General safety in a work area/lab

Just wanted to start with a few things I always think about when I enter my work area/lab.

Static Electricity
Any time I enter my work area/lab I will touch the metal door frame to ground myself and I also touch a few other things metal to help ground or discharge this is usually done right at the door.
I try not to drag my feet at all
No carpet in my work area or leading up to or anywhere around the work area.
I will try and ground myself several time threw out my work day or times in the room. Got into a habit even when I’m outside I try and ground myself.

Always put on a pair of gloves before I start anything. Cleaning, organizing or touching glass.
Remove gloves before leaving room.
New pair of gloves once I re enter room.

I try and always have a pair on that has proper grip. A good rubber sole so I don’t slip.

I know there are proper cloths for flammable lab area. I don’t have them yet and will be looking into getting some this next month.
As for now I try to ware pants and long sleeves. In times it’s hot in my lab it’s shorts and short sleeves.

I have a 12” exhaust fan in my room with 2 more in the room next to it. These are the spark proof/resistant fans from best value vac.

Proper lighting
Safety Glasses

I know there is a bunch of things I can’t think of at this second but starting this I feel can really help some people


I like ur idea. maybe we should def crowdsource a saftey checklist. It’s a fact that checklist’s save lives and money


Large hanging sign that reads:
“Assume all vessels are under pressure”

Also ventilation, your bench needs good airflow. Areas that are used to clean glassware also need good ventalation.


Agreed. @GBR_Original can edit in suggested procedures or we can try to make the post a wiki (community editable, change history accessible) and see where it goes. I hope to have a system to turn these into legit SOPs and host them on a mirror (CMS) site for uploads / content only. IPFS?

Who loves writing manuals? :keyboard:


people should do smoke tests to verify ventilation every time something changes with the setup.

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That sign would be a good one to have

I like that word crowdsource

Both of those options sound great. Having everyone’s opinions and suggestions would be best to see how we can then form SOP’s.


Here is a safety tip;
When pulling a vacuum on extract in a boiling flask for the first time, NEVER pull it when the extract is hot.

Example: I had extract with residual iso and water in it. I cooked it in my mantle in a round bottom flask to rid it of the solvent. Then I hooked up the vacuum thinking to pull out last traces. Extract was still hot… upon pulling a vacuum the adapter on the flask blew off and the flask looked like a whale clearing its blowhole with my extract being statistically dispersed evenly across my lab table… ouch.




It’s fine to start while hot 70-120 c, it just needs to degas. I would start ramping slowly on the vaccum controller. You used too much vaccum at once. Step down slowly and control the boiling. Only once you are maxed out on the controller you can increase mantle temp.sorry beaker!


I decarb at 200F and then let material cool to 150F before it enters the BF and have not had any problems.

What are best practices for containment and disposal of spent filter media and solvents?

Use a waste bottle, dump any solvents to be disposed of into it. Take it to your local chemical recycler. Filter papers contaminated by lipids may be thrown in the trash , provided they don’t have residual solvents.


How about safe handling and disposal of media full of pesticides?

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Collect the waste in a labeled waste can, take to the same place as the waste bottle.


It is very important to properly dispose of solvents and contaminated media to avoid environmental contamination and compliance issues. Depending on producer scale you can reach out to hazardous waste disposal company like Ingenium to manage your waste streams and remain compliant with local EPA standards. They are a great company to work with and help train you to properly deal with your hazardous waste.

In the mean time be sure to clearly label and record everything you put into your waste collection container as well as a collection start date.


Hey does anyone know if rotary evaporator’s must be inside a fume hood in CO, Denver specifically. How I would go about finding this information for myself? The only thing I could find was that the equipment needs to be nrtl rated, nothing on whether or not it must be inside of a fume hood.

The reason I ask is because we have ours in a hood and it completely screwed us because it’s to short to have a vertical condenser. Without that we can no longer use any of the cool features that make it worth what we paid lol.

Is it a buchi? You can get many configurations of those to fit wherever. How big is the evaporator / hood?

it is, i havent thought about a shorter condenser head is that a thing, right now we cant use a foam sensor or auto dest or really any of the features that make it cool with current setup.