Guidelines For The Use And Handling Of Chemicals

Chemical safety in the chemical laboratory is of primary concern to chemical scientists, chemical engineers, chemical technicians and chemical research associates. In an effort to maintain a safe work environment it is important for all members of the chemical lab to follow appropriate chemical safety protocols. This article provides guidelines which should be adhered to while working with chemicals in order to minimise risk.

Chemical management software provides chemical scientists with a chemical inventory for all chemicals in the chemical lab. With chemical management software, chemical scientists are able to have chemical inventories that include information about chemical compounds such as:

  • chemical structures
  • physical properties
  • hazards including toxicity and flammability
  • EPA toxicity ratings
  • shipping data when applicable (such as UNNumber, DOT Hazard Class, and DOT ID)
  • chemical structure drawings (including chemical line diagrams)
  • chemical name synonyms (alternate names for chemical compounds, including CAS Registry Number IDs)
  • chemical conversions
  • chemical mixtures including component chemicals
  • chemical classifications based on hazard including toxicity and flammability
  • chemical safety ratings based on toxicity and flammability including oral LD50 dose, dermal LD50 dose, inhalation LC50 value or LCt value for acute exposure
  • chemical sensitivities
  • chemical reactivity with air
  • chemical reactivity with water including chemical oxides
  • chemical corrosivity or chemical stability. 

Chemical management software also allows for chemical disposal via chemical waste management companies.

Acute chemical exposure guidelines are chemical concentration limits in air below which it is believed that nearly all workers may be exposed day after day without adverse effects. Long-term chemical exposure guidelines are chemical concentration maximums in air to which it is believed that workers can be exposed continuously for a working lifetime without experiencing adverse health effects.