Substance Policies

All chemical substances in BI laboratories for greater than 24 hrs must be entered into the BioELN. CAS numbers must be included to link the chemical to a valid SDS. If no CAS is available, create a link or page to an appropriate SDS in the inventory page. Ask a BI staff member if you need assistance.

BI users must consult with BI staff PRIOR to using or possessing the following items in the lab: Hydrofluoric acid, and/or substances that may liberate HCN or HF upon standing or treatment with acid (i.e. NaCN) or decomposition; hydrochloric acid cylinders; perchloric acid and; designated substances.

All biological substances, regardless of how long they are in BI laboratories, must be entered into the BioELN and disclosed to the BI Biological Technician. The BI is only authorized for BSL-1 and BSL-2 materials.

Always review the substance SDS/PSDS prior to handling!

In BI laboratories, all substances (hazardous and biological) must be labelled, handled and stored according to WHMIS and biosafety standards/guidelines.

  • Label substances with the substance name, owner's name, date opened and/or created and expiry date (if applicable) and the statement "See MSDS". McMaster has in-house WHMIS labels available at chemical stores (ABB). For biological items, include the BSL rating of the material on the label.
  • Handle substances according to the SDS/PSDS. Ensure you have the appropriate PPE and containment equipment (if applicable). Ensure it is not expired. For biological items, ensure you have the appropriate disinfectant nearby.
  • Store substances according to compatibility in appropriately designated areas. BI laboratories have base, acid and flammable cupboards. Storage of items in fridge/freezers requires the completion of inventory logs. Storage units for biohazardous agents are labeled as "biohazardous".

Refer to the BI Substances Policy.

Also refer to the BI Substances Policy - Cryogens, the BI Substance Policy - Designated Substances, and the BI Substance Policy - Compressed Gases, as applicable.

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