Tag Archives: Control Banding

Characterising bias in regulatory risk and decision analysis

There’s an interesting, although dense, article at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412016303877
entitled “Characterising bias in regulatory risk and decision analysis: An analysis of heuristics applied in health technology appraisal, chemicals regulation, and climate change governance”. It describes the root issues that many of us face in using specific tools (GHS, Job Hazard Analysis, Control Banding, etc.) to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. I am particularly interested in the article’s discussion of decision rules in Table 1 and how that compares to the various approaches outlined in Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories.

In my mind, the goal of the article is to remind us to put some error bars arounds our decision-making criteria as we proceed with any of these approaches.

Update on Chemical Safety Information in PubChem

PubChem LCSS Update – March 2017

The PubChem database, hosted by the US National Library of Medicine, includes a wide variety of data on over 90 million chemical compounds. PubChem’s  goal  is to make this data accessible to chemists, chemical safety professionals, chemical educators and others working with laboratory chemicals. Data are reported from multiple sources, allowing users to compare and determine the best use of this data in their work. The data are also organized to facilitate downloading in a variety of formats as well via programmatic access for reuse in local software applications.

In addition to structural, physical and toxicological raw data, the PubChem collection includes chemical safety information from national and international agencies. For human browsers, this chemical safety information in PubChem is organized into a data view based on the Laboratory Chemical Safety Summary (LCSS) format described in “Prudent Practices in the Laboratory“.  This LCSS view chemical and physical properties and safety information for compounds that have Globally Harmonized System designations publicly available. The number of records with this chemical safety information has increased from 3000 in 2015 to more than 103,000 today. LCSS data provided by PubChem are intended to support, but not replacelaboratory risk assessments, Safety Data Sheets and institutional guidance for safe laboratory practices and procedures.

Notably, the data compiled by PubChem includes safety information beyond that generally provided by Safety Data Sheets. This additional information is found in sources such as the NIOSH Pocket Guide, CAMEO and European Chemicals Agency, among others. There are also specific incompatible reactions reported from the  Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), sourced from Sigma Aldrich Safety Center notes, the National Fire Protection Association Fire Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials, Sax’s Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Bretherick’s Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards and others.

LCSS data can be viewed online, or downloaded either by individual compound or in bulk.  In this way, PubChem information can be used to support electronic safety tools such as institutional chemical inventory management systems or laboratory-specific personal protective equipment guidelines. More information about this feature can be found here.

Traffic to the safety information in PubChem has increased over 80% in the past year. The PubChem staff are interested in continuing to improve the usability and accessibility of this information to the laboratory community. To this end, representatives of the ACS Divisions of Chemical Information (CINF) and Chemical Health and Safety (CHAS) are working with the PubChem staff to identify additional sources and uses for health and safety data. Efforts are also underway to improve annotation of the data and enable more specific data retrieval options.  We welcome  ideas for organization and presentation of the data. To participate or provide comments, contact the CINF safety representative, Leah McEwen at lrm1@cornell.edu or the CHAS secretary, Ralph Stuart at ralph.stuart@keene.edu.

Control Banding in the Laboratory

Here is a collection of web-based information about using chemical safety levels or other control banding techniques in the laboratory. If you know of another resource or example that we should add to the list, contact us at secretary@dchas.org.

General Information

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

OSH Answers Fact Sheets

NIOSH Control Banding Page

Overview of Control Banding Theory and Research

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

Wikipedia description:

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe “About the GHS” page:

OSHA guidance:

PubChem Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries:

1999 Article in the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety

Chemical safety levels (CSLs): A proposal for chemical safety practices in microbiological and biomedical laboratories

Specific Applications

Laboratory Inspection Frequency

University of Michigan Lab Hazard Rank

Laboratory Personal Protective Equipment Selection Guide

University of South Florida

Laboratory Standard Operating Procedures

University of California Davis

Laboratory Ventilation

Cornell University Ithaca Laboratory Ventilation Management Plan

Laboratory Emergency Response

University of North Carolina Greensboro

Working Safely with Engineered Nanomaterials in Academic Research Setting

California Nanosafety Consortium of Higher Education

Control Bands in Biosafety Settings

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition