STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR:  CARCINOGENS 

A “carcinogen” commonly describes any agent that can initiate or speed the development of malignant or potentially malignant tumors, malignant neoplastic proliferation of cells, or cells that possess such material.  A listing of carcinogenic materials can be found in Appendix C.

 

Designated area 

The room number sign for the laboratory must contain a “Designated Areas Within” identifier with "carcinogen" caution. 

All locations within the laboratory where carcinogens are handled should be demarcated with designated area caution tape and/or posted with designated area caution signs.  This includes all fume hoods and bench tops where the carcinogens are handled.

Where feasible, carcinogens should be manipulated over plastic-backed disposable paper work surfaces.  These disposable work surfaces minimize work area contamination and simplify clean up.

 

Fume hoods 

Manipulation of carcinogens should be carried out in a fume hood. If the use of a fume hood proves impractical, refer to the section on special ventilation. 

All areas where carcinogens are stored or manipulated must be labeled as a designated area.

 

Glove (dry) box 

Certain carcinogens must be handled in a glove box rather than a fume hood.  Health & Safety or the Lab Supervisor will determine if this is required.

Signs and labels 

Doorways: The room number sign must contain a “Designated Area Within” caution where carcinogens are stored or used. 

Containers: All containers of carcinogens must be clearly labeled with the correct chemical name.  Handwritten labels are acceptable; chemical formulae and structural formulae are not acceptable.

 

Special storage 

Carcinogens must be stored in a designated area.

 

Special ventilation 

Manipulation of carcinogens outside of a fume hood may require special ventilation controls in order to minimize exposure to the material.  Fume hoods provide the best protection against exposure to carcinogens in the laboratory and are the preferred ventilation control device.  When possible, handle carcinogens in a fume hood.  If the use of a fume hood proves impractical, attempt to work in a glove box or on an isolated area on the bench top.

If available, consider using a Biological Safety Cabinet.  The biological safety cabinet is designed to remove particulates (the carcinogen) before the air is discharged into the environment.  Carcinogens that are volatile must not be used in a biological safety cabinet unless the cabinet is vented to the outdoors. 

If your research does not permit the handling of carcinogens in a fume hood, biological safety cabinet, or glove box, you should contact the Office of Health & Safety. 

All areas where carcinogens are stored or manipulated must be labeled as a designated area.

 

Vacuum protection 

Evacuated glassware can implode and eject flying glass and splattered chemicals.  Vacuum work involving carcinogens must be conducted in a fume hood, glove box or isolated in an acceptable manner. 

Mechanical vacuum pumps must be protected using cold traps and, where appropriate, filtered to prevent particulate release.  The exhaust for the pumps must be vented into an exhaust hood.

 

Waste disposal 

All materials contaminated with carcinogens should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Wherever possible, attempt to design research in a manner that reduces the quantity of waste generated.  Questions regarding waste pick up should be directed to Health & Safety.  This office can also assist you in minimizing waste generation.

   

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR: COMPRESSED GASES 

Additional requirements may apply if the material is an acutely toxic compressed gas.  Please refer also to the SOP for acutely toxic gases, if applicable.

 

Securing of gas cylinders 

Cylinders of compressed gases must be handled as high- energy sources (sudden pressure release hazard).  They pose a serious hazard if the cylinder valve is dislodged.  When storing or moving a cylinder, have the cap securely in place to protect the stem.  Use suitable racks, straps, chains or stands to support cylinders.

Designated area

Compressed gas cylinders which contain acutely toxic gases must be stored in a designated area.  See the SOP for acutely toxic compressed gases.

 

Fume hoods 

Manipulation of compressed gases should typically be carried out in a fume hood if the compressed gas is an irritant, oxidizer, asphyxiant, or has other hazardous properties.

 

Hazard assessment 

Hazard assessment for work with compressed gases should assure that all staff understand proper use and handling precautions; that all pressurized equipment is properly shielded; regulators are not interchanged between different gas types; all hose connections are properly secured and are appropriate for the pressure(s) used.

 

Safety shielding 

Safety shielding is required any time there is a risk of explosion, splash hazard or a highly exothermic reaction.  All manipulations of compressed gases which pose this risk should occur in a fume hood with the sash in the lowest feasible position.  Portable shields, which provide protection to all laboratory occupants, are acceptable.

 

Signs and labels 

Containers: All compressed gases must be clearly labeled with the correct chemical name.  Handwritten labels are acceptable; chemical formulae and structural formulae are not acceptable.  The compressed gas cylinder should be labeled to indicate if the container is full or empty.

 

Special storage 

Cylinders should be stored in an upright position and secured to a wall or laboratory bench through the use of chains or straps.  Cylinder caps should remain on the cylinder at all times unless a regulator is in place.  Cylinders should be stored in areas where they will not become overheated.  Avoid storage near radiators, areas in direct sunlight, steam pipes and heat releasing equipment such as sterilizers. 

Transport compressed gas cylinders on equipment designed for this function.  Never carry or "walk" cylinders by hand.

 

Special ventilation 

Manipulation of compressed gas that is an irritant, oxidizer, asphyxiant, or has other hazardous properties outside of a fume hood may require special ventilation controls in order to minimize exposure to the material.  Fume hoods provide the best protection against exposure to compressed gases in the laboratory and are the preferred ventilation control device.  If you have questions, contact OHS to review the adequacy of all special ventilation.

 

Spill response 

In the event of a leak or other unintended release of a compressed gas that is an irritant, oxidizer, asphyxiant, or has other hazardous properties, all personnel in the area should be alerted.  Vacate the laboratory immediately and call for assistance: 

·        Safety & Security (24 Hr.)   x3333

·        Office of Health & Safety    x3775 

Remain on the scene, but at a safe distance, to receive and direct safety personnel when they arrive.

 

Waste disposal 

All empty or partially filled compressed gas cylinders should be returned to the supplier.  If the supplier does not accept empty or partially filled cylinders, contact the Office of Health & Safety concerning disposal.

   

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR: CORROSIVE CHEMICALS 

Corrosive chemicals are substances that cause visible destruction or permanent changes in human skin tissue at the site of contact, or are highly corrosive to steel.  The major classes of corrosives include strong acids, bases (alkalis), and dehydrating agents.

 

Decontamination procedures 

Personnel: Immediately flush contaminated area with copious amounts of water after contact with corrosive materials.  Remove any jewelry to facilitate removal of chemicals.  If a delayed response is noted, seek immediate medical attention. Be prepared to detail what chemicals were involved. 

If the incident involves Hydrofluoric acid (HF), seek immediate medical attention. 

If there is any doubt about the severity of the injury, seek immediate medical attention! 

Area:  Decontamination procedures vary depending on the material being handled.  The corrosivity of some materials can be neutralized with other reagents.  Special neutralizing agents should be on hand to decontaminate areas.

 

Eye protection 

Eye protection must be worn at all times when handling corrosive materials.  Ordinary (street) prescription glasses do not provide adequate protection.  (Contrary to popular opinion these glasses cannot pass the rigorous test for industrial safety glasses.) 

Adequate safety glasses must meet the requirements of the Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face protection (ANSI Z 87.1 1989 and must be equipped with side shields.  Safety glasses with side shields do not provide adequate protection from splashes; therefore, when the potential for splash hazard exists other eye protection and/or face protection must be worn.  It is recommended that face shields be worn when a splash potential exists with corrosive materials.

 

Eye Washes 

Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to corrosive chemicals, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.

Fume hoods 

Manipulation of corrosive substances should be carried out in a fume hood if corrosive vapor production is anticipated.

 

Gloves 

Appropriate gloves should be worn when handling corrosive materials.  The selection of glove materials should be made from Table 1 of this document.

 

Hazard assessment 

Hazard assessment should include instruction on proper use and handling, spill control, and splash protection

 

Safety shielding 

Safety shielding is required any time there is a risk of explosion, splash hazard or a highly exothermic reaction.  All manipulations of corrosive materials which pose this risk should occur in a fume hood with the sash in the lowest feasible position.  Portable shields, which provide protection to all laboratory occupants, are acceptable.

