bellseal.gif (11591 bytes)





2.1 University Administration

2.2 Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO)

2.3 Department Chairperson

2.4 Laboratory Supervisors

2.5 Employees

2.6 Students


3.1 General Rules

3.2 Personal Protective Equipment

3.2.1 Eyes

3.2.2 Clothing

3.2.3 Gloves

3.3 Personal Hygiene

3.4 Housekeeping

3.5 Unattended Operations

3.6 Working Alone

3.7 Security

3.8 Glassware

3.9 Systems Under Pressure

3.10 Compressed Gases

3.11 Chemical Storage

3.11.1 General

3.11.2 Toxic Substances

3.11.3 Peroxide Forming Chemicals



5.1 Inhalation

5.2 Skin and Eye Contact

5.3 Ingestion

5.4 Injection


6.1 General

6.2 Local

6.3 Work Practices for Chemical Fume Hoods



8.1 General

8.2 Information

8.3 Training


9.1 Radioactive Materials

9.2 Hazardous Chemicals


10.1 Carcinogens

10.2 Reproductive Hazards

10.3 Highly Toxic Chemicals

10.4 Handling Procedures



12.1 Chemical Spills

12.2 Emergency Procedures

12.3 Fires and Explosions

12.4 Personal Contamination

12.5 Incident Reporting and Review




A. OSHA Laboratory Standard, Appendix A, Appendix B

B. List of Known or Suspected Carcinogens

C. Peroxide Forming Chemicals


1.0 Introduction

The purpose of this Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is to define work practices and procedures to help ensure that faculty, staff, student workers, and the environment are protected from hazards associated with the handling, storage, and use of chemicals in laboratories.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regulations (29 CFR 1900.1450) require all employers engaged in the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals to develop and carry out the provisions of a Chemical Hygiene Plan that is capable of protecting employees from health risks associated with hazardous chemicals and capable of keeping exposures below Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs). See Appendix A for the full text of "Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories."

This Chemical Hygiene Plan applies to all laboratories at Bellarmine University in the departments of biology, and chemistry & physics. OSHA defines a laboratory as "a workplace where relatively small quantities of hazardous chemicals are used on a non-production basis." Laboratories involve a greater variety of possible hazards than most work places, and some hazards call for precautions not ordinarily encountered. None of the labs at Bellarmine University are without hazards of some kind and degree.

This Chemical Hygiene Plan applies to all laboratory workers. An example of a laboratory worker would be the laboratory manager, a work-study student or a faulty member instructing an academic lab. Bellarmine University also has the special responsibility of administering instructional labs with relatively inexperienced students who must be introduced to the safety procedures necessary to conduct various laboratory operations. The students that are in the academic laboratory are not considered laboratory workers unless they are employed by the University. All students involved in laboratory operations, however, must be included in safety programs and training. Safety policies and practices should be a regular part of the curriculum. A brief discussion on the first day of lab is not enough.

This Chemical Hygiene Plan will be reviewed annually by the University's Safety Committee

Last modified: May 05, 1999



2.1 University Administration

The President of the University has the ultimate responsibility for chemical safety. This responsibility is delegated to the Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) through the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College for all academic areas and to the Chief of Safety and Security (CSS) through the Vice-President of Business Affairs for all non-academic areas.

The President or designee has the responsibility for providing appropriate resources to insure regulatory compliance. Each department is responsible to seek and make use of said resources through appropriate administrative channels.

2.2 Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) and Chief of Safety and Security (CSS)

The Chemical Hygiene Officer and the Chief of Safety and Security shall:
bulletDevelop and coordinate implementation of the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP).
bulletKnow and understand all elements of the CHP.
bulletInvestigate all chemical incidents.
bulletProvide technical assistance to laboratory supervisors and workers concerning appropriate storage, handling, and disposal of hazardous chemicals.
bulletRemain current on rules and regulations concerning chemicals used in laboratories on campus.
bulletConduct Laboratory Safety Surveys (LSSs) to assess level of compliance with the CHP.
bulletTrain new faculty and staff on the information contained in the CHP.
bulletMaintain a library of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and other laboratory health and safety literature (see Section 7.0).
bulletInteract with regulators and agencies, and maintain records, and file required reports.

Chief of Safety and Security Rodney Estes (tel: 3333)

Chemical Hygiene Officer Dr. Joseph F. Sinski (tel: 8219)


2.3 Department Chairperson

Support the CHP and assist the CHO in maintaining awareness and compliance with the plan.

Make budget arrangements for health and safety improvements.


Department                                        Chairperson                      Phone

Biology                                                 Dave Porta                           8009

Chemistry & Physics                         Faiz Ahmad                          8436


2.4 Laboratory Supervisors

A laboratory supervisor is anyone overseeing any type of laboratory work. This could include faculty (full-time and part-time) and staff mentors. No one is exempt from the appropriate safety precautions. Lab supervisors must serve as good role models for their technical staff and students by observing all rules and recommendations, wearing protective equipment, and being enthusiastic about safety. Laboratory supervisors are responsible for administration of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. Untrained workers (or students) cannot be permitted to work with chemicals. Every laboratory supervisor will ensure that:
bulletAll personnel working in their laboratory(s) are aware of and practice appropriate precautions.
bulletRules and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are enforced and discipline is maintained.
bulletEmergency equipment is available and in proper working order and that everyone has been trained on its use.
bulletInformation and training on special or unusual hazards or equipment is provided and documented. Appropriate safety plans and emergency procedures have been developed and are followed.
bulletMaterial Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) are readily accessible and are reviewed before unfamiliar work or work with new chemicals commences.
bulletPersonal protective equipment is available and used.
bulletAll Hazardous Waste Regulations, including waste minimization, are complied with.
bulletPeriodic inspections and surveys of the laboratory work area are conducted.
bulletNotify the CHO prior to commencement of any new process or activities covered by this program.


