Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 13:48:06 -0500
Reply-To: rphifer**At_Symbol_Here**
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Russ Phifer <rphifer**At_Symbol_Here**WCENVIRONMENTAL.COM>
Organization: WC Environmental, LLC
Subject: Re: Expiration dates of chemicals/regulations
In-Reply-To: <AANLkTikV7KsL8nhRceLRrXWnuHzyn3p199EOUr6SSVYt**At_Symbol_Here**>

Teresa – having studied this issue in the past, I can tell you that manufacturer expiration dates are pretty much all bogus. They are completely arbitrary, except for 1) peroxide formers (ex. Ethers), 2) highly hydroscopic materials (ex. Aluminum chloride), and 3) highly corrosive materials that will attack caps (ex. Chlorosilanes). Inorganic materials, if stored properly (cool & dry area) will last almost indefinitely. Organics will obviously break down more rapidly, but again, if stored properly, will maintain their integrity well beyond any listed expiration date.

I would urge you to put more effort into storing chemicals properly, such as checking the caps periodically, maintaining labels, and minimizing exposure to heat and light.


Russ Phifer

WC Environmental, LLC

1085C Andrew Drive

West Chester, PA  19380

610-696-9220x12/ fax 610-344-7519

Cell - 610-322-0657


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From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Teresa Arnold
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:58 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Expiration dates of chemicals/regulations

I had a question come to me from a High School, who is being dinged by a regulatory person. I don't have a definitive answer/source.   Can you help?

One major question I have is the idea of “shelf life”.  As a chemist, I know that some chemicals degrade over time.  But the ones that create a hazard upon degrading are few and far between.  What are the rules about shelf life particularly for inherited old chemicals?  What actions are required and what are merely suggested?


Teresa Arnold

George Fox University

Biology-Chemistry Lab Coordinator

Fax: 503-554-3884

414 N. Meridian St.  #6144
Newberg, OR  97132

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