Stanford University

Restricted Chemicals and High Risk Procedures

Prior approval is the process whereby laboratory personnel seek permission, and the PI or lab supervisor grants approval, for the use of restricted chemicals. Restricted chemicals that require prior approval include:

  • Toxic gases regulated by Santa Clara County (e.g. diazomethane, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen fluoride (anhydrous), and nickel carbonyl)
  • Dimethylmercury
  • Chemicals classified as Department of Transportation (DOT) Division 1.1 explosives (e.g., picric acid, 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH), ammonium perchlorate)
  • Tert-butyllithium
  • Hydrofluoric acid
  • Tetramethylammonium Hydroxide
  • Procedures with “high” and “unacceptable” risk ratings on a self-conducted Laboratory Risk Assessment

Lab personnel should consult with the PI or their supervisor on certain higher-risk chemical usage and operations so that special safety precautions can be taken where appropriate.

Consultation can include discussion of special hazards and safety precautions and review of applicable standard operating procedures.

For the use of restricted chemicals, follow these steps to obtain prior approval:

  1. Complete the Documenting SOP Review and PI Approval, or have the PI or lab supervisor sign and date the staff member’s notebook and indicate approval for the process, procedure, or activity (or have the PI or supervisor use other written approval, such as an e-mail or memo).

  2. Retain record of prior approval for at least one year.

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