Chemical Safety

Chemical SafetyAll researchers, with the exception of theoreticians, are required to take online General Laboratory Safety Training and attend a CCB-specific safety seminar. This section contains all the resources you will need to comply with the department’s chemical safety program. 

CCB Laboratory Safety Manual

This document describes the safety training required and policies that must be followed to conduct laboratory research in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. It is intended to augment existing CCB and University policies and procedures. Researchers can refer to the Harvard Environmental Health and Safety and CCB Safety websites for additional safety information and policies. Working safely and following Harvard and CCB safety policies are necessary conditions for conducting research in the CCB laboratories.

 CCB Safety Manual

Reproductive Health and the Laboratory

Researchers in academic laboratories can potentially encounter a range of reproductive and developmental hazards. This document is not intended to exhaustively list these hazards, but rather to provide some general guidelines on how laboratory workers can protect themselves from these hazards and to provide resources for further information.

Reproductive Health and the Laboratory

CCB Safety Catalogue

This catalogue lists safety equipment and supplies that are relevant to CCB research endeavors.

CCB Safety Catalogue 

Chemical Spills

Although chemical spills are among the most common of laboratory accidents they are potentially the most serious. The hazards resulting from a spill depend on variables that include the spilled material's chemical and physical properties, location, and quantity. This document provides criteria to assist in evaluating when a chemical spill can be addressed by local researchers (minor spills) and when outside help is necessary (major spills). It also offers guidance on how to clean-up a minor spill.

CCB Chemical Spill Policy

ACS Guide for Chemical Spill Response Planning in Laboratories

Hydrofluoric Acid

Hydrofluoric acid (HF) has a number of physical, chemical, and toxilogical properties that make it especially hazardous to handle. Both anhydrous hydrofluoric acid and aqueous solutions are clear, colorless, highly corrosive liquids. When exposed to air, anhydrous HF and concentrated solutions produce pungent fumes, which are also dangerous. HF shares the corrosive properties common to mineral acids, but possesses the unique ability to cause deep tissue damage and systemic toxicity. This document provides information on the safe use of hydrofluoric acid in the laboratory.

 Safe Use of Hydrofluoric Acid

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


These documents provide information about what kinds of respirators are available, the medical and training requirements associated with them, and whom to contact for more information.

Respirator Medical Evaluation

Respirator effectiveness is dependent on many variables. Therefore, it is necessary that:

  • Respirators are carefully selected, fitted, inspected and cleaned regularly, maintained properly, and replaced when necessary;

  • Wearers are medically approved for respirator use and trained regularly;

  • Work area environments are evaluated periodically to determine appropriate levels of respiratory protection.