From: Eugene Ngai <eugene_ngai**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question for Email List
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2018 16:12:09 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 012c01d44554$bae423f0$30ac6bd0$**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <59mcudrm6hkpf6ovjbatcjen.1536142392439**At_Symbol_Here**>

I had investigated the UH explosion with the UC Center for Laboratory Safety. Our investigation concluded that the mixture was 55% H2 : 38% O2 : 7% CO2. Hydrogen in air has an extremely low ignition energy of 0.02 millijoules. NFPA 53 table F.2.1 reported an even lower ignition energy of 0.0012 millijoules when H2 is mixed with O2. Based on the forensic testing, examination of the scene and components we concluded that a static discharge occurred between the researcher and cylinder. See the report for full details as well as theories on possible ignition sources.


As a side note regarding lead batteries. Some contain trace amounts of arsenic and antimony which reduce to arsine and stibine during charging. One semiconductor company had their arsine detectors alarm when they were charging their forklifts. There was a case where 30 crew men on a British electric submarine were poisoned due to faulty ventilation. Another reason for good ventilation when large numbers of batteries are charged


Eugene Ngai

Chemically Speaking LLC


From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU> On Behalf Of jeskiekb**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET
Sent: Wednesday, September 5, 2018 6:19 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question for Email List


I'm glad James brought this up. It's great that you recognized the relevance of the batteries to the Chemical Hygiene Plan. There are building codes and NFPA standards that may apply depending on the volume of batteries they have and what they are doing with them (e.g. intentionally cycling the charges quickly for research with the intent of pushing them to failure). I know you are focusing on chemical hygiene, but you should also consider electrical safety requirements, as well. 




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------ Original message------

From: Osprey, James

Date: Tue, Sep 4, 2018 8:35 PM



Subject:Re: [DCHAS-L] Question for Email List


In the event of overcharging lead acid cells produce both hydrogen and oxygen in stoichiometric quantities. This leads to oxygen enrichment which reduces the ignition energy of a hydrogen atmosphere.  Apparatus which is approved for hydrogen in air service may not be appropriate in an oxygen enriched atmosphere. It is prudent when considering appropriate ventilation to consider monitoring of the potential O2 enrichment as well as LFL H2. NFPA has details on hazards from oxygen enriched atmospheres.

James Osprey C Phys


Novatech Analytical Solutions Inc.

+1 514 378 9076


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On Sep 4, 2018, at 7:22 PM, James Keating <james.k.keating**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM> wrote:

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In addition to the acid hazard posed by lead acid batteries, they also produce hydrogen gas when charging creating a possible explosion hazard. Therefore, the must be stored in a well ventilated area to prevent the room atmosphere from reaching an explosive hydrogen concentration.


Jim Keating

Occupational Safety  Manager


From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU> On Behalf Of Jeff Tenney
Sent: Monday, September 3, 2018 7:10 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Question for Email List


From my understanding:

  1. Anytime you are dealing with caustics OSHA requires an eyewash station and a safety shower would be recommend with batteries containing acid since they could splash over a large area if one is dropped or explodes when being recharged . (CFR1910.151(c)) also Current directive number STD 01-08-002.
  2. As long as the original label is intact and the product is in the original container, then no additional labeling should be required.  If you are not using them according to:    OSHA does not require that MSDSs (SDS) be provided to purchasers of household consumer products when the products are used in the workplace in the same manner that a consumer would use them, i.e.; where the duration and frequency of use (and therefore exposure) is not greater than what the typical consumer would experience. This exemption in OSHA's regulation is based, however, not upon the chemical manufacturer's intended use of his product, but upon how it actually is used in the workplace. Employees who are required to work with hazardous chemicals in a manner that results in a duration and frequency of exposure greater than what a normal consumer would experience have a right to know about the properties of those hazardous chemicals. Then they will require an SDS.
  3. There are several groups that will offer training, one is the Lab Safety Institute, that will prepare you for the NRCC Certified Chemical Hygiene Officer test. The division also offers lab safety training at most if not all ACS larger meetings, other will have more info. on this.


It is also good to look at the standards interpretations in OSHA for additional information on the regulations.


Your hazardous communication program could mean you apply GHS/HMIS information to all chemicals so you will need to check there. What OSHA requires is not always what is written in organizational programs and you must follow your organizations program since it can be more restrictive than what OSHA requires. I have seen some programs written that require GHS labels and SDSs on all chemicals used in the laboratory.


Am sure you will hear from many others.




Sent from Mail for Windows 10


From: Mudrack, Kristen
Sent: Monday, September 3, 2018 11:29 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Question for Email List




I am new the the chemical hygiene officer job at a small college in TN.  I recently rewrote our chemical hygiene plan, which was very outdated.  Under our chemical hygiene plan, I am in charge of the waste and safety for engineering, nursing, chemistry, biology, our gross anatomy lab, art, physics, and physical plant.  I think I'm starting to figure some things out, but I have some questions I was hoping you all could help with.


1) Our engineering department has a large number of lead-acid batteries.  I am under the impression that they need to have an eyewash and a shower available for the labs in which they use these, as well as proper GHS/HMIS labels on the batteries themselves.  Is this true or am I way off base?


2) Engineering also has a large number of wood glue, cutting oil, and WD-40 containers.  Refrigerants and coolants are also out on the benches in these labs.  Do these need GHS/HMIS labels or are they okay as is?


3) I know there's no formal CHO training, though I have taken the Lab Safety Institute's course.  What other training would you suggest or know are required for handling hazardous waste, biohazard waste, and other CHO responsibilities at academic institutions?  (If this is a dumb question, please give me some grace - I'm new at this!)







Kristen Mudrack, PhD


Assistant Professor of Chemistry


Office: (423) 461-8907



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