CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SAFETY

SAFETY RULES WITHIN THE ART COMMUNITY

Toxic Materials

  • Label all containers, clearly listing their contents and special hazards.
  • Store hazardous materials in nonbreakable containers at all times. Use metal or plastic containers, not glass. Do not use coke bottles, milk cartons, or other food containers.
  • Do not store large containers on high shelves where they might fall and break.
  • Do not store chemicals that might react with each other in the same area.
  • Keep all containers closed, even when working, to prevent escape of vapors, dusts, etc. into the air.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke in the studio. Smoking can multiply the harmful effects of materials on the lungs and in some cases, can convert materials into more hazardous forms. For example, methylene chloride, used as a plastic and paint solvent, can be converted into the poisonous gas phosgene by lit cigarettes.
  • Wear special clothing in the studio and remove it when leaving. Wash it frequently and separately from other clothing.
  • In case of spills or accidental contact with irritating chemicals, wash the affected area with lots of water. In case of eye contact flush with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention.
  • Wash hands carefully with soap and water after each class, before eating, and during breaks. Never use a solvent to clean hands; if soap and water are not sufficient, use a waterless hand cleaner and then soap and water.

Special Precautions for Liquids

  • Wear gloves or protective barrier creams to protect hands against dermatitis from solvents, acids, and alkalis.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with paper towels and place in an approved waste disposal can to prevent evaporation of the liquid in the air.
  • If the liquid is stored in containers of 5 gallons or more, use a pump to dispense the liquid. Do not pour by tipping the container.
  • Wear safety goggles when pouring liquids. These can splash and cause eye damage.

Special Precautions for Powders

  • Transfer powders that create dusts with spoons, scoops, or similar implements. Do not dump powders since this creates dust in the air.
  • To prevent inhalation, handle dusts in wet form whenever possible. Make up large batches rather than several small batches to keep exposure to dust to a minimum.
  • Wear approved dust mask when transferring and handling toxic dusts unless working in a fume hood.
  • Dust in the air from processes such as stone carving and cutting plastics an be kept to a minimum if the work is sprayed with water.
  • Clean up spills immediately with wet paper towels or water.
  • If the powder comes in a paper bag or sack, store the opened bag in a metal or plastic container which can be sealed.

Special Precautions for Gases

  • Many art processes product toxic gases (nitric acid etching, welding, and cutting plastics). Adequate ventilation is the only way to protect against these hazards.

Storage of Flammable and Combustible Liquids

  • Within the college, the maximum container size for class I and II liquids is one gallon.
  • No more than 60 gallons of combined storage of class I and II liquids should be stored and then only in approved fireproof storage cabinets.
  • Do not smoke or permit smoking in any studio, especially a studio containing flammable or combustible liquids.
  • Cover all vessels containing flammable liquids.
  • Clean up spills of flammable liquids immediately.
  • When transferring hazardous liquids from one container to another, bind the two containers together with wire to ground them and to prevent static electricity, which can ignite flammable liquids.
  • Make sure all electrical equipment is in good repair and adequately grounded.
  • Fans and local exhaust ventilation systems should have nonsparking or nonferrous blades, and the motor and controls should be outside the path of the vapors or be explosion proof.
  • Do not use gas-fired space heaters.
  • Do not store flammable liquids near escape routes from studios.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher within each studio for emergency use.

SCIENCE SAFETLY RULES AND PROCEDURES

In order to ensure that science experiments are safe and positive learning experiences, students and teaching assistants should read and discuss these rules and procedures. A copy should be kept with the laboratory text or lab notebook.

  1. Perform the experiments as directed. Do not do anything which is not part of an approved experimental procedure. Follow all instructions given by your professor or teaching assistant.
  2. Be properly prepared to do the experiment. Read the written procedures in advance and understand what you are going to do. Lack of familiarity wastes your time and is a major cause of injury. Know the hazards before you do the experiment.
  3. Never work without appropriate supervision. Never work alone.
  4. Wear appropriate protective equipment. In chemistry and Biology laboratories, approved eye protection should be worn at all times.
  5. Learn the locations and operation of emergency equipment. This includes eyewash fountains, safety showers, fire extinguishers, sinks, and first aid supplies. Know what to do in case of emergencies.
  6. Act in a responsible manner at all times. No horseplay or joking should occur in the lab or experimental area.
  7. Wear closed shoes which cover the entire foot. Clothing should not be loose and floppy, especially in the sleeves. Your legs should be covered. No shorts are permitted in the lab.
  8. Tie back long hair to keep it away from flames and chemicals.
  9. Never taste a chemical. Check odors only if instructed to do so, by gently wafting some of the vapor towards your nose with your hand. Be sure your work area is adequately ventilated for your experiment.
  10. Turn off your Bunsen burner or other heat source whenever you are not using it. Never let it operate unattended.
  11. Treat burns immediately by putting the burned area under cold water for at least 15 minutes. Cold water markedly reduces the subsequent pain and blisters.
  12. Read the chemical labels very carefully. Read them 3 times: when you pick it up; just before you use it; and after you are finished. Many mistakes, some dangerous, result from mixing the wrong chemicals. Material Safety Data Sheets are available in the stockroom, Sci 305. Other safety information is available in the Chemistry Reading Room.
  13. Smoking, eating, drinking, and applying cosmetics in the lab or experimental work area are forbidden.
  14. Report all accidents, injuries, and close-calls to your professor or teaching assistant immediately.
  15. Dispose of chemicals properly. Nothing goes down the drain unless your professor or teaching assistant instructs you to do so. Containers should be available for waste chemicals. Broken glass goes in special receptacles.
  16. Never return unused reagents to the reagent bottle. Be careful to take only what you actually need. Do not contaminate the reagents.
  17. Clean up all spills immediately. This includes water.
  18. If the experiment deals with something to which you are allergic, consult with your professor or teaching assistant.
  19. Treat all chemicals with the respect they deserve. Know the hazards before you handle the material.
  20. Never take chemicals, supplies, or equipment out of the laboratory.
  21. Wash off chemicals splashed or spilled on your skin, body, or eyes immediately and for 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing immediately. Notify your professor or teaching assistant.
  22. Clean your lab bench, put away all equipment and reagents, and wash your hands at the end of each work session.
  23. Consult with your professor, teaching assistant, or the Chemical Hygiene Officer about any questions you may have regarding safety.

