|The TV 801 turbo pump, which may fail and eject fragments. |
Scientific instrument maker Sciex has told owners of more than 2,000 mass spectrometers to immediately shut down the instruments because a catastrophic failure of turbo pumps manufactured by Agilent Technologies could “result in serious injury or death.” To date, Sciex says, no one has been injured.
According to a safety notice dated March 13 for owners of API 4000, API 4000 Qtrap, and API 5000 model mass spectrometers, the rotors of the TV 801 turbo pump can suddenly fragment and be ejected at high speeds. The pumps are used to create a high negative pressure in the instrument’s vacuum chamber.That seems... dangerous.
(There's probably quite the interesting thread about death-by-analytical-instrument. It seems to me that IRs aren't going to kill anyone, but death-by-NMR-asphyxiation seems pretty mundane/reasonable, although I suspect no one has actually died because of a surprise quench (am I wrong?) Death-by-X-ray-spectroscopy seems reasonable, but again, probably that's happened to no one yet. Death-by-mass-spec wouldn't be as ignominious as death by IR, I think. (Don't you think that's a little too morbid for Monday morning? -ed. Well, yeah, but it is Monday.)