TABLE 4-2 Summary of Chemical Hazards

Chemical Hazard and Operation

Precautionary Measures

Chemical disinfectants and cleaning solutions. Sodium hypochlorite, phenolic solutions, hydrogen peroxide, quartenary ammonium compounds, chlorine dioxide solutions, glutaraldehyde

Prevent splash exposures to corrosive solutions by using face shields or safety goggles; avoid contact by use of impervious gloves, apron, sleeve covers, boots, other chemical-impervious equipment; where potentially injurious gaseous or aerosol air-contaminant exposures are possible, provide capture exhaust ventilation or respiratory protection

Volatile anesthetics. Isofluorane, halothane, nitrous oxide, enflurane

Use a scavenging anesthesia system to capture waste anesthetic gases; vacuum or mechanical venting of scavenging system is most effective; do not use electrocautery or other sparking equipment where oxygen and anesthetic gases are being released


Disinfectant solutions are used extensively in nonhuman-primate settings and have been the cause of skin and eye irritation and corrosive burn injuries. Disinfectant cleaners that are in common use include:

  • Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)

  • pH-optimized bleach (pH 7.2)

  • Chlorine dioxide solutions

  • Quaternary ammonia mixtures

  • Phenolic cleaners

  • Hydrogen peroxide-peracetic acid cleaners

  • Glutaraldehyde and formaldehyde fumigant

All of these cleaners have the potential for causing corrosive injury to the eyes and skin as a result of direct liquid splashes. The choice of protective eyewear and chemical-protective footwear, gloves, and other clothing depends on how the disinfectant is being applied. Application of a disinfectant in accordance with the manufacturer’s label with a hand mop can generally be performed safely if the user wears protective eyewear, gloves, boots, and coveralls or an apron that provide a barrier to direct splashes. An industrial hygienist or safety professional should be consulted on safety precautions if fumigation or pressurized sprayer application of chlorine dioxide, pH-optimized bleach, hydrogen peroxide,

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