Adapted from Laboratory Safety Workshop, Science Safety Rules and Procedures Agreement.

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS FOR ALL HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS

  • Label all containers, clearly listing their contents and special hazards.
  • Store hazardous materials in nonbreakable containers at all times.
  • Use metal or plastic containers, not glass.
  • Do not use coke bottles, milk cartons, or other food containers.
  • Do not store large containers on high shelves where they might fall and break.
  • Do not store chemicals that might react with each other in the same area.
  • Keep all containers closed, even when working, to prevent escape of vapors, dusts, etc. into the air.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke in the vicinity of chemicals.
  • Smoking can multiply the harmful effects of materials on the lungs and in some cases, can convert materials into more hazardous forms. For example, methylene chloride, used as a plastic and paint solvent, can be converted into the poisonous nerve gas phosgene by lit cigarettes.
  • Wear special clothing when using dangerous chemicals and remove them when leaving.  Wash them frequently and separately from other clothing.
  • In case of spills or accidental contact with irritating chemicals, wash the affected area with lots of water.
  • In case of eye contact flush with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention.
  • Wash hands carefully with soap and water after using chemcials.
  • Never use a solvent to clean hands; if soap and water are not sufficient, use a waterless hand cleaner and then soap and water.

MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY

Multiple Chemical Sensivity (MCS) has become an increasing concern among many persons. Once thought to be a “fact of life” or annoying allergy, MCS is now an official medical diagnosis and is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

MCS occurs as the body reacts to a chemical or family of chemicals. Many persons are at least very mildy sensitive to thousands of chemicals. For some persons, though, their body reacts very strongly to several chemicals. Symptoms range from cold and flu-like sneezing, coughing, and eyes watering, to life-threatening asphyxiatons, convulsions, etc.

In every-day life, what are ways that you can make life easier for persons that have MCS whom you may not even know?

  • Refrain from wearing strong colognes, perfumes, and strong fragrances.
  • Wash your clothing in unscented detergents.
  • Avoid spraying air freshners.

In the event that you know you will be in the vicinity of a person who has a severe case of MCS?

  • Wear no colognes, perfumes, fragrances, after-shaves, etc.
  • Use unscented anti-perspirants
  • Don’t use air freshners, potpourri, scented candles
  • Keep your home/office clean. Dust, pollen, and mold spores thrive in dirty conditions.
  • Don’t clean house immediately before the person arrives. Dust will remain airborne for at least an hour.
  • Don’t clean with harsh chemicals, and then only use unscented supplies.
  • Keep the room ventilated with plenty of fresh air
  • Communicate with the person. Ask them what you can do to help. They need your help and support.

HANDLING BLOOD OR BOODY FLUIDS

IN CASE YOU ENCOUNTER BLOOD, BODILY FLUIDS, OR UNATTACHED TISSUE, CONSIDER IT TO BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, POTENTIALLY LETHAL.

Many persons these days carry a whole host of infections which are passed through blood, bodily fluids, and tissues. Many pathogens, especially Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, and HIV are passed quite easily by such methods. IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TRAINED IN UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLEAN UP SUCH MATERIALS. BE VERY CAUTIOUS WITH AN INJURED PERSON WHERE BLOOD AND/OR BODILY FLUIDS ARE INVOLVED.

All custodians have been trained to properly clean up such materials. Contact one of them, or the Chemical Hygiene Office for assistance. If you must handle such materials, cautiously follow these guidelines:

  • Wear 2 pairs of rubber latex medical gloves. Inspect for holes and teArs prior to use.
  • Wear eye protection to prevent splatters.
  • Don’t touch your face or any other part of your body once you have started clean-up procedures.
  • Soak up all blood/bodily fluids with paper towels and place in a biohazard bag. Any contaminated clothing, equipment, etc. must be discarded in this bag or disinfected as follows.
  • Small instruments may be autoclaved.
  • Small objects may be disinfected with a disinfectant approved for use against at least HIV, HBV, and tuberculosis.
  • Large areas (floors) may be disinfected with a 1:10 mix of bleach to water.
  • Remove your gloves inside out, being careful not to contaminate your hands. Place gloves in biohazard bag.
  • Wash you hands for at least 15 seconds under hot water using an disinfectant soap.