2.5 Employees
bulletFollow all health and safety procedures and rules.
bulletReport all hazardous conditions to your supervisor immediately.
bulletReport any job-related injury or illnesses to your supervisor and seek treatment as soon as possible.
bulletRefrain from the operation of any equipment or instruments without proper instruction and authorization. Wear or use prescribed personal protective equipment.
bulletRemain aware of the hazards of ALL chemicals in the laboratory and how to handle hazardous chemicals safely.
bulletRequest information and training when unsure about how to handle an unfamiliar or hazardous chemical or procedure.

2.6 Students

Students shall follow safe work practices as directed by the laboratory supervisor. A student shall consult with the laboratory supervisor prior to performing work about which they are unsure or feel is unsafe.


Last modified: February 19, 2001


3.0 Standard Operating Procedures

3.1 General Rules
bulletFollow all safety instructions carefully. Use equipment only for its desired purpose.
bulletBecome thoroughly acquainted with the location and use of safety equipment such as safety showers, fire blankets, eyewash fountains, fire extinguisher, and exits.
bulletKnow the safety rules and procedures that apply to the work being done. Determine the potential hazards and precautions before undertaking any operation.
bulletBe alert to any unsafe conditions and work practices and call attention to them immediately, so that appropriate corrections can be made as soon as possible.
bulletHorseplay, practical jokes, or other behavior that might confuse, startle, or distract other workers in the laboratory is forbidden.
bulletBe certain all chemicals are correctly and clearly labeled. Post warning signs when unusual hazards, such as radiation, laser, use of carcinogens, or highly toxic chemicals exist.

3.2 Personal Protective Equipment

3.2.1 Eyes

Everyone in the laboratory including visitors MUST wear appropriate eye protection at all times, even when not performing a chemical operation. All protective eyewear used in the laboratory must meet the ANSI Z87.1 standard.

Regular prescription eyeglasses (with or without sideshields) are not allowed as a substitution for safety glasses or splash goggles. Faculty and staff may obtain prescription safety glasses (with side shields). Students and Faculty and staff who don't obtain prescription safety glasses must wear safety glasses (for impact hazard) or goggles (for splash hazard) designed to go over their prescription glasses.

Full face shields with safety glasses or goggles underneath will be worn when conducting an operation that may result in a violent reaction.


3.2.2 Clothing

Clothing will offer protection from splashes and spills, should be easily removed in case of an accident, and should be fire resistant. HIGH HEELED OR OPEN TOED SHOES, SANDALS, AND FLIP-FLOPS WILL NOT BE WORN in the laboratory. SHORTS, SHORT DRESSES, MINISKIRTS, TANK TOPS, AND HALTER-TOPS ARE ALSO PROHIBITED. Long hair and loose clothing will be constrained. Jewelry such as rings, bracelets, and watches will not be worn.

3.2.3 Gloves

Gloves are an important part of personal protection when used correctly. Check to make sure there are no cracks, breaks, or small holes prior to use. Gloves will be removed before handling telephones, doorknobs, writing instruments, and notebooks to prevent the unintentional spread of chemicals. Gloves will be changed on a periodic basis depending on the nature of work and the chemicals used. Glove material must be appropriate for the chemicals being handled and the operation being performed. A chemical resistance chart that lists the material or materials that you are using should be consulted.


3.3 Personal Hygiene
bulletDo not prepare, store, or consume food or beverages in the laboratory.
bulletDo not apply cosmetics in the laboratory.
bulletWash hands and forearms before leaving the lab even if gloves were worn. Do not use solvents to wash skin. Solvents remove the protective oils from the skin and cause drying, redness, and irritation.
bulletNever wear or bring lab coats or aprons in areas where food is stored or consumed.
bulletNever pipette or siphon by mouth.
bulletFood will not be stored in a refrigerator used for chemical storage. Refrigerators used for chemical storage will clearly labeled "Chemicals Only - No Food". Conversely refrigerators used for food storage, which will be located outside the laboratory area, will be labeled "Food Only -No Chemicals."


3.4 Housekeeping

In the laboratory and elsewhere, keeping things clean and neat generally leads to a safer environment. When housekeeping standards fall, safety performance inevitably deteriorates. Therefore:
bulletWork areas will be kept clean and free from obstructions. Keep isles free of chairs, boxes, equipment, and waste receptacles.
bulletLab benches and floors will be cleaned regularly and kept free of clutter.
bulletHazardous chemicals will be stored on the floor or above eye level.
bulletAccess to emergency equipment, exits, control panels, and outlets will be kept clear at all times.
bulletDrawers and cabinets will be closed when not in use.
bulletFull hazardous waste collection containers will be removed from the laboratory.
bulletUnneeded or unwanted reagents will be returned to the division stockroom.
bulletSpilled chemicals will be cleaned up immediately and disposed of properly.


