Chemical Hygiene Policy

University Chemical Hygiene Program

Table of Contents
  1.0 Introduction
  2.0 Personnel Responsible for the Chemical Hygiene Program
  3.0 Prior Approval
  4.0 General Safe Work Practices
  5.0 Procedures for Specific Classes of Chemicals
  6.0 Control Measures
  7.0 Chemical Detection
  8.0 Safety Surveys and Audits
  9.0 Medical Consultations and Examinations
10.0 Information and Training
11.0 Definitions
Appendix 1 (Carcinogenic Materials)
Appendix 2 (Reproductive Toxins)
Appendix 3 (Fire & Explosion Hazards)
Appendix 4 (Incompatible Chemicals)
Appendix 5 (Acutely Toxic Materials)
Appendix 6 (Special Handling - Hazardous Materials)
Appendix 7 (Emergency Procedures)
Appendix 8 (Lab Audit Form)
Appendix 9 (Reference Materials)
Appendix 10 (Training Checklist)


BYU-IDAHO Chemical Hygiene Program

1.0 Introduction.

BYU-Idaho is committed to providing a safe work-place for all individuals working in university facilities. The wide diversity of possible operations and materials involved in research settings make it impossible to develop a single set of work rules and procedures that would apply to all projects and settings. The Chemical Hygiene Program is intended to set forth generally accepted procedures and practices for working in laboratories. The plan is intentionally designed to allow faculty flexibility to adapt to the varied conditions they encounter in providing instruction. This variability places the primary responsibility for establishing specific safe work practices and providing applicable training for each specific situation on department chairs.

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2.0 Personnel responsible for the Chemical Hygiene Program.

2.1 University Safety Committee.
The University Safety Committee is appointed by the University President. This committee reports to the President's Council. The committee consists of faculty members from various academic divisions and administrators from representative university departments.  The University Safety Committee, in conjunction with pertinent faculty members who oversee the various campus laboratories, is responsible for the establishment, audit, and review of policies and procedures relating to the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals on the university campus.

2.2 Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO). The Chemical Hygiene Office of Brigham Young University-Provo shall serve as a consultant to the BYU-Idaho Safety Officer and shall provide chemicals management assistant to BYU-Idaho pursuant to the memorandum of understanding established between BYU-Idaho and Brigham Young University-Provo. Chemical Hygiene consultation services can also be contracted if local and immediate assistance is required.

2.3 Chemical Safety Team. The University Safety Officer, the Chemicals Inventory Manager and respective Department Chairpersons have joint responsibility for the coordination of chemicals management, safe laboratory practices, incident investigation and disposal of hazardous wastes. The Chemical Safety Team is responsible for promoting safe conduct of work involving hazardous materials performed on the campus. Responsibilities also include the development of safe work procedures for laboratories and ensuring that those who work in the laboratories are properly trained to such procedures.

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3.0 Prior Approval

3.1 Prior Approval (Laboratory Level). Approval to proceed with a laboratory task or group of experiments shall be obtained from the appropriate department chair person, or his or her designee, whenever:

3.1.1 A new lab procedure or test is to be carried out.

3.1.2 It is likely that allowable limit concentrations (i.e. TLV, PEL, ceiling limit) could be exceeded.

3.1.3 There is a failure or malfunction of any of the equipment used in the process which could increase chemical exposure (i.e. failure of the laboratory hood).

3.2 Prior Approval (University Level). Approval to proceed must be obtained from the University Safety Committee or the University Safety Officer (496-2457) whenever the hazardous material in use could potentially cause injury or death beyond the confines of the laboratory involved.

3.2.1 The following materials require prior approval before use.

3.2.1.1 Fluorine

3.2.1.2 Hydrogen cyanide

3.2.1.3 Hydrogen fluoride (anhydrous)

3.2.1.4 Nickel carbonyl

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4.0 General Safe Work Practices.

4.1 Working Alone. Avoid working alone in a laboratory or chemical storage area.

4.2 Eye Protection. Wear appropriate eye protection when using chemicals that are toxic, irritating, or corrosive to the eyes.

