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.
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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
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?
George Fox University
Biology-Chemistry Lab Coordinator
414 N. Meridian St. #6144
Newberg, OR 97132
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