Carefully read the label before storing a hazardous chemical. The SDS will also provide any special storage information and incompatibilities.
Do not store unsegregated chemicals in alphabetical order or incompatible chemicals in close proximity to each other. The amount of space that can be placed between different chemical classes depends on the amount of storage area available in the lab suite. Do not segregate chemical classes into separate rooms unless they will only be used in that room. Segregation that disrupts normal work flow or requires more frequent transport of chemicals between labs will increase the probability of a chemical spill. Use common sense in planning chemical storage areas.
Store dry reagents, liquids reagents and solutions and compressed gases in separate areas. Within each of these chemical forms segregate into hazard classes.
Segregate dry reagents as follows:
Segregate liquid reagents and solutions as follows:
Segregate compressed gases as follows:
Once separated into hazard classes, chemicals may be stored alphabetically.
Use approved storage containers and safety cans for flammable liquids. Use spill trays under containers of strong corrosive reagents. Do not store liquids above eye level.
Dispose of old chemicals promptly. See waste disposal section of this manual.
Ensure that all containers are properly labeled. For more information on chemical storage, contact your supervisor, instructor, or EHRS.
All storage cabinets located in hallways must be placarded with the name of the owner and also with identification of the cabinets contents. This information is critical for emergency personnel who may respond in the evening The principal investigator must complete a Hallway Storage Sign Form (Appendix J) for each cabinet located in a hallway.
The storage of flammable and combustible liquids in a laboratory, shop, or building area must be kept to the minimum needed for research and operations. Containers one gallon and larger of flammable liquids must be stored in a flammable-liquids storage cabinet. Flammable-liquids storage cabinets are not intended for the storage of highly toxic materials, acids, bases, compressed gases or pyrolytic chemicals.
Stability refers to the susceptibility of the chemical to dangerous decomposition. Ethers, and olefins form peroxides on exposure to air and light. Since these chemicals are packaged in an air atmosphere, peroxides can form even though the containers have not been opened. Write the date received and date opened on all containers of ether.
Unless an inhibitor was added by the manufacturer, closed containers of ether should be discarded after 1 year.
Open containers of ether should be discarded within 6 months of opening. In the Department of Chemistry, refilled ether cans should be so labeled.
The label and SDS will indicate if a chemical is unstable.
The following are examples of materials that may form explosive peroxides:
ethylene glycoldimethylether (glyme)
For additional information on chemical stability, contact your supervisor, instructor or EHRS.
Shock sensitive refers to the susceptibility of the chemical to rapidly decompose or explode when struck, vibrated or otherwise agitated.
Some chemicals become increasingly shock sensitive with age. Write the date received and date opened on all containers of shock sensitive chemicals. Unless an inhibitor was added by the manufacturer, closed containers of shock sensitive materials should be discarded after 1 year. Open containers of shock sensitive materials should be discarded within 6 months of opening.
The label and SDS will indicate if a chemical is shock sensitive. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment when handling shock sensitive chemicals.
Table 1 lists materials that can be shock sensitive.
acetylides of heavy metals
fulminate of silver
nitrated polyhydric alcohol
organic amine nitrates
|aluminum ophorite explosive
guanyl nitrosamino guanyltetrazene
ammonium salt lattice
guanyl nitrosamino guanylidene hydrazine
sodium nitrate-potassium explosive mixtures
fulminate of mercury compounds
heavy metal azides
polynitro aliphatic compounds
* This list is not all inclusive. Review the material safety data sheet for reactivity information concerning the chemicals you use.
All locations within the laboratory where acutely toxic, carcinogenic, or reproductive hazards are stored should be demarcated with designated area caution tape. Preprinted tape is available from EHRS (see Appendix G), the Cell Center or the Chemistry stockroom or the lab worker may write designated area on yellow tape and use that. Storage areas should be segregated from other chemical storage as space permits. Do not segregate chemicals into separate rooms. This will increase the need to transport the chemical and increase the risk of a spill.
Carefully read the label before using or storing compressed gas. The SDS will provide any special hazard information. Always use the minimum size cylinder required to perform the work.
Cylinders of compressed gases must be handled as high energy sources. 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. Compressed gas cylinders pose a crush hazard to hands and feet.
Do not expose cylinders to temperature extremes.
Do not store cylinders or lecture bottles with the regulator in place. If the regulator fails, the entire contents of the gas cylinder may be discharged.
Always use the correct regulator. Do not use a regulator adapter. Oil or grease on the high pressure side of an oxygen cylinder can cause an explosion. Do not lubricate an oxygen regulator.
Cylinders of toxic, flammable or reactive gases should be stored and used in a fume hood or with local ventilation.
Never bleed a cylinder completely empty. Leave a slight pressure to keep contaminants out.
Always wear safety glasses when handling compressed gases.
For more information, contact your supervisor, instructor, or EHRS.
The storage of flammable gas cylinders is limited to two (2) type 1 (10" x 50") cylinders per 500 square feet of unsprinklered laboratory space.
Liquefied flammable gas containers should be limited to two (2) 9" x 30" cylinders per 500 square feet of unsprinklered laboratory space or three (3) 9" x 30" cylinders per 500 square feet of sprinkled laboratory space.
The transportation of hazardous chemicals in laboratory buildings provides the greatest potential for chemical exposure to the building occupants. Spills occurring outside storerooms and laboratories may lead to hazardous concentrations of vapors and gases being distributed throughout the building.
The following guidelines should be observed when transporting chemicals outside the laboratory:
Questions concerning hazardous chemicals should be addressed to the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety at 215-898-4453.