- Descriptions of the Laboratory Use Cases
- Types of Laboratories
- Non-Laboratory Use Cases
- Links to Chemical Safety Data Sources
Descriptions of the Laboratory Use Case
Based on the OSHA definition of laboratory, the laboratory use case involves “laboratory scale” quantities of chemicals and includes hazard control measures appropriate to this setting. These measures are:
- general and local ventilation;
- appropriate personal protective equipment;
- waste disposal management systems; and
- emergency planning and response support services.
In this context, the questions to be answered by those planning and overseeing prudent use of hazardous chemicals are:
- Does the use of this chemical require the use of a fume hood or other local ventilation system?
- What PPE is appropriate for the use of this chemical? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using PPE with this chemical?
- What waste disposal protocols are required to legally dispose of this chemical?
- Are unusual emergency response protocols necessary for work involving this chemical?
- Are there specific chemical reactivity hazards associated with the use of this chemical that all users should be aware of?
Types of Laboratories
Within the general category of “laboratory“, there are 3 types of labs whose use of hazardous chemicals can be further described. Differences in these use cases may impact the safety information needed to address the questions above.
- Teaching laboratory setting: short term use of specific chemicals at specific concentrations in procedures with expected outcomes; close oversight of inexperienced lab workers by experienced personnel can be assumed. Quantities of chemicals used are likely to be at the lower edge of “laboratory scale” as defined by OSHA. (less than 500 ml/student)
- Research laboratory setting: evolving use of chemicals with uncertain process outcomes for lengths of time determined by results of work; diverse group of lab workers with loose supervision by experienced personnel. Quantities of chemicals used are unpredictable, as are concentrations.
- Service laboratory setting: long term use of specific chemicals in similar processes with reproducible outcomes on an long term basis. Quantities of chemicals used are likely to be at the upper edge of “laboratory scale” as defined by OSHA (use of 1 to 5 gallons at a time). Note: some labs conducting research in allied sciences may use chemicals more like a service lab than like a research lab.
Non-Laboratory Use Cases
- Household use of a chemical: quantities of chemicals similar to lab uses, but used in accordance with manufacturer instructions to achieve a specific outcome
- Commercial, manufacturing, or other large-scale use of chemicals;
- Consequences of abuse of a chemical by deliberate ingestion, inhalation, or injection;
- Environmental effects of release, disposal, or incineration of a chemical;
- Hazmat response
- Shipment or transportation of a chemical in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Links to Chemical Safety Data Sources
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