Labs in the Department of Chemistry

Students cannot receive credit for a course if the lab component is not reasonably completed. The details for each course are listed in the course syllibus.

Students who are concerned that their health may be adversely affected by a lab or a part thereof are strongly encouraged to consult the course professor or the chair of the Department.

Students who are subject to a medical condition, e.g. fainting, seizures, that may endanger them or others in a lab setting, are required to inform the professor, in confidence, so that steps can be taken to minimize the danger to the students and others in the lab.

If you are a student that meets the criteria under accessible-learning for a diagnosis of a permanent disability, and use of the Tramble Center for Accessible Learning, let your professor or instructor know, in confidence as soon as possible.


No lesson is so important and no task so urgent that we cannot take time to teach, learn and practice science safely.

    Students are not permitted to work alone in a lab.
    Safety goggles or safety glasses must be worn at all times in all labs.
    Contact lenses are a major eye-safety hazard and are not permitted in the labs. Students shall be asked to leave if they are found to be wearing contacts.
    Students are required to wear a lab coat in all labs - no bare legs.
    Sturdy shoes that fully enclose the foot must be worn in the lab.
    Long hair must be tied back so that it does not fall forward.
    Distractions should be avoided. Use of portable music players is not permitted.
    Personal electronics may be used for taking photos or as a timer at users own risk.  
    Food and drink of any sort are not permitted in the labs.


Most labs will pass without incident but this will not be so unless common sense rules of safety are applied. The following are suggested as a minimum set.

  • Never work alone. Always have someone (need not be a chemist) with you who can at least call for help in the event of an accident.
  • SAFETY GLASSES or SAFETY GOGGLES MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES. They are intended to prevent accidents from chemical splashes and breaking glass.
  • CONTACT LENSES are a hazard in the lab and ARE NOT PERMITTED, especially under safety glasses.
  • You must wear a lab coat at all times in the lab. This not only protects your clothing, but could prevent serious burns. No bare legs will be allowed.
  • Sandals,  open-toed  or open heeled footwear are not proper footwear in the lab and are not permitted.
  • Keep hair out of the way of chemicals, moving equipment and  flames.
  • Know the location of the safety showers. Use them if your clothes catch fire or acid is spilled on them. 
  • Know the location of the eye wash showers. If you get something in your eye, wash it out with plenty of cold water from the eye wash shower. Make sure your prof or lab instructor knows about it.
  • Know where the fire extinguishers and first aid boxes are located.
  • The most common type of lab injury is a burn caused by touching objects which have just been heated. Determine whether an object is hot by bringing the back of your hand up close.
  • Keep your hands and benches clean. This will enable you to avoid poisoning yourself. Beware of what may appear to be drops of water on benches. They may be corrosive liquids.
  • Use the fume hood for strongly smelling chemicals, acids, etc.
  • Always waft odors toward your nose with your hand. Never breathe them directly.
  • Mercury vapors are highly toxic. Never handle mercury with your hands. It will also ruin gold and silver jewelry on contact.
  • Never use cracked or broken glassware. Exchange it with the demonstrator or lab instructor. Sweep up all broken glass immediately and place in the container for broken glass. A dust pan and brush are provided for this purpose.
  • Never pipet by mouth, always use the pipet filler.
  • Clean up as you go. Please avoid putting paper, etc. in the sinks. Clean benches, to avoid unnecessary accidents.
  • Take due care with chemicals. If they are spilled, let your prof or lab instructor know about it.
  • Never return unused solutions to the stock containers or reagents bottles.
  • If there is an accident do the obvious first, e.g. get out, call for help, apply first aid. In all cases inform the instructors even if it is a minor accident.
  • No visitors are permitted in the lab.