NMR Laboratory Mishaps
- Incident No. 1: How to Break Your NMR Sample Tube in the Magnet
- Incident No. 2: Compressed Gas Cylinder Quenches Imaging Magnet
- Incident No. 3: Serious Injuries from MRI-Accident
- Incident No. 4: Nitrogen Safety Warning
Here is a photo illustrating a most effective technique to break an NMR sample tube at the top of the upper barrel, thus potentially (1) contaminating the probe, (2) putting the spectrometer out of commission for an extended length of time, (3) causing several thousands of dollars worth of repair costs, (4) incurring the wrath of the NMR user community, and ultimately (5) losing your own access to the NMR Facility.
Here is a photo from the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign, of a partially quenched horizontal magnet holding onto a gas cylinder and cart.
- William C. Stevens, Ph.D.
NMR Facility Director
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4405
Due to a short-circuit in the MRI console of a Freiburg hospital (August 2001), heavy smoke penetrated into the adjacent rooms. Unfortunately the well-trained and competent staff was asked to leave the area, and so nobody knew that in spite of turning off all power supply the magnet was still energized. During a check-up round a fireman with full breathing equipment was drawn into the bore where he got stuck. Only after quenching the magnet could he be saved, suffering serious injuries. (See “Brandschutz” Deutsche Feuerwehr-Zeitung 3/2002 p. 281 ff.) As a consequence the fire department told us to establish a fixed stoppage around all magnets greater than 10 Tesla at the campus.
- Dr. Johannes Gottfried Zimmermann
Institut für Organische Chemie
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- Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger
Institut für Analytische Chemie
Universität Leipzig Linnéstr.
3 D-04103 Leipzig