Introduction - ??After reviewing this document, ... Explosive chemicals are those designed and produced for use as an explosive ... Peroxides and Peroxide Forming Chemicals

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  • UAB OH&S Chemical Safety Training CS 101

    OHS_CS101 Chemical Safety Page 1 Last Updated: 04/02/2015 Course Training Material

    Introduction This training is for all laboratory workers who handle chemicals during the course of their work at

    UAB. The regulatory agencies require this training as a part of your Right-to-Understand. Renewal is

    every two years or when regulations change significantly.

    This PDF file is divided into sections.

    1. This section covers what you must do in order to stay safe and protect your health as well as

    those who work around you.

    2. The material in the Appendix contains general knowledge regulators, regulations,

    procedures, etc. This will be included on the assessment.

    We expect you to have a thorough working knowledge of the materials covered in the Appendix if you

    are a supervisor or manager of a lab, a Principal Investigator (PI), or a researcher.

    After reviewing this document, you will be asked to respond to real life situations in the next section.

    This is NOT the assessment, but the assessment will be based on the scenarios.

    Hazardous Chemicals

    OSHAs definition of a hazardous chemical is any chemical which is a physical or health hazard.

    This classification is based on the way the chemicals affect our safety or health.

    Physical Hazards


    Compressed Gas





    Health Hazards






    Reproductive toxins


  • UAB OH&S Chemical Safety Training CS 101

    OHS_CS101 Chemical Safety Page 2 Last Updated: 04/02/2015 Course Training Material

    On the OH&S website, there is PDF called Two Groups of Hazardous Chemicals that has physical and health hazards covered in detail.

    Acute hazards happen quickly and have a high dose of exposure for a short time (e.g., carbon

    monoxide poisoning, cyanide inhalation, etc.).

    Chronic hazards are caused by chemical exposure that do not cause immediate, obvious harm, or

    make you feel sick right away. You also may not feel, smell or see the danger (e.g., mesothelioma

    from asbestos exposure, lung cancer from smoking, etc.).

    Routes of Exposure

    There are several routes of exposure. They are:




    Skin contact

    Handling Hazardous Chemicals Safely

    Many chemicals are assigned with permissible exposure levels (PELs) to protect workers against the

    health effects of exposure. PELs are regulatory limits on the amount or concentration of a substance in

    the air. PELs are only intended to protect most healthy workers.

    Minimizing Exposure

    Exposure to hazardous chemicals should be minimized whenever possible. We recommend that you

    use this daily checklist to ensure minimal exposure.

    Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals

    Acute and Chronic Health Hazards

  • UAB OH&S Chemical Safety Training CS 101

    OHS_CS101 Chemical Safety Page 3 Last Updated: 04/02/2015 Course Training Material

    To protect my health and safety, I regularly:

    Substitute hazardous chemicals with less hazardous ones whenever possible.

    Minimize the use of hazardous chemicals.

    Post and/or check the signs in and around the area to warn others about the hazards of the

    chemicals used and stored there. Work only in that area.

    Use engineering controls (e.g., glove box, fume hood, etc.).

    o Work in a chemical fume hood.

    o Use Class 2 Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC). These are ducted to the outside to protect

    the product, personnel, and environment from possible hazardous exposure.

    o Have fume hoods and BSCs certified annually.

    Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) since it minimizes exposures by all


    Adhere to proper work practices established by Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

    Remove gloves and wash hands before leaving the laboratory.

    Do not eat, drink, apply cosmetics, or touch my face in the laboratory.

    Separate incompatible chemicals during storage. Do not store acids with bases, oxidizers with

    flammables or reducing agents. (See the PDF file on the EPA Chemical Storage Guidelines as

    well as the Making Sense Out of Chemical Storage on the OH&S website.)

    Store corrosive chemicals below eye level.

    Label storage areas with the proper hazard signs.

    Properly manage and dispose all hazardous chemicals/chemical waste.