3.5 Unattended Operations

Reactions that are left to run unattended overnight or at other times are prime sources for fire, floods, or explosions. Plan for interruptions in electrical, gas, or water service. Equipment such as power stirrers, hot plates, heating mantles, and water condensers will not run unattended without fail-safe provisions. Unattended operations will be checked regularly. Appropriate signs will be posted indicating that a laboratory operation is in progress. The sign will include any hazards associated with the operation and a telephone number of the person(s) to be contacted in an emergency.

3.6 Working Alone

No one will work in a laboratory building alone. If a laboratory supervisor determines that an employee or student can work alone in a laboratory room, arrangements will be made for frequent contact with someone in the immediate area. Contact will be maintained with campus safety during work outside of normal hours.

3.7 Security

bulletAll laboratories will be locked when unattended and not in use to protect employees, students, equipment, supplies, and the public.
bulletLocked storage cabinets will be utilized for expensive, hazardous, or sensitive items.
bulletAll suspicious persons or actions will be reported to Campus Safety immediately at ext. 3333.


3.8 Glassware

Careful handling and storage procedures are necessary to avoid damaging glassware.
bulletDamaged or broken glassware will be discarded. Broken glass will be placed in designated containers. Broken glass collection containers will be labeled, "CAUTION - Broken Glass" to prevent injury to custodians and garbage handlers.
bulletAdequate hand protection (such will be worn when inserting glass tubing into rubber stoppers or corks, or when placing rubber tubing on glass connections.
bulletGlass apparatus under vacuum will be handled with extreme care to prevent implosion. Glassware under vacuum will be taped or shielded and only glassware designed for vacuum use such as Dewar flasks will be used for that purpose.
bulletGlassware will be cleaned at the laboratory sink or in a laboratory dishwasher. The use of strong oxidizer agents such as nitric, chromic, or sulfuric acid will be minimized.
bulletProper hand protection will be worn when handling broken glass.
bulletGlassware or bottles used in laboratory operations will not be used to prepare or store food or beverages.


3.9 Systems Under Pressure.
bulletReactions under pressure will be carried out in apparatus that is designed to withstand the full pressure of the system.
bulletAll pressurized apparatus will have appropriate relief devices.


3.10 Compressed Gases
bulletGas cylinders will be strapped or chained securely to a wall or bench top.
bulletGas cylinders will be capped when not in use.
bulletFlammable compressed gases will be stored away from heat, oxygen, and sources of ignition.
bulletThe appropriate regulator will be used.
bulletGas cylinders will not be bled completely empty.
bulletEmpty gas cylinders will be labeled as such and separated from full ones.
bulletGas cylinders will be transported using gas cylinders carts specifically designed for this purpose.


3.11 Chemical Storage

3.11.1 General
bulletEvery chemical container in the laboratory will have a definite storage place and must be returned to that location after each use. Containers will not be left on bench tops overnight.
bulletDo not store chemicals on desks, bench tops, or in hoods that are used for chemical manipulations.
bulletStorage trays or secondary containers will be used to minimize the spread of material should a container break or leak.
bulletChemicals will be stored by hazard class, not alphabetically. At the very least acids will be separated from bases and flammables will be separated from oxidizers.
bulletChemical containers will be inspected periodically. Worn or faded labels will be repaired. Unneeded or unwanted items will be donated to the surplus chemicals inventory, and deteriorated or unusable chemicals will be disposed.
bulletChemical containers will be dated when opened.

3.11.2 Toxic Substances
bulletChemicals known to be highly toxic will be stored in safety cabinets (ventilated to the outside) inside chemically resistant secondary containers when not in use.
bulletOnly minimum working quantities will be present in the work area which must be well ventilated.
bulletContainers of suspected carcinogens or acutely toxic chemicals will carry a label such as the following: "CAUTION - Carcinogen or CAUTION - Highly Toxic."


3.11.3 Peroxide Forming Chemicals

Specific chemicals that can form dangerous concentrations of peroxides on exposure to air include cyclohexene, cyclooctene, decalin (decahydronaphthalene), p-dioxane, ethyl ether anhydrous, diisopropyl ether, tetrahydrofuran, and tetralin (tetrahydronaphthalene). A more extensive list is located at Appendix C.
bulletThe quantity of peroxide forming chemicals purchased will be limited to the minimum quantity required. Unused material will not be returned to the original container.
bulletContainers of peroxide forming chemicals will be dated when opened, tested after 6 months, and disposed of before their expiration date.
bulletPeroxide forming chemicals will be store at the lowest possible temperature consistent with their freezing point to prevent decomposition, but will not be allowed to freeze.


Last modified: May 05, 1999



All containers of hazardous chemicals must be correctly labeled as described below. Labels for stationary and portable containers will be provided by each department.

All hazardous chemicals and/or products shall be subject to the labeling requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). [See College Right to Know Policy in the Health and Safety Manual for pertinent information.] The use of unmarked containers of hazardous chemicals will not be permitted.

Each original shipment container, portable container, and stationary process container shall include the appropriate hazard warning for each chemical, or mixture as a whole, based on the method of hazard determination [OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200(d)(2)]. Specifically, each original, incoming container shall be labeled, tagged, or marked by the manufacturer/distributor with the following minimum information.

1. Identity of the hazardous chemical(s). Identity means the trade name or chemical name as given on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

2. The appropriate hazard warning, including health, flammability, reactivity, and preferably, personal protective equipment (PPE) data.

3. Name and address of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party.

Labels and other forms of warnings must be legible, in English, and prominently displayed. Existing labels on incoming containers shall not be removed or defaced unless the container is empty of its original materials.

