From: Jeffrey Lewin <jclewin**At_Symbol_Here**MTU.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Laboratory Benchtops
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2018 17:07:54 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: CAEwQnqhVtUefuB2_6KDKdGWZFU2ThEoj9kDE+dkOv6yhMbHL4Q**At_Symbol_Here**

Two years ago, when I was on the academic side, I'd probably be asking the same question.

However, I think the first step is to go back to the engineering team to see what was specified. It is possible (likely) that they specified chemical resistant, but not heat resistant, lab benches, although I'd be very surprised if they didn't meet flammability codes. It would be too bad if they did, but likely to cut costs on the project.

I'd also note, that I discourage people from placing hot glassware on cold lab benches, even Pyrex or similar glassware since it increases the chance of it breaking.

And, an in an interesting twist on codes, the 2015 NFPA 45 Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals has the following statement:

"11.2.7 Open Flames Laboratory operation using open flames shall be performed in accordance with the following requirements:

(1) Whenever possible, alternative methods to the use of open flames, such as heating mantles, hot plates, glass bead sterilizers, or infrared loop sterilizers shall be used."

It then goes on to give specifics to follow when using flames, including section outlining "Biological operations using open flames and flammable liquids..."

Following a small fire in a lab last week (flame sterilization using flammable liquids), we've started a campaign to eliminate flames from the lab, when feasible.


On Mon, Oct 8, 2018 at 9:10 AM Pam <aubu**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:


The institution where I teach has just completed a new science building. This is my first semester working there. It was noted during our last lab that the benchtop material is not heat resistant. When hot beakers were placed on the surface it bubbles, burned and delaminated. My guess is that someone was trying to save money.

What I am trying to figure out is whether there are applicable safety and or fire codes. It seems reasonable to expect that benchtops in chemistry labs should be heat and fire resistant. Under normal operating conditions we are working with hot glassware and sometimes use Bunsen burners or other sources of flame.

Thank you for your help

Pamela Auburn, PhD
2041 Branard
Houston TX 77098
--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas
Jeff Lewin
Chemical Safety Officer
Compliance, Integrity, and Safety
Environmental Health and Safety
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI 49931

O 906-487.3153
--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here** Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.