General Safety Considerations
Considering the hazards and liabilities that chemicals bring into a lab, the following guidelines should be reviewed before purchasing a chemical:
- Check if the chemical is on the list of UH controlled chemicals.
- Order only needed amounts: What amount that will be used in the foreseeable future?
- Order a less hazardous form of the same chemical: For example, if sodium azide solution will fit the research need, avoid ordering sodium azide solids.
- Purchase the chemical in a safer container: For example, order chemicals in shatter-resistant containers to prevent cracks and leaks, order chemicals in septum sealed containers to avoid air or moisture exposure.
- Check the existing inventory before ordering: Does the lab already have the chemical? Does a nearby lab have such chemical that can be shared, if the amount needed was minimal?
General guidelines for receiving a chemical package:
- No chemical shipments shall be accepted without an adequate identifying label.
- Delivery must be refused for leaking containers.
- After receiving the package, promptly open the package and examine the chemical container for labels and container integrity.
- If Safety Data Sheet (SDS) came with the package, save it in a binder for future reference or emergencies.
For chemicals that are transferred or gifted:
- EHS shall be contacted in advance of any acquisition of chemicals that will not be purchased, e.g. transferred to the University of Houston, from another university or organization.
UH Controlled Chemicals
The UH MAPP Policy (Manual of Administrative Policies and Procedures) number 04.01.01, Purchase of Goods, Materials, and Supplies through the Purchasing Department, regulates the purchase of certain hazardous materials at University of Houston. This policy mandates that the EHS Hazardous-Regulated Materials Form (Replaces Addendum B Form) be used to obtain preapproval for hazardous materials purchases, including high risk hazardous chemicals. Under the leadership, advice and counsel of the UH Chemical Safety Committee (CSC), EHS has determined a list of UH controlled chemicals as shown in the following categories.
- DOT (US Department of Transportation)-Class 1.1A Explosives
- Select Department of Homeland Security Chemicals of Interest
- Peroxide Forming Chemicals Class A
- Highly Toxic Gases
- Chemicals with Radioactive Waste Concern
- Any Chemical Purchased in Quantities in Excess of 40 Gallons in a Single Order
EHS shall be contacted for the requisitions with hazardous chemicals listed on “UH Controlled Chemicals List”. The completed EHS Hazardous-Regulated Materials Form, purchase requisition, and related paperwork (vendor quote, etc.) must be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org for EHS or CSC review and approval.