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Substances with Greater Hazardous Nature Than Educational Utility

Chemicals used in the laboratory may be hazardous because of the following:

  • Safety risks (i.e., highly flammable or explosive material)
  • Acute and chronic health hazards
  • Environmental harm
  • Impairment of indoor air quality

Assessment of the chemicals in this list indicates that their hazardous nature is greater than their potential usefulness in many school programs. Evaluation included physical hazards (i.e., flammability, explosive propensity, reactivity, corrosivity) and health hazards (i.e., toxicity, carcinogenicity).

This following list of chemicals was generated from the Manual of Safety and Health Hazards in the School Science Laboratory published by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [1984].

Carcinogenic substances were identified from the Report on Carcinogens (10th Edition) generated by the National Toxicology Program (2002).


Chemical

CAS Number

Hazard

Acrylonitrile

107–13–1

Flammable (NFPA = 3), reasonably anticipated human carcinogen

Ammonium chromate

7788–98–9

Oxidizer, known human carcinogen

Aniline

62–53–3

Combustible, may be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin

Aniline hydrochloride

142–04–1

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin

Anthracene

102–12–7

Irritant, may cause an allergic skin reaction

Antimony trichloride

10025–91–9

Corrosive

Arsenic and its compounds

N/A

Known human carcinogen

Asbestos

1332–21–4

Known human carcinogen

Ascarite II

N/A

Corrosive, may be fatal if ingested

Benzene

71–43–2

Flammable (NFPA = 3), known human carcinogen, mutagen

Benzoyl peroxide

94–36–0

Flammable (NFPA = 3), explosive, oxidizer

Calcium cyanide

592–01–8

May be fatal if inhaled or ingested

Carbon disulfide

75–15–0

Flammable (NFPA = 4), acute cns toxicity and peripheral neurotoxicity

Carbon tetrachloride

56–23–5

May be fatal if inhaled or ingested, reasonably anticipated human carcinogen

Chloral hydrate

302–17–0

Controlled barbiturate

Chlorine

7782–50–5

Oxidizer, corrosive, may be fatal if inhaled

Chloroform

67–66–3

Reasonably anticipated human carcinogen

Chloropromazine

50–53–3

Controlled substance

Chromium hexavalent compounds

N/A

Known human carcinogen

Chromium trioxide

1333–82–0

Oxidizer, Corrosive, known human carcinogen

Colchicine

64–86–8

May be fatal if ingested, mutagen

p-Dichlorobenzene

106–46–7

Combustible, reasonably anticipated human carcinogen

Dimethylaniline

121–69–7

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin

p-Dioxane

123–91–1

Flammable (NFPA = 3), forms peroxides (Group 2), reasonably anticipated human carcinogen

Ethylene dichloride (1,2-Dichloroethane)

107–06–2

Flammable (NFPA = 3), reasonably anticipated human carcinogen, mutagen

Ethylene oxide

75–21–8

Flammable (NFPA = 4), explosive (NPFA = 3), may be fatal if inhaled or absorbed through the skin, known human carcinogen

Gunpowder

N/A

Explosive

Hexachlorophene

70–30–4

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, possible teratogen

Hydrobromic acid

10035–10–6

Corrosive, may be fatal if inhaled or ingested

Hydrofluoric acid

7664–39–3

Corrosive, may be fatal if inhaled or ingested (liquid and vapor can cause severe burns not always immediately painful or visible but possibly fatal)

Hydrogen

1333–74–0

Flammable (NFPA = 4)

Hydriodic acid

10034–85–2

Corrosive, may be fatal if inhaled or ingested

Lead arsenate

7784–40–9

Known human carcinogen, teratogen

Lead carbonate

1319–46–6

May be fatal if inhaled or ingested, neurotoxic

Lead (VI) chromate

7758–97–6

May be fatal if inhaled or ingested, known human carcinogen

Lithium, metal

7439–93–2

Combustible, water reactive

Lithium nitrate

7790–69–4

Oxidizer

Magnesium, metal (powder)

