Alice in Wonderland as you know from an update this week is the theme for IAHCSMM Annual meeting in San Diego in May ( One of the characters in the story is the "Mad Hatter." Working in the medical field we can learn a lesson from the phrase "mad as a hatter." This phrase has its origins in the early days of felt hat production. In the process of making felt hats mercury was used as a key manufacturing agent. As a result of handling mercury many felt hat makers developed neurological and mental disorders. Thus they became known as "mad hatters." Manufacturers, government agencies and industry trade groups are all focused on preventing or at least limiting risk from exposure to hazards in our work place. That is why we need to always follow the manufacturer's directions and read the labels every time we open and use any chemical. Remember chemicals especially high level disinfectants and sterilants are designed to kill living organisms and therefore are also a hazard to those who use them. So take care so you don't become a mad hatter!


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