Chemical Hygiene Plan

Section 2

Section 2
Standard Operating Procedures
For Working With Chemicals

2.1 Good Work Practices / Procedures for Handling Laboratory Chemicals

This information is to be given to all laboratory students at the start of each semester.

2.1.1 General Guidelines

Make a request in writing to the Knight Campus Security Office for exposure assessment records and occupational medical records.

2.1.2 Personal Hygiene

Avoid direct contact with any chemical. Keep chemicals off your hands, face and clothing, including shoes. Never smell, inhale or taste a hazardous chemical. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling any chemical.

Smoking is not allowed in any CCRI building. Smoking, drinking, eating and the application of cosmetics is forbidden in laboratories where hazardous chemicals are used.

Never pipet by mouth. Use a pipet bulb or other mechanical pipet filling device.

Remove contaminated clothing and gloves before leaving laboratory.

2.1.3 Housekeeping

Keep floors clean and dry.

Keep all aisles, hallways, and stairs clear of all chemicals. Stairways and hallways should not be used as storage areas.

Keep all work areas, and especially work benches, clear of clutter and obstructions.

All working surfaces should be cleaned regularly.

Access to emergency equipment, utility controls, showers, eyewashes and exits should never be blocked.

Wastes should be kept in the appropriate, properly labeled containers according to the guidelines in CCRI's Hazardous Waste Management Program.

2.2 When Not to Proceed Without Reviewing Safety Procedures

Sometimes laboratory workers should not proceed with what seems to be a familiar task. Hazards may exist that are not fully recognized. Certain indicators (procedural changes) should cause the employee to stop and review the safety aspects of their procedure. These indicators include:

  • A new procedure, process or test, even if it is very similar to older practices.
  • A change or substitution of any of the ingredient chemicals in a procedure.
  • A substantial change in the amount of chemicals used (scale up of experimental procedures); usually one should review safety practices if the volume of chemicals used increases threefold.
  • A failure of any of the equipment used in the process, especially safeguards such as chemical fume hoods.
  • Unexpected experimental results (such as pressure increase, increased reaction rates, unanticipated by-products). When an experimental result is different from the predicted, a review of how the new result impacts safety practices should be made.
  • Chemical odors, illness in the laboratory staff that may be related to chemical exposure or other indicators of a failure in engineered safeguards.

The occurrence of any of these conditions should cause the laboratory employee to pause, evaluate the safety implications of these changes or results, make changes as necessary and proceed cautiously.

2.3 Protective Clothing and Laboratory Safety Equipment

2.3.1 General Consideration - Personal Protective Clothing [Equipment]

Personal protective clothing and equipment should be selected carefully and used in situations where engineering and administrative controls cannot be used or while such controls are being established. CCRI has a Respiratory Protection Program that specifically addresses the problem of respiratory hazards. Respirators and dust masks in particular are viewed as less protective than other controls because they rely heavily on each employee's work practices and training to be effective. The engineering and administrative controls, which should always be, considered first when reducing or eliminating exposures to hazardous chemicals include:

  • Substitution of a less hazardous substance
  • Scaling down by substituting a microscale experiment for a conventional one.
    Substitution of less hazardous equipment or process (e.g., safety cans for glass bottles) Isolation of the operator or the process
  • Local and general ventilation (e.g., use of fume hoods)

The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) will list the personal protective equipment recommended for use with the chemical. The SDS addresses worst case conditions. Therefore, all the equipment shown may not be necessary for the specific laboratory scale task.

Other sections of this manual or the Chemical Safety Coordinator can assist you in determining which personal protective devices are required for each task. Remember that there is no harm in being overprotective. Appropriate personal protective equipment will be provided to employees.