 

Safety shower 

A safety or drench shower should be available in a nearby location where the corrosive material is used.

 

Signs and labels 

Containers: All corrosive chemicals must be clearly labeled with the correct chemical name.  Handwritten labels are acceptable; chemical formulae and structural formulae are not acceptable.

 

Special storage 

Segregate the various types of corrosives.  Separate acids and bases.  Liquids and solids should also be separated.  Specially designed corrosion resistant cabinets should be used for the storage of large quantities of corrosive materials.  Store corrosives on plastic trays.  Do not store corrosive materials on high cabinets or shelves.

 

Special ventilation 

Manipulation of some corrosive materials outside of a fume hood may require special ventilation controls in order to minimize exposure to the material.  Fume hoods provide the best protection against exposure to corrosive materials in the laboratory and are the preferred ventilation control device.

 

Spill response 

Anticipate spills by having the appropriate clean up equipment on hand.  The appropriate clean up supplies can be determined by consulting the Material Safety Data Sheet.  This should occur prior to the use of any corrosive chemical.  Corrosive spill controls neutralize the hazardous nature of the spilled material.  Acids and bases require different types of spill control materials.

Waste disposal 

Most corrosive materials are hazardous wastes (e.g., EPA defines a pH of less than 2 or greater than 12 to be one of many characteristic property types of hazardous waste. There are many listed chemicals as well, deemed as hazardous wastes. Questions regarding waste disposal should be directed to Health & Safety.

 

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR: FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS 

Flammable liquids are chemicals that have a flash point below 100o F (38.7o C).

 

Fume hoods 

When possible, experiments involving greater than 500 mL of flammable liquids should be carried out in a fume hood.

 

Hazard assessment 

Hazard assessment for work involving flammable liquids should thoroughly address the issues of proper use and handling, fire safety, chemical toxicity, storage, and spill response.

Safety shielding 

Safety shielding is required any time there is a risk of explosion, splash hazard or a highly exothermic reaction.  All manipulations of flammable liquids which pose this risk should occur in a fume hood with the sash in the lowest feasible position.  Safety shielding is required any time there is a risk of explosion, splash hazard or a highly exothermic reaction.  Portable shields, which provide protection to all laboratory occupants, are acceptable.

 

Safety shower 

A safety or drench shower should be available in a nearby location where the flammable liquids are used.

 

Special storage 

The storage of flammable and combustible liquids in a laboratory, shop or building area must be kept to the minimum needed for research and/or operations.  If more than 5 gallons of flammables are present outside of safety cans per 100 square feet of area, a flammable-liquids storage cabinet is required. Flammable-liquids storage cabinets are not intended for the storage of highly toxic materials, acids, bases, compressed gases or pyrolytic chemicals. 

Where feasible (if the quality of the solvent will not be adversely affected) transfer flammable liquids from glass bottles into metal safety cans.

 

Special ventilation 

Manipulation of flammable liquids outside of a fume hood may require special ventilation controls in order to minimize exposure to the material.  Fume hoods provide the best protection against exposure to flammable liquids in the laboratory and are the preferred ventilation control device.  Always attempt to handle large quantities of flammable liquids in a fume hood.  If your research does not permit the handling of large quantities of flammable liquids in your fume hood, contact the Office of Health & Safety to review the adequacy of all special ventilation.

 

Spill response 

Anticipate spills by having the appropriate clean up equipment on hand.  The appropriate clean up supplies can be determined by consulting the Material Safety Data Sheet.  This should occur prior to the use of any flammable liquids.  Spill supplies for flammable liquids are designed to control the liquids portion of the spill and minimize the production of flammable vapors.  Never use paper towels on large spills of flammable liquids because it exacerbates vapor production. 

In the event of a spill, all personnel in the area should be alerted.  Turn off all sources of ignition.  Do not attempt to handle a large spill of flammable liquids.  Vacate the laboratory immediately and call for assistance.

 

Vacuum protection 

Evacuated glassware can implode and eject flying glass, and splattered chemicals.  Vacuum work involving flammable liquids must be conducted in a fume hood, glove box or isolated in an acceptable manner. 

