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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course OSHA Hazard Communication and Chemical Hygiene. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Chemical Storage

Chemicals need a method of storage that, as much as possible, separates those that are incompatible and should not have contact.
Alphabetical order should not be the basis for storing chemicals. When chemicals are stored alphabetically, there is a potential for incompatible chemicals to come into contact with each other.
Storing according to category of chemicals is a much better method than storing alphabetically. However, in some cases, incompatible chemicals may still be grouped together. For example, you may decide to store all acids together, but nitric acid is incompatible with acetic acid and these two acids should be separated in storage.
The chemical label will provide information about the potential hazard, and the Safety Data Sheet for the chemical will specify how it should be stored, and which, if any, chemicals are incompatible with it.
Acids and bases should be stored in separate areas or cabinets. Acids should not be stored under a sink where they may become contaminated with water. Liquid acids and bases should not be stored above shoulder height to prevent an accidental splash of chemical into the eyes if the bottle falls or leaks when its removed from the shelf.
At the workstation, store the lowest volume of chemical possible and identify chemicals, especially flammable and combustible liquids, that are no longer used in the laboratory. These should be disposed of in the manner defined by local, state, and federal regulations.