Chemical Safety: Protecting Ourselves And Our Environment;
Course Outline (Fall 2004)


Participating schools may need to adjust the schedule based on their institutional calendar. The course should start at the beginning of the fall 2004 semester or term. This will give your class three to four weeks to cover the introductory material.

Introduction to the course (Prior to Sept 12)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • Overview of course content and schedule
  • Orientation to course materials
  • Students will become familiar with:
    • OLCC-STU Majordomo Discussion List. Each student will need an e-mail account and become familiar with their school's e-mail system. Each student should send a message to OLCC-STU and introduce themselves giving a little background information.
    • OLCC website ( Each student should be familiar with the course website and be able to retrieve papers and other information from this site.
    • Web links to the texts and other resources
    • Participating schools
    • Course objectives and requirements

Introduction to safety (Sept 12 - 18)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • Students need to order or download a free copy of Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories Vol. 1, 7th. Ed. American Chemical SocietyPresentation:

TOPIC I. How does a prudent person plan a laboratory experiment?

How are we exposed to chemicals?(Sept. 19 - 25)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • Routes of exposure
  • Nature of chemical hazards Reactivity, Corrosivity, Toxicity, Flammability
  • Practical Toxicology: mechanisms of action
  1. PP Ch 3 - Evaluating Hazards and Assessing Risks (pp 35 - 57)
  2. SACL 1 (pp 10 - 11)

How can we evaluate the hazards of the materials we work with? (Sept. 26 - Oct. 2)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • How can chemical harm us? (use of label, MSDS, LCSS, CLIPS and other sources)
  • Review of procedures for handling chemicals
PP Ch 3 - Evaluating Hazards and Assessing Risks (pp 31 - 35)

SACL 1 (pp 12 - 16; Appendix 1)

How do I use equipment properly?(Oct. 3 - 9)

Topics Presentation Reading

  • General procedures (including glassware)
    • Special Situations
    • Compressed gases
    • Vacuum and reduced pressure
    • Lab ergonomics
  • Ventilation (building and hoods)

TOPIC II. How does a prudent person manage chemicals and dispose of wastes to minimize risk from exposure to hazardous materials?

How do I handle and manage the chemicals needed for my project? (Oct. 10 - 16)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • General considerations
  • Special Situations:
      Biohazards including bloodborne pathogens)
    • Radioactivity and radiation hazards (ionizing radiation, lasers, uv)
    • Flammables
    • Highly reactive or explosive chemicals
  • Storage and labeling of chemicals

How can I minimize generation of waste? (Oct. 17 - 23)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • Source reduction
  • Reagent substitution
  • Green chemistry
  • Microscale
  • Scaleup of reactions

How do I handle the wastes generated in my project? (Oct. 24 - 30)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • Recycling/reuse/
  • Treatment
  • Disposal and recycling of wastes (philosophy and practice)
  • Environmental regulations governing college laboratories
  • Avoiding accidents
  • Preventing contamination

TOPIC III. How does a prudent person prevent or respond to an emergency in the laboratory?

How can I prevent accidents?(Oct. 31 - Nov. 6)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • Safety training
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Legal aspects of laboratory safety
  • Unattended operations and working alone
  • Safety inspections

How do I respond to an emergency?(Nov. 7 - 13)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • Fires and explosions
  • Spills (incidental and large)
  • Contaminated self and coworker
  • Safety equipment
  • Loss of services (water, electricity)

What rules and regulations cover my work in the laboratory? (Nov. 14 - 20)

Topics Presentation Reading
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan
  • OSHA
  • DOT
  • EPA
  • State and local regulations

Supplemental Papers

Safety Issues Related to Microwave-Enhanced Chemistry by Barbara L. Foster, West Virginia University, Morgantown WV

This page is maintained by
Scott Van Bramer
Department of Chemistry
Widener University
Chester, PA 19013

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This page has been accessed times since 6/1 /2003 .
Last Updated 4/15/2003