Introduction to Chemical Health and Safety

What is Chemical Health and Safety?

Using chemical products has become part of our daily lives.  Floor cleaners, white-out, bug sprays, road salt:  all are chemicals that present hazards if used improperly.  For many years, employers could make employees work with and around chemicals they knew nothing about, with sometimes tragic results.

So, in the early 1990s, OSHA enacted regulations that require employers to tell their employees about potential chemical hazards in the workplace. The first set of regulations is called the Hazard Communication Standard, or "HazCom" for short. The requirements of this standard apply to most employees except those who work in laboratories. Click on the HazCom link for more information about these requirements.

The second set of regulations is called Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, or the "Lab Standard" for short. As you might guess, the Lab Standard applies only to people who work in laboratories. Click on the Lab Standard link for more information about these requirements.

OSHA also has developed regulations for specific chemical substances, such as asbestos, lead, and formaldehyde. In general, these substance-specific standards include exposure limits and specific work practices. They apply to mixtures (for example, paint that contains lead), not just to the pure chemical substance itself (e.g., lead solder).


How can I find out more?

If you have questions that are not answered on these webpages, contact the university's Industrial Hygienist or call 262-4008.

(Updated May 24, 2021)

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Business Affairs Websites


Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management
P.O. Box 32112
Boone, NC, 28608 USA
(828) 262-4008

Business Services Building
1039 State Farm Road
Boone, NC

Questions or Comments?
Please contact us.