2.3.2. Protection of Skin and Body

Skin and body protection involves wearing protective clothing over all parts of the body, which could become contaminated with hazardous chemicals. Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be selected on a task basis, and checked to insure it is in good condition prior to use. Normal clothing worn in the laboratory

Where there is no immediate danger to the skin from contact with a hazardous chemical it is still prudent to select clothing to minimize exposed skin surfaces. Faculty, paraprofessionals and students should wear long sleeved/long legged clothing and avoid short sleeved shirts, short trousers or skirts. A laboratory coat should be worn over street clothes and be laundered regularly. Laboratory coats are intended to prevent contact with dirt, chemical dusts and minor chemical splashes or spills. If it becomes contaminated, it should be removed immediately and affected skin surface washed thoroughly. Shoes should be worn in the laboratory at all times. Sandals and perforated shoes are not appropriate. In addition, long hair and loose clothing should be confined. Protective clothing

Additional protective clothing may be required for some procedures or with specific substances (such as when carcinogens or large quantities of corrosives, oxidizing agents or organic solvents are handled).This clothing may include impermeable aprons and gloves as well as plastic coated coveralls, shoe covers, and arm sleeves. Protective sleeves should always be considered when wearing an apron. These garments can either be washable or disposable. They should never be worn outside the laboratory. The choice of garment depends on the degree of protection required and the areas of the body which may become contaminated. Rubberized aprons, plastic coated coveralls, shoe covers, and sleeves offer much greater resistance to permeation by chemicals than laboratory coats and provide additional time to react (remove the garment and wash affected area) if contaminated.


Individuals exposed to latex gloves and other products containing natural rubber latex may develop allergic reactions such as skin rashes; hives; nasal, eye, or sinus symptoms; asthma; and (rarely) shock.

[Latex Safety Policy]

Chemical resistant gloves should be worn whenever the potential for contact with corrosive or toxic substances and substances of unknown toxicity exists. However, because of the potential for severe, even life-threatening allergic reactions to latex rubber, the college no longer permits the purchase and use of natural latex gloves on its premises. Gloves should be selected on the basis of the materials being handled, the particular hazard involved, and their suitability for the operation being conducted. Before each use, gloves should be checked for integrity. Gloves should be washed prior to removal whenever possible to prevent skin contamination. on-disposable gloves should be replaced periodically, depending on frequency of use and their resistance to the substances handled.

Protective garments are not equally effective for every hazardous chemical. Some chemicals will "break through" the garment in a very short time. Therefore, garment and glove selection is based on chemical resistance. However, natural latex gloves are not allowed even if they are resistant to the chemical being used.

Acetates G NR NR NR (NR)
Acids, Inorganic G E E E (E)
Acids, Organic E E E E (E)
Acrylonitrile G E G S (E)
Alcohols E E NR E (E)
Aldehydes E G NR S* (NR)
Amines S NR NR F (NR)
Bases, Inorganic E E E E (E)
Ethers G F NR E (NR)
Halogens, Liquid G NR F E (NR)
Inks G E E S (F)
Ketones E G NR NR (G)
Nitrobenzene G NR NR NR (NR)
Oleic Acid E E F E (NR)
Phenols E E NR NR (G)
Quinones NR E G E (E)
Solvents, Aliphatic NR NR F G (NR)
Solvents, Aromatic NR NR F F (NR)

*Not recommended for Acetaldehyde; Use Butyl Rubber


S-Superior; E-Excellent; G-Good; F-Fair; NR-Not Recommended

Contact the Chemical Hygiene Officer with any personal protective equipment questions. Complete information about latex rubber use at CCRI may be read in CCRI's Latex Product Safety Policy which is available in the Libraries, form laboratory department chairs, from the Chemical Safety Coordinator or on CCRI's EHS Latex Product Safety Policy page.

2.3.3 Protection of the Eyes

Eye protection is required for all personnel and any visitors present in locations where chemicals are handled and a chemical splash hazard exists. Chemical splash goggles or other protective eyewear be worn in the laboratory based upon the physical state, the operation or the level of toxicity of the chemical used. Safety glasses effectively protect the eye from solid materials (dust and flying objects) but are not effective at protecting the eyes from chemical splash to the face. Splash Goggles should be worn in situations where bulk quantities of chemicals are handled and chemical splashes to the face are possible. Splash Goggles form a liquid proof seal around the eyes, protecting them from a splash. When handling highly reactive substances or large quantities of hazardous chemicals, corrosives, poisons, and hot chemicals, goggles with face shield should be worn. When a lower level of hazard exists, other appropriate protective eyewear may be worn.

