, and it now has more than 100 entries. “We are collecting community-contributed insights regarding reactions that have gone awry in the lab, with the aim of making this information freely and widely available to improve safety for all,” says Carmen Nitsche, Pistoia’s executive director for business development in North America.

If you don’t already have a Chemical Safety Library account, please register in advance–library administrators screen user applications and reaction submissions to ensure the database remains free of spam. You can also register for a kickoff webinar on Oct. 18 to provide training, tips, and tricks. And be sure to alert your colleagues–students, postdocs, faculty, staff, EH&S personnel, collaborators–about the effort. Pistoia will reward top contributors with gift cards.

C&EN plans to participate in the datathon by contributing information from our safety letters. Our challenge to you: Don’t let us be the top contributor! I hear all the time that people would like to have a database such as this, so now’s your chance to help create it. What happens during the datathon and a subsequent hackathon will help determine future development of the library.

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