A major concern in many laboratories is the proper storage of chemicals. The best approach to this issue will vary from to lab, depending on the chemical inventory of the lab, the storage space available and local regulatory requirements. However, some general advice can be found in a variety of resources. The following list provides guidance in establishing a hazardous chemical storage program.
Chemical Storage Systems
The driving concern for chemical storage is assuring the compatibility of chemicals if they should inadvertently mix. To avoid dangerous conditions, separate incompatible chemicals from each other. These resources will help you identify chemical incompatibilities.
- “Bretherick's Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards, 7th Edition”, Urben, P.G., Ed., Butterworth-Heinemann, Newton, MA, 2000 (available on CD-ROM). This information is also available on line for individual chemicals in PubChem.
- NOAA's Chemical Reactivity Program (based on EPA's Hazardous Waste Compatibility Chart). Chemical Reactivity Worksheet - This is a free program to find out about the reactivity of substances or mixtures of substances. It includes reactivity information for>4,000 common hazardous substances. This worksheet is a free program you can use to find out about the reactivity of substances or mixtures of substances.
Peroxide formers are a special concern for laboratory chemicals in storage. See these references for detailed information: