Organic Chemistry Lab Safety

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No student is allowed to work in the lab without
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the supervision of an instructor
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No unauthorized experiment is permitted
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alteration/modification of the lab procedure is not allowed unless it has been checked and okay-ed by your instructor.
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Eating, drinking, and chewing gum
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are not allowed in the lab. Chewing gum may absorb chemicals from the laboratory
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During the lab period, store your books and bags
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under the bench. Do NOT leave your backpack by or on top of the bench
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Do Not put items close to
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the edge of the bench/fuming hood.
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Do NOT use broken, cracked
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or chipped glassware. It will shatter and cause injury.
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Do not put hot glassware directly
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on a cold surface.
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Hands must be completely dry when handling
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electric plugs, grasp the electrical plug (not the cord) when removing it from the socket
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When using a hot plate, make sure that the cord is not touching
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the hot surface of the hot plate, the cord will melt and expose electrical wires
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Avoid using any faulty equipment or damaged electric cords
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could cause electrocution if touched, or trigger a fire if exposed to water, report it immediately to your TA.
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Notify your TA immediately if you notice unexpected
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chemical reaction of your experiment or any unsafe condition. Report all accidents (chemical spill, broken glass, etc.) or/and injuries (burn, cut, chemical splash etc.)
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Do not use cell
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phone in lab.
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Keep your work area and all shared areas of the laboratory clean and orderly
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including the balance areas, sink areas, all fuming hoods.
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Dispose wastes, chemical wastes
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broken glassware in designated containers
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keep all reagent containers and waste
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containers capped when not in use.
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Wash your hands before leaving the lab
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be careful not to touch your eyes or other body areas without thoroughly washing your hands first.
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Safety eyewear
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must be worn at all times. Contact lenses should not be worn during the organ
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You must wear closed-toe shoes that you can
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walk quickly and comfortably with and wear long pants.
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Never move a reagent bottle
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to your bench. Leave the bottle at its designated area (the storage hood).
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Be careful not to contaminate the chemicals. Don’t put your spatula
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directly to take the solid from the supply bottle. Instead, pour solid directly into your container
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Never to dip your medicine dropper directly
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into the supply reagent container. Instead, transfer small amount into your container
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Dispose any “left-over” chemicals into
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the labeled “waste container”.
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Keep the flammable solvents, such as
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diethyl ether, acetone, hexanes, benzene, toluene, ethyl acetate, ethanol, methanol, etc away from your heating device.
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highly flammable solvents, such as
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diethyl ether, hexanes, are used, make sure no open flame is present in the lab.
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Make sure to re-cap ALL
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containers, including the reagent bottles and the waste containers after each use!
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Always hold the chemicals away from you
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NEVER look directly over reaction flask, separatory funnel
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After your product is recorded, analyzed and no longer needed
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dispose it away the same way as you dispose the left-over chemicals
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For organic products generated from the experiments
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use a MINIMUM amount of acetone to dissolve the product first, and then put it in the labeled “Organic liquid waste container”
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Silica gel and/or alumina wastes from column chromatography are
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collected in designated solid waste container. But do not put ordinary wastes of inorganic salts into the “Solid Waste Containers” unless otherwise specified.
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small amount of inorganic salts, such as
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magnesium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium or sodium carbonate (and bicarbonate), sodium sulfate, etc, would not pose a concern to human health and can be carefully put into the trash bin or washed down the sink
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left-over or unreacted aluminum chloride (AlCl3) must be
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disposed in the fuming hood, by carefully and slowly adding a small amount of water first, as it will release HCl upon exposing to water or moisture.
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aqueous solutions from working-up your reaction can be carefully poured into
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the sink in your fuming hood.
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dispose the content first!
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Before you throw away your product vials, broken glassware, and other waste glassware into the designated Glassware Waste Container
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You must clean all your glassware right after
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its use so it will be dry and ready for your next lab. Do not use cracked or chipped glassware, ask your TA for a replacement.
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Always lubricate the glass tube before inserting
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it in a rubber stopper and hold it close to the end near the stopper
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Protect your hands with a towel when inserting
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glass tubing. Insert carefully with a gentle twisting motion.
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Any broken glass must be cleaned up immediately
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but don’t attempt to clean it up without notifying your TA first.
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If ground glass stopper is stuck
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report it to your TA
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If you force the stopper off the bottle or separatory funnel
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you may experience chemical splash, burn and injuries.
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Do not shake a thermometer after
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melting-point measurement. Lay thermometer on a towel to cool, away from the edge of the lab bench.
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Allow plenty of time for a hot metal to cool before touching it.
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test it by cautiously bringing the back of your hand close to the metal to feel if heat is radiating from it.
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Never heat a closed container,
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as pressure will build up which may cause the container to explode.
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After a reaction, do NOT immediately
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take down your hot flask (and/or other heated glassware) and put it in contact with a cool surface or water. Doing so often cause the glassware to crack or shatter
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When you heat a liquid in test tube, always
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point it away from you and your neighbors
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When venting your separatory funnel after vigorously shaking during a work-up procedure
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always point it away from you and your neighbors.
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What to do in case of an accident?
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Notify your instructor/TA of all accidents immediately
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Burns: Small burns from touching hot objects should be treated by placing the affected area
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under cold running water or covering it with ice for 20 minutes. After which you can apply the pain-relieving cream.
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Chemical Spills:If chemicals splashed to your eyes or face
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immediately get to the eye wash station and flush your eyes with running water from an eyewash station for at least 15 minutes.
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For large chemical spills on the body
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get under the safety shower and flush the affected area for at least 15 minutes. While under the shower, remove all contaminated clothing.
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For smaller chemical spills on you
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rinse with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Get your instructor/TA’s attention.
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If you break a mercury thermometer and spill mercury,
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do not try to clean it by yourself, report it to your TA immediately
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For a large chemical spill on the counter top or floor
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immediately notify the instructor/your TAchemical), your instructor will advise you about what to do. Chemical spills must be cleaned up immediately.
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For small spills that can be cleaned up with a small amount of paper towel
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avoid letting the chemicals soak through the paper (if it is liquid) and touch your hands.
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Dispose of the collected
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contaminated chemical as instructed
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Cuts: Small cuts should be
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rinsed with cold water to make sure the areas are free from chemicals
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Apply pressure if bleeding is extensive
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elevate the affected limb if bleeding is profuse. Seek medical help,
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Fires: When your hair or clothes catch on fire
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do NOT run, as running enhances the supply of air and intense the flames. Instead, walk to the nearest safety shower, position yourself directly under the showerhead and pull the chain
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if it is your clothes on fire,
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DROP to the floor and ROLL as you wrap the fire blanket around your body to smother the flames. Do NOT wrap yourself in a fire blanket while you are standing, as doing so it may direct the flames to your face.
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People around you should:
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a) get the fire blanket and wrap you with it to smother the flames and keep it away from face and neck. Never use a fire extinguish directly on a person! b) Call Tulane police department for help
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If the fire is small and contained,
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turn off your reaction and use a cover plate, or a watch glass to cover/smother it
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f the material that catches on fire is not water reactive,
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you can smother off the fire with wet clothe.
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If the fire happens in the fuming hood
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turn off your reaction, quick move away any and all flammable material, and pull the lash down. Call for help if the situation escalates.
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Earthquake: Turn off your reaction
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the gas valve, stay away from falling objects. Drop and cover in a safe area. Do NOT run or panic

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