The University of Texas-Pan American
Environmental Health and Safety
October 22, 2016

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Chemical Safety Resources


There are over 120 laboratories on the Pan American Campus; and, each of these man-man environments offers unique resources to accomplish a learning or research objective. However, in each unique laboratory setting there exists the potential for exposure to various physical, chemical, biological, or radiological hazards. Each laboratory work area is specifically characterized by the exposure hazards present. Exposure to hazards in these settings can have short-term or long-term consequences; and therefore, best work practices supplement environmental controls and personal protective equipment as the primary method of maintaining personal safety. In the resources below there is prudent and practical information to help laboratory occupants reduce the risk of exposure to hazards for the various types of laboratories on campus.

Chemical Laboratories  

Chemical Hygiene Plan – The University of Texas  Pan American Chemical Hygiene Plan addresses the general hazards of common chemicals that may be present in your laboratory, and describes work practices, procedures and controls which are in place to protect you from those hazards. Consult your supervisor, chemical hygiene officer or principal investigator regarding specific safety practices to be used in your laboratory.

Laboratory Safety Manual – Each individual is responsible for conducting activities in a manner that will not endanger him or herself; and, each must comply with the applicable requirements of State and Federal law as well as with University policies and procedures described in this manual. Mandatory safety standards apply to faculty, staff, and students engaged in laboratory operations utilizing chemical products. In view of the wide variety of chemical products handled in laboratories, it should not be assumed that the precautions and requirements stated in this manual are all-inclusive. Faculty, researchers, and students are expected to learn about the hazards of chemical products before handling them.  

Personal Protective Equipment Selection Guide - Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.

Particularly Hazardous ChemicalsA compendium of common chemicals utilized at the University of Texas Pan American.

Art Laboratories

Health and Safety in the Arts – Artists are exposed through their work to a number of potentially harmful chemicals, fumes, dusts, and heavy metals. Each discipline has its own hazardous materials, such as the potter's lead glazes, the painter's toluene-based solvents, the printer's cyanide electroplating solutions, and the sculptor's sand and rock dusts. The art world is full of anecdotes about artists who have had serious health problems related to the materials they used.

Art and Craft Safety GuideOutlines the best laboratory practices in art settings.

Engineering Laboratories

Approaches to Safe NanotechnologyWhile nanomaterials present seemingly limitless possibilities, they bring with them new challeng­es to understanding, predicting, and managing potential safety and health risks to workers. This document reviews the science of managing the health and safety concerns associated with engineered nanomaterials.

The Good Nano Guide - The GoodNanoGuide is a collaboration platform designed to enhance the ability of experts to exchange ideas on how best to handle nanomaterials in an occupational setting. It is meant to be an interactive forum that fills the need for up-to-date information about current good workplace practices, highlighting new practices as they develop. Whether you are new, already know about nanotechnology, or are an expert in the field, this is the source for information.

Interesting Links

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) - Produces "toxicological profiles" for hazardous substances. These profiles cover more than 250 substances. 

Chemical Health and Safety Journal ArchivesThe Journal of Chemical Health & Safety (JCHAS) includes peer reviewed technical articles, regular columns, news, and ideas relating to issues and advances in chemical health and safety. Click the link for access to downloadable PDF files.

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