Secondary containers (safety cans, plastic bottles, etc.) will be labeled with the chemical formula, and/or chemical name (or trade name if appropriate) and preferably, hazard warnings (health, reactivity, flammability, PPE) using labels provided by the department.

It is recommended that secondary containers (safety cans, bottles, etc.) containing solids and liquids should also be labeled with the chemical grade. Secondary containers containing solutions should be labeled with the date of preparation, solution concentration, and solvent, including water.

Containers too small to label completely shall at least be labeled with the chemical formula, and/or chemical name (or trade name, if appropriate). The container shall be stored on or near a card (for example a 3"x5" card) containing information not found on the label.

Any bottle that is re-used shall have the original label removed and an appropriate label placed on it.

Chemical containers, both hazardous and non-hazardous, must be monitored by the CHO or designee to ensure that they are properly labeled. Incorrect labels must be corrected immediately.

Extremely hazardous materials such as cyanides should also be marked with a label identifying its extreme hazard. The chemistry stockroom stocks small "poison" labels for this purpose. Extremely hazardous materials should be considered those materials which pose an unusual risk due to toxicity, reactivity, flammability, etc. Questions regarding the need for special labeling should be directed to the CHO.

Last modified: May 05, 1999


5.0 Controlling Chemical Exposures

The basic routes for a chemical to enter the body in a laboratory setting are: inhalation, skin and eye contact, ingestion, and injection. The prevention of entry by one of these routes can be accomplished by control mechanisms such as engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and administrative controls. Each route can be minimized by a variety of control measures depending on the hazard and operation.

Employing administrative controls is the most desirable method for controlling chemicals exposures and must be used whenever plausible. Administrative controls include but are not limited to:
bulletHazard information and education.
bulletSubstitution of a non-hazardous or less hazardous chemical, procedure, or equipment.
bulletReducing the volumes of experiments or quantities used.
bulletControl and minimize individual exposure times. Rotate responsibilities.
bulletRestrict access to an area where a hazardous chemical is in use.
bulletConduct operations that produce nuisance odors outside of typical hours.
bulletPlace proper signs on doors to indicate the hazards within and the name and phone numbers of appropriate individuals to contact in an emergency.


5.1 Inhalation

Inhalation of hazardous chemicals is the most common route of entry to the body in laboratory operations. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) produces annual lists of Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Short Term Exposure Limits (STELs) for common chemicals and biological agents used in the laboratory. These values are guides, not legal standards, and are defined as follows:

TLV: Time-weighted average concentration for a normal 8-hour workday to which nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed without adverse effect.

STEL: Maximum concentration to which workers can be exposed for periods of up to 15 minutes. Such exposures should be limited to no more than 4 per day with at least 60 minutes between exposures; and the total time-weighted average should not exceed the TLV value.

Most of the 1968 TLVs were adopted by OSHA as Permissible Exposure Levels (PELs). To avoid significant inhalation exposures and to limit exposure to concentrations below PEL values, there are a number of control measures that can be used. Substituting a less toxic or less volatile chemical is the most desirable measure. If substitution is not practical, ventilation will be used to reduce exposure. Dilution ventilation may be used to reduce exposure to non-hazardous nuisance vapor and odor. All hazardous chemicals should be used in a properly functioning chemical fume hood. For extremely toxic substances, such as those classified as poison inhalation hazards by the Department of Transportation, the use of closed systems such as a glove box may be required. See also Section 6.0 on Ventilation.

If necessary, personal protective equipment will be worn to limit chemical exposures. Dust masks or half face air purifying respirators may be utilized to this end. Respirators will not be worn in laboratories without first meeting the requirements of the OSHA Respirator Standard (1910.134). The requirements include training on proper use, selection, cleaning, and storage of respirators as well as fit testing and medical testing and surveillance to ensure that the user is physically capable of wearing a respirator.


5.2 Skin and Eye Contact

Contact with the skin is a frequent mode of chemical injury. To reduce the risk of chemicals entering the body via skin and eye contact or skin absorption, controls include substitution and ventilation as described above. If this doesn't control the exposure the next step is the wearing of personal protective equipment such as gloves, eye protection, lab coats, aprons, appropriate shoes, and special protective equipment as required by the specific hazard present. The laboratory supervisor should consult references to determine the proper protective material for the chemicals being used.

Administrative controls to reduce skin/eye contact exposure include:
bulletSetting up hazardous and non-hazardous areas in the laboratory.
bulletEnforcing sound chemical hygiene procedures such as no eating or drinking in the lab and washing hands and face after handling chemicals.

5.3 Ingestion.

Most of the chemicals used in the laboratory are toxic if they enter the body by ingestion. The relative toxicity of a chemical can be determined by its LD50, which is the quantity of material that in a single dose will cause the death of 50% of the test animals. It is usually expressed in grams or milligrams per kilograms of bodyweight.

Ingestion should not be a route of exposure in a laboratory setting. The best way to eliminate exposure by ingestion is to limit actual contact with all chemicals. Wear gloves and practice good hygiene measures. Food and drink will not be stored in areas where chemicals are being used or stored. Label all chemical containers, and replace worn or faded labels ASAP. Chemicals will not be tasted, and pipetting and siphoning of liquids will not be done by the mouth.

5.4 Injection

Exposure to chemicals by injection seldom occurs in the chemical laboratory. However, it can inadvertently occur through injury from metal or glass contaminated with chemicals or when chemicals are handled in syringes. Attention to detail and adherence to general standard operating procedures will provide control against accidental injection exposure. Assigned appropriate boxes will be used to collect all used needles and syringes. Separate collection containers will be used to collect broken glass. Label the containers, "CAUTION - Broken Glass". See also our Laboratory Waste Management Procedures.

