Handling and Management
of Chemical Hazards
Committee on Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: An Update
Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology
Division on Earth and Life Studies
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant number DE-FG02-08ER15932; the National Institutes of Health under contract number N01-OD-4-2139, TO #200; and the National Science Foundation under grant number CHE-0740356. Additional support was received from Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; the American Chemical Society; E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; Eastman Chemical Company; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and PPG Industries.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Prudent practices in the laboratory : handling and management of chemical hazards / Committee on Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, Division on Earth and Life Studies. — Updated ed.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-13864-2 (hardback)
ISBN-10: 0-309-13864-7 (hardback)
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-13865-9 (pdf)
ISBN-10: 0-309-13865-5 (pdf)
1. Hazardous substances. 2. Chemicals—Safety measures. 3. Hazardous wastes. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Prudent Practices in the Laboratory.
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Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
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COMMITTEE ON PRUDENT PRACTICES IN
THE LABORATORY: AN UPDATE
WILLIAM F. CARROLL, JR., Occidental Chemical Corporation, Dallas, Texas
BARBARA L. FOSTER, West Virginia University, Morgantown
W. EMMETT BARKLEY, Proven Practices, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland
SUSAN H. COOK, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
KENNETH P. FIVIZZANI, Nalco Company, Naperville, Illinois
ROBIN IZZO, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
KENNETH A. JACOBSON, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
KAREN MAUPINS, Eli Lilly & Company Drug Discovery, Indianapolis, Indiana
KENNETH MOLOY, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware
RANDALL B. OGLE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
JOHN PALASSIS, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio
RUSSELL W. PHIFER, WC Environmental, LLC, West Chester, Pennsylvania
PETER A. REINHARDT, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
LEVI T. THOMPSON, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
LEYTE WINFIELD, Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF
DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director
ANDREW CROWTHER, Postdoctoral Fellow
KEVIN KUHN, Mirzayan Fellow
KATHRYN HUGHES, Responsible Staff Officer
TINA M. MASCIANGIOLI, Senior Program Officer
KELA MASTERS, Senior Program Assistant (through October 2008)
JESSICA PULLEN, Administrative Coordinator
SHEENA SIDDIQUI, Research Associate
SALLY STANFIELD, Editor
LYNELLE VIDALE, Program Assistant
BOARD ON CHEMICAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
RYAN R. DIRKX, Arkema Inc., King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
C. DALE POULTER, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
ZHENAN BAO, Stanford University, Stanford, California
ROBERT G. BERGMAN, University of California, Berkeley, California
HENRY E. BRYNDZA, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Delaware
EMILY CARTER, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
PABLO DEBENEDETTI, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
MARY JANE HAGENSON, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, The Woodlands, Texas
CAROL J. HENRY, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, District of Columbia
JILL HRUBY, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico
CHARLES E. KOLB, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts
JOSEF MICHL, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
MARK A. RATNER, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
ROBERT E. ROBERTS, Institute for Defense Analyses, Washington, District of Columbia
DARLENE J. SOLOMON, Agilent Laboratories, Santa Clara, California
ERIK J. SORENSEN, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
JEAN TOM, Bristol-Myers Squibb, New York, New York
WILLIAM C. TROGLER, University of California, San Diego, California
DAVID WALT, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
National Research Council Staff
DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director
KATHRYN HUGHES, Program Officer
TINA M. MASCIANGIOLI, Senior Program Officer
ERICKA M. MCGOWAN, Program Officer
AMANDA CLINE, Administrative Assistant
SHEENA SIDDIQUI, Research Associate
RACHEL YANCEY, Program Assistant
In the early 1980s, the National Research Council (NRC) produced two major reports on laboratory safety and laboratory waste disposal: Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (1981) and Prudent Practices for Disposal of Chemicals from Laboratories (1983). In 1995, the NRC’s Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology updated, combined, and revised the earlier studies in producing Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals. More than 10 years later, the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology initiated an update and revision of the 1995 edition of Prudent Practices.