4.3 Personal Hygiene.

4.3.1 In cases of skin contact with a chemical wash the affected area thoroughly and promptly.

4.3.2 Avoid inhaling laboratory chemicals. Do not "sniff test" chemicals.

4.3.3 Do not use mouth suction for pipetting any laboratory chemicals; use suction bulbs or other similar methods.

4.3.4 Wash hands with soap and water before leaving the laboratory; do not wash with solvents.

4.3.5 Do not eat, drink, or apply cosmetics in chemical storage areas or chemical use areas.

4.4 Spills and Accidents.

4.4.1 Promptly clean up spills of hazardous chemicals if you have the necessary equipment and proper training to do so. If you do not have the proper equipment or training, contact your supervisor or the University Safety Officer.

4.4.2 Spills of toxic substances or accidents involving any hazardous chemical that present an immediate health or safety threat should be immediately reported to Campus Police by dialing 911.

4.4.3 Properly dispose of the spilled chemical and cleanup materials. For information on proper disposal, call the University Safety Officer at 496-2457 or 496-2414.

4.5 Housekeeping.

4.5.1 Access to emergency equipment, showers, eye washes, and exits should never be blocked.

4.5.2 Keep all work areas, especially laboratory benches and walkways, clear of clutter.

4.5.3 Keep aisles, hallways, and stairs clear of chemicals.

4.5.4 Place all chemicals in their assigned storage areas at the end of each workday.

4.6 Labeling

4.6.1 Ensure that all chemicals are properly labeled when received from the manufacturer. The manufacturer's label should include the name of the chemical, and any appropriate hazard warnings. If the manufacturer's label becomes defaced or illegible it should be replaced with an appropriate label.

4.6.2 Do not leave unlabeled portable (secondary) containers in the laboratory for more than one shift. Unlabeled containers with unknown contents must be considered as waste, and disposed of accordingly.

4.6.3 Properly label wastes and store them in appropriate containers.

4.7 Required Information. All university personnel should know the following about chemicals with which they work:

4.7.1 The chemical's hazards, as determined from the MSDS and other appropriate references (see appendix 9).

4.7.2 Appropriate safeguards for using that chemical, including any protective equipment, as listed in the MSDS.

4.7.3 The location and proper use of emergency equipment.

4.7.4 Proper chemical storage when not in use.

4.7.5 Proper personal hygiene practices.

4.7.6 Proper methods of transporting chemicals in the facility.

4.7.7 Appropriate emergency procedures, including evacuation routes, spill cleanup procedures, and proper waste disposal.

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5.0 Procedures for Specific Classes of Chemicals.

5.1 Procedures for Toxic Chemicals.

5.1.1 When a TLV or PEL value is less than 50 ppm, the chemical shall be used in an operating fume hood, glove box, vacuum line, or similar device. Use of such chemicals without these safety controls should be approved by the University Safety Committee.

5.1.2 If a TLV, PEL, or comparable value is not available for a substance, then the chemical shall be used in an operating fume hood, glove box, vacuum line, or similar device. Alternatively, the University Safety Committee may approve the use of these chemicals without such safety controls.

5.1.3 Whenever laboratory handling of toxic substances with moderate or greater vapor pressures which will likely exceed air concentration limits, laboratory work with such liquids and solids shall be conducted in a fume hood, glove box, vacuum line, or similar device. Use of these chemicals without these safety controls should be approved by the University Safety Committee.

5.2 Procedures for Flammable Chemicals.

5.2.1 Storage. Quantities of fire-hazard chemicals greater than necessary for one day's use shall be stored in flammable storage cabinets or flammable storage rooms. Cabinets designed for the storage of flammable materials should be properly used and maintained. Read and follow the manufacturer's information and also follow these safety practices:

5.2.1.1 Store only compatible materials inside a cabinet.

5.2.1.2 Do not store paper, cardboard, or other combustible material in a flammable storage cabinet.

5.2.1.3 Do not overload a cabinet; the NFPA establishes quantity limits for various sizes of flammable-liquid storage cabinets. Contact the Safety Department for assistance in determining quantity limits.

