This is the chemical hygiene manualDownload full manual
This is the chemical hygiene manualDownload full manual
Last updated: April 16, 2019
This is the chemical hygiene manualDownload full manual
The purpose of Stanford University’s Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) is to establish a written program that provides for and supports the procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment, and work practices for protecting laboratory personnel from potential health hazards of using hazardous chemicals in the laboratory.
Additionally, the CHP is designed to comply with the regulations of California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, Title 8 – California Code of Regulations, Section 5191 http://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/5191.html.
Stanford University’s CHP applies to all Stanford University laboratory personnel who handle and may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in research laboratories at Stanford University. This includes labs that use small quantities of off-the-shelf hazardous chemicals in their research.
This CHP does not cover work with radioactive materials or biological agents. Procedures for work with these materials are addressed via the University’s Radiation Safety Manual and Biosafety Manual, respectively.
The Principal Investigator (PI) /Laboratory Supervisor has responsibility for the health and safety of laboratory personnel doing work in his/her laboratory. The PI/Laboratory Supervisor may delegate the safety duties for which he/she is responsible, but must make sure that any delegated safety duties are carried out. The PI/Laboratory Supervisor’s responsibilities are enumerated below with links to additional information on fulfilling those responsibilities:
Stanford University’s Laboratory Chemical Safety Toolkit has been developed to aid the PI/Laboratory Supervisors and laboratory personnel in fulfilling their responsibilities and promote a safe and regulatory compliant laboratory environment. Links to relevant sections of the Toolkit are provided within the CHP to provide additional detailed information on a related topic.
In order to help fulfill these responsibilities, PI/Laboratory Supervisors have the option of creating a specific safety plan that is tailored to the operations conducted in their laboratory (individual Laboratory Safety Plan). EH&S is available for consultation on the development of individual Laboratory Safety Plans. PI/Laboratory Supervisors may assign the aforementioned duties to individual lab members for assistance. Refer to the Assignment of Laboratory Safety Tasksdocument.
The responsibilities of laboratory personnel who work with hazardous chemicals in research laboratories are enumerated below with links that provide additional information on fulfilling those responsibilities:
In addition to the above responsibilities, laboratory personnel working autonomously or performing independent research are also responsible for:
Stanford’s Laboratory Safety Program (LSP), which includes the University Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO), is responsible for administering and overseeing institutional implementation of this Plan. The OH&S Group provides technical guidance to personnel at all levels of responsibility on matters pertaining to laboratory use of hazardous chemicals. Specifically, the CHO is responsible for:
Other units within EH&S support the CHP by providing management, oversight, or assistance in chemical compliance, hazardous waste management, chemical inventory, and hazardous materials spill/release response.
Flammable and combustible liquids are classified according to their flash point, with flammable liquids having a flash point of less than 199.4°F (93° C) and combustible liquids having a flash point above 199.4°F (93°C). Both flammable and combustible liquids are considered fire hazards.
Corrosive materials cause irreversible destruction of living tissue through chemical action at the site of contact. As corrosive chemicals can be liquids, solids, or gases, corrosive effects can affect the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. Examples of corrosive chemicals include sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, and phenol.
Highly reactive and unstable materials are those that have the potential to vigorously polymerize, decompose, condense, or become self-reactive under conditions of shock, pressure, temperature, light, or contact with another material. Examples of such substances are explosives, peroxides, water-reactives, self-reactives, and pyrophorics.
Compressed gases and cryogenic liquids are similar in that they can create pressure hazards and can also create health hazardous and/or flammable atmospheres. One special property of compressed gases and cryogenic liquids is that they undergo substantial volume expansion when released to air, potentially depleting workplace oxygen content to hazardous levels.
Toxic gases pose additional potential acute health hazards to laboratory personnel and the public, and as such, are considered Stanford University “Restricted Chemicals” that require prior approval by the PI/Laboratory Supervisor. The Santa Clara County Toxic Gas Ordinance regulates the use, handling, distribution and dispensing of toxic gases. In addition, it contains specific provisions mandating facility permitting, engineering controls, protective equipment, storage requirements, emergency response plans, warning systems and employee training based on the type and quantity of toxic gas used. As usage of toxic gases may require special permits, contact EH&S for further guidance. For specific requirements on toxic gases, refer to the Toxic Gas subtopic.
Select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and chemicals with a high degree of acute toxicity are considered to be high-risk materials and are treated by Cal/OSHA as Particularly Hazardous Substances. Additional provisions for working with Particularly Hazardous Substances are described in Section 3.4.
Carcinogens are chemicals or physical agents that cause cancer or tumor development, typically after repeated or chronic exposure. Their effects may only become evident after a long latency period and may cause no immediate harmful effects.
