From: Brandon S. Chance <bchance**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Labeling synthesized chemicals in vials
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 14:13:08 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CF3B46E2.28EB8%bchance**At_Symbol_Here**


I have always suggested to researchers during my lab visits that they label their small sample vials using a notebook labeling system.  For example, BC 1-12-B would be researcher Brandon Chance, notebook 1, page 12, synthesis or product B.  Since notebooks should never leave the lab, even when one graduates, they could always be referenced.  As Debbie mentioned, each lab should have their own methods or ways they label samples.  I don't really care how they do it as long as everyone in the lab knows how the system works.  

From a safety perspective, I have actually had to use this in an emergency response..  I was called into a lab to investigate an unknown spill after hours..  Luckily, the researcher (who was not answering his phone) had properly labeled his flask with a notebook identification number.  I was able to find his notebook at his desk, and reference the starting materials and products in order to determine what had actually spilled and the best method to clean it up.

As far as someone leaving, we make it very clear to our labs that if a post-doc or graduate student leaves, and EHS has to play Sherlock Holmes for sample identification, the lab will be charged for the identification, which is not cheap.  The labs are pretty good about making sure their people clean up on the way out.  In the case of faculty members that are retiring or leaving, there is a pretty intense laboratory checkout procedure that starts months before they leave.  These checkouts include multiple EHS walkthroughs to identify and troubleshoot problem areas.  They also include escorted walkthroughs with our third party waste vendors to identify their areas of concern.  We cover everything from labeling, waste management, instrument decontamination, hazardous materials shipping, DOT regs for moving labs containing HazMat to other campuses, etc.  It seems to work pretty well.


Brandon S. Chance, M.S., CCHO

Program Manager, Chemical Safety

Environmental Health and Safety

Princeton University

262 Alexander Street

Princeton, NJ 08540

609-258-7882 (office)

609-955-1289 (mobile)

609-258-1804 (fax)

"The second I feel like I made it, the second I feel like I've arrived, that's the second someone will take my spot. And I like my spot." J.J. Watt - Houston Texans

From: "Debbie M. Decker" <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Monday, March 3, 2014 at 5:39 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Labeling synthesized chemicals in vials

I've discovered in my travels that synthetic labs always have some sort of scheme for labelling their lab-produced products.  They are usually teeny samples - a few milligrams, typically.  Workers treat those synthesis products as if they were toxic, in the absence of information to the contrary.  I've been asking researchers to include in their lab-specific CHP a descriptor of the research lab naming convention.  It varies from group to group and I WILL NOT get into the business of telling anyone how they should name their samples!  They need to tell me how they name their materials.




Debbie M. Decker, CCHO

Safety Manager

Department of Chemistry

University of California, Davis

122 Chemistry

1 Shields Ave.

Davis, CA  95616





Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction

that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,

can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."





From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Kohler, Christopher E
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 7:53 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Labeling synthesized chemicals in vials


Dear DCHAS Listers,


We are interested in how various colleges and universities label synthesized chemical materials in small quantities in vials.


Some of our organic chemists have hundreds of samples in small vials labelled with structures only. Some samples may or may not be novel substances.


This becomes a problem when someone retires or leaves and our hazardous waste group is tasked with identifying hundreds of samples for disposal purposes.


What do you require?


Actual chemical names? Associated hazards? Can they be grouped and stored in similar chemical groups.


Any information is very much appreciated.






Christopher E. Kohler

Laboratory Safety Manager

University Environmental Health and Safety

Indiana University

1514 E Third Street

Bloomington, IN 47405

(812) 855-5454



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