Management of Chemical Substances
Importance of chemical substance management
Many chemical substances have hazardous properties that that could cause adverse events such as explosions, fire, health disorders, and environmental pollution. This is particularly true at universities where advanced research is being conducted. Additionally, universities sometimes handle chemical substances whose dangers and hazards are unknown.
In Japan, chemical substances are regulated by multiple laws. For example, substances that are toxic to the human body are regulated under the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act. Substances that could pose a risk of fire or explosion are regulated under the Fire Service Act and defined as "Hazardous Materials". It is important to remember that chemical substances must be considered from various aspects, such as the need to handle and monitor exposure to them in ways to prevent health disorders and the fact that they are potential environmental pollutants.
The chemical substance management cycle
1. Clarification of responsibilities
Chemical Substance Manager (Article 6, Paragraph 1 of the Rules)
Chemical substance management at Kumamoto University cannot occur unless chemical substances are brought in from outside the university. Therefore, when educational and research activities are conducted with access to chemical substances, the person responsible for those activities becomes the chemical substance manager.
Scope of management by chemical substance manager (Article 6, Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Rules)
Chemical substance managers lead Chemical substance handling groups. A YAKUMO ID will be issued for each group. If you wish to set up a new group, please apply for a new YAKUMO ID beforehand.
A chemical substance manager manages chemical substances, supervises chemical substance handlers, and oversees the locations where the chemical substance is handled.
A chemical substance manager may assign a chemical substance management promoter to help manage the group's faculty and staff.
Management organization (Article 4, Article 5 of the Rules)
The organization for the management of chemical substances is based on the Health and Safety Committee at Kumamoto University. Therefore, the chemical substance management will be promoted at each workplace.
However, Kumamoto University has a Central Safety and Health Committee that deliberates on safety and health measures for the entire university, as well as an Environmental Safety Center that supports chemical substance management.
Submits Chemical Substance Handling Reports (Article 6, Paragraph 4 of the Rules)
Each chemical substance manager submits a chemical substance handling report at the beginning of each academic year. This allows us to keep track of the chemical substance handling groups within Kumamoto University.
The chemical substance handling report is output from YAKUMO. At that time, check the following items and correct them if necessary.
(2) Name of chemical substance handling group
(3) Information on chemical substance manager
(4) Number of chemical substance handlers
(5) Site where chemical substances are utilized
In particular, (4) the number of chemical substance handlers changes every year due to student assignments, new hires, and transfers of faculty and staff. Therefore, please update your user registration on YAKUMO and submit a chemical substance handling report.
Change of chemical substance manager (Article 6, Paragraphs 5 and 6 of the Rules)
When the chemical substance manager retires or is transferred, the chemical substance handling group ceases to exist, and it is necessary to restart from that point. This also applies to replacing the chemical substance manager, changing the name of the chemical substance handling group, as well as the establishment, change, or abolition of a new chemical substance management promoter.
Please submit an official notice of an impending change or abolition of a chemical substance handling group at least 30 days before any of the abovementioned events occur.
If the chemical substance manager is changed or abolished, please submit the storage list after submitting the official notice of the upcoming change or abolition of the chemical substance handling group. In the case of a new chemical substance manager, the incoming manager will assume control. In the case of group discontinuation, dispose of the unused chemicals as unneeded in compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and Environmental Safety Center instructions.
Participation in accident insurance, etc. (Article 8 of the Rules)
When handling chemical substances,The potential for accidents and injuries is always present.
For this reason, chemical substance handlers, especially students, should purchase suitable student accident insurance policies or ensure their chemical substance-related activities are covered under their comprehensive disaster insurance policies.
YAKUMO registration (Article 9, Article 10 of the Rules)
If you have acquired chemical substances (including high-pressure gases) through purchase or transfer, please be sure to register them with YAKUMO.
At Kumamoto University, purchased chemical substances (high-pressure gas) are temporarily registered in YAKUMO at the registration office. Please be sure to log in to YAKUMO to complete this registration.
Some things are outside the scope of YAKUMO registration. The following is a brief overview:
(1) Items for which the amount of use is strictly regulated by law.
(2) Items for which it is difficult for YAKUMO to provide management support, such as mixed materials.
(3) Items that are managed by a different system.
(4) Biopolymers such as nucleic acids and proteins.
The barcode label output from YAKUMO should be attached to the chemical bottle according to the product number of the obtained chemical substance.
Filled / Empty cards output from YAKUMO should be hung on the cylinder according to the product number on the high-pressure gas cylinder obtained.
Chemicals that are not registered with YAKUMO must still be managed appropriately.
Chemical storage (Article 12 of the Rules)
Store chemical substances in appropriate dedicated storage areas.
When storing chemicals in a vault, take measures to prevent them from falling or being damaged by contact with each other in case of a disaster.
When storing chemicals in a chemical storage area, take measures to prevent them from falling or being damaged by contact with each other in case of a disaster.
Storage of hazardous materials (Article 4 of the Guidelines)
The Fire Service Act limits the amount of designated hazardous materials stored in a controlled area. At Kumamoto University, a controlled area is defined as laboratory units in consultation with Kumamoto City.
In addition, the amount of material that can be stored in the controlled area is less than 1/5 of the designated quantity, which varies depending on the hazardous material type (Class 1 to Class 6). Therefore, please use a management support system such as YAKUMO to total the storage quantity. If the storage quantity is more than 1/5 of the designated quantity, store it in a dedicated indoor hazardous material storage area.
