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MCZ Collections Operations

Policies & Protocol

Ethanol Safety Recommendations for the Micro-CT System

From John Sweeney, LISE Building Safety Officer, January 18th 2008:

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to perform a safety review of the x-ray process for the MCZ specimen collections.

The 70% ethanol solution used in the specimen jars is not as flammable as acetone or isopropanol. Today we placed 50 mls of the solution in a petri dish and tried to ignite the vapors. We were unable to ignite the vapors in an open cup test. However, it is still a flammable liquid and we should take precautions. Below are my recommendations:

  1. Transport the specimens to and from the LISE building in a leak proof secondary container.
  2. Store any and all specimen containers in a flammable storage cabinet in the South Material Synthesis area (near the CT x-ray tool). Do not exceed 15 gallons of ethanol.
  3. Before placing the specimen in the x-ray cabinet make sure all solution is removed from specimen accordingly:
    • Using safety glasses and chemical resistant gloves remove the specimen from the container and hold it over the container to let excess liquid drip back into the container.
    • Using a dry wipe remove any liquid from the specimen.
    • Place ethanol contaminated wipes in a flip top receptacle in the area (is not considered hazardous waste unless rag is soaked in ethanol)
    • Before placing the specimen in the x-ray cabinet place it in a leak proof secondary container and keep the specimen in the secondary container during x-ray process.

If you have any questions about the above procedure call me.

John Sweeney CSP
Harvard University Health & Safety Officer
46 Blackstone Street
Cambridge, MA 01239
Office at LISE 617-495-1290
cell 617-680-7594