Mechanical vacuum pumps must be protected using cold traps and, where appropriate, filtered to prevent particulate release.  The exhaust for the pumps must be vented into an exhaust hood.  Vacuum pumps should be rated for use with flammable liquids.

 

Waste disposal 

Flammable liquids are hazardous wastes.  Questions regarding waste disposal should be directed to the Office of Health & Safety.

 

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR:  OXIDIZING CHEMICALS 

Oxidizing chemicals are materials that spontaneously evolve oxygen at room temperature or with slight heating, or promote/support combustion.  Examples of the classes of chemicals considered “oxidizers” include peroxides, chlorates, perchlorates, nitrates, and permanganates.  Strong oxidizers are capable of forming explosive mixtures when mixed with combustible, organic or materials that can burn.  Specific examples of strong oxidizers can be found at the end of this SOP.

Decontamination procedures  

Area:   Carefully clean work area after use.  Paper towels or similar materials contaminated with strong oxidizing chemicals may pose a fire risk. 

Fume hoods  

The use of certain concentrations of perchloric acid must be

performed in a fume hood equipped with wash down facilities.  Contact OHS regarding fume hood requirements.  

 

Hazard assessment  

Hazard assessment should address proper use and handling

techniques, fire safety, storage, and waste disposal issues.

 

Safety shielding  

Safety shielding is required any time there is a risk of explosion, splash hazard or a highly exothermic reaction.  All manipulations of oxidizing chemicals which pose this risk should occur in a fume hood with the sash in the lowest feasible position.  Portable shields, which provide protection to all laboratory occupants are acceptable.

 

Signs and labels  

Containers: All oxidizing chemicals must be clearly labeled with the correct chemical name.  Handwritten labels are acceptable; chemical formulae and structural formulae are not acceptable.

 

Special storage  

Oxidizers should be stored in a cool and dry location.  Keep oxidizers segregated from all other chemicals in the laboratory, especially flammables and combustibles. Minimize the quantities of strong oxidizers stored in the laboratory.  

Never return excess chemicals to the original containers.  Small amounts of impurities may be introduced into the container, which may cause a fire or explosion.  

Special ventilation  

The use of certain concentrations of perchloric acid must be performed in a fume hood equipped with wash down facilities.  Contact Health & Safety for fume hood requirements.

 

Spill response  

Anticipate spills by having the appropriate clean up equipment on hand.  The appropriate clean up supplies can be determined by consulting the Material Safety Data Sheet.  This should occur prior to the use of any oxidizing chemicals.  Spill control materials for oxidizers are designed to be inert and will not react with the reagent.  Never use paper towels or other inappropriate materials (which are combustible).  The waste materials generated during spill cleanup may pose a fire risk and should not remain in the laboratory overnight unless they are stored in an appropriate container.

 

Vacuum protection  

Evacuated glassware can implode and eject flying glass, and splattered chemicals.  Vacuum work involving oxidizing chemicals must be conducted in a fume hood, glove box or isolated in an acceptable manner.  

Mechanical vacuum pumps must be protected using cold traps and, where appropriate, filtered to prevent particulate release.  The exhaust for the pumps must be vented into an exhaust hood.

 

Waste disposal  

All materials contaminated with oxidizing chemicals pose a fire hazard and should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Alert the Office of Health & Safety if you generate wastes contaminated by oxidizers.  Do not let oxidizer-contaminated wastes remain in the laboratory overnight unless proper containers are provided.  

 

Examples of Strong Oxidizers

Ammonium perchlorate

Ammonium permanganate

Barium peroxide

        Bromine

Calcium Chlorate

Hypochlorite

        Calcium

Chlorine trifluoride

Chromium anhydride

Chromic acid

Dibenzoyl peroxide

Fluorine

Hydrogen peroxide

Mangesium peroxide

Nitrogen trioxide

Perchloric acid

Potassium bromate

Potassium chlorate

Potassium peroxide

Propyl nitrate

Sodium chlorate

Sodium chlorite

Sodium perchlorate

Sodium peroxide

 

  Source:  CRC Handbook of Laboratory Safety, 3rd edition