Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are intended to provide you with general guidance on how to safely work with a specific class of chemical or hazard.  This SOP is generic in nature.  It addresses the use and handling of substances by hazard class only.  In some instances multiple SOPs may be applicable for a specific chemical (i.e. both the SOPs for flammable liquids and carcinogens would apply to benzene).  If you have any questions concerning the applicability of any items listed in this procedure, contact Roger Clark or the Principal Investigator.


If compliance with all the requirements of this standard operating procedure is not possible, the Principal Investigator must develop a written procedure that will be used in its place.  This alternate procedure must provide the same level of protection as the SOP it replaces.  The Department is available to provide guidance during the development of alternate procedures.


A carcinogen commonly describes any agent than can initiate or speed the development of malignant or potentially malignant tumors, malignant neoplastic proliferation of cells that possess such material.




Personnel:         Wash hands and arms with soap and water immediately after handling carcinogens.


Area:                Decontamination procedures vary depending on the material being handled.  The toxicity of some materials can be neutralized with other reagents.  All surfaces should be wiped with the appropriate cleaning agent following dispensing or handling.  Waste materials generated should be treated as hazardous waste.


Equipment:        Decontaminate vacuum pumps or other contaminated equipment (glassware) before removing them from lab.



Protection:      Eye protection in the form of safety glasses must be worn at all times when handling carcinogens.  Ordinary (prescription) glasses do not provide adequate protection. Adequate safety glasses must meet rigorous tests and safety standards according to ANSI Z.87.1 and must be equipped with side shields.  Safety glasses with side shields do not provide protection from splashes, therefore, when the potential for splash hazard exists, other eye protection or face protection must be worn.


Eyewash:         Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to carcinogens, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.  Bottle type eyewash stations are not acceptable.


Fume hood:     Manipulation of carcinogens should be carried out in a fume hood.  If the use of a fume hood proves impractical refer to the section of special ventilation.


Glove Box:     Certain carcinogens must be handled in a glove box rather than a fume hood.  The Principal Investigator will determine if this is required.


Gloves:           Gloves should be worn when handling carcinogens.  Disposable latex or nitrile gloves provide adequate protection against accidental hand contact with small quantities of most laboratory chemicals.  Lab workers should contact Environmental Health and Risk Management (1-2356) for advice on chemical resistant glove selection when direct or prolonged contact with hazardous chemicals is anticipated.



Assessment:   Hazard assessment should focus on proper use and handling procedures, the education of employees concerning the health risk posed by carcinogens.



Apparel:          Lab coats, closed toed shoes and long sleeved clothing should be worn when handling carcinogens.  Additional protective clothing should be worn if the possibility of skin contact is likely.



Shielding:        Safety shielding is required any time there is a risk of explosion, splash hazard or a highly exothermic reaction.  All manipulations of carcinogens that pose this risk should occur in a fume hood with the sash in the lowest feasible position.  Portable shields, which provide protection to all laboratory occupants, are acceptable.



Shower:           A safety or drench shower should be immediately accessible at all times when working with carcinogens.


Labels:            Containers: All carcinogens must be clearly labeled with the correct chemical name.  Handwritten labels are acceptable; chemical formulas and structural formulas are not acceptable.


Spills:              Please See Spill Cleanup Procedures



Protection:      Evacuated glassware can implode and eject flying glass and splattered chemicals.  Vacuum work involving carcinogens must be conducted in a fume hood, glove box or isolated in an acceptable manner.


                        Mechanical vacuum pumps must be protected using cold traps and, where appropriate, filtered to prevent particulate release.  The exhaust for the pumps must be vented into an exhaust hood.



Disposal:         All waste shall be placed in closed containers, properly labeled and moved to the Hazardous Waste Accumulation Structure (south west corner of SGM).  Notify Roger Clark of Waste to be picked up from the Hazardous Waste Accumulation area.