Are You at Risk for Chemical-Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent hearing impairment resulting from prolonged exposure to high levels of noise. While noise is a well-understood source of occupational illness, new studies are focusing on chemical-induced hearing loss (ototoxicity). This research seeks to determine if chemical substances alone, or noise and chemical co-exposure, contribute to occupational hearing loss. Given that many different types of workers are exposed to noise and chemicals at the UW, supervisors should keep this possible association in mind as part of their hazard communication to employees.


SOPs vs. SDSs

Why should labs have a standard operating procedure (SOP) for a chemical when the manufacturer safety data sheet (SDS) is available?

Both documents are “required” in the lab but offer different types of important information about a chemical. SDSs can be a good source of information when assessing risks associated with the storage, use, and transport of a chemical or product, whereas an SOP gives the researcher detailed lab-specific information for handling of a chemical at every stage of its presence in the lab.


Easy Chemical Waste Collection

MyChem has new features to make it easier for users to dispose of chemical waste. Now users can electronically request chemical waste collections with just a few clicks.

Quickly flag chemicals in an inventory and build a hazardous waste collection report for electronic submission to EH&S with the click of a button. Include chemicals not yet listed in your inventory! For additional details log into MyChem to view the MyChem User Guide.


Nitric Acid Incident on Campus

Nitric acid is a highly-corrosive mineral acid and strong oxidizer used primarily for nitration of organic molecules. Nitric acid reacts violently with alcohols, alkalis, reducing agents, combustible materials, organic materials, metals, acids, cyanides, terpenes, charcoal, and acetone. Not only does it produce exothermic reactions but also toxic, corrosive, and flammable vapors. The violent, reactive nature of nitric acid has led to major incidents at research universities such as Tufts, Texas Tech, and, recently, here at the University of Washington.


New Chemical Waste Management Video

Playing now on a computer screen near you: a new video for researchers about how to manage your chemical waste. EH&S collaborated with the Materials Science & Engineering Department to develop a short video about the UW’s chemical waste management process. Get all your common waste management questions answered and learn more about properly labeling, storing, and managing hazardous chemical waste.