Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 300: Laboratory Safety
Effectice: 06/15/2010
Revised: 3/27/2014


To protect employees and the University community by providing procedures and instruction on how to effectively contain chemical carcinogens.


Oregon State University will maintain, within reasonable control of the University, an environment that will not adversely affect:

  • The health, safety, and well-being of students, staff, visitors, and neighboring human populations; and
  • The wild and domestic animals maintained on the campus of the University or in the contiguous area.

All research and teaching activities in facilities controlled by Oregon State University and involving the use of chemical carcinogens, as defined in the Chemical Carcinogen Safety Manual, shall be conducted in compliance with National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines, with the provisions of the Chemical Carcinogen Manual, and as approved by the Chemical Safety Committee.

Supervisor Responsibility

Supervisors are responsible for:

  1. being familiar with, adhering to, and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and policies regarding chemical carcinogens as used in their program;
  2. using the Chemical Carcinogen Safety Program as a guide in developing a carcinogen safety program;
  3. obtaining, requiring and providing appropriate training;
  4. having the Chemical Carcinogen Safety Manual available;
  5. being aware of the characteristics of the chemicals with which they work;
  6. registering the use of Class B carcinogens; and
  7. obtaining authorization from the Chemical Safety Committee for Class C carcinogens.

Employee Responsibility

Employees are responsible for:

  1. familiarity and compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and policies regarding the chemical carcinogens they use;
  2. being aware of hazards associated with the chemicals; obtaining the appropriate training; and
  3. knowing about the additional resources (EH&S, Chemical Safety Committee, etc.).

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Responsibility

EH&S (in concert with the University Chemical Safety Committee) is responsible for:

  1. the development and maintenance of a chemical carcinogen safety program;
  2. providing appropriate training;
  3. maintaining access to an up-to-date Guide for Chemical Carcinogen Classification;
  4. updating the Chemical Carcinogen Safety Manual as needed;
  5. providing liaisons with the Chemical Safety Committee;
  6. keeping current with NIH guidelines; and
  7. providing consultation to faculty, staff, and students.

Control of the Use of Chemical Carcinogens

The purpose of the Chemical Carcinogen Safety Program is to:

  • establish procedures and criteria for physical facilities to protect against occupationally acquired cancers and for protection of the general environment; and
  • contain all known or suspected chemical carcinogens within prescribed limits in accordance with nationally recognized safe standards of operation.

The program attempts to do this by:

  • identifying all users of chemical carcinogens on campus;
  • defining acceptable levels of exposure, as those permitted by federal and state regulations or recommended by authoritative sources such as the National Cancer Institute;
  • limiting projects and activities involving the use of chemical carcinogens to those authorized by the provisions of this manual.
  • developing and approving specific procedures for the use of chemical carcinogens to limit the exposure of, and the degree of hazard to, personnel and the environment; and
  • identifying and categorizing chemicals whose carcinogenic potential has recently been determined.

Chemical Carcinogen Manual

All campus personnel working with chemical carcinogens are required to have an understanding of the contents of the Chemical Carcinogen Manual.  This manual is intended to provide a system for assuring safety in the use of known or suspected chemical carcinogens.  The Chemical Carcinogen Safety Manual is available on-line, maintained by EH&S and should be accessible in campus facilities where chemical carcinogens are stored or used. 

Categorization of Chemical Carcinogens

The hazard categorization scheme is intended to reflect the net potential hazard associated with the conditions for use of each carcinogen.  Specifically, it considers not only the apparent biological potency of a compound, but the total quantity or concentration in use.  Thus, dilution of a Class C carcinogen may reduce its hazard to the Class B category.  Scientific evidence pertaining to the carcinogenic properties of chemicals change frequently.  See the Guide for Chemical Carcinogen Classification. EH&S will update the list when necessary.


  1. Class C (Highly Hazardous) Chemical Carcinogens.
  1. Chemicals regulated by law.
  2. Chemicals not regulated by law but considered highly hazardous by the Chemical Safety Committee.
  1. Class B (Hazardous) Chemical Carcinogens.
  1. Class C chemical carcinogens diluted to defined concentration ranges.
  2. Chemicals identified in OSHA and other guidelines that do not exceed the hazardous category in any concentration.
  3. Other chemicals when used in research and teaching activities that could, on the basis of new information, require the restrictions listed for this category.
  1. Class A (Low Hazard) Chemical Carcinogens

    Those chemicals that, when used in research and teaching activities, could, in the opinion of the Chemical Safety Committee, require the restrictions listed for this category.