University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr
MS 2030 
Moscow, ID

Phone: 208-885-6524

Fax: 208-885-5969



Part 600: Special Hazard Information

Subpart A - Hazardous Materials Recognition

Subpart B - Reactive Materials

Subpart C - Chemical Storage and Incompatibility

Subpart D - Hazardous Materials Spill and Incident Response

Subpart A - Hazardous Materials Recognition

600.01 General

  1. Hazard recognition is the first step in hazardous materials management. Because hazardous materials often exhibit more than one hazardous characteristic (e.g., some materials are capable of being flammable, poisonous and corrosive), users should become informed of all hazardous characteristics of a material by reviewing appropriate sources of information.

600.10 Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)

  1. A material safety data sheet (MSDS) provides information about a hazardous material to aid the user during handling, storage, spill cleanup and proper disposal. Information provided in MSDSs includes: manufacture information, hazardous constituents, physical and chemical characteristics, fire and explosion hazard data, reactivity data, health hazard data, precautions for safe handling and use, and control measures.

    Manufacturers are required by law to provide MSDSs for each hazardous material they sell. Keep MSDSs readily accessible and updated for all chemicals used in a given area. MSDSs are readily available online or directly from the manufacturer. Also, MSDSs may need to be supplemented with information from other reference books.

>600.20 Published Reference Materials

  1. General
    1. No single hazardous materials reference source provides all the information required for assessment of hazardous materials, making it necessary to have more than one reference on hand. There are many books available that provide handling, storage, clean up, toxicity and other information on hazardous materials. Below is a list of reference books available at EHS for your review:
      1. The Merck Index, Tenth Edition (1983), by Merck & Co., Inc. - Provides physical, chemical, and some toxicity data.
      2. Safety, The Sigma-Aldrich Library of Chemical Safety Data, Edition I (1985) - Toxicity, health hazard, first aid, incompatibility, decomposition, handling, storage, spill response and cleanup information and data given.
      3. Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Sixth Edition (1984), by Sax - Physical, chemical, toxicity, exposure, fire and disaster hazard information provided.
      4. Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS), 1985-1986 - Provides toxicity data on a large number of compounds.
      5. The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Tenth Edition (1981), by Hawley - Physical, chemical and chemical hazard data and properties given.
      6. Crop Protection Handbook (2010) - Provides essential information on a large number of fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides.
      7. NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2005) - A concise listing of chemical, exposure, incompatibility, personal protection, respirator and health hazard information. The guide can be found at .
      8. Fire Protection Guide to Hazardous Materials, Twelfth Edition (1997), National Fire Protection Association — Organized in a format similar to Material Safety Data Sheets.

600.30 Personal Protection and Safety Equipment

  1. General
    1. Handling hazardous materials requires the use of personal protection equipment. An individual using a hazardous material must know the limitations and capabilities of the personal protective equipment to obtain effective protection from exposure to the chemical.
  2. Personal Protective Equipment - Equipment may include, but not be limited to:
    1. Goggles - Many styles and levels of eye protection are available. Choose a style that is comfortable yet provides maximum splash and impact protection. It may be necessary to have several types available for different applications.
    2. Gloves - No single glove material provides 100% chemical protection from all chemicals. Choose a glove material that provides maximum protection for the specific material being handled. Manufacturers often provide specifications for a material's durability to a variety of hazardous materials. Other publications exist that provide similar information.
    3. Face shields - Face shields, when appropriate, should always be worn along with goggles to help protect the whole face and neck from chemical exposure and impact from small explosions.
    4. Lab coats - Lab coats help protect street clothes and skin from contamination with chemicals. Some fabrics can provide a limited degree of fire protection (e.g. Nomex).
    5. Respirators - Respirators can provide added protection from the inhalation of fumes, vapors, dusts and mists. However, RESPIRATORS SHOULD NEVER BE USED TO REPLACE A FUME HOOD OR OTHER ENGINEERING CONTROLS. Also, respirators can only provide protection from chemical exposure if the chemicals are identified, their airborne concentrations are known, and the correct cartridges are used. Personnel who desire to use a respirator must check with EHS to see if he or she must enroll in the medical surveillance and respirator fit testing programs provided by EHS, and determine that the respirator is in good condition and being used correctly and safely.
  3. Other Safety Equipment - Other safety equipment should be used with personal protective equipment to minimize chemical exposure whenever appropriate, and may include:
    1. Fume Hoods - work involving volatile chemicals should be done in a properly working hood.
    2. Explosion Shields - work involving chemicals, pressures, vacuums, etc. that poses an explosion/implosion risk should be conducted behind a safety shield for added protection.
    3. Secondary Containment - Use trays, tubs, mats and other devices as secondary containment for hazardous materials whenever possible.
  4. Summary - Having knowledge of a material's hazardous properties and knowledge of the limitations and proper use of personal protective and other safety equipment will help ensure that hazardous materials are handled safely. Always consult the manufacturer's MSDS for specific personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for the hazardous materials you will be working with, and the manufacturer of the PPE to determine its effectiveness against those materials.

