STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR: PYROPHORIC CHEMICALS 

Pyrophoric chemicals are liquids or solids that will ignite spontaneously in air at about 130° F. 

Titanium dichloride and phosphorus are examples of phrophoric solids; tributylaluminum and related compounds are examples of pyrophoric liquids.  

Fume hoods  

Many pyrophoric chemicals release noxious or flammable gases and should be handled in a hood.  In addition, some pyrophoric materials are stored under kerosene (or other flammable solvents); therefore the use of a fume hood is required to prevent the release of flammable vapors in the laboratory.  Glove boxes may also be used under certain circumstances (see special ventilation).

 

Glove (dry) box  

Glove boxes may be used to handle pyrophoric chemicals if inert or dry atmospheres are required.

 

Hazard assessment  

Hazard assessment for work involving pyrophoric chemicals should thoroughly address the issue of fire safety (including the need for Class D fire extinguishers), proper use and handling techniques, 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 pyrophoric 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 pyrophoric chemicals must be clearly labeled with the correct chemical name.  Handwritten labels are acceptable; chemical formula and structural formula are not acceptable.

 

Special storage  

Pyrophoric chemicals should be stored under an atmosphere of inert gas or under kerosene as appropriateDo not store pyrophoric chemicals with flammable materials or in a flammable-liquids storage cabinet.  Store these materials away from sources of ignition.  Minimize the quantities of pyrophoric chemicals stored in the laboratory. 

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

Special ventilation  

Always attempt to handle pyrophoric chemicals in a fume hood or glove box.  If your research does not permit the handling of pyrophoric chemicals in a fume hood or glove box, contact the Office of Health &12 Safety to review the adequacy of all special ventilation.

Vacuum protection  

Evacuated glassware can implode and eject flying glass, and splattered chemicals.  Vacuum work involving pyrophoric chemicals must be conducted in a fume hood 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 pyrophoric chemicals.

 

Waste disposal  

All materials contaminated with pyrophoric chemicals should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Alert the Health & Safety Office if you generate wastes contaminated with pyrophoric chemicals.  These wastes pose a significant fire risk.

 

 

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR: REACTIVE LIQUIDS  

Reactive liquids are liquids that react vigorously with moisture or oxygen or other substances.

 

Eye protection  

Eye protection must be worn at all times when handling reactive liquids.  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.897.1 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.

Eye Washes  

Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to reactive liquids, 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  

Many reactive liquids will ignite or liberate ignitable or explosive gases when exposed to water vapor or air.  The use of a fume hood is recommended to prevent the buildup of such gases.

 

Glove (dry) box  

A glove box may be used to handle reactive liquids if an inert or dry atmosphere is required.

 

Hazard assessment  

Hazard assessment of work involving reactive liquids should address proper use and handling techniques, fire safety (including the need for Class D fire extinguishers), storage, the specific reactive nature of the material (such as water and air reactivity), 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 reactive liquids that 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 reactive liquids are used.

 

Signs and labels  

Containers: All reactive liquids must be clearly labeled with the correct chemical name.  Handwritten labels are acceptable; chemical formula and structural formula are not acceptable.

 

Special storage  

Reactive liquids should be stored in a cool and dry location.  

Keep reactive liquids segregated from all other chemicals in the laboratory.  Minimize the quantities of reactive liquids stored in the laboratory.  

Date all containers upon receipt.  Examine storage containers frequently.  Dispose of any container that exhibits salt build up on its exterior.  Dispose of all reactive liquids whenever they are no longer required for current research or teaching.  

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

 

Special ventilation  

Special ventilation may be required if these materials are used outside a fume hood.  If your research does not permit the handling of reactive liquids in a fume hood, you should contact the Office of Health & Safety to review the adequacy of ventilation.

 

Waste disposal  

All materials contaminated with reactive liquids should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Alert Health & Safety if you generate wastes contaminated by reactive liquids.  These wastes may pose a fire risk and should remain in the laboratory for as little time as possible.

 

 

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR: REACTIVE SOLIDS 

Reactive solids are chemicals that react vigorously with moisture and other substances.  The most common reactive solids include sodium, potassium and lithium metals, acid anhydrides and acid chlorides.

 

Glove (dry) box  

Glove boxes may be used to handle reactive solids if inert or dry atmospheres are required.

 

Signs and labels  

Containers: All reactive solids must be clearly labeled with the correct chemical name.  Handwritten labels are acceptable; chemical formula and structural formula are not acceptable.

 

Special storage  

Reactive solids should be stored in a cool and dry location.  Keep reactive solids segregated from all other chemicals in the laboratory.  Minimize the quantities of reactive solids stored in the laboratory. Date all containers upon receipt.  Potassium will form peroxides and superoxides when stored under oil at room temperature.  Examine storage containers frequently.  Dispose of any container that exhibits salt build up on its exterior.  Dispose of all reactive solids whenever they are no longer required for current research or class work.  

