Particularly Hazardous Substances

The use of select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and substances that have a high degree of acute or chronic toxicity REQUIRES a written standard operating procedure.  The procedure must include the establishment of a designated area with appropriate signs warning of the hazards associated with the substance, the use of a fume hood or equivalent containment device, procedures for decontaminating the designated area, and procedures for safe removal of contaminated waste.  


PROCEDURE TEMPLATE (to be filled out and kept in each lab) 

1.       Definitions

Particularly hazardous substances, by MIOSHA definition, are select carcinogens, reproductive toxins and chemicals with a high degree of acute and chronic toxicitySelect carcinogens are chemicals listed by MIOSHA as carcinogens, by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) as “known to be carcinogens” and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as Group 1 carcinogens.  Also included are chemicals or processes listed in either Group 2A or 2B by IARC or under the category “reasonably anticipated to be carcinogens” by NTP and that cause statistically significant tumor incidence in experimental animals in accordance with any of the following criteria:

  • After inhalation exposure of 6-7 hours per day, 5 days per week, for a significant portion of a lifetime to dosages of less than 10 mg/m 3
  • After repeated skin application of less than 300 mg/kg of body weight per week.
  • After oral dosages of less than 50 mg/kg of body weight per day


Reproductive toxins are defined by MIOSHA as any chemical which affects the reproductive capabilities of males or females, including chromosomal damage (mutagenesis) and effects on fetuses (teratogenesis).  Information on reproductive effects will be listed on the MSDS.


Chemicals with a high degree of acute and chronic toxicity are not defined in the Laboratory Standard.  Therefore, the MIOSHA Hazard Communication definition of a highly toxic chemical will be used.  Chemicals with a high degree of acute toxicity are chemicals that have a median lethal dose (LD 50) of 50 milligrams or less per kilogram of body weight when administered orally to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each.  The LD 50 is that dose at which a lethal response is observed in 50% of the test animals.  The hazard(s) of a chemical may also be listed on its container label.  Additionally, if the hazard of a chemical is not evident from the container label, the MSDS will list the specific hazards.  Use the MSDS to address chronic toxicity. 


For further help in determining the hazard of a chemical, contact your supervisor or the Safety Coordinator.


2.       Designated areas

Work with these categories of chemicals must be conducted in a designated area.  Designated areas may include a hood, glove box, portion of a laboratory, or entire laboratory room.  Post signs on designated areas and clearly mark/define the boundaries. 


3.       Guidelines/procedures for employees working in designated areas

Employees shall:

  • Be trained to work with these highly toxic chemicals.
  • Use the smallest amount of chemical that is practical.
  • Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or high-efficiency scrubber systems to protect vacuum lines and pumps.
  • Decontaminate a designated area when work is completed.
  • Prepare wastes in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and as designated by the University Hazardous Waste Manager.
  • Store these chemicals in locked and enclosed spaces with a slight negative pressure compared to the room.
  • Not wear jewelry in designated areas.
  • Wear eye protection and long-sleeved disposable clothing and gloves known to resist permeation by the chemicals to be used.
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