SOPs and Useful Links

Student Code of Community Conduct

Hazardous Waste Disposal Procedures

MTU Laboratory Bio-Safety Manual

Cell Culture Room SOP

Chemical Safety: Michigan Tech Chemical Hygiene Plan

Chemical Handling: Concentrated Acids SOP, Alkali Metal SOP, Pyrophoric Chemicals SOP, Solvent SOP, Base Bath SOP

Molecular Profiling of Breast Cancer Cell Lines

DNA Gel Electrophoresis

DNA Isolation

DNA Tm Measurement Protocol

Western Blotting Protocol

MTU Occupational Safety and Health Services webpage can be found here:

Chemical Storage

Chem. Dept. Note:  All Chemicals, including novel materials synthesized during the course of research, should be stored in appropriate containers (usually brown glass screw cap bottles) which are clearly labeled.  To better identify synthesized compounds, it is recommended that chemical formulas/structures are included on the label rather than just laboratory notebook numbers.

  • Do not remove labels from commericially supplied materials which show hazard warnings.
  • Do not store mutually incompatible materials in close proximity to each other.
  • Flammable solvents must be stored at all times in metal cabinets designed for this purpose and odoriferous/noxious chemicals should be kept in vented cabinets.
  • Shelving units used to store chemicals should be anchored to the wall and individual shelves provided with lips to prevent bottles falling from them in the event to mild earthquake (avoid storing hazardous chemicals above head height).

Chem. Dept. Note:  Aside from the obvious frost-bite risk posed by the extremely low temperatures present in cryogenic liquids (and solid CO2), be especially aware of the asphyxiating properties of gases given off upon warming of these substances.  In particular, it is not advised to travel in an elevator with large Dewars containing liquid nitrogen or helium.  If potentially asphyziating cryogenic liquids are to be used in confined spaces, oxygen-level monitoring devices should be installed.


Chem. Dept. Note:  When transporting chemical substances in the elevators, make sure that the elevator car does not become contaminated with any chemical residues.  This includes the elevator controls (gloves previously worn in a laboratory should be taken off before roaming around the department).  The elevators in Chem. Sci. Bld. are used by many undergraduate students during teaching hours and it is asked that this particular conveyance is not used for the purpose of waste transportation at these times.  Care should be taken when transporting cryogens in elevators.  Elevators should never be used in the event of fire.

Fire Safety

Chem. Dept. Note: Avoid using ignition sources in the vicinity of flammable solvents and be very careful during summer months when solvent vapor pressures are high and the risk of vapor flash can be extreme (especially from volatile ethereal solvents).  Historically, many chemical lab fires have been caused by the improper quenching of sodium metal, this material should only be handled by qualified personnel and it is recommended that digestion be carried out with isopropanol (preferrably under inert atmosphere).  Quenching even small flecks of sodium metal with water produces sparks which will readily ignite solvent vapors (e.g. from a waste acetone bottle in a sink).  Similar care should be taken with other pyrophoric materials.

To lessen the risk of small fires spreading rapidly, keep laboratories tidy and free of unnecessary combustible materials, such as waste cardboard and paper.

Apprise yourself of the location of fire extinguishers, alarms and building exits.  Inform EH&S if you notice any fire extinguishers which are not full.  All new employees to the Department of Chemistry receive fire extinguisher training during orientation.  If for whatever reason you missed this opportunity, contact the safety committee and arrange to be included in the next orientation session.

Raise the alarm if you discover a fire (pull alarm handle, shout “fire!” to alert co-workers, call 911).  Only small fires should be tackled with extinguishers.  If your capability to handle the fire is in any doubt, get out (make sure door to room containing fire is shut but not locked) and wait outside building for the fire department to arrive.

First Aid

Chem. Dept. Note:  Chemistry department personnel trained in first-aid and the location of first-aid kits are listed on the Safety Home page.  It is recommended in all but the most trivial cases of injury or sickness that an ambulance is called (911) immediately and before seeking the help of a first-aider.

Safety Glasses

Chem. Dept. Note: Safety glasses/goggles are arguably the single most important piece of personal safety equipment in the chemical sciences and should be worn AT ALL TIMES in our teaching and research laboratories.  All employees of the Department of Chemistry who are required by their job description to work in laboratories, have the right to be provided with prescription safety glasses free of charge.  Follow the link above to learn more about the OSU prescription safety spectacles program.