Highly Hazardous Chemicals

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in conjunction with the Boston University Laboratory Safety Committee, has identified certain chemicals as Highly Hazardous Chemicals (HHCs). A chemical is considered “highly hazardous” if it has any health, physical or environmental hazards that require additional safety and/or environmental practices beyond those of a typical laboratory setting, as required by existing regulations or upon review of the hazards by EHS, relevant oversight committees, or other institutional entity. The highly hazardous chemical program is based on a risk-based safety assessment.

Highly Hazardous Chemical List | Highly Hazardous Chemical Program | High Hazard Chemical Guidance

Chemical Use Safety Assessment

Laboratories that use highly hazardous chemicals are identified during periodic reviews of the chemical inventories on RIMS, from alerts to EHS from Purchasing for identified chemicals ordered by PIs or authorized laboratory members, during other committee reviews of research, or during EHS’s Research Safety Inspections. When a laboratory is identified as using a highly hazardous chemical, the EHS Safety Advisor/Safety Committees coordinator will reach out to the lab to provide any appropriate Institutional SOPs for the chemicals and to assess PPE and other safety needs. Information regarding HHC use and activities at BU/BMC is reviewed by the Laboratory Safety Committee, to determine if additional steps are required to manage the laboratory hazard as described in the program.

Institutional HHC SOPs

The majority of chemicals in the highly hazardous chemical program have standard safety requirements that are universal regardless of the application of the chemical. HHC Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are being developed by EHS with review and technical assistance provided by the Laboratory Safety Committee and researchers working with the HHCs.

The High Hazard Chemical Guidance Document provides general information for working with HHCs in research and teaching laboratories. The chemical-specific SOPs are specific to a highly hazardous chemical or group of chemicals and provides specific information on the hazardous properties, the training and administrative requirements, information about locations where the chemical may be used or stored, the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), the steps to take to dispose of the chemical, and procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. The SOPs will be posted on this website as they are developed. The PI/designee and researchers may adapt the SOP templates and include the laboratory-specific information to develop the laboratory-specific written standard operating procedures.

If you have any questions regarding the Highly Hazardous Chemical Program, contact your departmental safety advisor or Environmental Health and Safety.