Contact lenses can increase the risk of eye injury if worn in the laboratory-particularly if they are of the gas permeable variety. Gases and vapors can be concentrated under such lenses and cause permanent eye damage. Chemical splashes to the eye can get behind all types of lenses. Once behind a lens the chemical is difficult to remove by flushing. For these reasons it is recommended that contact lenses not be worn in laboratories.

Eye and face injuries are prevented by the use of the following:

SPLASH GOGGLES Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Poor Fair Poor Moderate
GLASSES (NO SIDE SHIELDS) Good Poor Excellent Poor Poor Good Very Good Moderate
GLASSES (WITH SIDE SHIELDS) Good Good Excellent Fair Poor Good Good Moderate
FACE SHIELDS Excellent Good to Excellent Good to Excellent Good to Excellent Depends on Type of Shield Fair Good Moderate

Source: ANSI Z87.1(1979) Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, available from American National Standards Institute, Inc., 1430 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10018

2.3.4 Protection of the Respiratory System

Inhalation hazards can be controlled using ventilation or respiratory protection. Check the label and SDS for information on a substance's inhalation hazard and special ventilation requirements. When a potential inhalation hazard exists a substance's label or SDS contains warnings such as:

  • Use with adequate ventilation
  • Use in a fume hood
  • Avoid inhalation of vapors
  • Provide local ventilation

Take appropriate precautions before using these substances. Controlling inhalation exposures via engineering controls (ventilation) is always the preferred method (See Section As with other personal protective equipment, respiratory protection relies heavily on employee work practices and training to be effective.

Respirators are designed to protect against specific types of substances in limited concentration ranges. Respirators must be selected based on the specific type of hazard (toxic chemical, oxygen deficiency, etc.), the contaminant's anticipated airborne concentration, and required protection factors. The College has implemented a Respiratory Protection Program. Respirators are not to be used except in conjunction with a complete respiratory protection program as required by OSHA. If your work requires the use of a respirator or if you believe that it might, contact your supervisor or the Chemical Safety Coordinator. See Section 1.9 for additional information.

2.3.5 Laboratory Safety Equipment Chemical Fume Hoods

In the laboratory the chemical fume hood is the primary means of controlling inhalation exposures. Hoods are designed to retain vapors and gases released within them, protecting the laboratory employee's breathing zone from the contaminant. This protection is accomplished by having a curtain of air (approximately 100 linear feet per minute) move constantly through the face (open sash) of the hood. Chemical fume hoods can also be used to isolate apparatus or chemicals that may present physical hazards to employees. The closed sash on a hood serves as an effective barrier to fires, flying objects, chemical splashes or spattering and small implosions and explosions. Hoods can also effectively contain spills which might occur during dispensing procedures particularly if trays are placed in the bottoms of the hoods.

When using a chemical fume hood keep the following principles of safe operation in mind:

Keep all chemicals and apparatus at least six inches inside the hood (behind sash).

Hoods are not intended for storage of chemicals. Materials stored in them should be kept to a minimum. Stored chemicals should not block vents or alter airflow patterns.

Keep the hood sash at a minimum height (4 to 6 inches) when not manipulating chemicals or adjusting apparatus within the hood.

When working in front of a fume hood, make sure the sash opening is appropriate. This can be achieved by lining up to arrows placed on the sash door and hood frame. This sash opening will ensure an adequate air velocity through the face of the hood.

Do not allow objects such as paper to enter the exhaust ducts. This can clog ducts and adversely affect their operation.

Follow the chemical manufacturers or supplier's specific instructions for controlling inhalation exposures with ventilation (chemical fume hood) when using their products. These instructions are located on the products MSDS and/or label. However, it should be noted that these ventilation recommendations are often intended for non-laboratory work environments and must be adapted to suit the laboratory environment as well as the specific procedure or process.

If specific guidance is not available from chemical manufacturer or supplier, or if the guidance is inappropriate for the laboratory environment, contact the Chemical Safety Officer and/or review the hood use guidelines in the table below. These guidelines are based on information readily available on a chemical's MSDS: (1) applicable workplace exposure standards (Threshold Limit Values (TLV) or Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL)); (2) acute and chronic toxicity data (LD50 and specific organ toxicity); and (3) potential for generating airborne concentrations (vapor pressure).These terms are defined in the glossary at the back of this manual. The guidelines outlined in the table below should not be considered as necessary or appropriate in every case, but as reasonable "rules of thumb".