Subpart B - Reactive Materials

610.01 General

  1. Reactive chemicals and materials are capable of exhibiting extremely hazardous physical and/or chemical characteristics. They often require special handling, containment, packaging, and storage considerations. Become familiar with the characteristics of reactive materials before handling them.
    1. Reactive Characteristics Include: Water reactive, shock sensitive, air reactive (pyrophoric), highly toxic, spontaneously combustible, explosive (or chemical deflagration hazard), peroxide forming, organic peroxide, oxidizer, polymerizing, obnoxiously odiferous, and lachrymator.

      NOTE: Reactive compounds may also exhibit subsidiary hazardous characteristics (e.g., corrosivity, toxicity, and flammability). Check the MSDS or other reliable source of information to determine a material's subsidiary hazards.

610.05 Water Reactive Materials

  1. Materials such as alkali metals, metal carbides, acid chlorides (both inorganic and organic), and isocyanates are capable of reacting violently when they come in contact with water. Water reactive materials tend to be very corrosive and some are capable of producing highly flammable or toxic gases upon hydrolysis. These materials are extremely dangerous and should be submitted to EHS for disposal immediately, if no longer needed. Sodium and other alkali metals may explode when exposed to appreciable volumes of water and must always be stored under mineral oil and protected from water. The following compounds or groups of compounds are examples of materials possessing or capable of possessing water reactive characteristics:
    1. Alkali and alkaline earth metals - e.g., potassium metal, sodium metal.
    2. Alkyl lithium and other metallic reagents - e.g., butyl lithium, trimethylaluminum.
    3. Boron trifluoride solutions.
    4. Grignard reagents - e.g., butyl magnesium bromide.
    5. Hydrides of Al, B, Ca, K, Li, Na.
    6. Anhydrous halides of Al, As, Fe, P, S, Sb, Si, Sn, Ti.
    7. Phosphorous oxychloride (POCl3) - Also known as phosphoryl chloride.
    8. Phosphorous pentoxide (P2O5).
    9. Thionyl chloride (SOCl2) and sulfuryl chloride (SO2Cl2).
    10. Fluorine gas.

610.10 Shock Sensitive Materials

  1. Shock sensitive materials are capable of reacting violently when subjected to friction, heat or mechanical stress. THESE CHEMICALS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Submit them for disposal immediately if no longer needed. Common shock sensitive chemicals usually fall into one of the following groups of compounds:
  1. Diazo compounds.
  2. Metal azides.
  3. Nitrocelluloses.
  4. Perchlorate salts.*
  5. Peroxidizable chemicals - e.g., ethyl ether, dioxane, etc.
  6. Dry picric acid and picrate salts.
  7. Polynitroaromatics - e.g., trinitrotoluene (TNT), picric acid, etc.
  8. Nitric esters of organic alcohols - e.g., nitroglycerine, tetranitroerythritol.

    *Some perchlorate salts are more shock sensitive than others (e.g., lead perchlorate is much more shock sensitive than sodium perchlorate) and all are extremely dangerous when contaminated or combined with organic materials or reducing agents.

