Chemical Safety

In 1987,. the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the Hazard Communication Standard, which provides for certain-institutional educational practices to ensure all labora-

Figure 4-2 National Fire Protection Association diamond stating chemical hazard. This information can be customized as shown here for isopropyl alcohol by applying the appropriate self-adhesive polyester numbers to the corresponding color-coded hazard area. (Courtesy Lab Safety Supply Inc., Janesville, Wis.)

Figure 4-2 National Fire Protection Association diamond stating chemical hazard. This information can be customized as shown here for isopropyl alcohol by applying the appropriate self-adhesive polyester numbers to the corresponding color-coded hazard area. (Courtesy Lab Safety Supply Inc., Janesville, Wis.)

tory personnel have a thorough working knowledge of the hazards of chemicals with which they work. This standard has also been called the "employee right-to-know." It mandates that all hazardous chemicals in the workplace be identified and dearly marked with a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) label stating the health risks, such as carcinogens (cause of cancer), mutagens (cause of mutations in DNA or RNA), or teratogens (cause of birth defects), and the hazard dass, for example, corrosive (harmful to mucous membranes, skin, eyes, or tissues), poison, flammable, or oxidizing. Examples of these labels are shown in Figure 4-2.

Each laboratory should have a chemical hygiene plan that indudes guidelines on proper labeling of chemical containers, manufacturer's material safety data sheets (MSDSs), and the written chemical safety training and retraining programs. Hazardous chemicals must be inventoried annually. In addition, laboratories are required to maintain a file of every chemical that they use and a corresponding MSDS. The manufacturer provides these MSDS sheets for every hazardous chemical; some manufacturers also provide letters for nonhazardous chemicals, such as saline, so these can be included with the other MSDSs. The MSDSs indude information on the nature of the chemical, the precautions to take if the chemical is spilled, and disposal recommendations. The sections in the typical MSDS indude:

Substance name

Name, address, and telephone number of

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