Guidelines for Chemical Fume Hood Use

It may be appropriate to use a hood when handling the type of substance listed in column 1 if the exposure standard or toxicological criteria in column 2 apply.

Column 1
Type Substance & Handling Procedures
Column 2
Exposure Standard or Toxicity of Substance
Substance handled is solid, liquid or gaseous.


When other effective controls are not being used.
TVL or PEL<5 ppm, but <0.2 mg/m3 (particulate)

Oral LD50 <10 mg/kg (rat or mouse)

(See note 1 below)
Substance handled is liquid or gaseous.


It is handled in large quantities (greater than 500 milliliters) or the procedure used could release the substance to the laboratory atmosphere.


You may be exposed to the substance (handling it in open containers) for an extended period of time (greater than 2 hrs. per day).
TVL or PEL >5 ppm, but <50 ppm


Substances handled are toxic to specific organs systems, are carcinogens or reproductive toxins with a vapor pressure exceeding 25 mm Hg at 25 °C.


Oral LD50> 10 but < 50 mg/kg (rat or mouse).

(See Note 1 below.)
Substance handled is a solid.


the particle size of the material is small (respirable) or consistency of the material is "light and fluffy" and the procedure used may generate airborne particulates
TVL or PEL >0.2 mg/m3 , but <2 mg/m3


Oral LD50 >10 but <50 mg/kg (rat or mouse).

See Note 1 Below.

Note 1.The oral LD50 hood use criteria have been included because they are often the only toxicological data available on a material safety data sheet. The species of animals most often used in these acute toxicity tests are the rat and/or the mouse. The LD50 criteria outlined in the table represent a reasonable "rule of thumb' for materials that require control due to their toxicity characteristics. The LD50 data should only be used if other criteria are unavailable. Eyewashes and safety showers

Whenever chemicals have the possibility of damaging the skin or eyes, an emergency supply of water must be available. All laboratories in which bulk quantities of hazardous chemicals are handled and could contact the eyes or skin resulting in injury should have access to eyewash stations and safety showers. As with any safety equipment, these can only be useful if they are accessible. Therefore:

  • Keep all passageways to the eyewash and shower clear of any obstacle (even a temporarily parked chemical cart.)
  • Eyewashes should be checked weekly to be certain that they are operating properly and do not contain rust or particles that could cause an eye injury.

Showers should be checked monthly to assure that access is not restricted and that the start chain is within reach.

The flow through the safety showers should be tested periodically to ensure sufficient flow (approximately 60 gallons per minute). Fire Safety Equipment

Fire safety equipment easily accessible to the laboratory must include a fire extinguisher (type ABC) and may include fire hoses, fire blankets, and automatic extinguishing systems.

2.4 Chemical Procurement, Distribution, and Storage

2.4.1 Procurement

Before a new substance that is known or suspected to be hazardous is received, information on proper handling, storage, and disposal should be known to those who will handle it. It is the responsibility of the department chair to ensure that the laboratory facilities in which the substance will be handled are adequate and that those who will handle the substance have received proper training. The necessary information on proper handling of hazardous substances can be obtained from the Safety Data Sheets which are provided by the vendor. Because storage in laboratories is restricted to small containers, order small-container lots to avoid hazards associated with repackaging. No container should be accepted without an adequate identifying label as outlined in Section of this manual.

2.4.2 Distribution

When hand carrying open containers of hazardous chemicals or unopened containers with corrosive or highly, acutely or chronically toxic chemicals, place the container in a secondary container or a bucket. Rubberized buckets are commercially available and provide both secondary containment as well as "bump" protection. If several bottles must be moved at once, the bottles should be transported on a small cart with a substantial rim to prevent slippage from the cart. Call the Department of Security and Safety and Campus Police for an escort and use an elevator to transport chemicals from one floor to another.

2.4.3 Chemical Storage in the Laboratory

Carefully read the label before storing a hazardous chemical. The SDS will provide any special storage information as well as information on incompatibilities. Do not store un-segregated chemicals in alphabetical order. Do not store incompatible chemicals in close proximity to each other. Separate hazardous chemicals in storage into twelve categories as follows:

Solids: -Oxidizers
-Flammable solids (red phosphorus, magnesium, lithium)
-Water reactives
Liquids: -Acids
-Perchloric acid
Gases: -Toxic

Once separated into the above hazard classes, chemicals may be stored alphabetically.

