Chemical Hygiene Plan Tables



U of M Environmental Health and Safety


Table 1: Poisonous Gases

The gases on this list are either on the Department of Transportation's Category 1 list, or the Linde Specialty Gases company's Group 6 - Very Poisonous list.  These chemicals are highly toxic gases at ambient temperature and pressure.  They have an extremely high potential for causing significant harm if not adequately controlled.

Arsine Germane Phosphorus pentafluoride
Boron trichloride Hydrogen selenide Selenium hexafluoride
Chlorine pentafluoride Nitric oxide Stibine
Chlorine trifluoride Nitrogen dioxide Sulfur tetrafluoride
Cyanogen Nitrogen trioxide Tellurium Hexafluoride
Cyanogen chloride Nitrosyl chloride Tetraethyldithiopyrophosphate
Diborane Oxygen difluoride Tetraethylpyrophosphate
Dinitrogen tetroxide Phosgene  
Fluorine Phosphine  


Table 2: Shock Sensitive Chemicals

The classes of chemicals listed below may explode when subjected to shock or friction.  Therefore users must have appropriate laboratory equipment, information, knowledge and training to use these compounds safely.

  • Acetylenic compounds, especially polyacetylenes, haloacetylenes, and heavy metal salts of acetylenes (copper, silver, and mercury salts are particularly sensitive)
  • Acyl nitrates
  • Alkyl nitrates, particularly polyol nitrates such as nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine
  • Alkyl and acyl nitrites
  • Alkyl perchlorates
  • Amminemetal oxosalts: metal compounds with coordinated ammonia, hydrazine, or similar nitrogenous donors and ionic perchlorate, nitrate, permanganate, or other oxidizing group
  • Azides, including metal, nonmetal, and organic azides
  • Chlorite salts of metals, such as AgClO2 and Hg(ClO2)2
  • Diazo compounds such as CH2N2
  • Diazonium salts, when dry
  • Fulminates such as mercury fulminate (Hg(CNO)2)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (which becomes increasingly treacherous as the concentration rises above 0%, forming explosive mixtures with organic materials and decomposing violently in the presence of traces of transition metals
  • N-Halogen compounds such as difluoroamino compounds and halogen azides
  • N-Nitro compounds such as N-nitromethylamine, nitrourea, nitroguanidine, and nitric amide
  • Oxo salts of nitrogenous bases: perchlorates, dichromates, nitrates, iodates, chlorites, chlorates, and permanganates of ammonia, amines, hydroxylamine, guanidine, etc.
  • Perchlorate salts (which can form when perchloric acid mists dry in fume hoods or associated duct work. Most metal, nonmetal, and amine perchlorates can be detonated and may undergo violent reaction in contact with combustible materials)
  • Peroxides and hydroperoxides, organic
  • Peroxides (solid) that crystallize from or are left from evaporation of peroxidizable solvents (see the following Section 3)
  • Peroxides, transition-metal salts
  • Picrates, especially salts of transition and heavy metals, such as Ni, Pb, Hg, Cu, and Zn
  • Polynitroalkyl compounds such as tetranitromethane and dinitroacetonitrile
  • Polynitroaromatic compounds especially polynitrohydrocarbons, phenols, and amines (e.g., dinitrotoluene, trinitrotoluene, and picric acid)

Note: Perchloric acid must be used only in specially-designed perchloric acid fume hoods that have built-in wash down systems to remove shock-sensitive deposits.  Before purchasing this acid, laboratory supervisors must arrange for use of an approved perchloric acid hood.


Table 3: Pyrophoric Chemicals

The classes of chemicals listed below will readily oxidize and ignite spontaneously in air. Therefore, users must demonstrate to the department that they have the appropriate laboratory equipment, information, knowledge and training to use these compounds safely.

