Updated Managing Laboratory Chemicals Course
EH&S has updated its Managing Laboratory Chemicals course improving accessibility and learning concepts. This course should be completed by all personnel working in or overseeing laboratory functions and needs to be renewed every three years. You can check your training record through UW's My Training.
Keep Incompatible Materials Separated
Multiple incidents and near-misses have been recorded recently involving the mixing of incompatible materials. In one incident, a bottle of bleach was improperly stored in an acid cabinet. Presumably, leaking bleach reacted with leaking acid to liberate chlorine gas resulting in mild burning and dizziness of the individual involved in the cleanup.
In another incident, bleach solution was inadvertently added to cell culture waste that had already been inactivated with Trizol (a mix of phenol and guanidine isothiocyanate). This reaction liberates chlorine gas as well as hydrogen cyanide. The volumes involved were extremely low and did not represent a hazard in this instance but was still recorded as a near-miss.
These incidents highlight the importance of proper chemical storage as well as adherence to standard operating procedures and making sure that chemical waste is being handled properly.