OSHA requires provisions be made for lab personnel protection when working with Particularly Hazardous Substances. These materials include carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and acutely toxic substances. These provisions are to be listed in the SOP for the substance, and are to be reviewed by lab personnel prior to working with the substance.
Carcinogens are substances capable of causing cancer. Reproductive toxins are defined by OSHA as “chemicals that affect the reproductive capabilities including adverse effects on sexual function and fertility in adult males and females, as well as adverse effects on the development of the offspring.” Select Agents and Toxins are biological agents or substances that have the potential to pose a severe threat to human, animal, and / or plant health, or to animal and plant products. Substances with high acute toxicity may be fatal or cause damage to target organs as a result of a single exposure or exposure of short duration.
Below are listed the physical hazards associated with common laboratory chemicals.
Pyrophoric materials are substances that will ignite spontaneously in air. Working with pyrophoric material requires great care to prevent accidental ignition.