The lower-right end of the periodic table, where all the super-heavy artificial elements reside, is getting two new names. Elements 114 and 116 should be called flerovium (Fl) and livermorium (Lv), chemistry’s governing body, the Internation Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), proposed on Thursday. IUPAC is allowing five months for public comment on the suggestions, but these names are very likely to be confirmed next May.
Companies are failing to provide the safety data required by Europe’s sweeping chemicals law REACH (registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals), according to a study for the Centre for Alternatives to Animal Testing at the University of Konstanz in Germany.
Britain’s scientific advisors on illegal drugs have called for a multi-pronged attack on the growing ‘legal highs’ problem, including funding for improved research and forensics developments, just days after American authorities clamped down on them.
The United States’ Chemical Safety Board (CSB), which usually investigates large industrial accidents such as refinery explosions, yesterday published its first ever report [pdf] into an accident in an academic lab. The study looks into a January 2010 accident at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where graduate student Preston Brown lost three fingers of his left hand during a dangerous experiment. But the concerns it identifies spread wider than Texas Tech, and are relevant to anyone working in US chemistry laboratories – as Nature discussed after the death of Michele Dufault at Yale University in April.