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Safety in the Laboratory

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Safety in the Laboratory

Post by Agrimony on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:11 pm

It is essential that each one of us take all the precautions needed to protect himself and his personal environment.

Each of the following recommendations underline an important regulation but it is only a
complement to official legal requirements or to manufacturers notices. It is essential that you
read these texts beforehand.

1. Know the theory of the experiment you are considering. Do not attempt anything at

2. Study beforehand the physical and chemical properties of the products which you are
going to use or which are going to be produced in the course of the experiment.

3. Operator's safety in the laboratory:
a. respect the safety regulations for gas, electricity, etc ...
b. never eat, drink or smoke in the laboratory
c. always wear glasses
d. wear water-proof rubber gloves which will protect you when handling acid or alkali liquid.
e. wear asbestos gloves to handle molten liquids
f. wear asbestos gloves over the rubber gloves when handling acids or bases and hot liquids
g. wear leather or waterproof plastic shoes; no cloth or perforated shoes
h. have a working fire-extinguisher and a container filled with cold water close at
hand. If you have an electrical heating system, make sure that the extinguisher is designed to extinguish electrical fires.

4. Mix unknown liquids in small quantities only. Always proceed as follows: pour a small amount of liquid in a test tube, and a little bit of the other liquid into another test tube, close and keep the tubes away from each other. Mix the content of the two tubes slowly. You must wear glasses when doing such an operation.

5. Never pour a cold liquid in a hot liquid and vice versa.

6. Never pour water into an acid.

7. Permanent ventilation of the laboratory:
-in case of the use of a solvent
-in case of gas heating
-fume hood for dangerous gases

8. No flames during work with volatile liquids.

9. The use of electrical heating is preferable during the handling of volatile liquids.

10. Never smell directly from a flask, just wave a little bit of air towards your nose.

11. Do not breathe solvents such as acetone, trichlorethylene, etc ... which have either an
immediate or long-term toxic and dangerous effect.

12. Do not handle metallic salts or metals without glove for some of them have toxic effects
(antimony, lead, mercury, etc.) on the skin.

13. Do not breathe the dust during the grinding of a product; operate in the open air, under
a hood, or with a mask.

14. Place a wire gauze between the flask and the gas flame.

15. Never distil to dryness bodies giving peroxides: ether, acids, etc ... ; only water and
alcohol can be distilled to dryness.

16. An efficient protective barrier that can be used between the operator and the object
being handled is a thick sheet of plexiglass, a window or some plastic of the same kind,
mounted in a heavy frame so that it stays perfectly vertical.

Attempt to warn yourself of any risk which you might be present in any experiment.


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