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Chemical Storage Cabinets: Proper Storing Equipment for Harmful Chemicals

Last December 7, 2010, the University Of Washington (UW) William H. Foege Building was evacuated due to a chemical spill. The UW Police Department and Seattle Fire Department responded to the reported incident to assess possible fire risks from gas fumes and liquid spills. Luckily, no one was injured or had contact with the chemicals that could result in respiratory irritation and skin burns. The spill was cleaned by a hazmat team to ensure safety and proper ventilation inside the room. The report showed that the shelf holding the chemicals collapsed, and substances like formaldehyde and unknown products got mixed together in an unsafe manner.

To promote area safety, a chemical storage guideline from the Marshall University Safety and Health information site suggests that potential chemical accidents can be prevented by:

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Sorting non-hazardous chemicals alphabetically on shelves or in cabinets with secondary containment (a chemically compatible tray, usually plastic) provided for liquids and oxidizers (dry and liquid).

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Separate hazardous chemicals by compatibility groups before being sorting alphabetically.

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Store hazardous chemicals below eye level to reduce accidental splashes to the eyes and face.

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If incompatible chemicals are stored in the same acid cabinet or flammable materials cabinet, always store liquids and oxidizers (dry and liquid) on secondary containment.

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If chemicals are stored on a shelf, the shelf must have a 1" high lip or barrier to prevent containers from falling.

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To minimize clutter, do not use fume hoods and laboratory benches as storage areas for chemicals. Use the proper chemical storage cabinets.

To prevent accidents, industrial and other facilities must use a proper storage system for strong chemicals such as Storage Cabinets. These are the perfect storage solutions to keep chemicals safely away from immediate human contact. These are designed to contain harmful substances such as acids, paints, and cleaning products without compromising the quality of the chemical storage cabinets. These chemical storage cabinets also have safety locks to secure the chemicals stored within.

These are some examples of Chemical Storage Cabinets:

The Eagle Poly Corrosive Hazmat Storage Cabinets are made from 100% polyethylene and are able to resist chemical fumes or vapors from damaging their plastic finish. These are available in 4 gallon bench-top, 22 gallon under-counter and 44 gallon cabinets to accommodate different volume and weights. These are best used for hydrochloric, nitric and sulfuric acids. The 44 gallon cabinet comes with four 2 inch vents.

The Eagle Steel Corrosive Chemical Storage Cabinets are made from high-density polyethylene for safe storing of acids and corrosives. These include a corrosive-resistant powder finish that gives superior protection against chemical spills and vapors. These also have polyethylene trays that fit over shelves for containment of small spills. Eagle Steel Corrosive Chemical Storage Cabinets are not recommended for storing sulfuric or nitric acids. However, these meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 30 and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. They are available in manual and sliding close doors.

Storing extremely hazardous chemicals in regular cabinets can result in serious damage, such as physical injuries to the individuals and the creation of fire hazards inside the facility. The UW incident, caused by the unsafe storage of chemicals, alarmed everyone due to the potential of inhaling toxic fumes from the chemical spill. That is why chemical-using facilities must utilize the proper chemical storage systems to prevent accidents such as this from happening.

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