ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences



BOTTLES (Holding chemicals and solvents)

All bottles should be adequately labelled with their contents and with the date of preparation or the date of first opening of the bottle.

  • When filling empty bottles always allow 10% dead space for expansion and safe pouring of the contents.
  • Bottles should only be carried in specially designed holders and when pouring the contents from the bottle, support the bottle with both hands.
  • Air sensitive liquids are best stored in sealed brown glass bottles in a cool dark location.
  • When bottles are opened many compounds release toxic gases under pressure, e.g. those containing hydrogen chloride, bromine and ammonia. A face mask, together with appropriate protective clothing, should be worn and the bottle carefully opened beneath a fume hood.

Many suppliers now offer plastic encapsulated winchester bottles for corrosive chemicals which retain the contents should a breakage occur. NEVER hold or carry a bottle by its neck.

Bretherick, L. (1986)
Hazards in the Chemical Laboratory, 4th Edition.
Royal Chemical Society, London.



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