Hazardous materials should be stored by type to reduce the risk of fire. In particular, store them in compliance with the Dangerous Goods Consolidation List to reduce risks as much as possible.
Storage of high-pressure gas cylinders (Article 7 of the Guidelines)
High-pressure gas cylinders can cause serious injury due to their weight if they fall over. Be sure to prevent them from tipping over in case of a disaster. Specifically:
(1) Fix the cylinders to a pillar, wall, etc.
(2) Fasten both the upper and lower parts with chains.
(3) When using a cylinder stand, attach it to a wall or the floor.
Storage of poisonous and/or deleterious substances (Article 6 of the Guidelines)
Poisonous and deleterious substances are highly toxic chemicals that could be used for malicious acts if lost or stolen. Always keep them in a safe place.
(1) Store them in sturdy, lockable storage containers (metal preferably) that are not easily transportable.
(2) If it is necessary to store poisonous and deleterious substances with other chemicals, be sure to distinguish between them clearly (e.g., store them in dedicated trays or designate a dedicated storage location within the storage unit).
(3) Keep the storage containers locked at all times.
(4) The name of the chemical substance manager should be displayed, and "Not for Medical Use" should be displayed on the container. In addition, if you are storing deleterious substances, please indicate "deleterious substances" in red letters on a white background. If you are storing poisonous substances, please indicate "poisonous substances" in white letters on a red background. These indicators are specified by Kumamoto University.
(5) Please take inventory regularly. Kumamoto University will receive instructions from the Environmental Safety Center around April.
Use of chemical substances (Article 13 of the Rules)
Chemical substances entail various risks (fire/explosion, health disorders, environmental pollution). However, universities handle many chemicals, and it is impossible to learn about all their related hazards in lectures. Therefore, students should acquire the skills to investigate their dangers before handling them.
Accordingly, the chemical substance manager must conduct a risk assessment of the hazards of the chemical substances to be handled and inform the chemical substance handlers of the results. Information on the hazards and dangers can be obtained from the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). In particular, if the risk assessment results indicate that a substance is very dangerous, discontinue its use or consider alternative substances. If elimination or substitution would be difficult, shorten the handling time or take measures to contain the chemical substance.
For highly hazardous substances, take basic measures to prevent exposure and dispersal. If there is a local exhaust ventilation (draft) chamber available, use it. In that case, inspect the air intake by the draft chamber, listen for abnormal noise, and make sure the water from the scrubber system is flowing correctly.
For obvious reasons, smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in laboratories where chemical substances are used, and entry is restricted to relevant personnel. Also, please post a notice (designated by Kumamoto University) regarding these matters.
Use of organic solvents (Article 11 of the Guidelines)
Of particular concern are chemicals defined by the Industrial Safety and Health Act as "organic solvents". These are toxic to the human central nervous system, so extreme care must be taken when using them.
Kumamoto University has a bulletin board with a list of organic solvents divided into Class I, Class II, and Class III, as well as cautionary notices on their use. Read these postings carefully to see if the chemical you are about to handle is included. If so, carefully examine the precautions for use. In addition, work environment measurements must be conducted in locations where organic solvents are used. These scientific measurements determine if the toxic substances have been dispersed in the area. Your cooperation in this process is imperative.
Among organic solvents are chemicals designated as "specially controlled substances". When handling these chemical substances, a record of their use must be maintained, and warning posters must be posted in the workspace. In particular, those posters describe the effects on the human body, precautions for handling, and protective equipment to be used. Those posters can be downloaded from YAKUMO.
Use of specified chemical substances (Article 10 of the Guidelines)
There is also a class of chemical substance defined by the Industrial Safety and Health Act as "specified chemical substances". These chemicals are known to cause various health hazards, so care must be taken when using them.
Work environment measurements must be conducted in locations where specified chemical substances are used. These scientific measurements determine if the substances have been dispersed in the area, so your cooperation in this process is important.
Among the specified chemical substances, there are chemical substances called "specially controlled substances". When handling these chemical substances, a record of use (work outline and period) and posters must be posted. Usage records must be submitted once a month and kept for 30 years. Those posters describe the effects on the human body, precautions for handling, and protective equipment to be used. Those posters can be downloaded from YAKUMO.
Use of High Pressure Gases (Article 8 of the Guidelines)
Handle high-pressure with proper consideration for their respective toxicity, combustion-supporting properties, and explosivity, other hazards.
Rental high-pressure gas cylinders should be returned to their vendors within one year.
Empty high-pressure gas cylinders (excluding self-owned cylinders) should be returned to their vendors immediately.
Disposal of Chemical Substances (Article 14 of the Rules)
Dispose of chemical substances in compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and Environmental Safety Center Instructions.
Experiment waste liquids, unnecessary chemicals, toxic sludge, and mercury-containing apparatuses are handled by the Environmental Safety Center. Please visit the following website.
Waste products contaminated with chemical substances (or are likely to be contaminated) should be disposed of as industrial waste. Never dispose of them with general ("household") waste at garbage collection points. In the Kurokami and Oe Districts, the Environmental Safety Center collects experiment waste twice a month. In the Honjo District, empty containers are collected as "experiment waste", "infectious waste", etc.
Dispose of chemical substances if they are not scheduled to be passed on to the next group, for example, when a chemical handling group is discontinued.