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Special Provisions for Particularly Hazardous Materials


​In addition to general safety guidelines, special precautions are needed when handling select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and substances that have a high degree of acute toxicity. The PI must ensure that the below listed precautions are taken in order to minimize risk of exposure to these substances.  Again, a Project Hazard Assessment Form (docx) be filled out and approved before any project with hazardous materials may be considered.

  • Quantities of these substances used and stored in the laboratory should be minimized, as should their concentrations in solutions or mixtures.
  • Work with genotoxins (chemicals that damage the genetic material of humans), reproductive toxins, and acutely toxic chemicals should be performed within a functioning hood, biological safety cabinet, sealed system, or other system designed to minimize exposure to these substances. (The exhaust air from the ventilation system may require scrubbing before being released into the atmosphere.) In all cases, work with these chemicals must be done in such a manner that the OSHA permissible exposure limits (PEL) or similar standards are not exceeded.
  • Compressed gas cylinders that contain acutely toxic chemicals, such as arsine and nitrogen dioxide, should be kept in ventilated gas cabinets. The ventilation efficiency of the designated ventilation hood or gas cabinet and the operational effectiveness of equipment used to contain or manipulate these special substances should be evaluated periodically by the NS Equipment Technician or EH&S personnel. The interval of evaluating systems may vary from weekly to semi-annually depending on the frequency of usage, the quantities employed, and the level of the hazard. 
  • UHD laboratories utilizing hazardous substances must have designated areas for this purpose, marked with the appropriate hazard signage. The designated area may be the entire laboratory, an area of the lab, or a device such as a ventilation hood or glove box.  The designated area must be marked with a DANGER, specific agent, AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY, or comparable warning sign.
  • All faculty, staff or students who work in a UHD lab that has an area designated for use with hazardous chemicals must be trained regarding the serious harmful effects of these substances as well as the signs and symptoms of exposure to these substances, whether or not they actually work with the substances themselves.
  • UHD faculty, staff or students working with these substances must have access to the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing, and must be trained on how to properly utilize the safety equipment.
  • Detection equipment will be required if chemicals (especially poisonous gases) with a high degree of acute toxicity are utilized.
  • All waste contaminated with these substances should be collected and disposed of in a timely manner as outlined in the UHD Hazardous Waste Program.
  • The designated work area shall be thoroughly decontaminated and cleaned at regular intervals.
  • Special precautions to avoid release and exposure to highly toxic chemicals, reproductive toxins and genotoxins must be utilized. For instance, volatile substances should be kept cool and contained.  Gases should have properly functioning valves, check valves and regulators. Containers that can withstand pressure buildup, and the appropriate piping, should be kept in closed areas with minimal air currents. Appropriate contact materials should be used to avoid static charging.
  • Emergency response planning for releases or spills must be prepared by the PI, approved by the CSO and included in the training of staff, students and all others that may be affected in the building.


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Last updated 11/13/2019 3:02 AM