Wear safety goggles at all times while working in the laboratory. See Photo #1 below for examples of acceptable styles.


Note the location of the eyewash station in the front of the lab, as shown in Photo #2. Special care is needed if you wear contact lenses since chemicals splashed in the eye may get under the lens and therefore be difficult to rinse.
Photo 1

Goggles used for safety purposes


                  Photo 2                         

Eyewash Station


Wear shoes at all times while in the laboratory.


Eating, drinking, chewing gum and smoking are prohibited in the laboratory at all times. Keep all food and drinks in your backpack or purse.


Know where to find and how to use the safety shower in the front of the room, as shown in Photo #2.


Know the location of the SMC Health Office in case medical assistance is needed.


Consider all chemicals to be hazardous unless instructed otherwise.


If chemicals come in contact with your skin or eyes, wash immediately with large amounts of water, then consult with your laboratory instructor.


Any reactions involving dangerous chemicals or unpleasant odors are to be performed in a fume hood. There are several fume hoods in each lab, one is shown in Photo #3 below.
Photo 3
 Fume Good


Clean up any spilled chemicals immediately. Consult with your laboratory instructor if you are not sure what to do.


Clean up broken glassware immediately. A dustpan and broom are located under a sink in each lab for this purpose. Dispose of broken glassware in the designated tall cardboard containers at the front of the lab and not in the regular trash can.


Do not use flammable liquids near open flames. Most organic liquids are flammable. Diethyl ether is especially dangerous.


Never point the mouth of a test tube at yourself or at anyone else. It may erupt like a geyser.


Do not taste anything in the chemistry laboratory.


Smell chemicals carefully and only when instructed to do so. Waft odors towards your nose rather than sniffing directly.


Confine long hair when in the laboratory so that it will not catch on fire or come into contact with chemicals.


Do not use mouth suction when filling pipettes with chemicals. Use a rubber suction bulb.


Do not force glass tubing or thermometers into rubber stoppers. The tubing or thermometer may break and cut you badly. Consult with your laboratory instructor for assistance. 


Saturated sodium bicarbonate solution (baking soda solution) is available in the laboratories in large glass bottles. These are located by the sinks, as shown in Photo #4. This solution can be used to neutralize acids or bases spills before wiping them up. However, if acid or base spills on your skin, don't waste time looking for the solution. Rinse with large amounts of water immediately.

Photo #4



Do not work in the laboratory if your lab instructor is not present.


Notify your lab instructor immediately if you are injured in any way.


Use the proper trash receptacle:
  • The large wastebaskets at the front of the room are for paper, never for chemicals or glass.
  • Waste chemicals should be disposed of as directed by your lab instructor. Most chemicals are not to be thrown down the sink. Special waste receptacles will be provided for these chemicals. Waste chemicals must be sorted by kind, not just mixed with other, different waste chemicals.
  • Broken glass is to be disposed of in designated tall cardboard containers at the front of the lab (see Rule #11).


Do not perform unauthorized experiments. If you see someone else doing something you think may be dangerous, tell him or her to stop and/or report the incident to your lab instructor. If another student tells you to stop doing something because it is unsafe, stop as directed. Consult your lab instructor if there is a problem or difference of opinion.


The effects of chemical agents used in this course on human pregnancy are unknown. Pregnant women are advised to consult their physician before taking this course.


The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) requires that the Governor revise and publish annually the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. You may be exposed to one or more of these chemicals during this course. See your lab instructor for a list of these chemicals.


Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available for all the chemicals used in this course. These sheets give information about the chemical, physical, and physiological properties of chemical substances. See your instructor for information about accessing these sheets. There are a number of MSDS sites on the Internet; one is at http://hazard.com/msds/