610.15 Air Reactive (Pyrophoric) Materials

  1. Phosphorus is probably the most recognized pyrophoric material. It must be noted that phosphorus exists in one of several allotropic forms: white, yellow, red, black and violet phosphorus. Black and violet phosphorus are uncommon and rarely encountered. White and yellow phosphorus are the same allotropic form and will be referred to as white phosphorus. White phosphorus ignites spontaneously in air forming oxides of phosphorus which readily hydrolyzes to phosphoric acid. White phosphorus must be stored under water at all times. Red phosphorus is less reactive than the white form and should be stored under mineral oil at all times. The fumes from burning phosphorus are extremely dangerous and can lead to serious lung injury if inhaled. Organometallic compounds (e.g., trimethylaluminum, tetramethyltin, dimethylcadmium, etc.) are also pyrophoric and capable of decomposing explosively in water.

610.20 Highly Toxic Materials

  1. Certain materials are so extremely toxic that their subsidiary hazards are considered a minimal risk in comparison. Methyl isocyanate, hydrocyanic acid, and chlorine gases are examples of highly toxic materials that pose extreme life-threatening situations upon exposure. Other materials that pose great risks under certain conditions include inorganic cyanides and sulfides.

610.25 Spontaneously Combustible Materials

  1. As previously stated, phosphorus and organometallic compounds will ignite spontaneously. Other materials are capable of undergoing spontaneous combustion but are not necessarily pyrophoric. Activated charcoal and even charcoal briquettes (especially after becoming damp) used for backyard barbecues are two examples of spontaneously combustible materials.

610.30 Explosion/Deflagration Hazard

  1. Explosive materials, when triggered (or detonated), are capable of inflicting large scale damage, destruction, injury and loss of human life. Some examples of common laboratory chemicals that are capable of exploding under proper conditions are: dry picric acid (especially picrate salts), dry trinitrotoluene (TNT), 2,4-dinitrophenol, nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose.

610.35 Peroxide Forming Materials

  1. Certain oxygen-containing organic compounds form peroxides upon exposure to air. Peroxide concentration upon distillation or evaporation of these materials presents an extremely dangerous situation. Minimal shock, friction, or heat is needed to cause a violent reaction and fire when appreciable concentrations of peroxides accumulate in low molecular weight ethers (e.g., ethyl ether, isopropyl ether, tetrahydrofuran, dioxane, etc.). Adhering to the following guidelines should help keep ethers and other peroxidizable materials from achieving dangerous levels of peroxides.
    1. Peroxidizable Materials Management - Peroxidizable compounds should be purchased according to short term needs to assure that peroxide buildup from repeated exposure to oxygen is minimized. Peroxidizable materials stored in clear glass containers will also tend to form dangerous levels of peroxides over time. Ethers having peroxide concentrations of one percent (1%) or greater are considered to be very hazardous and should be disposed of immediately.
      1. Peroxide Hazards - Please heed the following warning:

        WARNING: Compounds suspected of having very high peroxide levels, because of visual observation, unusual viscosity, crystal formation, or age, should be considered EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. The precautions taken for disposal of these materials should be the same as for any material that can be detonated by friction or shock. IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT THE CONTAINER NOT BE OPENED. The act of opening the container COULD DETONATE PEROXIDE CRYSTALS under the container cap or other closure RESULTING IN AN EXPLOSION.
      2. Peroxide Testing Requirements - Peroxidizable materials should be tested for peroxide build up on a regular basis and before being submitted for disposal to EHS personnel. Peroxide concentrations can be determined quickly and accurately when tested with peroxide test strips. Peroxide test strips are available from most scientific vendors.

