Management of Time Sensitive Chemicals

Ron Scholtz
(Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

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Ron Scholtz, CHMM Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Energy Technologies Area Berkeley, CA Time-sensitive chemicals can develop additional hazards during storage, even if stored and handled properly. It is important to recognize the potential hazards and the innate unpredictability of these chemicals. The rate at which a time-sensitive chemical becomes dangerous to handle depends on many factors. Even when stored properly, ignored or forgotten time-sensitive chemicals can become unstable, unsafe or potentially explosive. Categories of time-sensitive chemicals include: organic peroxide forming compounds, unstable/self-reactive with production of gaseous products, explosive when dry materials, hazardous polymerization compounds, and time-sensitive gases. There are many types of time sensitive chemicals used in a research laboratory environment. Common examples include: diethyl ether, tetrahydrofuran, azide compounds, perchlorate compounds, and peroxides. This presentation will give an overview of the programs developed and challenges faced for managing time-sensitive chemicals at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This includes inventory tracking, identification of containers, testing/inspection, storage practices, and proper disposal. Some lessons learned and best practices will be shared.

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