In your experiment proposal, you must indicate whether you will be working with chemicals at the ALS. In the Experiment Safety Assessment Form (ESAF), identify each chemical that you will be working with and declare the hazards associated with each chemical, such as flammable, water-reactive, or toxic. LBNL has an online SDS database that can provide information for most chemicals (requires connection to the LBNL employee network either directly or through VPN). In addition, indicate if there will be any exceptional hazards (explosives, very large volumes, etc.). If your declared chemicals change after the ESAF is approved, notify the Chemical Safety Specialist as soon as possible to discuss the changes.
Sending Samples and Chemicals
To ship samples or chemicals to the ALS, send them to the attention of Alyssa Brand, the Chemical Safety Specialist, to ensure they are routed properly:
- Alyssa Brand (no LBNL PO)
[Your name or group name]
- Advanced Light Source
- Building 53-101
- One Cyclotron Road
- Berkeley, CA 94720
All materials need to be shipped in accordance with all DOT/IATA (Department of Transportation and International Air Transport Association) regulations.
Chemicals that come from original source vendors such as Sigma-Aldrich, Alfa need prior approval from the ALS Chemical Safety Specialist prior to ordering the chemical. This includes the drop-shipment of compressed gas cylinders.
Please note that it may take up to two business days for samples and chemicals shipped to the ALS to be sorted at the central receiving facility, delivered to the ALS receiving facility, and finally delivered to the chemical safety specialist or beamline scientist.
All chemicals used in specific experiments need to be listed on the Experimental Safety Assessment Form (ESAF) with the form of the chemical (powder, thin film, etc.) and the amount to be used. The ESAF will be reviewed and specific controls will be added as the permitted use of each chemical.
Chemical use on the experimental floor is normally restricted to:
- Simple operations (such as loading samples into chambers)
- Modest quantities (typically 1 gram or less)
- Relatively non-hazardous materials (NFPA hazards of 2 or less)
Typical controls will be applied to the use of these chemicals include:
- Labeling (include your name or ESAF number)
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including safety glasses and gloves
- Hazard communication (SDS, labeling)
These will be listed at the bottom of the chemical safety page of the ESAF. If you will be using hazardous material, the use may be restricted to designated area such as a beamline work bench. Your beamline scientist will show you these locations and the PPE requirements for working there.
ALS Chemistry Lab
Complex work or work with more hazardous or larger quantities of chemicals will need to be performed in one of the two User Chemistry Labs. The chem labs are equipped with fume hoods, sonicators, and basic lab supplies. In order to gain access to the chem labs you must take the on-line course EHS 0348 Chemical Hygiene and Safety then have a lab orientation from the Chemical Safety Specialist. This orientation includes a discussion of what work you will be performing the lab(s), and some additional training may be necessary depending on the hazards of the work. Contact the ALS Chemical Safety Specialist for more information.
The ALS chem lab supplies basic solvents and gases for use by experimenters. These include: acetone, ethanol, methanol, and isopropanol. In addition to the normal gases used at the beamlines (Nitrogen, Argon, Helium, Oxygen and Hydrogen), the ALS supplies some toxic and corrosive gases as well, such as ammonia and carbon monoxide. See the chemical page for specifics.
Health Hazard Gases
Only certain beamlines are equipped to use health hazard gases. Please contact your beamline scientist for more information about what materials can be used at their beamline.
All health hazard gases must be installed in collaboration with the Chemical Safety Specialist and the plumbing must be leak tested, inspected and approved by the chemical safety specialist before work commences. Contact the ALS Chemical Safety Specialist at least a day in advance to schedule gas use and set-up.
All unused chemicals must be sent back to your home institute unless you have the express approval of the chemical safety specialist for temporary storage at the ALS. The Chemical Safety Specialist can assist in preparing the shipment of your chemicals. All standard rules apply for shipping of hazardous materials. If you plan to dispose of hazardous materials, you must inform the Chemical Safety Specialist at your earliest opportunity.
All samples and chemicals should be sent back to your home institute after your experiment. If you need to store samples and chemicals at the ALS, you must contact your beamline scientist to request that they take responsibility for your samples. These samples and chemicals need to be clearly labeled with the name of the ALS responsible person, the name of the actual owner and institute, the constituents of the sample, date, and the hazards of the sample. This option is only for users that have proposals in the system and have scheduled to do additional experiments at the ALS. If you cannot meet these requirements, you cannot store samples or chemicals at the ALS.
Before beginning work with hazardous materials, you should familiarize yourself with the LBNL Emergency Response Guides. Location-specific copies are posted on bulletin boards around the ALS floor.
If a chemical spill results in an emergency, call the Lab’s emergency number directly (ext. 7911). All chemical spills should be reported to the Control Room (ext. 4969). Until help arrives, follow the SWIMS guidelines:
Isolate the area
Stay until help arrives