5.2.2 Use. Fire-hazard chemicals that are in use shall be placed in a safety can if the quantity in use exceeds 500 ml for class 1A flammable liquids or one liter for classes 1B or 1C flammable liquids unless the flammable liquid is inside equipment, instruments, or apparatus intended for that material. High-purity chemicals that would be compromised by use in a safety can may be used in their original container in quantities no greater than that necessary for one day's use. Quantities of high purity materials greater than necessary for one day's use shall be stored in a safety cabinet. Safety cans should be used only as recommended by the manufacturer, including the following safety practices:

5.2.2.1 Never disable the spring-loaded closure.

5.2.2.2 Always keep the flame-arrestor screen in place; replace the screen if it is punctured or damaged.

5.3 Procedures for Reactive Chemicals. The most complete and reliable reference on chemical reactivity is found in the current edition of Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards by L. Bretherick, published by Butterworths. Reactivity information is sometimes given in manufacturer's MSDSs and on labels. Reactivity information can be found in regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 49 CFR and by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 40 CFR. Extensive reactivity information is available on the MSDS database available at the Safety Office. Also see NFPA Manual 325M, Fire Hazard Properties of Flammable Liquids, Gases, Volatile Solids; Manual 49, Hazardous Chemicals Data; and Manual 491M, Manual of Hazardous Chemical Reactions. For help in obtaining references, contact the Safety Officer at 496-2457.   Handle reactive chemicals in accordance with the safety precautions indicated in the MSDS and other appropriate reference material.

5.4 Procedures for Corrosives and Contact Hazard Chemicals. When working with corrosive or contact hazard chemicals follow the safety precautions contained in the applicable MSDS. As a general rule, the following personal protective equipment shall be worn when working with corrosives and contact hazard chemicals:

5.4.1 safety goggles,

5.4.2 face shield,

5.4.3 chemical resistant gloves

5.4.4 laboratory apron or laboratory coat.

5.5 Procedures for Carcinogens, Reproductive Toxins, and Highly Toxic Materials. Follow the procedures described in the MSDS and this section when performing laboratory work with greater than 100 mg of any select carcinogen, reproductive toxin, or highly toxic material. Chemicals in these three categories shall be designated "inimical" unless the University Safety Committee rules otherwise.

5.5.1 Work with inimical agents shall be conducted in "designated areas."

5.5.2 "Designated areas" shall be posted and their boundaries clearly marked. Only those persons trained to work with inimical chemicals shall work with those chemicals in a designated area. All such persons shall:

5.5.2.1 Use the smallest amount of chemical that is possible with the requirements of the work to be done.

5.5.2.2 Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or high efficiency scrubber systems as appropriate to protect vacuum lines and pumps.

5.5.2.3 Decontaminate the designated area when work is completed.

5.5.2.4 Prepare wastes from work with inimical chemicals for waste disposal in accordance with the specific disposal procedures designated by the University Safety Officer (496-2457).

5.5.2.5 Store all inimical chemicals in locked, enclosed spaces that have a slight negative pressure compared to the rest of the building.

5.5.2.6 Because the decontamination of jewelry may be difficult or impossible, do not wear jewelry when working in designated areas.

5.5.2.7 When working in designated areas, wear long-sleeved disposable clothing and gloves known to resist permeation by the chemicals to be used.

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6.0 Control Measures.

Control measures utilized by the university to reduce employee exposures to hazardous chemicals include training and employee awareness, engineering controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE). The primary control method shall be the use of engineering controls.

6.1 General Ventilation. As a general rule, the laboratory ventilation should provide at least six air changes per hour, though this flow is not necessarily sufficient to prevent accumulation of hazardous chemical concentration levels.

6.2 Fume hoods.

6.2.1 All work with hazardous chemicals should be conducted in a fume hood whenever practicable. This is especially true for those chemicals that have a TLV of less than 200 ppm, or that have a boiling point below 38o C (100o F). Work with inimical chemicals that cannot be done under a hood must be approved by department chair person.

6.2.2 Fume hoods should provide 60 to 150 linear feet per minute of air flow at any point across the sash opening.

6.2.3 A fume hood is a safety backup for condensers, traps, or other devices that collect vapors and fumes. It shall not be used to "dispose" of chemicals by evaporation unless the vapors are trapped and recovered for proper waste disposal.

