University Resources, Operations and Policies


Section 8

Section 8.0 Special Provisions for Select Carcinogens, Reproductive Toxins and Acutely Toxic Chemicals

Provisions shall be made for additional employee protection when work with particularly hazardous substance takes place. These include “select carcinogens,” (see Appendix I, pg. 40, for a definition of select carcinogens) reproductive toxins, and substances which have a high degree of acute toxicity.

Follow the procedures described in this section when performing laboratory work with a carcinogen, a reproductive toxin, a substance that has a high degree of acute toxicity, or a chemical whose toxic properties are unknown.

8.1 Definitions
The following definitions will apply:

Select carcinogen

Any substance defined as such in 29 CFR 1910.1450 and any other substance described as such in the applicable MSDS.

Reproductive toxin

Any described as such in the applicable MSDS, or other references (14,15)

Substance with a high degree of acute toxicity

Any substance for which the LD50 data described in the applicable MSDS cause the substance to be classified as a “highly toxic chemical” as defined by ANSI (16).

Chemical whose toxic properties are unknown

A chemical for which there is no known statistically significant study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that establishes its toxicity.

For the purpose of this Chemical Hygiene Plan, chemicals in these four categories will be called “inimical.
Designated area

A hood glove box, portion of a laboratory, or an entire laboratory room designated as the only area where work with quantities of the inimical chemicals in excess of the specified limit shall be conducted.

8.2 Provisions
The following provisions must be included:

  1. Establishment of a designated area;
  2. Use of contaminant devices such as laboratory chemical hoods or glove boxes;
  3. Procedure for safe removal of contaminated waste; and
  4. Documentation procedures.

In addition to the general safety guidelines mentioned in the first section and throughout the Plan, special precautions are needed when handling genotoxins, reproductive toxins, and chemicals with a high degree of acute toxicity. A minimum set of guidelines that should be followed is listed below. The Laboratory Supervisor should ensure that these and other precautions designed to minimize risk of exposure to these substances are not exceeded.

  • Quantities of these chemicals used and stored in the laboratory must be minimized, as should their concentrations in solution or mixtures.
  • Work with genotoxins, reproductive toxins, and acutely toxic chemicals must be performed within a certified functioning laboratory chemical hood, biological safety cabinet, ventilated glove box, sealed system, or other system designed to minimize exposure to these substances. (The exhaust air from the ventilation system may require scrubbing, or other treatment, before being released into the atmosphere.) In all cases, work with these types of chemicals must be done in such a manner that the OSHA permissible exposure limits or similar standards are not exceeded.
  • Certain chemicals are known or suspected to harm a fetus or reproductive health of adults. Some examples of reproductive toxins are: anesthetic gases, arsenic and certain arsenic compounds, benzene, cadmium and certain cadmium compounds, carbon disulfide, ethylene glycol monomethyl and ethyl ethers, ethylene oxide, lead compounds, mercury compounds, toluene, vinyl chloride, xylene, and formamide. The first trimester of pregnancy is a period of high susceptibility. Often a woman does not know that she is pregnant during this period. Individuals of childbearing potential are warned to be especially cautious when working with such reproductive toxins. These individuals must use appropriate protective apparel (especially gloves) to prevent skin contact. Pregnant women and women intending to become pregnant should seek advice from knowledgeable sources before working with substances that are suspected to be reproductive toxins. These sources include, but are not limited to, the respective Laboratory Supervisor, Material Safety Data Sheets, and the Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety. Notify supervisors of all incidents of exposure or spills; consult a qualified physician when appropriate.
  • Compressed gas cylinders that contain acutely toxic chemicals such as arsine, chlorine, and nitrogen dioxide must be kept in well-ventilated areas.
  • The ventilation efficiency of the designated laboratory chemical hood, glove box, or gas cabinet and the operational effectiveness of mechanical and electrical equipment used to contain or manipulate these special substances should be evaluated by the Laboratory Supervisor. The interval of evaluating systems may vary from weekly to annually depending upon the frequency of usage, quantities employed, and level of hazard.
  • Each laboratory utilizing these substances must designate an area for this purpose and must sign or mark this area with an appropriate hazard warning. The designated area may be an entire laboratory (bio-safety level three or four require that the ENTIRE laboratory be designated), an area of the laboratory or a device such as a laboratory chemical hood or glove box. The designated areas should be marked with a DANGER, SPECIFIC AGENT, AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY or comparable warning sign.Boundaries must be clearly marked.
  • All laboratory workers who work in a laboratory which has an area designated for use with genotoxins, reproductive toxins, and acutely toxic chemicals must be trained about the deleterious effects of these substances as well as signs and symptoms regarding exposure to these substances, whether or not they actually work with the substance themselves. Training to ensure the safe handling and storage of these substances is required for those who use these materials. This training is the responsibility of the Laboratory Supervisor and must be done prior to the use of any of these materials.
  • Laboratory workers working with these chemicals must have access to appropriate protective equipment and clothing (available at no expense to the workers) and must be trained on how to properly utilize the safety equipment. For example, when working with highly toxic gases, it is often recommended that the workers have available and be trained to use self-contained breathing apparatus.
  • Detection equipment may be required in laboratories where chemicals (especially poisonous gases) with a high degree of acute toxicity are utilized.
  • For special disposal information, call the Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety.
  • The designated working area must be thoroughly and appropriately decontaminated and cleaned at regular intervals determined by the Laboratory Supervisor. The interval may be as short as one day or as long as six months depending upon the frequency of usage and level of hazard.
  • Special precautions to avoid release and exposure to highly toxic chemicals, genotaxins, and reproductive toxins must be utilized. For instance, volatile substances should be kept cool and contained. Gases should have properly functioning valves, regulators, containment that can withstand pressure buildup, and appropriate piping. Dispersive solids should be kept in closed containers, used in places with minimum air currents, and appropriate contact materials should be used to avoid static charging.
  • Decontaminate designated area when work is completed.
  • Prepare wastes from work with inimical chemicals for disposal in accordance with specific disposal procedures consistent with the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and as designated by Adelphi University’s Chemical Hygiene Officer.
  • Because the decontamination of jewelry may be difficult or impossible, do not wear jewelry when working in designated areas.
  • Wear appropriate laboratory coats and gloves known to resist permeation by the chemicals to be used when working in designated areas.

