• Health & Safety

    The Risks in a Lead Workshop

    Outside of health and safety, I have an interest in old buildings and their conservation. A couple of years ago, on a field visit as part of a course I was doing, I went on a tour of the stained glass conservation workshops at Salisbury Cathedral. Here they repair and refabricate stained glass panels for the historic windows in the cathedral and for other churches in the surrounding area. The coloured glass pieces are held together by lead strips, cast, extruded, cut, bent and soldered together by a small team of craftsmen. As I was reasonably familiar with the health effects of lead from a theoretical and control point of…

  • Eye with danger sign instead of pupil
    Health & Safety

    Litvinenko – Seven Years on

    Litvinenko – Seven Years on We are approaching the seventh anniversary of the poisoning and death of Alexander Litvinenko. He was poisoned on 1st November 2006 dying of acute radiation sickness 22 days later. The radionuclide that he was poisoned with was Polonium 210 which is a radioactive element first discovered and characterised by Marie Curie and her husband Pierre in 1898. She also died as a result of her long-term exposure to radioactive elements – from anaemia at the age of 66. Incidentally she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and remarkably won two (one for chemistry and one for physics). As a point of historical…