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Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals
contact with allergens or substances of unknown allergenic activity (35).
Embryotoxins (34-5) (examples: organomercurials, lead compounds, formamide): If you are a woman of childbearing age, handle these substances only in a hood whose satisfactory performance has been confirmed, using appropriate protective apparel (especially gloves) to prevent skin contact. Review each use of these materials with the research supervisor and review continuing uses annually or whenever a procedural change is made. Store these substances, properly labeled, in an adequately ventilated area in an unbreakable secondary container. Notify supervisors of all incidents of exposure or spills; consult a qualified physician when appropriate.
Work with Chemicals of Moderate Chronic or High Acute Toxicity
Supplemental rules to be followed in addition to those mentioned above (Procedure B of "Prudent Practices", pp. 39-41):
Aim: To minimize exposure to these toxic substances by any route using all reasonable precautions (39).
Applicability: These precautions are appropriate for substances with moderate chronic or high acute toxicity used in significant quantities (39).
Location: Use and store these substances only in areas of restricted access with special warning signs (40, 229). Always use a hood (previously evaluated to confirm adequate performance with a face velocity of at least 60 linear feet per minute) (40) or other containment device for procedures which may result in the generation of aerosols or vapors containing the substance (39); trap released vapors to prevent their discharge with the hood exhaust (40).
Personal protection: Always avoid skin contact by use of gloves and long sleeves (and other protective apparel as appropriate) (39). Always wash hands and arms immediately after working with these materials (40).
Records: Maintain records of the amounts of these materials on hand, amounts used, and the names of the workers involved (40, 229).
Prevention of spills and accidents: Be prepared for accidents and spills (41). Assure that at least 2 people are present at all times if a compound in use is highly toxic or of unknown toxicity (39). Store breakable containers of these substances in chemically resistant trays; also work and mount apparatus above such trays or cover work and storage surfaces with removable, absorbent, plastic backed paper (40). If a major spill occurs outside the hood, evacuate the area; assure that cleanup personnel wear suitable protective apparel and equipment (41).
Waste: Thoroughly decontaminate or incinerate contaminated clothing or shoes (41). If possible, chemically decontaminate by chemical conversion (40). Store contaminated waste in closed, suitably labeled, impervious containers (for liquids, in glass or plastic bottles half-filled with vermiculite) (40).
Work with Chemicals of High Chronic Toxicity
Examples: dimethylmercury and nickel carbonyl (48), benzo-a-pyrene (51), N-nitrosodiethylamine (54), other human carcinogens or substances with high carcinogenic potency in animals (38).
Further supplemental rules to be followed, in addition to all those mentioned above, for work with substances of known high chronic toxicity (in quantities above a few milligrams to a few grams, depending on the substance) (47). (Procedure A of "Prudent Practices" pp. 47-50.)
Access: Conduct all transfers and work with these substances in a "controlled area": a restricted access hood, glove box, or portion of a lab, designated for use of highly toxic substances, for which all people with access are aware of the substances being used and necessary precautions (48).
Approvals: Prepare a plan for use and disposal of these materials and obtain the approval of the laboratory supervisor (48).
Non-contamination/Decontamination: Protect vacuum pumps against contamination by scrubbers or HEPA filters and vent them into the hood (49). Decontaminate vacuum pumps or other contaminated equipment, including glassware, in the hood before removing them from the controlled area (49, 50). Decontaminate the controlled area before normal work is resumed there (50).
Exiting: On leaving a controlled area, remove any protective apparel (placing it in an appropriate, labeled container) and thoroughly wash hands, forearms, face, and neck (49).
Housekeeping: Use a wet mop or a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter instead of dry sweeping if the toxic substance was a dry powder (50).
Medical surveillance: If using toxicologically significant quantities of such a substance on a regular basis (e.g., 3 times per week), consult a qualified physician concerning desirability of regular medical surveillance (50).
Records: Keep accurate records of the amounts of these substances stored (229) and used, the dates of use, and names of users (48).
Signs and labels: Assure that the controlled area is conspicuously marked with warning and restricted access signs (49) and that all containers of these sub-