8.3 Biohazards
All personnel working with biohazards shall be trained in all aspects of infection control. The training shall emphasize the proper microbial and animal-handling techniques necessary to control the transfer of an infection. Good laboratory industrial hygiene practices are mandatory.

A laboratory that handles only agents of no known or minimal potential hazard generally would deal with Class 1 agents. This is known as a Biosafety Level 1 laboratory.

All labeling, handling, storage, and disposal of biohazards will follow the recommendations as set forth in “Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories” as well as the following specific requirements:

  1. Discretionary limited access to the laboratory when experiments are in progress.
  2. Work surfaces are decontaminated daily and after spills.
  3. Contaminated liquid or solid wastes are decontaminated before disposal.
  4. All solid and liquid wastes contaminated by an infectious agent are to be placed in a sealed, labeled plastic bag, and autoclaved immediately.
  5. Mechanical pipettes are used.
  6. No mouth pipetting.
  7. Contaminated pipettes shall be placed in a disinfectant solution and autoclaved after use. Pipettes used outside of gloves boxes shall be plugged with cotton, when used with infectious agents.
  8. Syringes used for infectious agents shall be needle-locking or disposable syringe needle units. After use, intact syringe and needle shall be placed in a puncture-resistant container and decontaminated. Needles shall not be clipped or sheared after use.
  9. Centrifuges shall be equipped with trunnion cups with germicidal solution to prevent the spread of contamination from broken vials.
  10. Autoclaves are to be posted with the maximum acceptable pressure and date of certification. The effectiveness of the autoclave is to be monitored periodically with biological indicators.
  11. No eating or drinking is permitted in the area.
  12. Hands must be washed after handling viable materials and animals before leaving the laboratory.
  13. Procedures are performed in a manner most likely not to produce aerosols.
  14. Laboratory coats, gowns, or uniforms are to be worn. Laboratory clothing is restricted to the areas to which the garments are assigned. Laboratory coats are not allowed in the eating area.
  15. Insect control and rodent control programs are in effect.
  16. No application of cosmetics is to be done in the area.


Joseph Landesberg, Ph.D.
Chemical Hygiene Officer
p – 516.877.4148
e –

Apply Now
Request Information