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Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals
ods of evaluation and for calculation of estimated airborne contaminant concentrations.
D. Components of the Chemical Hygiene Plan
Basic Rules and Procedures (Recommendations for these are given in section E, below.)
Chemical Procurement, Distribution, and Storage
Procurement. Before a substance is received, information on proper handling, storage, and disposal should be known to those who will be involved (215, 216). No container should be accepted without an adequate identifying label (216). Preferably, all substances should be received in a central location (216).
Stockrooms/storerooms. Toxic substances should be segregated in a well-identified area with local exhaust ventilation (221). Chemicals which are highly toxic (227) or other chemicals whose containers have been opened should be in unbreakable secondary containers (219). Stored chemicals should be examined periodically (at least annually) for replacement, deterioration, and container integrity (218-19). Stockrooms/ storerooms should not be used as preparation or repackaging areas, should be open during normal working hours, and should be controlled by one person (219).
Distribution. When chemicals are hand carried, the container should be placed in an outside container or bucket. Freight-only elevators should be used if possible (223).
Laboratory storage. Amounts permitted should be as small as practical. Storage on bench tops and in hoods is inadvisable. Exposure to heat or direct sunlight should be avoided. Periodic inventories should be conducted, with unneeded items being discarded or returned to the storeroom/stockroom (225-6, 229).
Regular instrumental monitoring of airborne concentrations is not usually justified or practical in laboratories but may be appropriate when testing or redesigning hoods or other ventilation devices (12) or when a highly toxic substance is stored or used regularly (e.g., 3 times/week) (13).
Housekeeping, Maintenance, and Inspections
Cleaning. Floors should be cleaned regularly (24).
Inspections. Formal housekeeping and chemical hygiene inspections should be held at least quarterly (6, 21) for units which have frequent personnel changes and semiannually for others; informal inspections should be continual (21).
Maintenance. Eye wash fountains should be inspected at intervals of not less than 3 months (6). Respirators for routine use should be inspected periodically by the laboratory supervisor (169). Other safety equipment should be inspected regularly (e.g., every 3-6 months) (6, 24, 171). Procedures to prevent restarting of out-of-service equipment should be established (25).
Passageways. Stairways and hallways should not be used as storage areas (24). Access to exits, emergency equipment, and utility controls should never be blocked (24).
Compliance with regulations. Regular medical surveillance should be established to the extent required by regulations (12).
Routine surveillance. Anyone whose work involves regular and frequent handling of toxicologically significant quantities of a chemical should consult a qualified physician to determine on an individual basis whether a regular schedule of medical surveillance is desirable (11, 50).
First aid. Personnel trained in first aid should be available during working hours and an emergency room with medical personnel should be nearby (173). See pp. 176-178 for description of some emergency first aid procedures.
Protective Apparel and Equipment
These should include for each laboratory:
Protective apparel compatible with the required degree of protection for substances being handled (158-161);
An easily accessible drench-type safety shower (162, 169);
An eyewash fountain (162)
A fire extinguisher (162-164);
Respiratory protection (164-9), fire alarm and telephone for emergency use (162) should be available nearby; and
Other items designated by the laboratory supervisor (156, 160).
Accident records should be written and retained (174).
Chemical Hygiene Plan records should document that the facilities and precautions were compatible with current knowledge and regulations (7).
Inventory and usage records for high-risk substances should be kept as specified in section E3e below.
Medical records should be retained by the institu-