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Safety in the Lab

Munich find-a-free-testing-site; Munich Corona situation updates.
LMU normalisation of Corona rules as at 18.5.2020, here.

Other: LMU Corona News (EN); RKI website on Corona; BGM Corona News (DE). Real medical info from EMCrit.
Pattern to sew your own face masks.

Lab Safety
All incoming lab workers, including BSc / F-Praktikum students, have to have the appropriate safety introduction(s) signed off or else you're not allowed to work in the lab.
Chemistry safety introduction (JF) includes reading and signing this checklist, then being confirmed and signed off by Oliver and/or Lars Allmendinger.
Biology safety introduction to be confirmed and signed off by Julia Ahlfeld.

First Responders are PM, AK, AMD, CH (from 2020.12) - contact them immediately for help & first aid.
Also notify OTS as fast as possible in case of any accident.

Web Resources for safe lab work:
Safety in the Lab resources on Laborrichtlinie (English & German).
First Aid course from LMU is free; see
First Responder Training.
Procedures for Lab Treatment of Waste Chemicals - Common routes for disposing of chemical classes
Prudent Practices in the Laboratory - Big resource on handling and disposing of chemicals
Cameo Chemicals - cross-reactivity database
Safety in the Lab Checklist (self-assessment).

* Every person employed by the LMU can and should go see the LMU medical service once a year to get check-ups, relevant vaccination, workplace specific consultation and advice on how to prevent any health issues arising from your work at the Uni.

Chemical Safety
Hardcopy Resource Books in the Lab (see OTS):
Bretherick's Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards; Destruction of Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratory

Particular compounds:
Azide: Azide Fact Sheet and Quenching Excess Azide
Selenium: OTS, JF, LZ, JA did the selenium safety session (ask them for notes)

Ten Simple Rules for Practical Risk Reduction in the Chem Lab

Basic Precautions: Don't work alone in the lab; do get your safety introduction before any work; know the emergency procedures; use the right PPE (goggles, labcoat, gloves etc); ask around unless you already know how to do it safely.

(1) Easily avoidable risks are the source of most accidents. Don't disrespect risks just because they are familiar!
Clutter in the lab makes accidents inevitable. Keep floors, accessways, fume hoods, benchtops clear and tidy.
Broken-edged glassware slices open gloves exposing you to chemicals, and gives skin lacerations.
Inform yourself before performing new procedures - just ask for a second opinion (+ internet & MSDS). Implosion nets around underpressured flasks. Ditch dropped pressure-tubes. Don't distill crude ethers dry on the roti (peroxides).

(2) Fire: unlikely, but if it does happen, the most serious safety threat in the lab. Most solvents have flammable vapours that can be ignited chemically. So don't store big quantities standing around in the lab: this is the easiest thing to limit the fire potential. Be super careful around sodium / KH / organohydrides / tBuLi / organometallics as soon as flammable solvents are around; keep a Dewar of liquid nitrogen handy - easiest cure for a burning syringe. If something does catch fire, the key is act fast: yell for help fast and put it out fast: but if not possible then get out fast (chem lab fires not under control within 20 seconds typically start spreading so catastrophically that running away is your best option).

(3) Contact Nasties: If you get a spritz of acetone / dmso / solvents on dirty gloves, remove them immediately and start fresh. Long gloves / thick gloves and double-glove when using contact toxins. Never reuse dirty gloves.

(4) Disposals: Keep all liquid and solid waste containers capped, including blue barrels (but control for pressure buildup). Dispose of them immediately when full or if something nasty gets in. Take care with disposal of solutions containing CN- , N3-, SCN-, SeCN- so that protonation cannot occur - label such bins accordingly. Quench reactive species (SOCl2, COCl2, ketene generators) before disposal, safely at the back of the hood. Keep a closable nasties bin at the back of the hood.

(5) Nasty Volatiles: Use the Stinkroti and the Stinklabor with known nasties to avoid getting them into the working lab. Use a gasmask if you have any suspicions of nasties in the working lab - it really really works. Potentially, store volatile nasties wrapped in parafilm, in the fridge or freezer to reduce their vapour pressure in the bottle.

(6) Volatile / pro-volatile reagents: Go through the bottles of known nasties that are stored in your lab. Are they all closed properly? Pay particular attention to KSeCN / KSCN / KCN / NaN3 etc (can evolve iron binder gases when contacting moisture) and to corrosive volatile liquids (SOCl2, AcCl, Ac2O, POCl3, MsCl, MsOH, P2O5 etc) that not only damage you but can eat through their bottle lids. Parafilm if necessary. For such compounds: always open the bottles at the back of the fumehood and leave a few seconds for the built-up volatiles to draw out, before you bring them near the front. Weigh into closed vessels in the hood and transfer them out for weighing once closed. Store potentially volatile nasties in the Lager or in ventilated cabinets.

(7) Fume Exposure and Extraction: maintain fumehoods closed except when working, and maintain under-hood drawers closed to focus ventilation power into the hoods.

(8) Pump Exhaust: check the exhaust piping on rotavaps and high vac pumps in your labs: tightly fixed, clamped in place, and venting into the fumehoods.

(9) Fresh air supply: In hot conditions, with full sun, minimise your exposures to volatiles; crank the windows and the access door open to exchange the atmosphere if you need to do it fast. Even something as “innocent” as hexanes will build up to chronic headaches in a hot and closed environment. Same for the Lager - jam the door open when entering for a longer time.

(10) Condensed Vapours: Rinse out all lab equipment that traps volatiles and then opens to the atmosphere: eg rotavaps; roti pump traps; Schlenck condenser tubes; other. Caution with cold traps: don't close them off or allow them to become clogged (Schlenck traps) unless it's for a short time while working - as they warm up the pressure increase can blow them out.