Whenever you are working with chemical substances, it is important to take as many security and preventive measurements as possible. You should do this not only for the safety of you and your team, but also for the good of the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has regulations in place in order to perform this very function. If you are interested, you can find the full list of approved methods on the EPA website, including ways to handle toxic pesticides, solid waste and research involving water and air.
If you are just starting out in the field, you may be concerned about how easy it is to follow these guidelines. There are certainly a lot to cover, and you have enough on your mind! Fortunately, keeping to the EPA methods recommended is actually surprisingly easy. ToxPlanet believes in supporting scientific researchers in their endeavors, especially when it comes to matters of safety and security! With that goal in mind, here is a super simple way of ensuring that you are complying with EPA methods.
Ok, are you ready for the big secret to EPA methods compliance? It’s going to be a lot easier than you expect. The biggest and best thing you can do is adhere to the Hierarchy of Control. The Hierarchy of Control (or HOC) is a great next step after performing a risk assessment. It helps to order the value with which you should prioritize a method for reducing risk. As you can see if you click the link above (hint, you should totally click the link above), the most effective method is to remove the hazard entirely. Make sure that your method of removal is safe as well as effective!
If removing the hazard is not an option, sometimes you can substitute it with a slightly less dangerous material. Depending on your research, you might need whatever it is in order to accomplish your goal. Ask yourself whether it would be possible to use a substitute material and achieve the same results. If the risk is related to physical space, ask yourself if there is a safer environment available. The example given in the link is storing a material at a lower height to reduce the risk of falling. Another example might be storing a combustable material at a lower temperature.
If removing or substituting the hazard is not an option, then eliminate exposure as much as possible. This can mean reducing the amount of people exposed to the hazard, making changes to lab policy. The final method you can use is PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment. This offers the greatest opportunity of risk, and should not be viewed as a first line of defense.
If you stick to the Hierarchy of Control, you will be following EPA Methods without having to consult them all the time! ToxPlanet hopes you found this tip helpful for your future research. If you would like further assistance with chemical research, please visit the ToxPlanet website. Our comprehensive database offers an up-to-date and easy to use collection of chemical information. You’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for because we search using CAS numbers instead of chemical names or symbols. If you are interested in using ToxPlanet for yourself, then you can watch a video of our product explaining more about us. You can also request a free two week trial for yourself! Remember to follow EPA Methods, and ensure that safety and security are a priority!