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Chemical Safety

Standard Operating Procedures

Building: Combs Research Building
Room: 222
Department: Markey Cancer Center
PI: Andrew Pierce, PhD.

Section 1: Process, Hazardous Chemical, and Hazard Class

Section 2: The purpose of the Chemical Safety module is to be used as a guideline to ensure the laboratory worker remains cognizant of the chemicals stored and used in the labs and their associated hazards. Chemical Hazards, as OSHA has defined, is "a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principals that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees". The term "health hazard" includes chemicals which are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, agents which act on the hematopoietic systems, and agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes. Hazard Class is the rating information given for many common chemicals that reference the health, flammability, reactivity, and special notice areas within the NFPA fire diamond. Each area is then rated from 0 to 4, 4 being most severe in all cases.

Section 3: There are potential hazards associated in working with hazardous chemicals. There are 3 major routes of entry for a chemical to enter the body: inhalation, absorption, and ingestion. To avoid inhalation exposures, hazard reduction methods include substituting a less volatile or less toxic chemical or liquid for a gaseous one or having the use of a well-functioning local exhaust ventilation (i.e. chemical hoods). To reduce the risk of a chemical entering the body via skin and eye contact, one should wear PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gloves, lab coats, face shields, and safety glasses. Ingestion of chemicals is the least common route of entry into the body. However, a lab worker can easily ingest chemicals into the body via contaminated hands not washed prior to eating, drinking, or smoking. Mouth pipetting is forebidden, but the encouraging of good personal hygiene and designating a well-marked nonchemical area where eating, drinking, and the application of cosmetics is permitted.

Section 4: When working with hazardous chemicals or chemicals in general, one must incorporate the use of PPE, personal protective equipment. At a minimum, all lab personnel should be wearing a lab coat or lab apron and safety glasses when there is active work being done with hazardous chemicals in the lab. The lab worker performing any work should be wearing appropriate gloves. Glove assessments should be done for all chemicals in the lab, and if one glove will not work for all chemicals, written information needs to be provided to all lab workers. Full-face shields must be worn when conducting a procedure where splashing is a potential. Respirators may be required for the use of some substances such as with chemicals that pose chemical inhalation hazards.

Section 5: The engineering controls for this lab will be the use of chemical fume hoods to prevent the use and reduce the exposure to hazardous chemicals and chemical safety shower/eyewash showers. Safety Shower/Eyewashes Safety showers and/or eyewashes are required in labs where corrosive chemicals are used. PPD is charged with testing the eyewashes and shower units. A log of those checks can be obtained by contacting your respective PPP (LC or MC). Chemical shower and eyewash shower station is located by the sink in the lab.

Section 6: Chemicals ideally should be stored by compatibility, not simply by alphabetical arrangement. Oxidizers should be separated from organics, air/water reactives must be kept dry and cyanides should be stored away from acids. Chemicals in this lab will be stored on the shelves above the benchtops in the weighing area/gel running area and access shall be limited (room securely locked when unoccupied) to laboratory personnel only. Volatile toxic substances must be stored in volatile storage cabinets adequate to the purpose. When volatiles must be stored in a cooled atmosphere, explosion-proof refrigerators or similar specially designed equipment must be used.. All other chemicals have no expiration dates and shall be used unto their entirety.

Section 7: Small spills of known materials should be immediately covered with paper towels or other absorbent materials. A solution of 1% Alconox in water then should be applied to the soiled area (allow 20 minute contact period) and then wiped clean. Materials such as towels, spill pads etc. used to clean up the spill may become hazardous waste during the clean up and require special disposal. Please call to check on this before disposing of clean up materials. Most spills are best suited to clean up with spill pillows, acid/base neutralizing kits or granulated clay products such as oil dry and kitty litter. These products are available from chemical supply companies and are a convenient thing to have on hand. Make sure to wear safety goggles, proper gloves and other appropriate protective gear when handling a spill just as you would during normal handling of that chemical. If the spill is a mixture always wear protective equipment appropriate for the most hazardous of the chemicals involved.

For large spills the Hazardous Materials Management office should be immediately notified by calling (859) 323-6280 or contacting an HMM staff member.

Section 8: "Decontamination" means the use of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy the chemical spillage on a surface or item to the point where it is no longer capable of transmitting toxic substances and the surface or item is rendered safe for handling, use, or disposal. For chemical spills in this laboratory, the process of decontamination shall occur immediately after the spill has been cleaned up according to Section 7 above. To finalize the decontamination process, a 70% ETOH should be applied to the spill area and also wiped clean with a towel. The towel materials should be placed in the biohazard waste when the task is completed.

Section 9: To dispose of any hazardous waste you must completely fill out a hazardous waste ticket for each container. Mail or fax the top (white) copy of the ticket to the HMM office. Attach the yellow copy of the ticket securely to each container. Some chemicals, such as neutralized acids and bases, sugars, buffers, starches, filter media etc. can be disposed of in the regular trash or down the sink. Always contact the HMM office (323-6280 or 323-5005) prior to disposal so they may check this lab's specific situation for compliance with applicable laws.

Section 10: Materials Safety Data Sheets, MSDS, for all chemicals may be found on the following web address:

Section 11: Protocols

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