Chemical Safety FAQs

OSHA’s laboratory safety and hazard communication standards require the employer to implement exposure control programs and convey chemical health and safety information to employees working with hazardous materials.

Therefore, any person working with chemicals must attend chemical safety training.

Only small volume containers of non-hazardous chemicals should be stored on elevated shelves. These include dry powders as well as aqueous solutions of buffers, salts and other dilute materials.

Stock containers of flammable and corrosive chemicals should always be separated from each other and stored at or below eye level. Use a flammable storable cabinet for flammable liquids and keep corrosive chemicals in secondary containers such as a plastic tray.

No. Chemicals need to be separated based on their hazard class. Sometimes this can be achieved by the use of secondary containers such as plastic trays. Please contact your Safety Advisor for assistance.

No. Toxic and other hazardous volatile chemicals should always be handled and manipulated inside a chemical fume hood.

Yes. There are limits on flammable chemicals, toxic and flammable gas cylinders and other high-hazard chemicals, as described in the Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan. EHS recommends only keeping the chemicals you need on hand in your laboratory.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s) may be obtained from the manufacturer or distributor of a chemical, through the MSDSonline-Safety Data Sheet Management System or by calling EHS at 203-785-3550. Click here for more information on Safety Data Sheets.

Empty containers that previously held an acute hazardous waste chemical require special handling. For these materials, the container is considered empty if it has been triple-rinsed using a suitable solvent and all of the rinsate has been collected for disposal as hazardous waste. If the container is not first cleaned as stated above, it is hazardous waste and must be disposed as such.

Empty containers that did not previously hold an acute hazardous waste chemical, but previously held a chemical prohibited from drain disposal by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protections (Appendix F of the Management of Hazardous Waste Procedure) shall be sufficiently rinsed with water to remove any residue and the rinsate collected for disposal as hazardous waste. After rinsing the container, the label must be defaced by either removing it, spray painting over it, or covering it with a bold marker, and the container placed into the normal trash.

Other empty containers shall be sufficiently rinsed with water to remove any residue, the rinsate drain disposed, the labels defaced, and placed into the normal trash.

Normal trash glass bottles shall be placed in a plastic bag and put into any cardboard box. The box shall be sealed and the words “Broken Glass” written on the top. It can then be placed with your normal trash for removal by custodial services.

All biological and chemical waste tags can be found in either the SHM, KBT or West Campus Resource Center stockrooms. All radioactive waste requests are submitted through EHS Integrator. When you submit a request, the system automatically generates a completed waste tag to attach to waste containers.

Yes. Visit the Eli Surplus Exchange portal and browse the current list of chemicals available free of charge or upload your chemical information and picture directly to the site.