Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Dr. Howard Black - Eastern Illinois University

    A laboratory course in organic chemistry can be interesting and exciting, but it can also be extremely dangerous if safety rules are not rigorously observed. Many of the materials commonly found in organic chemistry labs are toxic, flammable, explosive, or dangerous in other ways. Fortunately, these dangers are easily minimized by adherence to a few basic rules.

    The following rules are to be observed by everyone at all times. They are not optional, not open to negotiation, and will be vigorously, enthusiastically, passionately enforced! 

Failure to follow safety rules will result in
immediate expulsion from the lab!

<> Goggles must be worn at all times when in the laboratory!
The following are forbidden in the laboratory environment:<>
Bare feet or open-toed shoes or sandals Eating and drinking
Adding anything to a concentrated acid Contact lenses
Unauthorized experiments of any kind Open flames
Fooling around or horseplay Smoking
Adding a solid to a liquid Adding water to a conc. acid

Working alone is not allowed. If you need to spend additional time in the lab, arrange to do it in another section with the permission of that instructor.

Leave the bench tops and balances clean and dry. Failure to do this will result in point deductions for the involved individual(s).

Report all accidents, no matter how minor, to your instructor.

Use the hood whenever possible   Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient space for all experiments to be run in a hood; your instructor will tell you when a certain procedure must be carried out in a hood.

Be aware of disposal techniques for the chemicals you'll be using - and we're NOT talking about the sink drain!

Know the location of all safety equipment in the laboratory. This includes fire extinguisher(s), eyewash(es), shower(s), dilute acetic acid solution (for alkali burns), and sodium bicarbonate solution (for acid burns).

The time to look for a safety item is
NOT after an accident has occurred!!