    Attend all required safety training courses. For more information on what training you might

    need, go to the UAB OH&S Decision Tree.

    Explosive Chemicals

    Most chemicals found in university laboratories are stable and non-explosive. However, there are two

    classes of explosive chemicals: 1) explosive chemicals and 2) potentially explosive chemicals (PECs)

    Special Handling Required

  • UAB OH&S Chemical Safety Training CS 101

    OHS_CS101 Chemical Safety Page 4 Last Updated: 04/02/2015 Course Training Material

    1. Explosive chemicals are those designed and produced for use as an explosive (e.g., TNT,

    explosive bolts, bullets, blasting caps, and fireworks).

    2. Potentially explosive chemicals (PECs) are those that, over time, can oxidize, decompose,

    polymerize, become contaminated, dry out or destabilize and subsequently become explosive

    when subjected to heat, light, friction or mechanical shock. Examples include: diethyl ether,

    tetrahydrofuran, sodium amide, and picric acid.

    Peroxides and Peroxide Forming Chemicals

    Peroxides are a class of chemicals with unusual stability and are one of the most dangerous classes of

    chemicals used in laboratories. Some common compounds form explosive peroxides during storage.

    This process is catalyzed by light and heat. Common classes of compounds that form peroxides include:

    ethers, aldehydes, acetals, etc. Shock, heat or friction may cause unexpected explosion of peroxide

    forming chemicals. Since peroxide crystals can form on the lid and detonate when the lid is twisted, it is

    advised not to open a container if you suspect the formation of peroxides.

    Hazard Control

    1. Limit the number of containers of peroxide formers stored in the lab.

    2. Ensure that the following is on the label:


    Date of purchase,

    Date of opening, and

    Required discard date.

    3. Store in airtight containers away from heat and light.

    4. Look for signs of peroxide formation (e.g., crystallization, discoloration, stratification, etc.).

    5. Test all opened containers of such materials every three months for peroxides. Obtain test

    strips from laboratory and/or safety supply vendors.

    6. Dispose the containers before the expiration date.

  • UAB OH&S Chemical Safety Training CS 101

    OHS_CS101 Chemical Safety Page 5 Last Updated: 04/02/2015 Course Training Material

    Pyrophoric Chemicals

    Pyrophoric chemicals have the potential to spontaneously ignite in air. Examples include metal hydrides

    finely divided metal powders, nonmetal hydrides and alkyl compounds, white phosphorus, alloys of

    reactive materials and organometallic compounds. Improper use of these materials can cause lab fires,

    damage to equipment, injury and even death. Pyrophoric chemicals should be stored under inert gas or

    under kerosene as appropriate.

    Hazard Control

    Use safer chemical alternatives, if possible.

    Limit the amount purchased.

    Do not accumulate unneeded pyrophoric reagents.

    Read the relevant SDS and safety bulletins BEFORE working with pyrophoric reagents.

    Prepare an SOP for each process involving pyrophoric chemicals.

    Complete and document all training necessary.

    Avoid wearing synthetic clothing while working with pyrophorics.

    Wear a lab coat made of 100% cotton treated with fire retardant material along with nitrile gloves

    and chemical splash goggles when working with pyrophoric chemicals.

    Work with another person when working with pyrophorics. Never work alone when working

    with pyrophoric chemicals.

    The Chemical Safety and Waste Management manual has a more complete list of peroxide formers. Also, see the PDF file Suggested Storage for Peroxides on the OH&S website.

    For more information, see the PDF file Safe Use of Pyrophoric/Water Reactive Materials on the OH&S website.

  • UAB OH&S Chemical Safety Training CS 101

    OHS_CS101 Chemical Safety Page 6 Last Updated: 04/02/2015 Course Training Material

    Properly secured

    Properly capped

    Uncapped, in use

    Cylinder valve

    Compressed Gases

    All compressed gases are hazardous because of the high pressure