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August 21, 2020

Dear faculty and staff colleagues:

Recent reports from the National Research Council and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) Council on Research’s Task Force on Laboratory Safety, have stressed that academic institutions need to do more to promote a culture of chemical safety.  Responsibility for safety, including the laboratory safety program, resides at all levels within the University. Within this framework, senior leadership, administrators, faculty, staff, students and visitors all have responsibilities for complying, implementing, communicating and/or ensuring adherence to institutional policies and safe practices.

To this end, the President and Senior Staff have given authority to ensure chemical safety in research, teaching and training at Tufts to an Institutional Chemical Safety Committee (ICSC). This committee will be based in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and will be charged to ensure that Tufts is in compliance with Federal, State and local regulations on the safe use of chemicals in our research and teaching environments. The ICSC will also be responsible for establishing and implementing University-wide policies and efficient procedures, and providing support for our research community.

Dr. Clay Bennett (https://chem.tufts.edu/faculty/bennett/index.html) has been appointed as the Chair of the ICSC and the committee will be comprised of faculty and staff across Tufts schools and centers whom can provide expert analysis and peer review of policies. In addition, the ICSC will be supported by two Chemical Safety Officers who will work closely with our research and teaching faculty and staff to assist in compliance and training. We are excited to provide our full support to this new committee as their work will help to foster a greater climate of safety awareness at Tufts.

Please keep an eye out for more information, as this committee begins its work, on the website: https://viceprovost.tufts.edu/chemical-safety.

Best wishes,

Tony Monaco