Safety Handling of Research Chemicals
Chemicals as elements, compounds, mixtures, solutions and emulsions are very widely used and transported in the modern industrial society. Of necessity, they are also used in schools, universities and other training facilities to educate pupils in their safe use and handling and also are commonly used in domestic situations for cleaning, gardening and DIY. However, there are chemicals that should not mix or get in contact with others, as they can produce byproducts that may be toxic, carcinogenic, explosive etc, or can be dangerous themselves. To avoid disasters and mishaps, maintaining safety is considered paramount, especially by chemists.
Chemical safety includes all those policies, procedures and practices designed to minimise the risk of exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals. This includes the risks of exposure to persons handling the chemicals, to the surrounding environment, and to the communities and ecosystems within that environment.
The hazardous nature of many chemicals may be increased when mixed with other chemicals, heated or handled inappropriately. In a chemically safe environment, users are able to take appropriate actions in case of accidents although many incidents of exposure to chemical hazards occur outside of a controlled environments such as manufacturing plants or laboratories.
It is estimated that 1.6 million human deaths occur each year from contact with hazardous chemicals. and that in 2016, 45 million disability-adjusted life-years were lost, a significant increase from 2012.