Chemical Safety

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What is Chemical Safety?

Chemical Safety is the use of prudent practices to handle and store hazardous chemicals in a way to minimize risk to the individual, other people, and the environment. Since chemicals can have a variety of properties, knowledge of the hazards and effective controls are crucial to safety.

Our Program

The Chemical Safety Team at the University of Chicago is available to provide support in any facet of chemical hygiene to Principal Investigators, research personnel, and students. The staff is comprised of chemical safety experts with extensive research experience to better train and answer the research community's questions on chemical handling, storage and disposal.

Services and Responsibilities

  • Annual chemical safety inspections and follow up of campus-wide research laboratories
  • Development of online and in-person training regarding chemical hazards in the laboratory
  • Assistance to research groups and PIs to develop Standard Operating Procedure for hazardous chemicals and implement safety procedures in their laboratory
  • Annual update of the University of Chicago's Chemical Hygiene Plan and overseeing of its implementation campus-wide
  • Collaboration with various safety entities campus wide: Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Lab Safety Specialists
  • Risk assessment for administration and use of chemicals in animal work submitted to IACUC
  • Consulting role in emergency response involving chemical hazards (Ex: chemical spills)
  • Oversee and maintain chemical inventory system for chemicals campus-wide

Emergency and Spill Response

Accidents and exposures can happen. Please see EHS website for information on handling a chemical spill or exposure.