6.2.4 Apparatus that hold or use hazardous chemicals inside a hood should be placed on the floor of the hood at least six inches away from the front edge.

6.2.5 Fume hood windows should be lowered (closed) except when working inside the hood. When working inside the hood the windows should be positioned as low as practicable.

6.2.6 The hood(s) should be kept operating whenever a chemical is inside the hood(s), whether or not any work is being done in the hood.

6.2.7 Personnel should be aware of the steps to be taken in the event of power failure or other hood malfunction. Such malfunctions should be reported to the Safety Officer (496-2457). An outline of emergency response information is located in appendix 7 in the back of this program.

6.2.8 Hood vent ducts and fans should be inspected annually to be sure they are both clean and clear of obstructions.

6.2.9 Perchloric acid shall be handled only in a hood specifically designed for that work.

6.2.10 Laboratory hoods will be tested annually for appropriate airflow by the HVAC and Safety Departments. Hoods that pass the airflow requirements will have a sticker attached showing the airflow measurements and test date. If this sticker is absent or if the last test date is over 1 year old the hood should not be used and the Safety Officer should be contacted at 496-2457.

6.3 Eyewash Fountains and Safety Showers.

6.3.1 All laboratory areas using corrosive or contact hazard materials should be equipped with eye washes and safety showers. These must be located so they can be reached quickly from any point in the laboratory.

6.3.2 Emergency eyewash fountains and safety showers should be inspected monthly for proper functioning. Water flow rate tests are required annually. Any malfunctions should be repaired as soon as possible.

6.3.3 Access to eyewash fountains and safety showers shall not be restricted or blocked.

6.4 Protective Clothing and Equipment.

6.4.1 Safety glasses or goggles are to be worn at all times in a laboratory where a chemical splash hazard exists. When working with more than 100 ml of a corrosive liquid, a face shield, type N, is required. Eye protection should meet the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1 (ANSI approved eye protection is stamped with "Z87").

6.4.2 When working with corrosive or toxic liquids, wear gloves made of material known to be resistant to the chemical. Test gloves for leakage by air inflation before use (do not inflate by mouth).

6.4.3 When the hazard warrants such protection, wear either a high necked, calf- or ankle-length, laboratory apron or a long-sleeved, calf- or ankle-length, laboratory coat which has at least minimal resistance to heat or flame. High-heeled, open-toed, or cloth shoes offer inadequate protection, and should not be worn in areas where certain hazardous materials are present.

6.4.4 Respirators. When other hazard control methods do not reduce employee exposures below allowable levels employees should wear respirators. The BYU-Idaho written Respiratory Protection Program shall be followed by all university personnel that wear respiratory protective devices. These requirements include but are not limited to the following:

6.4.4.1 A medical evaluation to determine if an individual is physically able to perform work while wearing a respirator.

6.4.4.2 Fit testing.

6.4.4.3 Selection of the proper respirator.

6.4.4.4 A written standard operating procedure.

6.4.4.5 Training on the proper use, inspection, maintenance, and cleaning of the respirator.

6.4.4.6 Proper storage.

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7.0 Chemical Detection.

The University Safety Officer and pertinent faculty members will be responsible for monitoring laboratories to detect the presence or release of hazardous chemicals. In addition, lab workers should be aware of any suspicious odors or visual appearances that may indicate a hazardous chemical release. However, odor shall not be used as a definitive means to determine if inhalation exposure limits are being exceeded. Whenever there is reason to suspect that a chemical inhalation limit might be exceeded, the supervisor shall be notified. In such cases, laboratory workers may be required to wear a respirator suitable for protection against the suspect chemical until air measurements show that the applicable limit is not exceeded.

7.1 Initial Monitoring. The university shall be responsible for measuring employee's exposure to any substance regulated by a standard which requires monitoring if there is reason to believe that exposure levels for that substance routinely exceed the action level or PEL.

7.2 Periodic Monitoring. If the initial monitoring shows employee exposure to be over the action level or PEL the exposure monitoring requirements of the relevant standard will be complied with.

