Safe Handling of Chemicals
There are many toxic, flammable, and otherwise dangerous chemicals that may be used in the Chemistry Laboratory. It is prudent that all individuals participating in any experiment use gloves. For glove safety information, check out these Lab Precautions. Note: gloves should be used only as an added precaution. The use of gloves will not guarantee the prevention of injury due to exposure to chemicals. Yes, your hands will be better-protected from incidental contact with chemicals when you use gloves, but gloves are not by themselves able to protect you. The proper observance of safety precautions and use of common sense in handling chemicals will do more to prevent injuries than will the use of any type of gloves. It is up to you to practice safety in the labs for your own protection and the protection of others.
When you are in the laboratory and are handling toxic chemicals (either solid or liquid), you should handle these chemicals in the fume hood for measuring or pouring. More information about Chemical Fume Hoods. Handling toxic chemicals at your desk increases the risk of accidental skin contact and inhalation if there are any spills (or in the case of liquids, fumes). Desktop chemistry is a byproduct of the large number of students in a chemistry lab class, but if you take care to handle the chemicals you use carefully, the possible danger of accidental negative contact is minimized.