Use approved storage containers and safety cans for flammable liquids. It is preferable to store flammable chemicals in flammable storage cabinets. Flammable chemicals requiring refrigeration should be stored only in the refrigerators and freezers specifically designed for flammable storage.

A good place to store hazardous chemicals is a vented cabinet under the hood. Chemicals of different chemical classes can be segregated by placing them in trays. Do not store chemicals on bench tops or in hoods. Liquids (particularly corrosives or solvents) must not be stored above eye level.

Use secondary containers (one inside the other) for especially hazardous chemicals (carcinogens, etc.). Use spill trays under containers of strong reagents.

Avoid exposure of chemicals while in storage to heat sources (especially open flames), radiators, hotplates and direct sunlight.

Conduct periodic inventories of chemicals stored in the laboratory (annually) and dispose of old or unwanted chemicals promptly in accordance with CCRI's Hazardous Waste Management Program.

Insure all containers are properly labeled. Chemical Storage - Chemical Stability

Stability refers to the susceptibility of a chemical to dangerous decomposition. The label and SDS will indicate if a chemical is unstable.

Special note: Peroxide Formers - Ethers, liquid paraffin, and olefins form peroxides on exposure to air and light. Peroxides are extremely sensitive to shock, sparks, or other forms of accidental ignition (even more sensitive than primary explosives such as TNT).Since these chemicals are packaged in the air atmosphere, peroxides can form even though the containers have not been opened. Sealed containers of ethers must be discarded before the expiration date on the label. Hazardous waste disposal companies are forbidden by law to transport ether containers that have gone beyond their expiration date. CCRI is then forced to call the Rhode Island DEM or the State Fire Marshal's office to have the potentially explosive materials removed from College premises. Opened containers of ethers must be discarded at the end of each semester. All ether containers should be dated upon receipt and upon opening.

See Section 3.2, Highly Reactive Chemicals and High Energy Oxidizers for additional information and examples of materials which may form explosive peroxides.

For additional information on chemical stability, contact your supervisor or the Chemical Safety Coordinator. Chemical Storage - Incompatible Chemicals

Certain hazardous chemicals should not be mixed or stored with other chemicals because a severe reaction can take place or an extremely toxic reaction product can result. The label and SDS will contain information on incompatibilities. The following table, taken from the Manufacturing Chemists' Association, Guide for Safety in the Chemical Laboratory) contains examples of incompatible chemicals:

Chemical Incompatible - Keep out of Contact With
Acetic Acid Chromic acid, nitric acid, hydroxyl compounds, ethylene, glycol, perchloric acid, peroxides, permanganates
Acetone Concentrated nitric and sulfuric acid mixtures
Acetylene Chlorine, bromine, copper, fluorine, silver, mercury
Alkali Metals Water, carbon tetrachloride or other chlorinated hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, the halogens
Ammonia, anhydrous Mercury, chlorine, calcium hypochlorite, iodine, bromine, hydrofluoric acid
Ammonium Nitrate Acids, metal powders, flammable liquids, chlorates, nitrites, sulfur, finely divided organic or combustible materials
Aniline Nitric acid, hydrogen peroxide
Arsenical materials Any reducing agent
Azides Acids
Bromine Same as chlorine
Calcium Oxide Water
Carbon (activated) Calcium hypochlorite, all oxidizing agents
Carbon tetrachloride Sodium
Chlorates Ammonium salts, acids, metal powdered sulfur, finely divided organic or combustible materials
Chromic Acid Acetic acid, naphthalene, camphor, glycerin, turpentine, alcohol, flammable liquids in general
Chlorine Ammonia, acetylene, butadiene, butane, methane, propane (or other petroleum gases), hydrogen, sodium carbide, turpentine, benzene, finely divided metals
Chlorine Dioxide Ammonia, methane, phosphine, hydrogen sulfide
Copper Acetylene, hydrogen peroxide
Cumene Hydroperoxide Acids, organic or inorganic
Cyanides Acids
Flammable Liquids Ammonium nitrate, chromic acid, hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, sodium peroxide, halogens
Hydrocarbons Fluorine, chlorine, bromine, chromic acid, sodium peroxide
Hydrocyanic Acid Nitric acid, Alkalis
Hydrofluoric acid Ammonia, aqueous or anhydrous
Hydrogen Peroxide Copper, chromium, iron, most metals or their salts, alcohols, acetone, organic materials, aniline, nitromethane, flammable liquids, oxidizing gases
Hydrogen Sulfide Fuming nitric acid, oxidizing gases, acetylene, ammonia (aqueous or anhydrous), hydrogen
Hypochlorites Acids, activated carbon
Iodine Acetylene, ammonia (aqueous or anhydrous), hydrogen
Mercury Acetylene, fulminic acid, ammonia
Nitrates Sulfuric acid
Nitric Acid Acetic acid, aniline, chromic acid, hydrocyanic acid, hydrogen sulfide, flammable liquids, flammable gases
Nitrites Acids
Nitroparaffins Inorganic bases, amines
Oxalic Acid Silver, mercury
Oxygen Oils, grease, hydrogen, flammable liquids, solids, or gases
Perchloric Acid Acetic anhydride, bismuth and its alloys, alcohol, paper, wood
Peroxides, organic Acids (organic or mineral), avoid friction, store cold
Phosphorous (white) Air, oxygen, alkalis, reducing agents
Potassium Carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water
Potassium Chlorate Sulfuric and other acids
Potassium Permanganate Glycerin, ethylene glycol, benzaldehyde, sulfuric acid
Selenides Reducing agents
Silver Acetylene, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, ammonium compounds
Sodium Carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, water
Sodium nitrite Ammonium nitrate and other ammonium salts
Sodium Peroxide Ethyl or methyl alcohol, glacial acetic acid, acetic anhydride, benzaldehyde, carbon disulfide, glycerin, ethylene glycol, ethyl acetate, methyl acetate, furfural
Sulfides Acids
Sulfuric Acid Potassium chlorate, potassium perchlorate, potassium permanganate (and other compounds with similar anions)
Tellurides Reducing agents

2.5 Chemical Spills & Accidents

2.5.1 Prevention

The best approach to handling chemical spills is to avoid them in the first place. Try to anticipate them and remove those conditions that can lead to spills.

  • Avoid storage of large amounts of materials, either in containers larger than you need or in multiple containers of the same chemical. The Chemical Safety Coordinator can help you to dispose of excess inventory.
  • Use secondary containment such as plastic trays for particularly hazardous substances such as flammable solvents or concentrated acids.
  • Review your handling procedures of chemicals whose spillage might cause a severe problem and revise your handling procedures.
2.5.2 Cleaning Up Chemical Spills

Chemical spills should only be cleaned up by knowledgeable and trained personnel.

  • Obtain the necessary equipment ahead of time (spill kits and personal protective equipment) to respond to a minor spill.
  • Learn how to clean up minor spills of the chemicals you use regularly safely. A SDS contains special spill clean-up information and should also be consulted.
  • If the spill is too large for you to handle, is a threat to laboratory personnel or the public, or involves a highly toxic, or reactive chemical, call the Department of Security and Safety and Campus Police for assistance immediately.

    Campus Phone Number
    Knight 825-2109
    Flanagan 333-7035
    Providence 455-6050
    Newport County 851-1620
2.5.3 Minor Chemical Spill

If you are cleaning up a small spill yourself, make sure that you are aware of the hazards associated with the materials spilled, have adequate ventilation (open windows, chemical fume hood on) and proper personal protective equipment (minimum - gloves, protective eyewear, and lab coat).Consider all residual chemical and cleanup materials (absorbent, gloves, etc.) as hazardous waste. Place these materials in a sealed container (plastic bags) and store in a chemical fume hood. Contact the Chemical Safety Coordinator for disposal assistance.

  • Alert people in immediate area of spill
  • Increase ventilation in area of spill (turn on hoods).
  • Wear protective equipment, including safety goggles or other appropriate eyewear, gloves, and long-sleeve lab coat.
  • Avoid breathing vapors from spill.

Use appropriate kit to neutralize and absorb inorganic acids and bases. Collect residue, place in container, and dispose as hazardous chemical waste.