        WARNING: These procedures apply only to recently purchased ethers. Old containers of ether that have been stored for long periods of time present an extreme explosion hazard and should never be opened or moved. Contact Environmental Health and Safety if an "old" ether container is discovered.
      3. Labeling - The labeling of peroxidizable materials should follow National Safety Council recommendations, which are:
        1. List I - Peroxidizable Compound -
          1. The date received
          2. The date opened
          3. The words: "Discard or Test Within 3 Months After Opening"
        2. Lists II/III - Peroxidizable Compound -
          1. The date received
          2. The date opened
          3. The words: "Discard or Test Within 12 Months After Opening"
      4. Storage - All peroxidizable compounds should be stored away from heat and light. Sunlight is an especially good promoter of peroxidation. Protection from physical damage and ignition sources during storage is also essential. Particular care should be taken to ensure tight closure on storage containers. Loose or leaking closures permit evaporation upon storage of the material, leaving behind a hazardous concentration of peroxides. Most common container materials, such as steel, stainless steel, etc., baked phenolic linings, and ceramics, are suitable for storing peroxidizable materials. However, they must be clean and free from metal oxides, which may actually promote peroxide formation.
      5. Stabilization - The use of oxidation inhibitors is especially important in the safe handling of peroxidizable materials. Hydroquinone, alkyl phenolic aromatic amines, or similar materials are recommended by manufacturers for their effectiveness in preventing peroxide formation during storage. The selection of a proper inhibitor should be made to avoid possible conflict with use or purity requirements of the compound. Label all materials with the stabilizer used and the date stabilized.
      6. Categories - Peroxide forming materials exhibit varying degrees of danger. The following lists of materials are representative of those compounds (and their respectable peroxidation hazard) which form peroxides:
        1. List I - Peroxidizable Compounds - These compounds form peroxides during storage that may become extremely hazardous (i.e., explosion hazard) without being concentrated. Test the following every 3 months:

          Isopropyl ether, divinyl ether, potassium metal, vinylidene chloride, potassium and sodium amide (sodamide)
        2. List II - Peroxidizable Compounds - These compounds become extremely hazardous when peroxides become concentrated due to distillation or evaporation over time. Test the following every 6 months:

          Dioxanes, ethylene glycol, dimethyl ether, ethyl ether, furan, tetrahydrofuran (THF), methyl acetylene, acetal, methyl cyclopentane, cumene, methyl-isobutyl ketone, cyclohexane, tetrahydronaphthalene, diacetylene, vinyl ethers, dicyclopentadiene
        3. List III - Peroxidizable compounds - These compounds are a peroxide hazard due to their tendency to undergo peroxide-initiated polymerization. Test the following materials every 6 months:

          Butadiene, vinyl acetate, chloroprene, vinyl acetylene, chlorotrifluoroethylene, vinyl chloride, styrene, vinyl pyridine, tetrafluoroethylene

          NOTE: When stored as a liquid, the peroxide-forming potential increases for these compounds (especially butadiene, chloroprene, and tetrafluoroethylene) and, therefore, should also be considered a peroxide hazard during storage.

        NOTE: The above lists are NOT all-inclusive; check the MSDS (or other reference) for the peroxide-forming potential of the material you are using.

610.40 Oxidizing Materials

  1. Oxidizers possess the ability to react violently with a large spectrum of materials. Because oxidizers are often a source of oxygen, they will greatly enhance and sustain a fire. Materials (cloth, asphalt, tar, fuels, etc.) will burn with little incitation when saturated with liquid oxygen. Iron burns so vigorously in liquid oxygen that it melts from the heat of combustion. Oxidizers are grouped into two categories, organic and inorganic oxidizers. They should always be segregated from each other and all other materials.
    1. Organic Oxidizers - Organic nitrates/nitrites and peroxides make up the two largest groups of organic oxidizers. Organic oxidizers are inherently unstable and are capable of undergoing rapid decomposition, resulting in a violent explosion.
      1. Organic Nitrates/Nitrites - Organic nitrates/nitrites (e.g., butyl nitrate) are often very unstable, highly flammable, and tend to be shock sensitive. Extreme care should be taken during periods of handling and storage.
      2. Organic Peroxides - Like organic nitrates, organic peroxides pose serious fire and explosion hazards due to their intrinsically unstable nature. Organic peroxides are best stored under water (>20%) and at cold temperatures. Peroxo compounds, when heated to a certain point, are likely to spontaneously ignite and/or explode. The temperature at which an explosion is most likely to occur is called the self-accelerating decomposition temperature (SADT), and varies from one peroxo compound to another.
    2. Inorganic Oxidizers - Inorganic oxidizers usually fall into one of three groups, nitrates/nitrites, peroxides, or highly oxygenated metal complex ions (e.g., dichromates, permanganates, etc.). Inorganic oxidizers tend to be more stable than organic oxidizers but are capable of very violent reactions, especially when contaminated with organics or other reducing materials. Only inorganic peroxides will be discussed here.
      1. Inorganic Peroxides - (sodium peroxide, lead peroxide) Aside from being oxidizers, alkali and alkaline peroxides tend to be water reactive and should be protected from coming in contact with water or absorbing moisture from the air.

