Laboratory safety is more important than any chemistry experiment could ever be. Over 70% of high school students complete selected chemistry courses before graduation; lab safety is a discipline that impacts a vast majority of the student body.
How can teachers and professors help keep their students safer in the laboratory setting? Here are a few lab safety best-practices that can’t be ignored.
Understanding the Building Blocks of Safety
The American Chemistry Council names four specific keystones of lab safety: Knowledge, Awareness, Foundations, and Safety Culture. At both the high school and college level, these core tenants of safety must be considered and adhered to at all times. They should be recognized and understood by students and faculty.
Staying Current on Guidelines
It is recommended that the physical chemistry lab rules laid out by the ACS be followed within all educational environments. Most of the rules are relatively unchanged from year to year, such as requirements for distance between workstations and for the proper storage of glass beakers.
A number of small-but-important changes made to chemistry lab safety guidelines in recent years, however, as the ACS continues to respond to general changes within the American educational system. A few things to consider include:
- The physical presence of technology within the chemistry lab, specifically mobile devices and/or brought-from-home devices.
- The growing prevalence of ELL (English Language Learning) students in chemistry classrooms that may necessitate additional comprehension checks for seemingly “common” chemistry safety terms.
- Continually-updated regulations regarding the disposal of laboratory materials and/or the storage of potentially sensitive chemicals and chemical compounds.
How Better Chemicals Improve Safety Outcomes
Within educational settings (and, relatedly, within industrial environments), better chemicals can improve safety outcomes. High-purity chemicals aren’t just a necessity for many commonplace lab experiments for students; they can actually make it easier to ensure a safe working environment.
Small amounts of research grade chemicals have long been notoriously difficult to procure within educational settings as they are traditionally unprofitable for large chemical suppliers. The Internet has made small quantities of high-purity chemicals more accessible to educators than ever; academic chemical suppliers like Noah Technologies can supply a wide array of niche, hard-to-find chemicals in a variety of amounts. This both reduces the quantity of potentially hazardous chemicals chemistry teachers must store securely at any given time and simultaneously improves the quality of those chemicals they do keep in stock. Higher-quality chemicals perform more predictably within the lab setting.
Lab safety is important to Noah Technologies. As a leading American chemicals supplier for the past forty years, Noah Tech has served some of the largest commercial chemical customers in the country in addition to the niche needs of myriad chemistry educators. We’re happy to help your school create a safer, more predictable lab environment through the use of better chemicals.
Browse our extensive catalog of currently-available chemicals right now to find what your classroom needs.