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

 

Special ventilation  

Special ventilation is required if these materials are used outside of a fume hood or glove box.  If your research does not permit the handling of reactive solids in a fume hood or glove box, you should contact Health & Safety to review the adequacy of ventilation.

Waste disposal  

All materials contaminated with reactive solids should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Alert the Office of Health & Safety if you generate wastes contaminated by reactive solids.  

These wastes pose a significant fire risk.

   

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR: REPRODUCTIVE HAZARDS 

Reproductive hazards are substances which affect  reproductive capabilities, including chromosomal damage (mutagens) and have effects on the fetus (teratogens). A list of reproductive hazards is included in Appendix D of this document.

 

Designated area  

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

All locations within the laboratory where reproductive hazards are handled should be posted with designated area caution signs. This includes all fume hoods and bench tops where the reproductive hazards are handled.  

Where feasible, reproductive hazards 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 reproductive hazards 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 reproductive hazards are stored or manipulated must be labeled as a designated area.  

Hazard assessment  

Hazard assessment should focus on proper handling techniques, education of laboratory workers concerning the health risks posed by reproductive hazards, and the demarcation of designated areas.

 

Signs and labels  

Doorways: The room number sign must contain a "Designated Area Within" caution where reproductive hazards are stored or used.  

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

 

Special storage  

Reproductive hazards should be stored in a designated area.

 

Special ventilation  

Manipulation of reproductive hazards 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 reproductive hazards in the laboratory and are the preferred ventilation control device.  When possible, handle reproductive hazards 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 of the bench top.  

If available, consider using a Biological Safety Cabinet.  The biological safety cabinet is designed to remove particulates (the reproductive hazard) before the air is discharged into the environment.  Reproductive hazards 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 reproductive hazards in a fume hood, biological safety cabinet, or glove box, you should contact the Office of Health & Safety.  

All areas where reproductive hazards 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 reproductive hazards must be conducted in a fume hood, glove box, where appropriate, 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 reproductive hazards should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Wherever possible, attempt to design work in a manner that reduces the quantity of waste generated.  Questions regarding waste pick up should be directed to the Office of Health & Safety.  This office can also assist you in minimizing waste generation.

 

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR: WATER SENSITIVE CHEMICALS  

Water sensitive chemicals are chemicals that react vigorously with moisture.  Some common water sensitive chemicals include sodium, potassium, lithium metals and aluminum alkyls.  

 

Eye protection  

Eye protection must be worn at all times when handling water sensitive chemicals.  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 American Standard 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.  

Eye Washes  

Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to water sensitive 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  

Many water sensitive chemicals will liberate hydrogen, which is extremely flammable, when they react with water.  The use of a fume hood can serve to prevent the buildup of flammable gases.

 

Glove (dry) box  

A glove box may be used to handle water sensitive chemicals when a dry atmosphere is required.

 

Hazard assessment  

Hazard assessment of work involving water sensitive chemicals should address proper use and handling techniques, fire safety (including the need for Class D fire extinguishers), storage, water reactivity, 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 water sensitive 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.

 

Safety shower  

A safety or drench shower should be available in a nearby location where the water sensitive chemicals is used.  

Sign and labels  

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

 

Special storage 

Water sensitive chemicals should be stored in a cool

and dry location.  Keep water sensitive chemicals segregated from all other chemicals in the laboratory.  Minimize the quantities of water sensitive chemicals stored in the laboratory.  

Date all containers upon receipt.  Potassium will form peroxides and superoxides when stored under oil at room temperature.  Examine storage containers frequently.  Dispose of any container that exhibits salt build up on its exterior.  Dispose of all water sensitive chemicals whenever they are no longer required for your work.  

Never return excess chemicals to the original container.  Small amounts of impurities may be introduced into the container, which can represent a significant fire or explosion hazard.

 

Special ventilation  

Special ventilation is required if these materials are used outside of a fume hood.  If your research does not permit the handing of water sensitive chemicals in a fume hood, you should 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 water sensitive chemicals.  Spill control materials for water sensitive chemicals are designed to be inert and will not react with the reagent.  Do not put water on the spill

In the event of a spill, alert personnel in the area that a spill has occurred.  Do not attempt to handle a large spill of water sensitive chemicals.  Turn off all ignition sources and vacate the laboratory immediately.  Call for assistance.  

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

 

Waste disposal  

All materials contaminated with water sensitive chemicals should be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Alert the Office of Health & Safety if you generate wastes contaminated by water sensitive chemicals.  These wastes may pose a fire risk and should remain in the laboratory for as little time as possible

Gary Lee
Director of Environmental Health
4601 College Blvd.
Farmington, NM  87401
(505) 566-3063 or (505) 566-3190