Environmental Health & Safety
The following requirements apply to all research and instructional laboratories working with or handling hazardous chemical, biological, or radioactive materials. Exception to these requirements may be permitted under certain conditions and requires written approval from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
- Lab coat, or equivalent, must be worn at all times in laboratory where chemical, biological or radiological material are being handled. Lab coats must be appropriately sized and buttoned to their full length. Sleeves must cover the arms to prevent skin exposure while wearing gloves.
- Full length pants, or equivalent, and closed-toed shoes must be worm at all times by individuals working in the laboratory area. Open toed-shoes, sandals, flip-flops, clogs, crocs, etc. are prohibited. Shorts and cutoffs unnecessarily expose skin to potential hazardous materials and should be avoided.
- Chemical resistant gloves or protective gloves or equivalent must be worn when handling hazardous chemical, biological, or radioactive materials. Consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for proper selection of protective gloves.
- Eye protection or equivalent shall be worn when handling or adjacent to hazardous chemical, biological or radioactive materials. All eye protection must meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements and be appropriate for the work being done.
- Wearing lab coats or gloves outside the lab should be minimized, except when transporting hazardous materials between laboratories. When transporting hazardous materials, use a clean, ungloved hand to touch common surfaces (door knob, elevator buttons, etc.) and gloved hand to carry the items: the one-glove rule.
- Damaged and/or defective personal equipment shall be removed from use immediately.
- Some experiments/operations may require additional personal protective equipment. Consult the SDS, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and other regulatory requirements for additional personal protective equipment requirements. Contact the Office of Environmental Health and Safety for consultation.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Safety Data Sheets provide useful information on chemicals, describe the hazards the chemical presents, and giving information on handling and storage of chemicals, and provide emergency measures in case of an accident. Every laboratory that stores or uses hazardous chemicals must maintain a SDS binder. Safety Data Sheets shall be kept up to date and in alphabetical order. The SDS provides health and safety information about specific hazardous chemicals. Prior to using any hazardous chemical, consult the chemical SDS. Safety Data Sheets shall be made available in each laboratory.
All SDSs must follow, at a minimum, the same 16 section format as outlined in the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The sections are as follows:
- Identification of the substance or mixture and of the supplier
- Hazards Identification
- Composition/Information on Ingredients
- First-Aid Measures
- Firefighting Measures
- Accidental Release Measures
- Handling and Storage
- Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
- Physical and Chemical Properties
- Stability and Reactivity
- Toxicological Information
- Ecological Information
- Disposal Considerations
- Transport Information
- Regulatory Information
- Other Information