Chemical Safety

Chemical Procurement

All chemicals procured at Tulane must be ordered through Sciquest. Chemical orders placed through Sciquest are routed to OEHS for review. OEHS reviews all chemical purchases for the following:

  • Quantity being requested for purchase
  • If extremely hazardous, availability of product substitutes
  • Engineering controls in place for use of chemical (see Chemical Fume Hood FACT Sheet)
  • Personal Protective Equipment available for use of chemical
  • Hazardous waste disposal needs for use of chemical

OEHS may ask for the chemical purchaser to provide SOPs for the use of the chemical. SOPs should always include the Safety Data Sheet and emergency response procedures for use of the chemical.

For questions related to the chemical purchase review process, contact OEHS at

Safe Handling and Storage of Specific Chemicals

Prior to introducing new chemicals, the P.I. or supervisor should complete a review of their workspace to ensure that there are adequate engineering controls and personal protective equipment for use of the chemical.

The P.I. or supervisor should ensure the following:

  • Employees have reviewed Tulane policies & procedures available on the OEHS website.
  • Standard Operating Procedures are available to all employees or students working in the laboratory.
  • For non-lab areas, a job hazard analysis must be completed for the use of the chemical.
  • Employees or students are properly trained by the P.I. or the employee’s supervisor on the hazards associated with use of the chemical, how to protect themselves, and what to do in the event of a chemical spill or other emergency.
  • Safety Data Sheets must be available to employees while they are in the work area. Safety Data Sheets can be downloaded by visiting the chemical manufacturer’s website or contacting them directly. If you need assistance, reach out to OEHS at
  • All chemicals are properly labeled in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication requirements.
  • Chemicals are stored with compatible chemicals.
  • Proper laboratory refrigeration is used for the storage of chemicals that are temperature-sensitive.
  • Shelf storage of chemicals is not overcrowded, and shelves have protective measures to prevent chemicals from falling off shelves.
  • Chemicals are not stored on the floor unless adequate protective measures are in place (I.E., secondary containment).
  • Cylinders are stored in the upright position, secured, and capped or attached to a regulator.
  • Chemical spill kits are readily available.

Below are some FACT Sheets and/or guidelines that have been created based on common chemicals used throughout Tulane University’s Campuses. You may request a FACT Sheet for a specific chemical by emailing OEHS provides general training for employee safety and regulatory requirements. Chemical-specific training should be provided by the employee’s P.I. or supervisor.

Chemical Waste Disposal

All chemical waste must be disposed of through OEHS. OEHS coordinates the proper collection and disposal of hazardous chemical waste according to local, state, and federal regulations.  Hazardous waste training is required for all employees generating waste at Tulane. For more information, please go to the Waste Management page at