Harboring Hazardous Chemicals and Disposing of Them
1. Harboring Hazardous Chemicals
Middle and high school science labs and chemical storerooms have been known to harbor large amounts of hazardous chemicals for years. Given the unknowns about school budgets, teachers try to purchase as many chemicals as they can afford in a given year. This in part is because the next yearČ??s budget may or may not meet their needs with budget cuts and budget freezes. In this way, some chemicals are stockpiled, almost never used and at times, forgotten. This might be especially the case during the current pandemic with hazardous chemicals not being used during 3 to 4 months of school closings. This could even potentially be extended into next fall in some locations.
In this way, when purchasing chemicals, consideration needs to be given to the hazardous chemical nature vs its educational utility. For example, when considering peroxide forming chemicals like diethyl ether, will they be stored or infrequently used carrying them well beyond their required disposal date once open and exposed to air. Are there safer alternatives to this potential time bomb in the chemical store room or lab cabinet?
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