For other chemicals, use appropriate kit or absorb spill with vermiculite, dry sand, diatomaceous earth or paper towels. Collect residue, place in container, and dispose as chemical waste.

Clean spill area with paper towels and the appropriate solvent (water or small amount of an organic solvent when appropriate).Put the paper towels in plastic bags and label the as hazardous waste.

2.5.4 Major Chemical Spill

If the spill is too large for you to handle, is a threat to laboratory personnel or the public, or involves a highly toxic, irritating or reactive chemical, call the Department of Security and Safety and Campus Police for assistance immediately.

Campus Phone Number
Knight 825-2109
Flanagan 333-7035
Providence 455-6050
Newport County 851-1620

Follow the procedures outlined in CCRI’s Hazardous Substance Release Emergency Response Plan. That is, do not attempt to clean up anything but the most minor spill yourself. Security staff are trained in emergency response and will make the decision to call one or more of the following:

  • the Chemical Safety Coordinator,
  • the local fire department,
  • the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
  • one of the approved chemical emergency cleanup companies

After calling Security, attend to injured or contaminated persons and remove them from exposure. Alert people in the laboratory to evacuate.

If spilled material is flammable, turn off ignition and heat sources. Place other device (plastic bag) over spilled material to keep substance from volatilizing.

Close doors to affected area.

Have a person with knowledge of the incident and laboratory available to answer questions from responding emergency personnel.

Security will then notify the following according to the procedures specified in sections 2.5.2, 2.5.3, and 2.5.4 of this Plan and in CCRI's Hazard Substance Release Emergency Response Plan

The following five vendors are authorized under the new state Master Price Agreement to provide cleanup services for hazardous waste and petroleum-related emergencies at CCRI. Only the Department of Security and Safety and Campus Police and the Chemical Safety Coordinator are authorized to call them for assistance.

Hazardous Waste Cleanup Vendors
Company Name Address Telephone Number
American Environmental Technologies, INC. 7 Grandview Street
Coventry, RI 02816
1-800-562-7611 or
Clean Harbors Environmental Service, INC. 1 Terminal Road
Providence, RI 02905
1-800-641-0007 or
CYN Environmental, INC. 7 Morgan Mill Road
Johnston, RI 02919
1-888-827-7455 or
General Chemical 133 Leland Street
Framingham, MA 01701
1-800-225-1541 or
Lincoln Environmental, INC. 333 Washington Highway
Smithfield, RI 02917
1-800-659-3353 or

2.6 Personal Contamination and Injury

This information is to be given to all laboratory students at the start of each semester. Appropriate means of training students include demonstrations of safety equipment (eyewashes, showers, fire blankets, first aid kits, etc.), handouts, class discussions, safety videos and written examinations to test grasp of safety issues.

2.6.1 General Information

Know the locations of the nearest safety shower and eye wash fountain. Report all incidents and injuries to security. If an individual is contaminated or exposed to a hazardous material in your laboratory do what is necessary to protect his/her life and health as well as your own. Determine what the individual was exposed to. The SDS will contain special first aid information. Do not move an injured person unless he/she is in further danger (from inhalation or skin exposure). Get medical attention promptly by dialing Security:

Campus Phone Number
Knight 825-2109
Flanagan 333-7035
Providence 455-6050
Newport County 851-1620
2.6.2 Chemicals Spills on the Body

Quickly remove all contaminated clothing and footwear.

Immediately flood the affected body area in cold water for at least 15 minutes. Remove jewelry to facilitate removal of any residual material.

Wash off chemical with water only. Do not use neutralizing chemicals, unguents, creams, lotions or salves.

Get medical attention promptly.

It should be noted that some chemicals (phenol, aniline,) are rapidly absorbed through the skin. If a large enough area of skin is contaminated an adverse health effect (systemic toxicological reaction) may occur immediately to several hours after initial exposure depending on the chemical. If more than 9 square inches of skin area has been exposed to a hazardous chemical, seek medical attention after washing the material off the skin. If the incident involves hydrofluoric acid (HF), seek immediate medical attention. Provide the physician with the chemical name.

