Injurious chemicals used in lab and Precaution
- There are various chemicals in the lab which are injurious to the health. Everybody should know the hazards and their remedies.
Acids, Alkalies, and corrosives:
These chemicals may cause :
- Severe burns
- Tissue damage.
- Chemical burn.
Precautions for use of above chemicals:
- During transport put the bottle in the large container or plastic bag.
- Never hold the bottle by the neck, always grab it firmly from the body.
- During pouring wear eye protection and chemical resistant gloves and gown.
- Always use safety eyeglasses.
- Store acid in the acid safety cabinet.
- Limit volumes of acid to one liter in one container.
- Always add acid to water and never water to acid.
- Mix these solutions always in the sink.
- Always label properly these bottles.
- Never allow mouth pipetting.
- Perchloric acid is explosive when in contact with organic material, needs careful handling.
- Never put this bottle on a wooden bench, always keep it on the glass top.
- Be careful about handling the mercury, this is poisonous and may spill in the atmosphere.
- These are explosive and leads to severe injury.
Precaution in use of gases:
- Label all the gas containers.
- Leave valve safety covers on until use.
- Open valve slowly for use.
- Label empty tanks.
- It causes freeze injury and severe burn to the skin.
Precaution for liquid nitrogen use:
- Use heavy insulated gloves and goggles.
- These are bacterial and viral infections.
- These are hepatitis viruses and HIV.
- These can take place from:
- Accidental puncture with needles
- By spilling, and splattering the infectious material on the tables or floors.
- Spraying of the infectious material.
- If there are cuts and scratches from the contaminated blood vessels.
- In the case of centrifuge accidents.
- Any unfixed tissue like blood slides etc are taken as infectious.
- Use barrier protection like gloves, gowns, and laboratory coats.
- Use eye mask protection.
- Use latex gloves as protection. these should be powder-free and low allergen latex.
- Never use mouth pipetting and also never blow it out if there is the possibility of infectious material.
- Wash hands after the use of gloves.
- facial barrier protection is also needed.
- Dispose of the needle in the rigid container without handling them.
- Dispose of all sharp material appropriately.
- Advise frequent hand wash and also wash hands before leaving the lab.
- Try to make a habit to keep your hands from eye, mouth or any other mucous membranes, this will decrease the chances of infection.
- Decontaminate, and disinfect the all useable devices.
- Be sure that the tubes have no crakes.
- Periodically clean the fridge and the freezer.
- There are chances for electrical shock.
- All worn wires should be replaced immediately.
- Ground all the equipment.
- The broken test tubes or other glassware needs precautions.
- Broken test tubes and other glassware are injurious to the lips and hands.
- These are injurious to the person who is washing and handling this glassware.
- The best remedy is to remove all these broken glassware.
- In the clinical laboratory when making extracts with a solvent whose vapors are toxic.
- In the toxicology when extracts with chlorinated hydrocarbons, these cause damage to the liver after a certain time of the exposure.
- Some of the chemicals are carcinogenic.
- Always work in the fume hood with good ventilation particularly when using organic solvents.
- Avoid contact with skin because these are absorbed by the skin.
- wash it with soap and water.
- The laboratory should be well ventilated because low concentration exposure for a long period of time is dangerous.
- There are few chemicals which are carcinogenic like:
- Methyl chloromethyl ether.
- bis-Chloromethyl ether.
- Some of these chemicals are still in use in the clinical laboratory.
- e.g. Benzidine for the hemoglobin estimation in the blood.
- Try to avoid these carcinogens and use the alternatives.
- Use non-carcinogenic compounds.
- Don’t spill such chemicals on the table.
- If it is powder then try not to inhale it.
- These substances are used in the diagnosis and the treatment of the diseases.
- Carefully store these radioactive materials.
- Follow the rules and regulations laid down about their storage, workplace, monitoring programs and disposal.
- Radiation safety in the people working in such facilities should be followed.
- In the case of tracer used in the radioimmunoassay, the radioactivity is very low but still, it needs proper handling and disposal.
- Gamma rays are penetrating so these materials are kept behind the lead shield.
- Beta rays are safer and these can keep in their containers and store in the fridge.
- Always use disposable gloves when handling these materials to avoid spillover and contamination.
- Careful disposal of the material is very very important.
- If you observe reasonable precautions in the clinical laboratory and are equally alert behind the steering wheel.
- You will eventually collect and enjoy your pension as a senior citizen and live longer and die of old age.