Upon request, the CHO will assist with exposure evaluations for any suspected exposures to substances used in the laboratory. Records of exposure evaluations and exposure monitoring will be maintained at the Safety and Security Office, Horrigan Hall.

Last modified: May 05, 1999



6.0 Ventilation

6.1 General

Laboratory air should be replaced continuously (8 air changes/ hour). General ventilation provides only modest protection against toxic gases, aerosols, vapors and dusts. General ventilation will not be used for protection against toxins.

6.2 Local

Local ventilation will be used to prevent harmful fumes, mists, dusts, gases, and vapors from entering the laboratory air. Your best protection is the chemical fume hood, if used properly.

Fume hoods will be inspected and validated annually by a contractor. Fume hoods will have a face velocity of at least 100 linear feet per minute with the sash in the fully opened position or at the sash catch position. If 100 fpm cannot be achieved with the sash fully open, the sash will be lowered until the face velocity is 100 fpm. The sash will be marked at this position. Each hood used for chemical operations will be labeled with the face velocity and the date certified. The sticker will be placed on the front of the hood above the face opening.

A simple visible test for users to ensure flow into fume hoods and other ventilation equipment is to tape a telltale to the hood and note its movement. Green telltales have been placed on the left-hand side of each sash of each hood in the department.

Experiments or work with highly toxic substances (LD50 <5 mg/kg oral, <40 mg/kg skin, <1000 ppm, <500 mg/m3) may require more specialized local ventilation such as the use of a glove box or other closed system.

6.3 Work Practices for Chemical Fume Hoods
bulletSet up work at least 6 inches from the face of the hood to avoid turbulence at the sash edge
bulletSeparate and elevate each instrument by using blocks or rack so that air can flow easily around all apparatus.
bulletDo not clutter the hood with unnecessary bottles or equipment. Do not use the hood for storage of chemicals or other materials if it is used for chemical operations as well. Only materials in use should be in the hood.
bulletWork with the sash in the lowest possible position. The sash provides a physical barrier to protect against splashes, sprays, fires, or minor explosions. Lower the sash completely when no one is working in the hood.
bulletDo not obstruct the slots at the back of the hood. Keep the hood baffles free of obstructions.
bulletDo not dismantle or modify the physical structure of your hood or exhaust system in any way without first consulting Physical Plant personnel.
bulletDo not place electrical receptacles or other spark producing equipment inside the hood.
bulletNever put your head inside an operating hood to check an experiment. The plane of the sash is the barrier between contaminated and uncontaminated air.
bulletClean up spills as soon as possible.
bulletDo not use a hood for evaporation of chemical wastes.
bulletHeating of perchloric acid will only be done in a perchloric acid fume hood .

If you suspect that your fume hood is not functioning properly let CHO or Physical Plant know (Tel: 8117).

An 8.5 inch by 5.5 inch Work Practices Guide For Your Fume Hood card is available from the Environmental Health and Safety Office. A copy has been placed in the lower left-hand corner of each sash on each hood in the division.

Last modified: May 05, 1999



7.0 Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)

The Safety and Security Office tracks chemical purchases from all vendors to ensure that we receive MSDSs for every hazardous chemical. A copy of a Material Safety Data Sheet for each hazardous chemical used in one of the laboratories at Bellarmine College will be filed in the chemistry stockroom for the department of chemistry & physics and the prep room for the department of biology.

MSDSs or other reference information for particularly hazardous substances should be kept on file in the laboratory or building where they are used. Instructional laboratories should also have MSDS copies on file for the hazardous chemicals frequently used or stored in large quantities in the laboratory. It is the responsibility of the laboratory supervisor to ensure that these MSDS files are maintained and updated.

MSDSs must be reviewed before working with unfamiliar or particularly hazardous chemicals, and should be obtained prior to purchase to properly evaluate substances being considered for use. MSDSs contain information about safe handling and storage procedures as well as personal protective equipment that is required for adequate protection. Laboratory supervisors are responsible for disseminating this information to technicians and students.

If MSDSs are sent or mailed directly to a chemical user, please forward a copy to the Safety and Security Office for the file.

Material Safety Data Sheets are also available on the Internet.


Last modified: May 08, 1998


8.0 Information and Training

8.1 General

Employee information and training will occur initially during a new employee's orientation period. Information and training will be refreshed by department as needed with a formal training session at least biennially. Training and information distribution is a continuous process. Laboratory supervisors must ensure that everyone working or studying under them has been adequately trained on the chemicals, equipment, and procedures that they are using. Emergency procedures and equipment must not be overlooked. See also Section 2.0 on Responsibilities.

8.2 Information.

All laboratory personnel will be informed of the contents of "Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories ," OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1450, and the location and contents of Bellarmine College's Chemical Hygiene Plan.

All laboratory personnel will be informed of the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) and ACGIH Threshold Limit Values (TLVs). A listing of OSHA PELs is located in Appendix B.

Additional information and training will be available upon request. Reference material is available to employees through the Safety and Security Office, Horrigan Hall.

