Skip to content Skip to navigation

Experimental Operations

Hazard Assessment and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Guidance

As Chemistry department researchers work with a wide variety of chemicals, it is important that each researcher familiarize themselves with the hazards of the chemicals they use. Stanford researchers have access to a number of internal and external resources to learn about the hazards of specific chemicals (see below).

Before performing an experiment, researchers must perform a hazard assessment to identify risks and take steps to mitigate them. For work with higher risk substances (highly reactive materials, Particularly Hazardous Substances, etc.), it is highly recommended to work with your PI to develop an SOP. Stanford EH&S guidance on SOP prioritization and development (including templates) is available here.

Stanford EH&S is always willing to help with hazard assessment and SOP development. Contact the EH&S Research Safety Specialist to receive assistance.

Stanford Safety Resources

·       Compatible Storage Group guide

·       Laboratory Chemical Safety Toolkit

·       Lab Safety Fact Sheets

·       Chemical Hygiene Plan

·       Biosafety Manual

·       Radiation Safety Manual

·       Science Library Chemical Safety Guides

·       Chemistry Safety Search Tool

Laboratory Safety Reference Guides

·       Bretherick’s Guide to Reactive Chemical Hazards

·       e-EROS (Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis)

·       The Synthetic Organic Chemist’s Companion

·       Wiley Guide to Chemical Incompatibilities

·       Prudent Practices in the Laboratory

·       NIOSH Pocket Guide

·       ACS Guidelines for Identifying and Evaluating Hazards

·       Handbook of Synthetic Organic Chemistry

·       Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens

·       Laboratory Chemical Safety Summary (LCSS) in PubChem

Personal Protective Equipment

Cal/OSHA requires that all workplaces assess the hazards present, determine the appropriate PPE, provide said PPE, and provide training on how and when to use PPE. To aid this process, the Stanford EH&S PPE program offers premade assessment forms and guidance on how to provide PPE training.

The Chemistry department has recently entered into a contract with Cintas to provide flame-resistant lab coats and cleaning services to research personnel. Participating labs can contact Troy Parker ( to obtain a lab coat.

Safety glasses are available from the Health & Safety Office in Organic Chemistry 115. Prescription inserts for safety glasses are available to Chemistry department researchers for a small cost, contact Charlie Cox ( for more information.

Toxic Gases

Certain gases are subject to additional regulations and restrictions due to their toxicity, even at low concentrations. A list of these regulated toxic gases is available at

Toxic gases are considered Restricted Chemicals at Stanford, therefore prior approval by the PI is required before their use in lab. To ensure that all prerequisites are met, all Chemistry department orders for toxic gases must go through Todd Eberspacher ( Additional information about the Stanford Toxic Gas program can be found here.

Precursor Chemicals

Certain chemicals are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and/or the California Department of Justice (CA-DOJ) as Precursor Chemicals, due to their potential use in the illicit production of controlled substances. To streamline the regulatory requirements, Stanford EH&S can assist with the purchase of DEA List I chemicals and CA-DOJ Precursor Chemicals. Please note that there is often a significant lead time on orders, due to legally mandated holding periods.

·       List of Precursor Chemicals (see Appendices B & C)

·       Stanford Controlled Substances Program

·       Precursor Chemicals order form