7.3 Termination of Monitoring. Monitoring will be terminated in accordance with the relevant standard.

7.4 Notification of Monitoring Results. The university shall notify the affected persons of monitoring results in accordance with applicable OSHA regulations.

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8.0 Safety Surveys and Audits.

8.1 Annual Safety Inspection. Laboratory facilities shall be inspected at least annually by the Safety Officer or his or her designee. A written record of this inspection shall be maintained in the department office. This inspection may be performed by use of the safety inspection form in appendix 8.

8.2 Safety Audits. Safety audits shall be conducted by the Safety Officer. Reports of these audits shall be submitted to the University Safety Committee and respective Division Deans. In addition, the report shall be sent to the appropriate department office.

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9.0 Medical Consultations and Examinations.

9.1 Conditions Leading to Medical Attention. Under the following circumstances BYU-Idaho shall provide all employees who work with hazardous chemicals an opportunity to receive medical attention, including any follow-up examinations which the examining physician determines to be necessary:

9.1.1 Employees With Symptoms of Chemical Exposure. Whenever an employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which the employee may have been exposed in the laboratory, the employee shall be provided an opportunity to receive an appropriate medical examination.

9.1.2 Exposure Levels Exceeding Allowable Limits. Where monitoring reveals an exposure level routinely above the action level (or in the absence of an action level, the PEL) for an OSHA regulated substance, for which there are exposure monitoring and medical surveillance requirements, medical surveillance shall be established for the affected employee as prescribed by the particular standard.

9.1.3 Accidental Exposures. Whenever an event takes place in the work area, such as a spill, leak, explosion or other occurrence resulting in the likelihood of hazardous exposure, the affected employee(s) shall be provided an opportunity for a medical consultation. Such consultation shall be for the purpose of determining the need of a medical examination.

9.2 Qualifications of Medical Consultant. All medical examinations and consultations shall be performed by or under the direct supervision of a licensed physician and shall be provided without cost to the employee, without loss of pay, and at a reasonable time and place.

9.3 Information Provided to the Physician. BYU-Idaho shall provide the following information to the physician:

9.3.1 Identity of Hazardous Material. The identity of the hazardous chemicals to which the employee may have been exposed.

9.3.2 Description of Exposure Conditions. A description of the conditions under which the exposure occurred, including quantitative exposure data if available.

9.3.3 Description of Exposure Symptoms. A description of the employee's signs and symptoms of exposure, if any.

9.4 Physician's Written Opinion. For examination or consultation required under this plan, BYU-Idaho shall obtain a written opinion from the examining physician, that shall include the following:

9.4.1 Follow-up. Any recommendation for further medical follow-up.

9.4.2 Results. The results of the medical examination and any associated tests.

9.4.3 Related Medical Conditions. Any medical condition that may be revealed in the course of the examination that may place the employee at increased risk as a result of exposure to a hazardous chemical found in the work-place.

9.4.4 Statement to Employees. A statement that the employee has been informed by the physician of the results of the consultation or medical examination and any medical condition that may require further examination or treatment.

9.4.5 Findings Not Reported. No specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure.

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10.0 Information and Training.

Employees shall be provided with information and training to ensure that they are aware of the hazards of chemicals present in their work areas. Department chair persons and the Safety Officer are responsible for ensuring that employees are adequately trained. Written documentation of this training should be kept by the department chair person. An example of a training checklist is given in Appendix 10.

10.1 When Training Is Given. Such information shall be provided at the time of an employee's initial assignment to a work area where hazardous chemicals are present and prior to assignments involving new exposure situations. Refresher training shall be provided every three years.

10.2 Required Information. Employees shall be informed of the following:

10.2.1 Laboratory Standard. The contents of the Laboratory Standard and its appendices, which shall be made available to employees.

10.2.2 Chemical Hygiene Program. The location and availability of the Chemical Hygiene Program.

10.2.3 Exposure Limits. The permissible exposure limits for OSHA-regulated substances or recommended exposure limits for other hazardous chemicals where no OSHA standard applies.