  • Alkali metals such as Na, K
  • Grignard reagents, RMgX
  • Metal alkyls and aryls, such as RLi, RNa, R3Al, R2Zn
  • Metal carbonyls such as Ni(CO)4, Fe(CO)5, Co2(CO)8
  • Metal hydrides such as NaH, LiAlH4
  • Metal powders, such as Al, Co, Fe, Mg, Mn, Pd, Pt, Ti, Sn, Zn, Zr
  • Nonmetal alkyls, such as R3B, R3P, R3As
  • Nonmetal hydrides, such as B2H6 and other boranes, PH3, AsH3
  • Phosphorus (white)


Table 4: Peroxide-Forming Chemicals

The chemicals listed below can form explosive peroxide crystals on exposure to air, and therefore require special handling procedures after the container is opened.  Some of the chemicals form peroxides that are violently explosive in concentrated solution or as solids, and therefore should never be evaporated to dryness.  Others are polymerizable unsaturated compounds and can initiate a runaway, explosive polymerization reaction.  All peroxidizable compounds should be stored away from heat and light.  They should be protected from physical damage and ignition sources.  A warning label should be affixed to all peroxidizable materials to indicate the date of receipt and the date the container was first opened.  Due to these special handling requirements, users must have the appropriate laboratory equipment, information, knowledge and training to use these compounds safely.

Severe Peroxide Hazard with Exposure to Air

(discard within 3 months from opening)
  • diisopropyl ether (isopropyl ether)
  • divinylacetylene (DVA)
  • vinylidene chloride (1,1-dichloroethylene)
  • potassium metal
  • sodium amide (sodamide)
  • potassium amide

Peroxide Hazard on Concentration

Do not distill or evaporate without first testing for the presence of peroxides (discard or test for peroxides after 6 months)
  • acetaldehyde diethyl acetal (acetal)
  • cumene (isopropylbenzene)
  • cyclohexene
  • cyclopentene
  • decalin (decahydronaphthalene)
  • diacetylene (butadiene)
  • dicyclopentadiene
  • diethyl ether (ether)
  • diethylene glycol dimethyl ether (diglyme)
  • dioxane
  • ethylene glycol dimethyl ether (glyme)
  • ethylene glycol ether acetates
  • ethylene glycol monoethers (cellosolves)
  • furan
  • methylacetylene
  • methylcyclopentane
  • methyl isobutyl ketone
  • tetrahydrofuran (THF)
  • tetralin (tetrahydronaphthalene)
  • vinyl ethers

Hazard of Rapid Polymerization Initiated by Internally-Formed Peroxides

Liquids (discard or test for peroxides after 6 months)

chloroprene (2-chloro-1,3-butadiene)

  • vinyl acetate
  • styrene
  • vinylpyridine

Gases (discard after 12 months)

  • butadiene
  • vinylacetylene (MVA)
  • tetrafluoroethylene (TFE)
  • vinyl chloride


Table 5: Carcinogens, Reproductive Toxins or Highly Toxic Chemicals

The chemicals listed below are extremely hazardous. Workers must have knowledge of the dangers of these chemicals prior to use, and documentation of training in safe working procedures.

Biologically active compounds

  • protease inhibitors (e.g. PMSF, Aprotin, Pepstatin A, Leopeptin);
  • protein synthesis inhibitors (e.g. cycloheximide, Puromycin);
  • transcriptional inhibitors (e.g. a-amanitin and actinomycin D);
  • DNA synthesis inhibitors (e.g. hydroxyurea, nucleotide analogs (i.e. dideoxy nucleotides), actinomycin D, acidicolin);
  • phosphatase inhibitors (e.g. okadaic acid);
  • respiratory chain inhibitors (e.g. sodium azide);
  • kinase inhibitors (e.g. NaF);
  • mitogenic inhibitors (e.g. colcemid); and
  • mitogenic compounds (e.g. concanavalin A).

Castor bean (Ricinus communis) lectin: Ricin A, Ricin B, RCA toxins

Diisopropyl fluorophosphate: highly toxic cholinesterase inhibitor; the antidote, atropine sulfate and 2-PAM (2-pyridinealdoxime methiodide) must be readily available

Jaquirity bean lectin (Abrus precatorius)

N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine: carcinogen (this chemical forms explosive compounds upon degradation)

Phalloidin from Amanita Phalloides: used for staining actin filaments

Retinoids: potential human teratogens

Streptozotocin: potential human carcinogen

Urethane (ethyl carbamate): an anesthetic agent, potent carcinogen and strong teratogen, volatile at room temperature