See the glossary for the Cal/OSHA definition of a Select Carcinogen.
See the General Use SOP for Carcinogens.
A chemical which affects reproductive capabilities. Possible effects include chromosomal damage (mutations), effects on fetuses (teratogenesis), adverse effects on sexual function and fertility in adult males and females, as well as adverse effects on the development of the offspring. Many reproductive toxins cause damage after repeated low-level exposures. Effects become evident after long latency periods.
Categorized based on their LC50 or LD50 values, substances with a high degree of acute toxicityhave the ability to cause adverse effects after a single exposure/dose or multiple exposures/doses within a 24 hour period. Many of these chemicals may also be characterized as toxic gases, Select Agent Toxins, corrosives, irritants, or sensitizers.
A sensitizer is a substance that can cause exposed people to develop an allergic reaction in normal tissue after repeated exposure to the substance. Examples of sensitizers used in laboratories include formaldehyde, many phenol derivatives, and latex proteins (commonly found in latex lab gloves).
See the General Use SOP for Sensitizers.
Irritants are substances that cause reversible effects (e.g., swelling or inflammation) on skin or eyes at the site of contact. A wide variety of organic and inorganic compounds are irritants; thus, skin and eye contact with all laboratory chemicals should be avoided.
See the General Use SOP for Irritants.
If not properly considered, managed, and overseen, the use of certain chemicals can result in conditions of higher risk for laboratory personnel and to facilities. The approval of the PI or Laboratory Supervisor is required when certain Restricted Chemicals that carry a higher risk due to their inherent hazardous properties are used in Stanford laboratories. Laboratory personnel may not use Restricted Chemicals in any Stanford laboratory without obtaining the prior written approval of the PI or his/her delegate. See Section 5.0 for more information.
A nanoparticle is collection of tens to thousands of atoms approximately 1 to 100 nanometers in diameter. Nanoparticles that are naturally occurring (e.g., volcanic ash, forest fires) or are the incidental byproducts of combustion processes (e.g., welding, diesel engines) are usually physically and chemically heterogeneous and often termed ultrafine particles. Engineered nanoparticles are intentionally produced and designed with very specific properties related to shape, size, surface properties and chemistry. These properties are reflected in aerosols, colloids, or powders containing these nanomaterials. Engineered nanoparticles may be bought via commercial vendors or generated via experimental procedures by researchers in the laboratory. Examples of engineered nanomaterials include: carbon buckyballs or fullerenes; carbon nanotubes; metal oxide nanoparticles (e.g., titanium dioxide); and quantum dots, among many others.
The health effects of exposure to nanomaterials are not fully understood at this time. Until more definitive findings are made regarding the potential health risks of handling nanomaterials, researchers planning to work with nanomaterials must implement a combination of engineering controls, work practices, and personal protective equipment to minimize potential exposures to themselves and others.
For more information, see the Nanomaterials subtopic.
Select Agent Toxins are certain toxins of biological origin which are to subject to stringent regulatory requirements under 42 CFR 73 for their potential to pose a severe threat to public, animal, or plant health, or to animal or plant products. These toxins, along with specified biological agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi), fall under the oversight of the National Select Agents Registry (NSAR) Program which requires registration for possession, use, and transfer of the listed Select Agents. However, possession of small amounts of Select Agent Toxins as described below is exempt from registration with the NSAR Program. See the Select Agent Toxins subtopic for more information.
The following Select Agent Toxins are not regulated if the amount under the control of a principal investigator does not exceed, at any time, the amounts indicated in the table below.
|Select Agent Toxins / HHS Toxins [§73.3(d)(3)]||Amount|
|Botulinum neurotoxins* (see note below)||1 mg|
|Short, paralytic alpha conotoxins||100 mg|
|Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS)||10,000 mg|
|Staphylococcal Enterotoxins (Subtypes A, B, C, D, and E)||100 mg|
|T-2 toxin||10,000 mg|
Botulinum neurotoxin use in a research setting is also regulated by Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern Oversight Policy. Please see the Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern for more information.
Additionally, the following Select Agent Toxins are excluded:
Use of these Select Agent Toxins in permissible amounts requires strict adherence to Stanford University’s requirements that address critical safety and compliance information including safe use, storage/security, and inventory management.
Possession of Select Agent Toxins in amounts above permissible amounts requires prior approval from the Vice Provost and Dean of Research and registration with the National Select Agent Registry Program. Also note, that effective 12/4/12, botulinum neurotoxins are categorized at Tier 1 agents which trigger additional regulatory requirements.