610.45 Polymerizable Materials

  1. Styrenes and acrylates are examples of compounds exhibiting the hazardous characteristic of polymerization. These materials must be stabilized with an inhibitor to prevent unwanted polymerization.

610.50 Obnoxiously Odiferous Materials

  1. Compounds that emit pungent, strong or otherwise obnoxious odors include: mercaptans or thiols, organic amines and sulfides. Odiferous compounds are often very toxic; handle them with care.

610.55 Lachrymators

  1. Lachrymators are strong irritants to the eyes and mucus membrane tissues (e.g., tear gas).

Subpart C - Chemical Storage and Incompatibility

620.01 General

  1. The correct storage of hazardous materials will reduce the possibility of problems due to incompatibilities (i.e., fire, spill and exposure to personnel). Store flammable liquids in an approved flammable liquids storage cabinet. Acids and bases should be stored in approved storage cabinets (always separate organics from inorganics). Never store chemicals alphabetically without regard to their hazardous characteristics and reactivity. The list below provides chemical storage guidelines for your reference.

620.10 Chemical Storage Guidelines

  1. Follow in sequence for best results:
    1. Segregate - First segregate organic from inorganic chemicals;
    2. Corrosives - Store acids with acids and bases with bases;
    3. Oxidizers - Oxidizers must be grouped together, away from all other chemicals;
    4. Flammable Liquids - Flammable liquids shall be stored in a UL-certified flammable liquid storage cabinet;
    5. Pyrophoric Materials - Pyrophoric materials must be stored in an inert atmosphere, in a desiccator, under water or other appropriate liquid specified for that material;
    6. Water Reactive Materials - Water reactive materials must either be stored in a desiccator, or under a non-aqueous liquid specified for that material or in an inert atmosphere (e.g., sodium metal is typically stored under mineral oil);
    7. Organic Amines - Store organic amines together;
    8. Miscellaneous Organic Compounds - Organic compounds not in any other reactive group can be stored together;
    9. Miscellaneous Inorganic Compounds - Inorganic salts not in any other reactive group can be stored together.

    NOTE: There are always exceptions to chemical compatibility. Please check each material's MSDS or other reliable information for storage requirements.

Subpart D - Hazardous Materials Spill and Incident Response

630.01 General

  1. Response to a hazardous material incident will depend on several factors, including: the amount of material spilled or involved in an incident, the physical and chemical characteristics of the material, the material's health hazards, the location of the spill, the level of response training obtained by the responders, and the types of personal protective and spill response equipment available. Each incident involving hazardous materials will be inherently unique given the set of circumstances surrounding the incident and will require specific considerations.

630.10 Quantity of Material

  1. It is difficult to state precise criteria to follow when an individual should or should not attempt to clean his or her own hazardous material spill. Generally, the larger the spill, the more likely trained and equipped emergency response personnel will be needed to remediate the situation. Individuals with basic training and personal protective equipment could conceivably clean up several gallons of a material possessing low toxicity and minimal physical/chemical hazardous characteristics. However, it would be advisable for individuals to request professional assistance for spills involving a small quantity (one liter) of a material possessing high toxicity, reactivity, flammability, etc., characteristics.

630.20 Physical Characteristics

  1. The physical state and characteristics of a material involved in an incident are very important. Gases are extremely difficult to control and can spread throughout a building very rapidly. Liquids and fine powders are less difficult than gases to control, and solids are the easiest to control. A material's physical characteristics should always be considered when working with and storing materials. Take time to note the location of sinks, floor drains and room exhaust vents, and store hazardous materials accordingly. Gases (and highly volatile liquids) should be stored in a well-ventilated room or cabinet, if possible.

