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Kyle Vandermolen is a chemical engineer with 18 years of experience handling dangerous chemicals.

Knowing the different methods of handling hazardous chemicals in the workplace is critical. In the following article, he dives into the essential techniques to control toxic materials.

What are the two types of hazardous materials?

There are two main types of hazardous materials: reactive and toxic. Reactive materials can undergo a chemical reaction with other substances. Examples include peroxides, water-reactive, and explosives.

Toxic materials can cause harm or death to humans or animals if you swallow, inhale, or come into contact with your skin. Cyanide, arsenic, Blue-ringed octopus, and Botox are some examples of dangerous chemicals.

How to control hazardous chemicals in the workplace

Create a safety data sheet

The first step in handling any hazardous material is to identify it by its label and safety data sheet (SDS). Kyle Vandermolen says that the SDS will provide you with information on how you should handle, store, use, and dispose of the material.

It'll also tell you about any hazards associated with the material and what protective equipment you need to wear when handling it.

For this step, you need to label the container of hazardous chemicals with the words "Hazardous Chemicals" and the appropriate hazard symbols.

Keep containers of hazardous chemicals closed and tightly sealed when not in use

If you leave containers of hazardous chemicals open and unsealed, the air in the surrounding area may become contaminated. They can cause damage to the respiratory system and lead to lung cancer or other serious illnesses for your staff.

Store all containers of hazardous chemicals in a cool, dry place away from sources of ignition

The storage of hazardous chemicals can be a dangerous task. However, with the proper precautions, you can do it safely. Store chemicals away from ignition sources in a cool and dry place. Kyle VandermolenI also says you need to read labels to determine if the container is hazardous or not.

Dispose of containers of hazardous chemicals according to federal, state, and local regulations

Getting rid of hazardous chemical waste can be tricky. There are a lot of different rules and regulations that go into the disposal, but the EPA has put together a helpful guide to familiarize you with the process.

You must determine if the chemical falls under RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) or the Clean Air Act.

To wrap up, here are some more tips for handling dangerous chemicals in your workplace.

  • - Wear protective gear and clothing

  • - Avoid direct contact with chemicals

  • - Be cautious when using chemicals

  • - Always read the label

  • - Follow the safety precautions for that particular chemical

Kyle Vandermolen has over 18 years of exceptional experience as a chemical engineer focusing on industrial Haz-Mat and chemical spill cleanup. He has worked with prestigious chemical facilities, the steel sector, and specialized chemical processing businesses throughout his professional career.

Additionally, Mr. Vandermolen has held several panel positions on the American Chemistry Council-sponsored Hydrogen Fluoride Panel.

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