Failure to register with the NSAR Program is potentially punishable by up to five years in prison and/or large monetary fines. (Public Health Security & Preparedness Response Act of 2002, Section 231(c), 18 USC 175(b), & Public Law (USA Patriot Act) 107-56 Sec. 817).
Contact EH&S for assistance at (650) 723-0448.
Some laboratories synthesize or develop new chemical substances during the course of their research. For the safe handling and management of a newly synthesized chemical, the researcher must label the substance with the IUPAC name or a clearly identifiable lab-designated name; a chemical structure may be included as well. Also, label the substance with the material’s hazardous properties (e.g., toxic, reactive, flammable, corrosive), determined to the best of the researcher’s ability. If the composition of a new chemical substance or mixture is unknown, it must be assumed to be hazardous.
If the lab transfers newly synthesized chemicals to another user outside of the university or if any adverse health or environmental effects are observed by laboratory personnel working with newly synthesized chemicals, contact EH&S at 723-0448 for assistance.
As general lab ventilation cannot be relied upon to protect personnel from localized exposures to hazardous levels of airborne chemicals, engineering controls such as laboratory fume hoods, glove boxes, and other local exhaust systems (e.g., drop down flexible ducts) are often necessary to provide additional exposure control. In general, laboratory fume hoods are recommended whenever using hazardous chemicals that:
See the Fume Hood Use SOP for information on safe use of fume hoods.
To assure that primary engineering controls and safety equipment provide proper and adequate performance, the University provides performance verification checks on a routine basis as identified in the Performance Verification of Engineering Controls and Safety Equipment table.
Administrative controls for minimizing exposures to hazardous chemicals include:
In addition to both engineering and administrative exposure controls, personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary to ensure an adequate margin of safety in case of incidental/accidental chemical release or contact. See the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) subtopic which contains information on:
Additional provisions for laboratory work with Particularly Hazardous Substances include:
These provisions are further described in the Standard Operating Procedures for Carcinogens, Highly Toxic Chemicals, and Reproductive Hazards.
Laboratory personnel shall seek and the PI / Laboratory Supervisor (or his/her delegate) must provide prior approval of any chemical usage involving the following Restricted Chemicals:
The following options are available for PI / Laboratory Supervisors to grant prior approval:
Such records of prior approval must be retained for at least one year.
A. Laboratory personnel should consult with PI / Laboratory Supervisors on the following higher-risk chemical usage and operations in their laboratories, so that special safety precautions can be taken where appropriate:
B. In establishing special precautions for Particularly Hazardous Substances, consideration shall be given to the following, where appropriate:
Personal monitoring is conducted by EH&S if there is reason to believe that exposure levels for a substance exceeds the action level (or in the absence of an action level, the permissible exposure limit). Examples where personal monitoring may be conducted include: (1) volatile chemicals are not used in a fume hood and/or (2) personnel develop signs or symptoms associated with possible hazardous chemical exposure.
The initiation, frequency, and termination of personal monitoring are done in accordance with the relevant regulation.
C. Communication of Results / Recordkeeping
Monitoring results are provided to laboratory personnel per the time requirements of the relevant regulation or within 15 days of EH&S’s receipt of monitoring results. EH&S maintains copies of exposure monitoring per the regulatory requirement.
A. All Hazardous Chemicals
Hazardous chemicals must be stored and labeled properly.
B. Select Agent Toxins
In addition to the requirements detailed above for Select Agent Toxins (in permissible amounts), the laboratory must provide one additional layer of physical security (i.e., Select Agent Toxin secured within locked freezer, or secured within a permanently fixed lock box) per the Requirements for Possession of Permissible Amounts of Select Agent Toxins at Stanford University.
C. Controlled Substances
In addition to the requirements detailed in Section A above, Controlled Substances must be stored in a securely locked, substantially constructed cabinet, located where access is limited to those individuals with controlled substances authorization. Refer to the Controlled Substances & Precursor Chemicals subtopic for additional information.
A. All Hazardous Chemicals
A chemical inventory must be maintained for all chemicals stored in the laboratory as required by the California Health and Safety Code – Sec. 25506. This is done via the web-based ChemTracker 4 application. Each laboratory must update their chemical inventory at a minimum of every 12 months.
Additional benefits for maintaining an up-to-date inventory include:
B. Select Agent Toxins
PI/Laboratory Supervisors working with Select Agent Toxins must ensure that permissible amounts are not exceeded by promptly updating Chemtracker 4 after every container of Select Agent Toxin is acquired, depleted, or inactivated. For more information, refer to the Requirements for Possession of Permissible Amounts of Select Agent Toxins at Stanford University.
