What kinds of vacuum lines are these (glass?) and what was the chemistry that as done in them? If glass, and “high vacuum” work was done in these then it seems to me that the likelihood of any residual chemicals is small. Knowing the history here would make the difference in how to process. When I worked on high-vac lines (which were typically kept a “high vacuum” all of the time except when in use) I would have guessed that the worst thing that would be in the line would be air (!) if the system was not still under vacuum. Under these circumstances the flush with soapy water would be unnecessary, but surely safe and prudent.
David C. Finster
Professor of Chemistry
University Chemical Hygiene Officer
Department of Chemistry
A project manager has just asked me for some sort of clearance/cleaning procedure for vacuum lines in a lab renovation project. I’m inclined to tell them to flush out the lines with hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly and then set about whatever they need to do to remove/reconfigure the vacuum system.
Anybody else have any other bright ideas?
As always, they’re under construction and this request will be holding up progress <sigh>.
M. Decker, Campus Chemical Safety Officer
Environmental Health and Safety
University of California, Davis
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616
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