630.30 Health Hazards

  1. Hazardous materials possess varying types and degrees of toxicity and, thus, can inflict varying types and degrees of harm. Exposure to hazardous materials may cause one or more of the following health hazards: cancer; genetic and/or reproductive effects; asphyxiation; death; permanent physiological damage to the skin, eyes, mucus membranes, and internal organs; and debilitating conditions and diseases. Exposure to hazardous materials can occur through inhalation, ingestion, subcutaneous injection, and absorption through the skin. Exposures may vary from acute to chronic exposure. Acute exposure occurs when an individual receives exposure to a relatively large quantity of a hazardous material within a short period of time. Chronic exposure involves exposure to a relatively small quantity of hazardous material over a long period of time. Poisons are materials which can cause permanent physiological damage to a variety of organs upon exposure. Corrosive and oxidizing materials are capable of inflicting irreparable damage to skin and other tissue upon contact. Irritants are a class of materials capable of causing great discomfort, rashes and pain upon exposure to them. Fine dusts, powders and fibrous materials may present an inhalation hazard that can cause respiratory discomfort, coughing, pain and even fatal diseases over time. Engineering controls, such as fume hoods, and the proper selection and use of personal protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, are paramount to protecting an individual from the harmful effects of exposure to a hazardous material.

630.40 Spill Location

  1. The location of a spill dictates several important response actions:
    1. The Urgency of Response - The urgency of response will be dictated by the circumstances of the incident. Has an acute exposure to personnel occurred or appear imminent? Is the material extremely reactive? Is the spill near a body of water?
    2. The Level of Personal Protective Equipment Required - A small spill in a laboratory hood involving materials of low to moderate hazardous characteristics may only require minimal personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, goggles, lab coat, etc.). However, a spill involving less than a liter of a highly toxic material of high volatility onto the floor would require a higher level of protection, and require assistance from a professional hazardous materials specialist or technician.
    3. Evacuation Considerations - Spills occurring within a hood would seldom require evacuation. Spills occurring in the hallway, on the stairway, etc., could very well require immediate evacuation.
    4. Containment and Diversion Controls - Containment and diversion tactics are sometimes required to keep liquid chemical spills from reaching floor drains, electrical devices, heat sources, or to just keep it from spreading. If a spill is large enough to require diversion and containment tactics, assistance should be sought from a hazardous materials specialist immediately.
    5. Proximity to Other Hazards (e.g., electrical devices, heat sources, slip/fall hazards) - A spill involving only water would not seem very hazardous unless it was in the vicinity of an energized electrical device. If the spill of an innocuous liquid material occurs in an active walk way, it should be cleaned up immediately to avoid a slip/fall hazard.

id="630.50"630.50 Training

  1. Individuals handling hazardous materials in the laboratory or other work areas usually have minimal training in spill response and only basic personal protective gear and spill response equipment available. EHS personnel have the training and personal protective equipment capability to respond to almost any type of hazardous material accident or incident that may occur on campus. Individuals should realize their limitations and not take unnecessary risks responding to hazardous materials incidents.

630.60 Personal Protective and Spill Response Equipment

  1. Basic personal protective equipment usually found in most campus laboratories and work places includes: gloves, safety eye wear, lab coats and, occasionally, a respirator. However, spills often require more sophisticated equipment, including: self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), chemical-resistant clothing, fully encapsulated suits, chemical absorbent materials and containment equipment. This equipment is not routinely found in most laboratories or work areas.

    Note: The use of a respirator requires participation in the University of Idaho Respiratory Protection Program. Contact Environmental Health and Safety at 208-885-6524 for additional information.

630.70 Summary

  1. Summary - The important thing to remember in spill response is to not endanger your health or safety. Property can be replaced, your life or health cannot. Environmental Health and Safety personnel have received training and have the equipment necessary to properly respond to a hazardous materials incident.

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr
MS 2030 
Moscow, ID

Phone: 208-885-6524

Fax: 208-885-5969