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Improper storage of hazardous chemicals may result in degradation of chemical quality, deterioration of container labels, release of toxic gases, fire, or even explosion. As a result, local and state regulations require that chemicals be stored according to hazard class and compatibility. A significant amount of thought, planning, and research on the hazards associated with the chemicals being stored may be required; especially in the research laboratory environment. Many laboratory chemicals have multiple hazards making proper storage segregation a particularly difficult task. The following hazard class hierarchy (based on DOT1) is provided as a guide for prioritizing which hazard classes pose the greatest risks during storage, (e.g., flammability is usually a more important consideration than toxicity). Radioactive  Pyrophoric  Explosive  Flammable Liquid  Corrosive Acid/Base  Water Reactive Flammable Solid  Oxidizer Combustible Toxic The table below is a general reference for identifying chemical hazard classes that should be kept separated. Note the manufacturer hazard codes (i.e. Fisher Code) are not necessesarily a good indicator of chemical hazard class for segregation purposes (i.e., all corrosives, code white, are not compatible and therefore should not be stored together). Storage Hazard
Examples Definitions
All radioactive materials must be stored in accordance with license and use restrictions. Contact the Campus Radiation Safety Officer for specific information 9-3911 Water Reactives, Air Reactives, Shock Sensitive Segregate reactive chemicals compatibly with regard to REACTIVES:
Liquids or solids that spontaneously ignite upon contact Tributylaluminum; Lithium Hydride; Sodium Materials
Explosives are chemical compounds, that may contain Nitroglycerin; Lead Azide; Mercury Fulminate nitrogen and that may detonate upon shock or heating. All peroxide forming compounds must be dated and Benzoyl Peroxide; old Ethers (e.g., Ethyl, handled in accordance with campus policy; Liquids may Peroxides
Methyl; Isopropyl); Tetrahydrofuran; Dioxane be very flammable and should be stored in flammable storage cabinets FLAMMABLES:
Acetone, Ethyl Ether, Petroleum Ether, Ethyl Organic acids and non-flammable halogenated solvents can generally be stored with flammable and combustible Combustible

Many Flammable Solids are also Reactives; Give careful Picric Acid powder; Sodium; Calcium Carbide Separate acids from bases and organic acids from CORROSIVES:
Oxidizing and Mineral acids (pH is usually  2) Hydrochloric, Perchloric, Sulfuric, Phosphoric, (DOES NOT include organic acids). Perchloric acid
should be stored inside a glass or porcelain secondary container. Organic Acids
May be stored with flammable and combustible liquids. Glacial Acetic Acid, Acetic Acid, Formic Acid DO NOT store with oxidizers or mineral and oxidizing
Caustic liquids and solids with pH  12.5 DO NOT STORE near organics
May be included in other storage classes but kept HIGHLY TOXIC Teratogens, Carcinogens, Cyanides,
separate from low hazard materials. These materials Formaldehyde, Methyl-nitrosourea, Acrylamide should be easy to identify as highly toxic. Included in this class are chemicals on the “Select Carcinogen List” and those with specific regulatory requirements. Agars, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Materials commonly used with no special hazards LOW TOXICITY Glycerine, Amino Acids
1 Consult the rest of this document then contact the Chemical Hygiene Coordinator or EH&S if you require further assistance. 2 UCSC Storage Groups Classification is available on the EH&S web site:


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