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Phenol SOP

1. Background

Phenol is a common chemical used for activities such as tissue preservation and DNA/RNA extraction. Phenol can be a component in a commercial reagent (e.g. QIAzol, TRIzol) or prepared as part of a mixture in the laboratory (e.g. chloroform: phenol). It is both a corrosive and toxic. Phenol has an anesthetic effect and can cause severe burns that may not be immediately painful or visible. It can cause permanent eye injury and blindness. The NIOSH Recommended Exposure Level for Phenol is 5 ppm.

2. SPECIFIC HAZARD CLASSIFICATIONS (this section is not a substitution for the review of the Safety Data Sheet - SDS)

Precautionary Statement(s) Prevention
P-Code Precautionary Statement
P201 Obtain special instructions before use.
P260 Do not breathe dust/fume.
P270 Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product.
P271 Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
P280 Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P281 Use personal protective equipment as required.
P273 Avoid release to the environment.
Precautionary Statement(s) Response
P-Code Precautionary Statement
P301+P310 If Swallowed: Immediately call a Poison Center or doctor/physician.
P301+P330+P331 If Swallowed: Rinse mouth. Do Not induce vomiting.
P303+P361+P353 If On Skin (or hair): Remove/Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water/shower.
P305+P351+P338 If In Eyes: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing.
P308+P313 If exposed or concerned: Get medical advice/attention.
P321 Specific treatment (see advice on this label).
P322 Specific measures (see advice on this label).
P363 Wash contaminated clothing before reuse.
P302+P352 If On Skin: Wash with plenty of water.
P304+P340 If Inhaled: Remove victim to fresh air and keep it at rest in a position comfortable for breathing.

3. Training

Training required/provided:

  • EHS 2555 Laboratory Safety training
  • EHS 2716 Chemical Waste Disposal Training
  • EHS 2394 Cleaning Up Small Lab Spills
  • Lab Specific – including SDS and SOP review with proficiency on procedure (include where this will be documented in the lab this can be a sign-off attached to the SOP)

4. Ordering OF Phenol and First Aid materials

Company, Catalogue number.

5.  Storage and Use


  • of reagent in the lab.
  • of First Aid Kit
  • of Spill Kit

Must be used in a fume hood.

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

See attached EHS Guidance Document: “Phenol First Aid and PPE”

7. Preparation of Solutions and Working Protocols

Research protocol specifics:

8. Transport

Describe how the samples will be transported to other buildings/rooms.

9. Waste Handling and Disposal

Phenol must be disposed of as hazardous waste – corrosive, toxic

Describe lab-specific process for labeling, storage and removal of hazardous waste.

10. Decontamination

For light contamination of small areas or items flush with plenty of water and wash items with soap or detergent and water.

Describe your clean up procedures to ensure there is no residue or transfer outside of the hood

11. Spills

i.  Spills:

  • Secure and ventilate the area.
  • For small spills wear appropriate PPE retrieve the spill kit from ______________.
  • Absorb spill with a spill pad, absorbent material, or lab wipes. Bag spill cleanup materials in plastic bag and manage as hazardous waste.
  • For larger spills e.g. over 500mL or if uncomfortable cleaning up:
    • Ithaca: Use Emergency Phone or 607-255-1111 for EHS Spill Response. Include location of closest emergency equipment (safety showers, eyewashes, spill kit, First Aid guidance, etc.)
    • Geneva specific procedures: call 911

ii.  Personnel contamination or exposure: See the EHS Guidance Document: “Phenol First Aid Guide and PPE

iii  Complete incident report for any spill, injury, illness or exposure related to work at Cornell within 24 hours: Incident Reporting.