8.3 Training.

Training will consist of methods and observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical, the physical and health hazards of chemicals in the work area, the measures employees can take to protect themselves from exposure, including engineering controls, personal protective equipment, work practices, and emergency procedures. Training will cover Bellarmine's Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Last modified: May 05, 1999



9.0 Prior Approval

The high hazardous nature of some chemicals demands that special handling and disposal techniques be used. Before beginning any laboratory operation, the supervisor or instructor must review MSDSs for each chemical that they are unfamiliar with to determine precautions and waste disposal implications and methods.

9.1 Radioactive Materials

At this point in time Bellarmine University does not allow the purchase of any radioactive materials that are above the minimum threshold levels allowed by law.

9.2 Hazardous Chemicals

All chemical purchases must go through the appropriate department head/chairperson and be reviewed by the CHO. The purchase and use of carcinogens, reproductive hazards, explosive, and highly toxic chemicals must be closely coordinated with the CHO. See Section 10.0 on Particularly Hazardous Substances.

Anyone planning an operation that will generate an acute hazardous waste must consult the CHO before beginning to confirm that we have the ability to ensure proper storage and disposal. See also Section 13.0 on Laboratory Waste Management.

Last modified: May 05, 1999



10.0 Particularly Hazardous Substances

In addition to the general safety guidelines mentioned throughout this plan, special precautions are needed when handling select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and substances of high acute toxicity.

10.1 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 posses such material. A listing of carcinogenic chemicals can be found in Appendix B. Carcinogens commonly used in larger volumes at Bellarmine College include acrylamide, benzene, chloroform, formaldehyde, and methylene chloride.

Select carcinogen means any substance that meets one of the following criteria:
bulletIt is regulated by OSHA as a carcinogen.
bulletIt is listed under the category, "known to be carcinogens," in the Annual Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) (latest edition).
bulletIt is listed under Group 1, "carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs (IRAC) (latest edition).
bulletIt is listed under Group 2A or 2B by IRAC or under the category "reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens" by NTP, and causes statistically significant tumor incidence in experimental animals in accordance with any of the following criteria:
bulletafter inhalation exposure of 6-7 hours per day, 5 days a week, for a significant portion of a lifetime, to doses of less than 10 mg/m3.
bulletafter repeated skin application of 300 mg/kg of body weight per week.
bulletafter oral doses of less than 50 mg/kg of body weight per day.


10.2 Reproductive Hazards

A reproductive toxin is a chemical that affects the reproductive capabilities including chromosomal damage (mutagens) and effects on the fetus (teratogens). A mutagen affects the chromosome chains of exposed cells. The effect may be hereditary and become part of the genetic pool passed on to future generations. A teratogen (embyrotoxic or fetotoxic agent) is an agent that interferes with normal embryonic development without damage to the mother or lethal effects on the fetus. Effects are not hereditary.

10.3 Highly Toxic Chemicals

Acutely toxic chemicals are substances falling into any of the following categories:
bulletA chemical that has a median lethal dose (LD50) of 50 mg or less per kg of body weight, when administered to albino rats weighing 200 to 300 g each.
bulletA chemical that has a median lethal dose (LD50) of 200 mg or less per kg of body weight, when administered by continuous contact for 24 hours (or less if death occurs within 24 hours) to the bare skin of albino rabbits weighing 2 and 3 kg each.
bulletA chemical that has a median lethal concentration (LC50) in air of 200 parts per million by volume or less of gas or vapor, or 2 mg per liter or less of mist, fume, or dust, when administered by continuous inhalation for one hour (or less if death occurs within one hour) to albino rats weighing 200 to 300 g each.


10.4 Handling Procedures

For the cases of substances that present special hazards the following procedures will be used to minimize risk. These procedures must be followed in laboratory operations with substances believed to be highly toxic or carcinogenic, even when used in small amounts. The extent of precaution depends on the hazards of the particular substance. Factors such as physical form and volatility of the substance, type and duration of exposure, and the amount to be used should be considered. The laboratory supervisor in consultation with the Chemical Hygiene Officer must approve all plans for experimental work and waste disposal.

The overall objective is to minimize exposure to toxic substances, by any route of exposure. The general precautions outlined elsewhere in this plan should normally be followed whenever a toxic substance is transferred from one container to another or is subject to some chemical or physical manipulation. The following procedures must also always be followed:

Record Keeping

Accurate records that include the amounts of chemicals used and names of researchers or students involved should be kept as part of the laboratory notebook record of the experiment.


Substances having high chronic toxicity should be stored in a well-ventilated area in a secondary container or tray.

Labels and Signs

All containers in the high chronic toxicity category will include a warning such as: WARNING! CANCER SUSPECT AGENT. All newly purchased containers should already contain this warning, but batch containers and solutions must also be labeled. Any area used for storage should have a label identifying the special toxicity hazard that exists.

Designated Areas

All experiments with and transfers of particularly hazardous substances or mixtures containing such substances must be done in a designated area. A designated area is defined as a laboratory, a portion of a laboratory, or a facility such as an exhaust hood or glove box that is designated for the use of highly toxic substances. Its use need not be restricted if all personnel who have access to the controlled area are aware of the nature of the substances being used and the precautions that are necessary. Designated areas will be clearly marked with a conspicuous sign such as the following: WARNING! HIGHLY TOXIC SUBSTANCE IN USE: AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY. The working surface of the hood can be fitted with removable liner of absorbent material. Surfaces can be protected from contamination with chemically resistant trays or plastic backed disposable paper.

Protective Equipment

In some cases, the laboratory supervisor may deem it advisable to wear special protective equipment when working with particularly hazardous substances. Examples include long gloves or an apron covered by a disposable coat.


On leaving a controlled area, remove any protective apparel, thoroughly wash hands and arms, face, and neck. If disposable apparel or absorbent paper have been used, place these items in a closed impervious bag or container for disposal. Work surfaces will be thoroughly washed and rinsed. All equipment that is known or suspected to have been in contact with particularly hazardous substances will also be washed and rinsed.

Waste Disposal

All general waste disposal procedures will be followed. Certain additional precautions must also be observed when waste materials are known to contain amounts of highly toxic substances. Volatile toxic substances must never be disposed of by evaporation in the hood. If practical, waste materials should be decontaminated as the last step in the experiment by some procedure that can reasonably be expected to convert the toxic substance to nontoxic substances. Consult Prudent Practices for Disposal of Chemicals from Laboratories (available in Chemistry Stockroom) for specific destruction procedures. If decomposition is not feasible, the waste will be stored in closed, impervious containers such that personnel handling the containers will not be exposed to its contents. All waste containers must be labeled to indicate the contents (constituents and approximate amounts or percentages) and the type of hazard that contact may pose. For instance, if a waste stream is known to contain appreciable amounts of a carcinogen, the container should be labeled: CANCER SUSPECT AGENT. The generation of acutely hazardous waste must be closely monitored. As a small quantity generator, Bellarmine College is allowed to store no more than 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of acutely hazardous waste. All wastes and residues that have not been chemically decontaminated will be disposed of in accordance with Bellarmine College's Hazardous Waste Procedures.

Last modified: May 05, 1999



11.0 Medical Consultation

An opportunity to receive medical consultation shall be provided under the following circumstances:
bulletIf an employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which they may have been exposed,
bulletThere has been a spill, leak, explosion, or other occurrence in the work area resulting in the likelihood of a hazardous exposure, or
bulletIf exposure monitoring reveals that a PEL or action level is routinely violated for any OSHA regulated substance for which there are exposure monitoring and medical surveillance requirements.

College laboratory employees (including faculty supervisors) may receive medical attention through Workers' Compensation. Contact the Business Office to fill out an injury report. In addition, employees who need to wear respirators to control chemical exposure must have a medical examination prior to wearing the respirator to ensure that they are physically able to wear one.

Last modified: May 05, 1999


12.0 Spills And Emergency Procedures

12.1 Chemical Spills

The time to prepare to handle a spill is long before it occurs. Appropriate precautions and the proper equipment will alleviate many of the potential complications associated with the spill of a hazardous material. The following principles will decrease the likelihood of a spill:
bulletSubstitute a less hazardous chemical, procedure, or piece of equipment such as alcohol thermometers instead of mercury thermometers.
bulletAlways store chemical containers with closed caps.
bulletUse secondary containment whenever possible. Trays and wash basins work well. Coated safety bottles should be used when possible.
bulletDo not store chemicals on the floor, desks, or counter tops.
bulletCheck shelving; watch for overloading or overcrowding. Excess chemicals can be stored in the division stockroom.
bulletPractice good housekeeping. Clutter increases the likelihood of a spill or accident.
bulletMinimize chemical storage in the laboratory. Purchase only the amount needed.


Anticipate chemical spills by having appropriate clean-up and safety equipment on hand. These cleanup supplies should be consistent with the hazards and quantities of substances used.

Paper towels and sponges may be used as absorbent type clean-up aids but this should be done cautiously. Paper used to clean up oxidizers can later ignite. Appropriate gloves should be worn when cleaning toxic materials with towels. Sponges should be chemical resistant.

Commercial clean-up kits are available that have instructions, absorbents, neutralizers, and protective equipment, but these kits are usually expensive and may not cover everything used in a particular lab. Individuals or departments may want to assemble their own kits. These kits should be located strategically around the laboratory or department area.

If a spill does occur, the following general procedures should be followed:
bulletAttend to contaminated personnel.
bulletAlert personnel in adjacent areas.
bulletConfine the spill, and evacuate nonessential personnel from spill area.
bulletIf spilled material is flammable, extinguish flames and all other sources of ignition.
bulletMaintain fume hood ventilation.
bulletSecure appropriate cleanup supplies.
bulletDuring cleanup, wear appropriate personal protection.


When the nature of the spill constitutes a more serious hazard or involves the release of gas or fumes, the following procedures should be followed:
bulletActivate the emergency alarm system.
bulletRescue injured personnel, if possible.
bulletEvacuate the building; move to the assembly area.
bulletNotify Campus Safety with the details of the situation.


12.2 Emergency Procedures

All laboratory personnel must be familiar with Bellarmine College's Emergency Response Plan. The following additional procedures are intended to limit injuries and minimize damage should an accident occur:
bulletRender assistance to persons involved and remove them from exposure to further injury, if necessary.
bulletWarn personnel in adjacent areas of potential hazards to their safety.
bulletRender immediate first aid such as washing in safety shower, administering CPR, or special first aid (such as the use of a cyanide kit if cyanide exposure is involved).
bulletExtinguish small fires by using a portable fire extinguisher. Turn off nearby apparatus and remove flammable materials from the area. In case of larger fires, contact Campus Safety immediately.

In the case of a medical emergency, remain calm and do only what is necessary to protect life.
bulletCall Campus Safety immediately (who will call 911).
bulletDo not move an injured person unless they are in further danger.
bulletKeep the injured person warm. If feasible, designate one person to remain with the injured person.
bulletIf clothing is on fire, knock the person on the ground and roll them around to smother the flames. A fire blanket should only be used as a last resort.


