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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a standard (29 CFR 1910.1048) to ensure proper protection of all workers exposed to formaldehyde. The standard applies to all forms of formaldehyde including gas, aqueous solutions, solids, and materials that can release it.
This chapter describes the hazards associated with peroxide formation in chemical compounds, methods to detect peroxides, safe handling, use, and storage of peroxidizable compounds, and how to remove peroxide contamination from chemicals.
The characterization, management storage and disposal of laboratory wastes (i.e., chemical waste including hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, radioactive or mixed waste, biohazardous and medical waste, and universal waste) is regulated and requires strict compliance with regulatory obligations.
This chapter provides resources that can help you prevent a laboratory accident due to mishandling explosive substances, or mixing incompatible reactive substances. This chapter details several specific examples of explosive and reactive hazards that are common in laboratories.
This chapter supplements previous chapters by giving specific extra precautions, postings, training, and protective equipment necessary when working with substances that are highly toxic and/or select carcinogens. The appendices at the end of the chapter are a thorough (but not exhaustive) list of substances that might be present in your lab that are highly toxic and/or carcinogenic.
Responding to the scientific literature indicating that there may be adverse health effects associated with exposure to waste anesthetic gases, UNC-Chapel Hill Clinical Facilities and UNC Health Care have established a program for the safe use of anesthetic gases that meets or exceeds the recommendations of occupational health advisory agencies (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the American Society of Anesthesiologists) and complies with JCAHO accreditation criteria.
It is the policy of UNC-Chapel Hill Clinical Facilities and UNC Health Care that all employees be protected from overexposure to glutaraldehyde in the course of performing their jobs. If glutaraldehyde exposure is documented by EHS above 0.2 ppm, engineering or administrative controls will be implemented to reduce exposure below the limit. Typical trade names for glutaraldehyde solutions used in UNC-CH Clinical and UNC Health Care facilities are Cidex, Rapicide, and Wavicide.
The health and safety of workers and building occupants is the most important factor to consider in laboratory work. In addition to these health and safety concerns, compliance with OSHA, Radiation Protection, and EPA regulations is also important because of the severe financial consequences, especially related to EPA hazardous waste regulations.
OSHA 1910.1450, “Occupational Exposures to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories” (henceforth referred to as the Laboratory Standard) dictates that employers limit employees’ exposure to hazardous chemicals to below the permissible exposure limit (PEL) (or action level, if applicable) for a specific chemical.
The use and storage of hazardous chemicals potentially pose threats to the environment, health and safety of employees and citizens at large as evidenced by events such as the methyl isocyanate gas release in Bhopal, India. The threat is especially great for fire and emergency response workers and potentially severe for employees and citizens in the vicinity of bulk storage facilities.