New Chemical Safety Resources for Labs
October 21st, 2020

Updated resources for the lab

OESO’s Laboratory Safety Division has released several new and updated chemical safety resources over the past few months. These are summarized and linked below.

Lessons Learned – Chemical Incompatibility

This lessons learned document goes through several common issues related to chemical compatibilities that have had serious consequences here at Duke. Bleach is routinely used for decontamination purposes in biological experiments. Even though this is a common practice, users should be aware that a chemical reaction is taking place during this process. A recent lab injury at Duke highlighted the need for awareness of the hazards of mixing bleach with incompatible chemicals and the potential harmful effects. Before handling bleach in the laboratory, personnel should review the Guidelines for Safe Use of Bleach in addition to reviewing the Safety Data Sheets for any materials (including kits) that will come into contact with bleach.
Accidental mixing of incompatible chemicals in the laboratory can also result in harmful reactions including the generation of heat or gases, the release of toxic fumes, or explosions. Incidents involving chemical incompatibility and recommendations for planning safe chemical reactions are outlined in the Chemical Incompatibility information sheet

New Chemical Guidelines

Several of the chemical guidelines available on the Chemical SOPs and Guidelines page are new or have been recently updated. These new guidelines replace older SOPs and the Lab Safety Division highly recommends that labs move over to these new guidelines. Below is a list of the updated guidelines.

GHS Lookup Tool Update

There have been substantial updates to the GHS Lookup Tool. The updates include a new column to indicate whether the chemical is on the Targeted Chemical List and needs to be reported, updated hazard and action information for some chemicals, and new chemical additions to the database. The newest version of the tool can always be found on our Particularly Hazardous Substances page. There are also three instructional videos available for new users of the GHS Lookup Tool.

For any questions or concerns about these or other chemical resources please contact the Lab Safety Division at labsafety@dm.duke.edu.

Picture credit: https://www.needpix.com/photo/download/1828825/chemical-reaction-science-chemistry-experiment-laboratory-research-laboratories-free-pictures