12.3 Fires and Explosions

Small fires can easily be extinguished without evacuating the building or calling the fire department. However, even a small fire can quickly become a serious problem. The first few minutes are critical to preventing a larger emergency. Personnel in the event of a minor fire should take the following actions:
bulletAlert other people in the laboratory and send someone to call Campus Safety (who will call 911).
bulletAttack the fire immediately, but never attempt to fight a fire alone. A fire in a small vessel can often be suffocated by placing a larger beaker or watch glass over the top. Use the proper extinguisher, directing discharge of the extinguisher at the base of the flame:
bulletclass A fires- ordinary combustible solids such as paper, wood, rubber, and textiles.
bulletclass B fires- petroleum hydrocarbons and volatile flammable solvents.
bulletclass C fires- electrical equipment.
bulletclass D fires- combustible or reactive metals such as sodium, potassium, or magnesium, metal hydrides, or organometallics.
bulletAvoid entrapment, always fight a fire from a position accessible to an exit.

If there is any doubt whether the fire can be controlled locally by available personnel or equipment, the following actions should be taken:
bulletActivate the emergency alarm system. Confine the fire (close hood sashes, doors between laboratories, and fire doors) to prevent further spread of the fire.
bulletAssist injured personnel.
bulletEvacuate the building; move to an assemble point for accountability.


12.4 Personal Contamination

Chemical Spill to a Large Portion of the Body
bulletImmediately flood the contaminated area with sufficient running water. Use safety shower if necessary.
bulletRemove all contaminated clothing.
bulletContinue to rinse with cold water for 15 minutes. Wash chemical from contaminated areas with the water but do not apply cremes or lotions.
bulletGet medical attention promptly.

Chemicals on the Skin in a Confined Area
bulletFlush the exposed skin with cold water.
bulletIf the skin is not burned, wash the area with soap.
bulletSeek medical attention if necessary.

Chemical in the Eyes
bulletFlush the eyeball and inner eyelid with cold water for 15 minutes. Forcibly hold the eye open to wash thoroughly behind the eyelids.
bulletGet medical attention promptly.

Smoke or Fume Inhalation
bulletRemove from the contaminated air to fresh air.
bulletTreat for shock.
bulletGet medical attention promptly.

Chemical Ingestion
bulletAdminister antidote, if available.
bulletWrap in blanket to prevent shock.
bulletNotify Campus Safety.
bulletIdentify the chemical(s), and obtain the MSDS for the hospital.

12.6 Incident Reporting and Review

In the event of an incident that falls under any of the categories in this section, an incident report sheet shall be filled out under the supervision of the Chief of Safety and Security or designee. A copy of the incident report sheet will be forwarded to the University's Safety Committee for review. Depending on the nature and severity of the incident, this review will take place as soon as possible after the incident or at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Safety Committee.

Last modified: February 19, 2001


13.0 Laboratory Waste Management

The purpose of this program is to ensure that Bellarmine University is in compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to the handling, storage, and disposal of solid (hazardous), radioactive, and biological (medical) wastes.

Chemical waste may be disposed of in several different ways. Flammable and reactive liquids and solids are usually incinerated. This is the preferred disposal option, because it destroys the chemical and its associated hazards. Water based solutions can be treated at wastewater treatment plants designed for this purpose. Some materials may be landfilled, but the EPA has made this option illegal for most chemical wastes. This "landban" has significantly increased costs for incineration of chemicals as demand for incinerator use has risen and few new incinerators are permitted (there is currently a ban on new incinerator permits). Consequently, nearly all of the hazardous waste generated at Bellarmine College is sent to a commercial hazardous waste incinerator or permitted fuel blending facility. The cost of disposal ranges from about $1 to more than $5 per pound. Responsible purchasing practices, effective recycling, and on site treatment strategies have the potential to contain costs for the near future.

Last modified: January 9, 2002


14.0 References

The following is a sample of references that are available in the Safety and Security Office, Horrigan Hall:

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INDEX TO CHEMICALS, C.C. Lee, Ph.D., Government Institutes, Inc., Rockville, MD, 1993.

FIRE PROTECTION GUIDE TO HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, 12th Edition, National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA, 1991.

HAWLEY'S CONDENSED CHEMICAL DICTIONARY, 12th Edition, Richard J. Lewis, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY, 1993.


OSHA SAFETY and HEALTH STANDARDS, (29 CFR 1910), United States Department of Labor, U.S. Government Printing Office.

POCKET GUIDE TO CHEMICAL HAZARDS. Publication No. 78-210, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Washington, D.C., 1990.

PRUDENT PRACTICES FOR DISPOSAL OF CHEMICALS FROM LABORATORIES, Committee on Hazardous Substances in the Laboratory, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1983.

PRUDENT PRACTICES FOR HANDLING CHEMICALS IN LABORATORIES, Committee on Hazardous Substances in the Laboratory, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1981.

PRUDENT PRACTICES IN THE LABORATORY, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1995.

SAFE STORAGE OF LABORATORY CHEMICALS, 2nd Edition, David A. Pipitone, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY, 1991.

SAFETY IN ACADEMIC CHEMICAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORIES, 6th Edition, Committee on Chemical Safety, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., 1990.

SAX'S DANGEROUS PROPERTIES OF INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS. 8th Edition, Richard J. Lewis,Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY, 1992.