Common Chemicals and Hazardous Materials
No matter how harmless a chemical may appear, it can be dangerous. More accidents happen with common chemicals than with chemicals used for special purposes. Some examples of the hazards involving the following chemicals that are commonly used at the Lab:
, and acetone
are all common chemicals that are used throughout CLASSE for cleaning equipment as well as other purposes. All of them are flammable and can be explosive if used improperly. Excessive exposure by inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion can cause serious health consequences. They should be used in either a fume hood or a well ventilated area. Gloves and eye protection are required when working with these chemicals. None of these are drain-disposable. All must be treated as hazardous waste and disposed of by Cornells EHS.
metal, unlike the "lead" in leaded gasoline, cannot be absorbed through the skin. However, it is harmful if inhaled or ingested because it gets into the blood stream. It is a cumulative poison that may cause decreased physical fitness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, headaches, abdominal pain, kidney damage, brain damage, and other severe conditions. Never cut, sand or machine lead bricks without special training. Always wear gloves (leather or rubber) and protective footwear when handling lead and wash your hands afterward. Sweep up any chips created by machining lead and give them to the rigging crew or EHS for recycling.
Beryllium is a silver-gray metal that has been produced for various industrial uses since the late 1950s. Inhalation of beryllium particles can cause a serious illness in certain people. This illness is chronic beryllium disease, or CBDan irreversible and sometimes fatal scarring of the lungs. Do not touch Beryllium-containing components with bare hands.
Articles that may contain Beryllium include (but are not limited to):
- X-ray transparent containers, in particular as a part of specimen holders.
- X-ray windows on detectors (Bicron, Amptek), or beamline components such as flight tubes.
- High heatload compatible components.
- Ceramics used in electronics devices and other equipment.
- Springs, switches and relays.
- High-strength non-sparking tools.
These items present little risk of inhalation as long as they are not broken and no beryllium oxide is allowed to form. If your work involves the use of beryllium-containing items, find and follow the relevant standard operating procedures. Treat any broken or oxidized beryllium-containing article as hazardous waste.
can harm eyes and skin, so wear safety glasses and rubber gloves and work with them only in well ventilated areas. Epoxies are especially dangerous when heated or when dust is created. Even epoxy vapors may be toxic.