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Viral Vector Constructs Require Prior Approval  

Delivering genes and genetic material through viral vector technology is a powerful tool that is widely used at UC Davis. Pre-packaged viral vector constructs, with genes of interest, have become increasingly available for purchase commercially.

While most of these viral vector constructs are engineered to be non-replicative and generally considered to be significantly safer than the parental strain of each virus, per NIH Guidelines, you must:
  • List these constructs on a Biological Use Authorization
  • Get Institutional Biosafety Committee approval prior to using them in your research
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Biosafety group at

Portable Fire Extinguisher Update Program

Fire Prevention Services is moving through the campus updating older extinguishers with a new portable fire extinguisher. Several buildings already have the replacement extinguishers, including Gladys Valley Hall and Hoagland Hall. The new fire extinguishers will have a Cintas white tag (pictured below), rather than a green tag.

If you have any questions, please contact Fire Prevention at 530-752-1493 or

Accidental Finger Prick with Dichloromethane Results in Injury

In February 2019, a chemist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, Dr. Sebastien Vidal, posted a picture of an injured student's finger alongside the question: “Which solvent could have caused such injury after poking one’s finger with a syringe and injecting 1-2 drops of solvent?”

The answer to Dr. Vidal's question was dichloromethane (DCM, methylene chloride).

A needle was being used to inject DCM into a flask, when both the rubber stopper and the needle came off of the flask in an upward motion, and the natural downward reflex movement caused the student to prick a finger on the other hand, which was holding the neck of the flask.
The student was wearing nitrile gloves during the reaction setup, immediately stopped and notified Dr. Vidal. Within 1-2 minutes of the accidental injection, the skin around the injection site had turned purple and started necrotizing. Although the needle only penetrated 1mm into the skin, the injury required emergency surgery and a 3-month recovery period. Immediate medical attention allowed the student to save the finger.

Dr. Vidal expressed his shock, relief, and concern regarding this incident via Twitter; and has devoted himself to educating others about the dangers of working with DCM. It's a very commonly used solvent and one Dr. Vidal's lab uses every day for glycosylation reactions. Dr. Vidal is working to update DCM's safety data sheet to include injection among the first aid measures it describes (alongside inhalation, ingestion, eye contact and skin contact).

Lesson Learned

While we may feel comfortable with the chemicals used for research and discovery, even with the proper safety measures in place (i.e., personal protective equipment and safety data sheets on file), the effects of even the most common chemicals on human physiology are still being discovered. We must continue to be vigilant in practicing safe science bearing that in mind.

Dr. Karega Paisley, Interim Director of Occupational Health

Dr. Karega Paisley (MD, MPH) was named Interim Medical Director overseeing Occupational Health Services (OHS) and the Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being Program. After 3.5 years as Associate Medical Director, the new role allows Dr. Paisley to continue caring for injured employees, while also working with departments and campus leaders on strategies for injury management.

“Most important to me is preventing injury,” attests Dr. Karega Paisley. “I take it as a personal challenge to keep people from ever needing our medical care services.” A self-proclaimed “people person,” Dr. Paisley takes great pride in providing quality customer service to all the employees that seek the care provided by his team.

Outside of work, Dr. Paisley likes to read, go to plays, and listen to podcasts (anything non-medical). He suggests you read Tom Clancy's Point of Contact, watch Wicked the Musical and listen to Revisionist History

You can email Dr. Paisley at

Updated Radiation Refresher Training

No action needed if your radiation safety training is current.
Two new refresher courses have replaced the radiation quizzes in the Learning Management System (LMS):  The old quizzes are no longer available on LMS and the new courses should be completed going forward. Individuals will automatically be reminded when their three-year refresher is due.

More information is available on the Safety Services site

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Traveling during cold weather, using indoor heating appliances, cooking with gas are a few things that can lead to a higher risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

CO Alarms Don't Always Go Near the Floor
If you have an attached garage or fuel-burning appliances in your home, install a CO alarm. Place alarms at the height recommended by the manufacturer and at least one alarm on each level of the home, near bedrooms. 
Don't Place Alarms:
  • Near doors, windows or CO-producing appliances
  • In areas with poor air flow (e.g., corners).
  • Check CO alarm batteries when you change your clocks (twice annually)
  • Replace CO alarms after 5 years
Here are some other tips to keep you safe:
  • Clean and inspect fireplace chimneys and gas appliances annually.
  • During a power outage, run your generator or grill as far as possible from the house.
  • Use the range hood while cooking over a gas stove.
  • When you stay in a cabin or vacation rental, look for a CO alarm and consider bringing your own.
  • Don’t use your camp stove inside a tent or vehicle. 
  • Avoid idling your car inside a garage, and clear snow from the tailpipe before starting the car.
  • Learn the symptoms: At high elevations, CO poisoning can be misdiagnosed as altitude sickness, sleepiness, headache, blurred vision, nausea or vomiting, confusion. If you suspect CO poisoning or your CO alarm sounds, get everybody to fresh air and call 911.

Introducing Industrial Hygienists
Wesley Frey and Luis Trani

Safety Services is happy to welcome Wesley Frey, new lead industrial hygiene specialist, and Luis Trani to the Industrial Hygiene team at EH&S.
Wes brings 17 years of experience in all facets of industrial hygiene - domestic and international - in industries including aerospace, petroleum refining, manufacturing, environmental engineering, construction, building management, insurance and utilities.
After graduation, Wes took a consulting position at Hygienetech, an occupational hygiene and safety consulting firm in Sacramento. In 2011, he assumed a regional manager role responsible for projects in and around Los Angeles, a role Wes held until joining UC Davis.
"Customer service was something I focused on in my last position," noted Wes. "I like interacting with a variety of stakeholders and I try to be available to meet their needs as best as I can, at all times."
In his spare time, Wes likes to play bass guitar, garden and woodwork. You can reach Wes at
Luis graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a degree in Economics and joined an environmental consulting firm, which performed a wide variety of field work for the Chicago Public School (CPS) system, one of the largest in the nation. "Luis brings a wealth of IH expertise in lead and asbestos evaluation, and remediation in academic settings," remarked Andrew Majewski, Health & Safety Manager for Safety Services. "Additionally, his work assessing water intrusion and chipped paint, and extensive sampling in public buildings will be invaluable to UC Davis."

In his free time, Luis loves spending time with his pets, hiking, riding his bike and roots for the Chicago Bears. You can reach Luis at
Copyright © 2020 UC Davis Safety Services, All rights reserved.

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