Essay On Safety Of Chemicals In The Laboratory

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In May 2004, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy News reported the death of a Russian Scientist who was doing research on Ebola virus after accidentally injecting herself with the deadly virus. The scientist was carrying out an experiment on guinea pigs infected with the virus at a laboratory in Siberia. There are many other hazards associated with performing research in laboratories, they may include: fires, explosion (with or without an accompanying fire), gas leaks, spills, power outages or release of hazardous or infectious material. It is therefore imperative that institutions develop standard safety operating procedures for personnel, and offer continuous training on the proper ways of handling materials in the laboratory. General personal safety includes not eating, drinking, smoking or applying cosmetics or chewing on pens in the laboratory. Food and drink are not stored in refrigerators or anywhere in the laboratory. Laboratory workers should also ensure that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn at all times. PPE include; Laboratory coats which should be worn at all times inside but not outside the laboratory, footwear should be closed shoes to protect the foot from possible punctures from sharp objects or corrosive reagents. Protective eyeglasses should be used to protect from hazardous…show more content…
Categories of chemicals may include flammables, corrosive, reactive, toxic, irritant and environmental hazard. Chemicals primarily enter the body through inhalation and dermal contact such as injections, hence proper PPE must be used. Compatibility of chemicals should be known to prevent explosion or fire incidences. All chemicals in the laboratory should be labelled and stored appropriately. Laboratories need to have specific material safety data sheets to help personnel understand hazards and cautions associated with handling

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