C. Controlled Substances
Laboratories must be self-inspected as indicated per the guidance provided in the Lab Inspections table. Completed self-inspection checklists and the actions taken to correct identified unsafe conditions must be maintained by the PI/Laboratory Supervisor or their designee for the length of time specified for each type of inspection.
Using a risk-based approach, EH&S conducts visits of laboratories to assist labs in assessing their implementation and compliance with core health and safety issues, including but not limited to: storage, use, and disposal of higher hazard chemicals; correct management of controlled substances; and select agent toxins.
PI / Laboratory Supervisors must inform laboratory personnel of the location and availability of the following information:
Cal/OSHA is a governmental agency that protects worker health and safety in the State of California. This regulation was promulgated to protect laboratory personnel engaged in the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals. [NOTE: Custodial and maintenance staff who service the laboratory fall under Cal/OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, Code of Regulations Title 8, Section 5194.]
B. Stanford University’s Chemical Hygiene Plan.
The above-referenced Cal/OSHA regulation requires employers to have a written Chemical Hygiene Plan. This Plan fulfills this regulatory requirement and is a resource for planning experiments and laboratory operations.
Cal/OSHA establishes regulatory exposure limits for many airborne contaminants; the actual values are in Table AC-1. If a PEL has not been established for a specific contaminant, contact EH&S for guidance.
D. Reference materials on the hazards, signs & symptoms of exposure, safe handling, and storage & disposal of hazardous chemicals at the various website links:
For work directed by a PI / Laboratory Supervisor, PI / Laboratory Supervisors must provide laboratory personnel with information and training at the time of initial assignment to the laboratory, and prior to assignments involving new exposure situations, work with Particularly Hazardous Substances, or other hazardous operations.
Laboratory personnel must receive general and laboratory-specific training as follows:
1. General Training
PI / Laboratory Supervisors must provide laboratory personnel with orientation to and training on the CHP. This is accomplished via the following training, which laboratory personnel must take (available on-line or in class):
Laboratory personnel must take other trainings, as appropriate. For example:
For online classes, register in STARS via the Axess Portal at http://axess.stanford.edu using the training tab. For live classes, call (650) 723-0448.
2. Laboratory-Specific Training
Laboratory-specific training is to be provided by the PI / Laboratory Supervisor or his/her designee, addressing the specific chemical hazards present and emergency procedures specific to the laboratory. Also, any lab-owned equipment may require specialized training to prevent equipment damage. This can be achieved via a combination of the following:
A template for creating a lab-specific training program can be found in the document Laboratory Specific Training.
All health and safety training records are to be maintained by the PI / Laboratory Supervisor or designee for at least one year.
A. Life Safety Boxes, located outside of each laboratory, provide lab-specific chemical hazard information to emergency response personnel.
B. Hazard labels on the front of the Life Safety Boxes represent the different types of hazards that may be present within the lab.
C. Information in the Life Safety Boxes include:
In the laboratory, chemical-related accidents require local emergency response that may involve requesting for assistance, local clean up, and incident reporting/follow-up.
For guidance on proper response to various emergencies, review documents below:
In the event of an imminent or actual health-threatening emergency (threatening local or public health, safety, or welfare; or the environment outside the immediate area):
In the event of a spill or release, which may or has impacted the environment (storm drain, soil, air outside the building), or spill or release that cannot be cleaned up by local personnel:
In the event of a minor spill or release that can be cleaned up by local personnel using readily available equipment (absorbent, available from EH&S in Small Spill Kit):
Laboratory personnel are to report all occupational injuries or illnesses to laboratory supervisor as soon as practical. The Principal Investigator / Laboratory Supervisor and laboratory personnel must submit the required paperwork to Risk Management. Laboratory personnel are encouraged to report “near-misses” as they are considered a precursor to more serious incidents.
The Principal Investigator / Laboratory Supervisor is to conduct (or coordinate) an investigation of all incidents and “near misses.” The goal of the investigation is to identify and address any deficiencies that may have contributed to the incident.
Employee laboratory personnel who work with hazardous chemicals will be provided the opportunity to receive medical attention/consultation when:
Medical examinations will be conducted by licensed providers and will be provided at a reasonable time and place at no cost. Medical consultations and examinations for employees are provided via the Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
SUOHC will document and provide as appropriate the following:
Employees are responsible for informing the PI / Laboratory Supervisor of any work modifications ordered by the clinician as a result of exposure.
EH&S’s Industrial Hygienist will provide the following information to the physician:
Medical records will be maintained by the SUOHC for the duration of the employee’s employment plus 30 years. Employees must have access to medical records within 15 days of request to EH&S, per Cal/OSHA 8 CCR 3204, Access to Employee Records.