2.6.3 Chemical Splash in the Eye

Irrigate the eyeball and inner surface of eyelid with plenty of cool water for at least 15 minutes. Use eyewash or other water source. Forcibly hold eyelid open to ensure effective wash.

  • Check for and remove contact lenses.
  • Get medical attention promptly.
2.6.4 Ingestion of Hazardous Chemicals
  • Identify the chemical ingested.
  • Call for an ambulance by dialing Security:

    Campus Phone Number
    Knight 825-2109
    Flanagan 333-7035
    Providence 455-6050
    Newport County 851-1620
  • Call the Poison Control Center at Rhode Island Hospital by dialing (401) 444-5727
  • Cover the injured person to prevent shock.
  • Provide the ambulance crew and physician with the chemical name and any other relevant information. If possible send the container, MSDS or the label with the victim.
2.6.5 Inhalation of Smoke, Vapors and Fumes

Anyone overcome with smoke or chemical vapors or fumes should be removed to uncontaminated air and treated for shock.

Do not enter the area if you expect that a life threatening condition still exists-oxygen depletion, explosive vapors or highly toxic gases (cyanide gas, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide).

Persons who are CPR certified follow standard CPR protocols or immediately seek the assistance of someone who is trained and certified in CPR. Get medical attention promptly.

2.6.6 Burning Chemicals on Clothing

Extinguish burning clothing by using the drop-and-roll technique or by dousing with cold water, or use of emergency shower if it is immediately available. Remove contaminated clothing; however, avoid further damage to the burned area. If possible, wrap the victims clothing in plastic and send it with the victim to the hospital. Remove heat with cool water or ice packs until tissue around burn feels normal to the touch. Cover injured person to prevent shock. Get medical attention promptly.

Actions to be Avoided During Emergencies

There are some actions which must not be taken when handling emergencies. These include:

  • Do not force any liquids into the mouth of an unconscious person.
  • Do not handle emergencies alone, especially without notifying someone that the accident has occurred.
  • Do not linger at the accident scene if you are not one of the emergency responders.
2.7 Fire and Fire Related Emergencies

For the full text, view CCRI's Hazardous Substance Release Contingency Plan. A copy of CCRI's Emergency Response Guide for all campus emergencies is available from any office of the Department of Security and Safety and Campus Police.

If you discover a fire or fire-related emergency such as abnormal heating of material, a flammable gas leak, a flammable liquid spill, smoke, or odor of burning, immediately follow these procedures:

Notify the Fire Department by dialing Security:

Campus Phone Number
Knight 825-2109
Flanagan 333-7035
Providence 455-6050
Newport County 851-1620

Activate the building alarm (fire pull station). If the alarm is not available or operational, verbally notify people in the building.

Isolate the area by closing windows and doors and evacuate the building.

Shut down equipment in the immediate area, if possible.

Use a portable fire extinguisher to:

  • assist oneself to evacuate
  • assist another to evacuate;
  • and control a small fire, if possible.

Provide the fire/police teams with the details of the problem upon their arrival. Special hazard information you might know is essential for the safety of the emergency responders.

If the fire alarms are ringing in your building:

  • You must evacuate the building and stay out until notified to return.
  • Move upwind from the building and stay clear of streets, driveways, sidewalks and other access ways to the building.
  • If you are a faculty member, try to account for your students, keep them together and report any missing persons to the emergency personnel at the scene.
2.8 Chemical Waste Disposal Program

Laboratory chemical waste must be disposed of in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements. These waste management practices are designed to ensure maintenance of a safe and healthful environment for laboratory employees and the surrounding community without adversely affecting the environment. This is accomplished through regular removal of chemical waste and disposal of these wastes in compliance with all regulations and policies. Specific guidance on how to identify, handle, collect, segregate, store and dispose of chemical waste is available from your supervisor or the Chemical Safety Coordinator. Remember:

  • Hoods should not be used for disposing of volatile chemicals.
  • Drains should not be used for disposal of chemicals
  • Laboratory waste shall be disposed of in a timely manner.
  • Waste materials should be accumulated in a designated storage area consistent with applicable regulations.
  • Chemical waste is removed periodically from the College by arrangement with a licensed disposal company. Announcements are sent to all department chairs and paraprofessionals several weeks prior to each pickup.

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Last Updated: 1/25/18