7439–95–4

May ignite spontaneously on contact with water or damp materials

Mercury

7439–97–6

Corrosive, may be fatal if inhaled or ingested

Mercuric chloride

7487–94–7

May be fatal if inhaled, teratogen

Methyl iodide (iodomethane)

74–88–4

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, potential carcinogen (NIOSH)

Methyl methacrylate

80–62–6

Flammable (NFPA = 3), explosive (vapor)

Methyl orange

547–58–0

Possible mutagen

Possible mutagen

493–52–7

Possible mutagen

Nickel, metal

7440–02–0

Reasonably anticipated human carcinogen, mutagen

Nickel oxide

1314–06–3

Reasonably anticipated human carcinogen, mutagen

Nicotine

45–11–5

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin

Osmium tetroxide

20816–12–0

May be fatal if inhaled or ingested

Paris green

12002–03–8

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin, known human carcinogen

Phenol

108–95–2

Combustible (liquid and vapor), corrosive, may be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin

Phosphorus pentoxide

1314–56–3

Water reactive, corrosive

Phosphorous, red, white

7723–14–0

May ignite spontaneously in air

Phthalic anhydride

85–44–9

Combustible/finely dispersed particles form explosive mixtures in air, corrosive

Potassium, metal

7440–09–7

Flammable (nfpa = 3), water reactive, forms peroxides

Potassium oxalate

583–52–8

Corrosive, may be fatal if ingested

Potassium sulfide

1312–73–8

Spontaneously combustible, explosive in dust or powder form, corrosive

Pyridine

110–86–1

Flammable (nfpa = 3), possible mutagen

Selenium

7782–49–2

Severe irritant

Silver cyanide

506–64–9

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin

Silver nitrate

7761–88–8

Oxidizer, corrosive, may be fatal if ingested

Silver oxide

20667–12–3

Oxidizer

Sodium arsenate

7778–43–0

May be fatal if inhaled or ingested, known human carcinogen

Sodium arsenite

7784–46–5

Known human carcinogen, teratogen

Sodium azide

26628–22–8

Explosive, may be fatal if ingested or absorbed through the skin

Sodium chromate

7775–11–3

Oxidizer, corrosive, known human carcinogen

Sodium cyanide

143–33–9

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin

Sodium dichromate

10588–01–9

Oxidizer, corrosive, may be fatal if ingested, known human carcinogen

Sodium nitrite

7632–00–0

Oxidizer

Sodium sulfide

1313–82–2

Corrosive, may be fatal if inhaled or ingested

Sodium thiocyanide

540–72–7

Contact with acid liberates very toxic gas

Stannic chloride ( anhydrous)

7646–78–8

Corrosive, hydrochloric acid liberated upon contact with moisture and heat

Stearic acid

57–11–4

May form combustible dust concentration in the air

Strontium

7440–24–6

Water reactive

Strontium nitrate

10042–76–9

Oxidizer

Sudan IV

85–83–6

Irritant, toxic properties have not been thoroughly evaluated

Sulfuric acid, fuming

8014–95–7

Corrosive, may be fatal if ingested

Tannic acid

1401–55–4

Irritant

Tetrabromoethane

79–27–6

May be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin

Thioacetamide

62–55–5

Reasonably anticipated human carcinogen

Thiourea

62–56–6

Reasonably anticipated human carcinogen

Titanium trichloride

7705–07–9

Water reactive, corrosive

Titanium tetrachloride

7550–45–0

Water reactive, corrosive, may be fatal if inhaled

o-Toluidine

95–53–4

Reasonably anticipated human carcinogen, mutagen

Uranium

7440–61–1

Radioactive material

Uranyl acetate

541–09–3

Radioactive material

Urethane

51–79–6

Combustible, reasonably anticipated human carcinogen

Wood’s metal

8049–22–7

May be fatal if inhaled or ingested, known human carcinogen (cadmium), neurotoxic

This information is from the School Chemistry Laboratory Safety Guide created by the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission (CPSC), Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

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