The safe storage of chemicals is a necessary part to ensure the safety of environment and health. “Storage” means store the chemicals at workplaces or university laboratories; the term also includes the storing of any chemicals in use or in a ready to use conditions. Spontaneous reaction will occur between incompatible material if the chemicals placed wrongly with the possibility to cause fire, harm or explosion. All chemicals should store at the correct storage area or laboratories to prevent the incompatible chemicals mix together in the same container or storage areas. This actions have important reasons for appropriate chemical storage to provide for effective management for chemical, reduce the risk of fire or explosion, lessen exposure to toxic and corrosive and obey with relevant statutory security obligations.
First step for chemical storage is separate and store alphabetically within compatible groups, for example alphabetical arrangement could result in hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer being stored next to hydrazine is a very strong reducer. Next, do not store chemicals on shelves higher than 1.5 meter from floor level to prevent accidents caused by overreaching and fix the shelf to the wall to prevent its fall. Heat and sunlight can deteriorate the quality of chemicals, damaging storage containers and label. Therefore, avoid chemicals substances exposed to sunlight and heat. Toxic chemicals must be stored in a ventilated cabinet and chemicals should not be stored at locations where they can be knocked over. In workplaces or university laboratories, rim guard must be fixed on the edge of shelves to prevent bottles from failing.
Lab workers should obey guidelines for safe chemical storage that is read chemical labels and MSDS for specific storage instructions. Chemicals substances must not be stored in a fume hood, but stored chemicals substances in a well-ventilated area. Maintain an inventory of all chemicals in storage. After use the chemicals, return back chemical containers to their proper storage places. hazardous chemical should be stored below eye level and do not store hazardous chemicals in a public area or corridor. For hazardous chemicals, materials should always be segregated and stored according to their chemical groups or hazard classification. store chemicals alphabetically, if the materials are compatible. The most common hazard classes include flammables, corrosive, toxics, oxidizers, explosives, water reactive and other.
The Storage precautions for hazardous chemicals are given in the following paragraphs:
The Occupational Safety & Health (Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Hazardous Chemical) Regulations 1997 define explosive as the Chemicals or preparation which may explode under the effect of flame. The storage places need to be built with solid buildings and always keep locked when not in use. The storage chemical should be far away from building containing oil, grease, waste combustible material or flammable material, open fire or flame. The chemicals storage must be well ventilated and free from humidity. Explosive chemicals should keep away from all flaming sources like open flames, hot surfaces, direct sunlight, spark sources.
Oxidizers are a fire hazard. Oxidizers materials must be stored to avoid react with incompatible materials such as flammable and other materials that could react with the oxidizer or catalyst its decomposition. Inorganic oxidizers must be separated from organic peroxides. Oxidizers materials should store in a cool and dry places and do not store material under sink. If oxidizers contaminated with organic materials or metals, its can become explosive mixtures. So, make sure take care not to contaminate oxidizers. Other oxidizers like nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide should not be stored in cardboard boxes or on wooden shelves.
These chemicals will burn easily and may make a serious fire and explosion hazard. Flammables materials keep away from all flaming sources like open flames, hot surfaces, direct sunlight, spark sources. Store flammables separate from other hazard classes, especially oxidizers and toxics. Store oxidizing gases with an approved non-combustible partition or by a distance of 20 feet. Flammable liquids must be store in approved safety containers or cabinets and keep flammable liquids that require cold storage in laboratory-safe flammable material refrigerators or freezers.
v) Water Reactive
Water Reactive Chemicals react violently with water releasing heat and in some cases explosive by-products. For example, alkali metals sodium and potassium. Storage precautions for water reactive is store it in a cool, dry places. The important part is keep away from water. Do not use water if burning occurs, use a dry chemical extinguisher.
There are various forms of chemical substances such as solids, liquids, gases, dusts, mists and fibers. These types of forms can easily get into our body and these substances which has potential to harm our body especially hazardous and dangerous substances. Chemicals substances can enter the body by the inhalation. The most common way that chemicals enter the body is breathing in contaminated air. Ingestion also the way chemical enter into our body, this can happen when chemicals may be swallowed accidentally if foods or hands are contaminated. Chemicals can enter the body through injection, injects a chemical directly into the bloodstream by a sharp object such as needle.
The effect of chemicals substances on our body may be acute effect or chronic effect. Acute effects or short-term effects are those that show up immediately or soon after exposure to the chemicals occurs. They may be minor like nose or throat irritation, and it also can be serious effects like eye damage or passing out from chemicals vapors. For example, the spillage of acid on the skin will cause chemical burning occur immediately. Chronic effects or long-term effects also the effects of chemical substances. These effects may take years to show up and usually are the result of multiple exposures over a period of time. Cancer is the typical example of a chronic effects because cancers do not show up until twenty or more years after the initial exposure caused by chemical exposure. These effects are usually permanent.
Some common examples of effects of hazardous chemicals also include:
Some chemicals cause reddening, dryness, and cracking of the skin on contact. A chemical that is not corrosive, but that causes reversible inflammatory effects on living tissue at the site of contact Irritation is caused by fiberglass, soaps, oils/cutting fluids, and solvents.
A chemical that can cause cancer in human or animals, like asbestos. Workers who exposed to carcinogens should undergo periodic medical examinations. For example, benzene can cause leukemia.
First exposure, sensitizers may cause little or no reaction. A chemical that will cause an allergic reaction in a substantial number of exposed people such as isocyanates. Repeated exposure may result in severe allergic reactions.
A chemical that damages chromosomes. Substances that change the genetic information of an organism, by changing DNA. Carcinogens as mutation often cause cancer.
Substances that cause harm to the fetus or embryo during pregnancy. The chemicals can cause birth detect. For example, thalimode.