Chemical Storage Resources

A major cause of laboratory accidents is improper storage of chemicals. We compiled the following list of sources to provide guidance in establishing a storage program.

General Storage

  • Pipitone, D. A., “Safe Storage of Laboratory Chemicals”, 2nd ed., Wiley-Interscience, New York, 1991, ISBN 0-471-51581-7
  • Young, J., Ed., “Improving Safety in the Chemical Laboratory: A Practical Guide,” John Wiley, New York, 1991, pp 203-217.
  • National Research Council, “Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals”, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1995, pp 72-77
  • Cornell Laboratory Safety: Laboratory Inspection Manual

Chemical Compatibility

Remember: Store by compatibility to avoid dangerous conditions. Storing incompatible chemicals near each other can cause fire, heat, toxic gases, corrosion, etc.

  • “Bretherick’s Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards,” 5th ed. (2 vol.), Urben, P.G., Ed., Butterworth-Heinemann, Newton, MA, 2000 (available on CD-ROM).
  • 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. Richard Kelly’s work on peroxides is classic. See:

  • Kelly, R. J. “Review of Safety Guidelines for Peroxidizable Organic Chemicals,” Chemical Health & Safety. Sept./Oct. 1996, pp 28-36.
  • Kelly, R. J., Miller, G. “Standard for Storing and Using Peroxidizable Organic Chemicals”, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Publication UCRL-AR-133218, rev May 1, 1999.
  • Peroxide information, Cornell University, Environmental Health and Safety
  • SafetyNet #23 Peroxide Formation in Chemicals, University of California at Davis


A great deal of information can be obtained from material safety data sheets. MSDSs can be found at the following sites: