Never heat mercury in an open container and never shake more than 20 millimeters of mercury in a
glass container. If a spill occurs, ensure adequate ventilation.
Hold the container cap in your hand when pouring a sample from a container or bottle.
Never place the cap or stopper on a counter as it may contaminate the sample. Clean up the mercury
and sulfur together and put them in a suitable container for disposal IAW local environmental
If any chemical is spilled or splashed on the body, immediately wash the contaminated area thoroughly
If a strong solution of tetraethyl lead is spilled, cover the spill with dry chloride of lime, CaOC12 , sand, or
other noncombustible absorbent material. Wait 5 minutes for reaction to be completed.
Flush off with water and wash area with soap and water. If the solution is spilled on the clothing, remove
clothing and discard contaminated articles. Do not attempt to wash the contaminated clothing for reuse.
Collect all contaminated absorbent materials and place them into a suitable container for disposal IAW
local environmental regulations or SOPs. Contact the local environmental office for further guidance on
spill reporting, cleanup, and disposal procedures.
Make certain that a supply of dilute (18 percent) acetic acid is available when a doctor test or alkali wash
is being performed. Use the dilute acetic acid freely on any part of the body, except the eyes that may be
contaminated with doctor or caustic solution. If doctor or caustic solution should contaminate the eyes,
immediately wash out the eyes with water and report to the hospital.
Substitute Solvents. Field conditions may require the substitution of certain solvents. In this case, the
commonsense rule of "like dissolves like" should be used. When in doubt as to the correct solvent to substitute,
consult the ASTM test method. For example, toluene could possibly be substituted for benzene in a solvent
capacity but nhexane would not serve the purpose.
Handling Excess Chemicals. Contaminated chemicals are useless. Do not place spatulas and other objects in
chemical containers as the spatula may contain foreign matter that will cause contamination. Similarly, if excess
chemicals or samples are removed from a container, do not put back into the tile container. All used chemicals
should have well-established rules for disposal.
Handling Solutions. When handling solutions always follow the applicable safety procedures.
Prepare a chromic acid cleaning solution by slowly adding 800 milliliters of concentrated sulfuric acid to
500 milliliters of a saturated solution of potassium dichromate and water. Prepare the solution in a sink,
using a Pyrex container or equivalent glassware. Although chromic acid is more effective as a cleaning
agent when it is heated precaution should be taken to avoid boiling the solution. If the solution develops
a greenish color, it is useless and should be discarded.
Handle the solution with extreme care to avoid personal injury. A face shield and rubber gloves should
be used. Chromic acid is a powerful oxidizing agent.
Proper Behavior and Conduct While in the Laboratory. Any problems arising from test results,
laboratory equipment, and problems with personnel may be taken directly to the NCOIC of the Laboratory. If you
are in doubt about anything ask your supervisor.
Laboratory personnel and personnel who handle petroleum products in the field are exposed to similar
hazards. Because of their continuous exposure to a wide variety of dangerous materials (such as working with
chemicals in close quarters), laboratory personnel must have a high degree of awareness of the specific hazards
involved. Generally speaking fire and explosion are the most prevalent hazards. A constant watch should be
maintained during operations because of exposure to fire, chemicals, dangerous pressure or vacuums, and toxic
fumes or vapors. The following are general safety rules your personnel should be made aware of during routine
Consult the NCOIC of the particular test when in doubt concerning any laboratory procedure or operation.
Do not attempt to perform more than one test at a time, unless each test can be given the proper
attention needed to complete it efficiently and safely.
Do not attempt shortcuts or improvisations because laboratory procedures have been developed with a
focus on quality, efficiency, and safety. Discuss recommended changes with the supervisor.
Give complete attention to the test in progress. Request assistance from another technician or notify the
supervisor if it becomes necessary to leave the laboratory for even a brief period of time.
Do not engage in any form of horseplay in the laboratory because it diverts attention from other
operations in progress and can cause existing hazards to become real dangers.
Systematically check the laboratory and its equipment at the end of each day to be sure that no
hazardous situations can develop while the laboratory is unoccupied.