7.9 Chemical Storage
Chemical storage areas in the academic laboratory setting include central stockrooms, storerooms, laboratory work areas, storage cabinets, refrigerators, and freezers. There are established legal requirements as well as recommended practices for proper storage of chemicals. Proper storage of chemicals promotes safer and healthier working conditions, extends the usefulness of chemicals, and can help prevent contamination. Chemicals that are stored improperly can result in:
- Degraded containers that can release hazardous vapors that are detrimental to the health of laboratory personnel.
- Degraded containers that allow chemicals to become contaminated, which can have an adverse effect on experiments.
- Degraded containers that can release vapors, which in turn can affect the integrity of nearby containers.
- Degraded labels that can result in the generation of unknowns.
- Chemicals becoming unstable and/or potentially explosive.
- Citation and/or fines from state and federal regulatory agencies.