10.2.4 Exposure Symptoms. Signs and symptoms associated with exposures to hazardous chemicals used in the laboratory.

10.2.5 References. The location and availability of known reference material on the hazards, safe handling, storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals found in the laboratory, including but not limited to Material Safety Data Sheets received from the chemical supplier.

10.3 Required Training. Employee training shall include:

10.3.1 Detection. Methods and observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical (such as monitoring conducted by the employer, continuous monitoring devices, visual appearance or odor of hazardous chemicals when being released, etc.)

10.3.2 Hazards. The physical and health hazards of chemicals in a work area.

10.3.3 Protection. The measures employees can take to protect themselves from these hazards, including specific procedures the university has implemented to protect employees from exposure to hazardous chemicals, such as appropriate work practices, emergency procedures, and personal protective equipment to be used.

10.3.4 Chemical Hygiene Program. The employee shall be trained on the applicable details of the Chemical Hygiene Program.

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11.0 Definitions.

11.1 Contact Hazard Chemical. An allergen or sensitizer that:

11.1.1 Is so identified or described in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or on the label.

11.1.2 Is known to be an allergen or sensitizer.

11.2 Corrosive chemical. A chemical that causes destruction of living tissue by chemical action at the site of contact.

11.3 Designated area. A hood, glove box, portion of a laboratory, or an entire laboratory room designated as the only area where work with quantities of inimical chemicals in excess of the specified limit shall be conducted.

11.3.1 Labeling. It is the responsibility of laboratory supervisors to define the designated areas in their laboratories and to post these areas with conspicuous signs reading - DESIGNATED AREA FOR USE OF PARTICULARLY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES C AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.

11.4 Fire Hazard Chemicals. Chemicals with a flash point below 100o F (38o C) will be considered "fire-hazard chemicals". Flammable liquid classification is as follows:

11.4.1 Class 1A - flash point below 73o F (23o C) and boiling point below 100o F (38o C).

11.4.2 Class 1B - flash point below 73o F (23o C) and boiling point above 100o F (38o C).

11.4.3 Class 1C - flash point between 73o (23o C) and 100o F (38o C).

11.5 Highly Toxic Materials. Any substance for which the LC50 data described in the applicable MSDS is less than 200 ppm, or the IDLH is less than 50 ppm. In addition, any substance with an LD50 of 50 mg/kg or less shall be considered highly toxic.

11.6 Inimical Chemical. A material that is a reproductive toxin, a select carcinogen, a highly toxic material, or a reactive chemical.

11.7 PEL. The permissible exposure limit is the legal limit set by OSHA for work-place exposures (see 29 CFR 1910 subpart Z).

11.8 Reactive Chemical. (see section 5.3) A chemical that will vigorously polymerize, decompose, condense or become self reactive due to shock, pressure, or temperature. Included in this definition are explosive materials, organic peroxides, pressure generating materials and water reactive materials.

11.9 Reproductive toxin. Any substance described as such in the applicable MSDS (see appendix 2).

11.10 Select carcinogen. Any substance defined as such in 29 CFR 1910.1450 and any other substance described as such in the applicable MSDS (see appendix 1).

11.11 TLV. The threshold limit value is the airborne concentration of a material beyond which an individual should not be exposed without appropriate personal protective equipment. The TLV is set by the American Conference of Governmental and Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).

11.12 Unknown Hazard Chemicals. A chemical for which no known statistically significant study has been conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that establishes its toxicity.

***Appendices 1 - 7 were patterned after information in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chemical Hygiene Plan and Safety Manual, written by Robert J. Silbey and Rick L. Danheiser.

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APPENDIX 9 C Reference Materials

(The following reference materials are available through the Safety Office. Call 496-2457 and ask for the Chemical Hygiene Officer).

1. American Chemical Society, Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories, 4th edition, 1985.

2. Bretherick, L., Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards, 2nd edition, Butterworths, London, 1979.

3. Furr, K., Handbook of Laboratory Safety, 3rd edition, CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Florida, 1990.

4. National Research Council, Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, National Academy Press, Washington, DC. 1981.

5. Western Fire Chiefs Association, Uniform Fire Code, Ontario California, 1991.

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