In 2007, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, with additional support from the American Chemical Society, Eastman Kodak Company, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and PPG Industries, commissioned a study by NRC to “review and update the 1995 publication, Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals.” The Committee on Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: An Update was charged to
• review and update the 1995 publication, Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals;
• modify the existing content and add content as required to reflect new fields and developments that have occurred since the previous publication;
• emphasize the concept of a “culture of safety” and how that culture can be established and nurtured;
• consider laboratory operations and the adverse impacts those operations might have on the surrounding environment and community.
The Committee on Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: An Update was established in June 2008. The first meeting was held in August 2008, and two subsequent meetings were held, one in October 2008 and the other in February 2009. All meetings were held in Washington, D.C.
The original motivation for drafting Prudent Practices 1981 and Prudent Practices 1983 was to provide an authoritative reference on the handling and disposal of chemicals at the laboratory level. These volumes not only served as a guide to laboratory workers, but also offered prudent guidelines for the development of regulatory policy by government agencies concerned with safety in the workplace and protection of the environment.
Pertinent health-related parts of Prudent Practices 1981 are incorporated in a nonmandatory section of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Laboratory Standard (29 CFR § 1910.1450, “Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories,” reprinted in this edition as Appendix A). OSHA’s purpose was to provide guidance for developing and implementing its required Chemical Hygiene Plan. Since their original publication in the early 1980s, these reports have been distributed widely both nationally and internationally. In 1992, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and the World Health Organization published Chemical Safety Matters, a document based on Prudent Practices 1981 and Prudent Practices 1983, for wide international use.
The next volume (Prudent Practices 1995) responded to societal and technical developments that were driving significant change in the laboratory culture and laboratory operations relative to safety, health, and environmental protection.
The major drivers for this new culture of laboratory safety included an increase in regulations regarding laboratory practice, technical advances in hazard and risk evaluation, and an improvement in the understanding of the elements necessary for an effective culture of safety.
Building on this history, the updated (2011) edition of Prudent Practices in the Laboratory also considers technical, regulatory, and societal changes that have occurred since the last publication. As a reflection of some of those changes, it provides information on new topics, including
• emergency planning,
• laboratory security,
• handling of nanomaterials, and
• an expanded discussion of environment, health, and safety management systems.
Throughout the development of this book, the committee engaged in discussions with subject matter experts and industrial and academic researchers and teachers. The goal of these discussions was to determine what the various constituencies considered to be prudent practices for laboratory operations.
Public support for the laboratory use of chemicals depends on compliance with regulatory laws, respect by organizations and individuals of the concerns of the public, and the open acknowledgment and management of the risks to personnel who work in laboratory environments. Addressing these issues is the joint responsibility of everyone who handles or makes decisions about chemicals, from shipping and receiving clerks to laboratory personnel and managers, environmental health and safety staff, and institutional administrators.
The writers of the preface to the 1995 edition stated that, “This shared responsibility is now a fact of laboratory work as inexorable as the properties of the chemicals that are being handled,” and we restate that sentiment here. Organizations and institutions must create environments where safe laboratory practice is standard practice. Each individual influences the “culture of safety” in the laboratory. All of us should recognize that the safety of each of us depends on teamwork and personal responsibility as well as the knowledge of chemistry. Faculty, research advisors, and teachers should note that a vital component of chemical education is teaching students how to identify the risks and hazards in a laboratory. Such education serves scientists well in their ultimate careers in government, industry, academe, and the health sciences.
The promotion of a “culture of safety” has come a long way since 1995; however, in some ways, the “culture of chemistry” is still at odds with that of safety. Some of us may have witnessed unsafe behavior or minor accidents, and yet, rather than viewing these incidents with concern and as opportunities to modify practices and behavior, we often have failed to act upon these “teachable moments.” Ironically, however, we shudder when, even today, we hear of accidents—some fatal—that might have been our near misses.
Rigorous practitioners argue that, in principle, all accidental injuries are preventable if systems and attitudes are in place to prevent them. Even in these days of technological advancements, tracking of near misses and adaptation of systems to eradicate them is inconsistent across the enterprise. Within the research and teaching communities, less rigorous practitioners seem to accept different safety tolerances for different environments. It is common during a discussion of laboratory safety to hear the statement, “Industry is much stricter on safety than academia. Things happen in academic research labs that would never be allowed where I work.” This is often accompanied by a “when I was a student …” story. The path to failure illustrated by this colloquy should be obvious and unacceptable. To fully
implement a culture of safety, even with improved technology, everyone who is associated with the laboratory must be mindful of maintaining a safe environment.
Prudent Practices (1995) has been used worldwide and has served as a leading reference book for laboratory practice. The committee hopes that this new edition of the book will expand upon that tradition, and that this edition will assist the readers to provide a safe and healthy laboratory environment in which to teach, learn, and conduct research.
Many technical experts provided input to this book. Their involvement, by speaking to the committee or by providing technical reviews of material prepared by the committee, greatly enhanced this work. The Committee on Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: An Update thanks the following people for their contributions to this revision of Prudent Practices.
Chyree Batton, Spelman College
Kevin Charbonneau, Yale University
Jasmaine Coleman, Spelman College
Dennis Deziel, Department of Homeland Security
Michael Ellenbecker, Toxic Use Reduction Institute, University of Massachusetts–Lowell
Drew Endy, Stanford University
Dennis Fantin, California Polytechnic State University
Charles Geraci, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Lawrence Gibbs, Stanford University
Laura Hodson, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Barbara Karn, Environmental Protection Agency
Cathleen King, Yale University
Robert Klein, Yale University
Stanley K. Lengerich, Eli Lilly & Company
Thomas J. Lentz, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Clyde Miller, BASF Corporation
John Miller, Department of Energy
Richard W. Niemeier, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Todd Pagano, Rochester Institute of Technology
Tammy Stemen, Yale University
Cary Supalo, Pennsylvania State University
Candice Tsai, Toxic Use Reduction Institute, University of Massachusetts–Lowell
Bryana Williams, Spelman College
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following for their review of this report:
Robert J. Alaimo, Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, retired
Bruce Backus, Washington University
Janet Baum, Independent Consultant
L. Casey Chosewood, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Rick L. Danheiser, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Louis J. DiBerardinis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Charles L. Geraci, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Lawrence M. Gibbs, Stanford University
Stephanie Graham-Sims, West Virginia University
Scott C. Jackson, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company
Donald Lucas, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Edward H. Rau, National Institutes of Health
Robin D. Rogers, University of Alabama
Timothy J. Scott, The Dow Chemical Company
Robert W. Shaw, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, retired
Erik A. Talley, Cornell University
William C. Trogler, University of California, San Diego
Douglas B. Walters, KPC, Inc.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stanley Pine, University of California, San Diego. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution.
Supplemental Materials on CD
1. Sample Inspection Checklist
2. ACS Security and Vulnerability Checklist for Academic and Small Chemical Laboratory Facilities
3. Chemical Compatibility Storage Guide
4. Chemical Compatibility Storage Codes
5. Sample Incident Report Form
6. Laboratory Closeout Checklist
7. Laboratory Emergency Information Poster
8. Laboratory Hazard Assessment Checklist
9. Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Parts 261 and 262) Standards Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste; Alternative Requirements for Hazardous Waste Determination and Accumulation of Unwanted Material at Laboratories Owned by Colleges and Universities and Other Eligible Academic Entities Formally Affiliated With Colleges and Universities; Final Rule
10. Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries
11. Blank Form for Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries
12. Procedures for the Laboratory Scale Treatment of Surplus and Waste Chemicals
13. Electronic Copy of Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards
Tables, Figures, Boxes, and Vignettes