FIGURE 5.1 Compatible storage group classification system. This system should be used in conjunction with specific storage conditions taken from the manufacturer’s label and material safety data sheet. SOURCE: Adapted from Stanford University’s ChemTracker Storage System. Used with permission from Lawrence M. Gibbs, Stanford University. NOTE: Also available on the CD accompanying this book.

   oxidizers, including peroxides;

   corrosives—inorganic bases;

   corrosives—inorganic acids, not including oxidizers or combustibles;

   flammable materials;

   reproductive toxins;

   select carcinogens; and

   substances with a high degree of acute toxicity.

Depending on the chemicals, their amounts, and the activities of your laboratory, it may make sense to separate these alternative storage groups. Also be sure to follow any storage information on the container’s label or on the chemical’s MSDS.

In seismically active regions, storage of chemicals requires additional stabilization of shelving and containers. Shelving and other storage units should be secured and contain a front-edge lip to prevent containers from falling. Ideally, containers of liquids are placed on a metal or plastic tray that could hold the liquid if the container broke while on the shelf. All laboratories, not only those in seismically active regions, benefit from these additional storage precautions.

5.E.3 Containers and Equipment

Specific guidelines regarding containers and equipment to use in storing chemicals are as follows:

   Use of corrosion-resistant storage trays as secondary containment for spills, leaks, drips, or weeping is a good idea. Polypropylene trays are suitable for most purposes.

   Use secondary containment (i.e., an overpack) to retain materials if the primary container breaks or leaks.

   Provide vented cabinets beneath chemical hoods for storing hazardous materials. (This encourages the use of the hoods for transferring such materials.)

   Seal containers to minimize escape of corrosive, flammable, or toxic vapors.

5.E.4 Cold Storage

Safe storage of chemicals, biologicals, and radioactive materials in refrigerators, cold rooms, or freezers requires good labels, organization, and active manage-

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement