Chemical Store "odours"

MSDSs, Storage, Handling, Transport, Labeling, computer management systems, and anything else to do with safety.
Merilyn1
Posts: 1134
Joined: 12 Mar 2013, 08:10
Job Title: Labbie
School: Wollondilly Anglican College
Suburb: Tahmoor
State/Location: NSW

Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Merilyn1 »

Just wondering what other people's chemical storerooms are like. My coordinator keeps complaining that there are too many odours in our chemical store. This is worse when the flammables cupboard or the corrosives cupboard is opened. Which to me makes sense - the containers will never be 100% airtight and there is very little ventilation from these cupboards, so odours do get trapped.

I'm gradually going through the cupboards and tightening up lids, but other than this, I can see no other solution. The coordinator has suggested throwing things out that are leaking. I can't find anything that is leaking, not to mention the nightmare of having to dispose of some of these things. The ventilation fan is left on permanently and is checked when the fume cupboard is serviced. It isn't a big room, which may not help.

Personally, I don't have a problem and I'm usually pretty sensitive to fumes. So would appreciate some help/feedback/shared experiences.
User avatar
rae
Posts: 1045
Joined: 31 May 2006, 10:00
School: Oxley College
Suburb: Burradoo
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by rae »

When I first started working here our chem store was very toxic. There was a huge amount of rust on the shelves and condensation on the floors. Over the years I have replaced the shelves and the exhaust system. This resolved most of the issues with the odours. The flammables cupboard is still very fummy but only when you open it . The exhaust system may be testing adequately for its size and the expected flow rate, factory specs but it may not be adequate for the room, if that makes sense.
Merilyn1
Posts: 1134
Joined: 12 Mar 2013, 08:10
Job Title: Labbie
School: Wollondilly Anglican College
Suburb: Tahmoor
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Merilyn1 »

Yes, it does make sense, Rae. I'll get the technician to check, but I don't always trust the company we use - ask a question like that and we're bound to need an "upgrade".
To me, the chem store looks good, could probably do with better lighting but it's not completely inadequate. There are none of the problems you describe - floor is always clean and dry and there is no corrosion at all on any of the shelves.
bigmack
Posts: 564
Joined: 15 Dec 2015, 10:49
Job Title: Lab Assistant
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by bigmack »

Ours is about 15 years old .It has its odour but I don't mind it :wub: .
It's fitted with an exhaust fan which comes on when you turn on the lights and remains on for about 10-15 minutes after the lights are switched off .The door is fairly tight fitting and there is minimal to no smell outside it .

There is certainly no dampness in it and the shelves are of vanished chipboard and seem to have lasted well ( except for a brown stain above where the Iodine lives ) :whistling2: .
The concentrated acids are on what I think are compressed cement shelving and seem also to have suffered little .

When I first started work here , the advice from my offsider who has been doing the job for 20 odd years was to " Flick the lights on (which engages the fan ) and close the door and come back in 5 minutes especially if it's been closed up over the holidays ".......I do it but the Jury's still out as to how much the smell reduces by .

At my other school I'm guessing the the shelving is about 40-50 years old and its chipboard but not vanished . Parts of it wreak of Butyric acid ( where's the vomit Icon ) but otherwise it's not so bad considering . There is an archaic ventilation system but it seems to do a good job . Again , there is little to no smell immediately outside the door .

This Chem store is part of the general store and is not a dedicated Chem store per say ...perhaps the larger area helps to reduce the overall smell :?:
Merilyn1
Posts: 1134
Joined: 12 Mar 2013, 08:10
Job Title: Labbie
School: Wollondilly Anglican College
Suburb: Tahmoor
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Merilyn1 »

I guess what I am wondering, is it possible to have an odour-free chemical store?
User avatar
rae
Posts: 1045
Joined: 31 May 2006, 10:00
School: Oxley College
Suburb: Burradoo
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by rae »

I would say No. Even with a super exhaust system it still has its smells.
User avatar
sunray18
Posts: 1487
Joined: 14 Feb 2008, 12:30
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by sunray18 »

my exhaust fan goes 24/7 - and yet there are still odours. In holidays I push all the trolleys in to the store rooms so the cleaner can do the prep room floors. I have learnt NEVER to leave anything on the trolleys that may rust. so even if no odours apparent - there are fumes.
User avatar
macca
Posts: 862
Joined: 10 Dec 2008, 08:38
Job Title: Mind Reader
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by macca »

Ours runs 24/7 and still has a smell, noticed when I was doing stock take recently when doing the bottom shelves ground level was really bad to the point you couldn't stay down there for to long.
User avatar
Xenon
Posts: 264
Joined: 09 Jun 2006, 10:00
Job Title: Rocket Scientist
School: Arndell Anglican College
Suburb: Oakville
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Xenon »

Look out for butyric/butanoic acid. Years back, I discovered a 500ml bottle had eaten tiny pin-holes in the original metal lid, which I replaced with a plastic lid and stow the bottle in a larger container for good measure. HT used it for a an ester last month, and boy did the other teachers complain about the smell, even though I used the fume cabinet during evaporation, and even after I'd disposed of the kitty litter they could still get a whiff.
:w00t:
Xe, SD, KOPR
User avatar
remlap12
Posts: 300
Joined: 26 Jun 2014, 12:23
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by remlap12 »

We don't have a 24/7 exhaust fan. It's on a timer, I'm guessing about 2 hours. As soon as I enter the room I push the button, but it doesn't help much because there has been such a build up. It's pretty smelly and of course the flammable cupboard is extra smelly! The odours are contained in the room though, there's no smell outside the room.
Regards
remlap12
science support and problem solver :mail:
linotas
Posts: 659
Joined: 21 Mar 2011, 22:39
State/Location: TAS

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by linotas »

Ours is on a timer as well. The standard says the exhaust must run for 10 minutes, ours was running for 1. So we have fixed that but I am still not happy. I would like the fan to come on at set intervals throughout a 24 hour period as some days we do not go into the store (our working solutions are stored elsewhere) and the fumes are really bad.
User avatar
Loopy
Posts: 574
Joined: 08 Jun 2006, 10:00
School: Mater Dei Catholic College
Suburb: Wagga Wagga
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Loopy »

Why is it that the powers-that-be feel that chemicals stop fuming for certain periods of the day? :banghead:
Lou P.
Learner Lab Technician
Wagga Wagga
NSW
Merilyn1
Posts: 1134
Joined: 12 Mar 2013, 08:10
Job Title: Labbie
School: Wollondilly Anglican College
Suburb: Tahmoor
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Merilyn1 »

Loopy wrote:Why is it that the powers-that-be feel that chemicals stop fuming for certain periods of the day? :banghead:
They take lunch breaks? :D
mazcheck
Posts: 56
Joined: 26 May 2010, 12:02
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by mazcheck »

Noticed for a while that there was a 'sweet' smell in the chemical storeroom that I think is acid (HOD didn't agree). Checked the bottles and they seem okay. Left a container of bi-carb open hoping to absorb the odour however when I walked into the prep room this morning the smell had permeated the prep room. I could put up with the smell in the storeroom but now it is wafting into the prep room through a closed door I have to wonder about what I am being exposed to. Has anyone else had this issue and if so, how did you resolve it?
User avatar
Milo
Posts: 68
Joined: 31 Mar 2014, 10:16
State/Location: ACT

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Milo »

That sounds like a safety issue. A few years back our extractor fan broke down and chemical fumes filled the room. The main problem was organic solvents in the flammables cabinet, which can sometimes smell sweet. My offsider had to go home early, as she couldn't work in those conditions. Might be worth checking on the ventilation, but be careful about going in there.
User avatar
KassH
Posts: 33
Joined: 16 Oct 2020, 10:14
Job Title: Lab Tech
School: SPC KMPSY
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by KassH »

Happy Friday!
Opening an old thread here but wanted to know if anyone knew of a standard for how long the extraction fan needs to be running in the chem store room?
Our fan is piped into our flammable, corrosives and oxidisers cabinets as well as the room. I figured it was best to have it on 24/7 but have recently taken a complaint from our GA for leaving it on.
User avatar
J
Posts: 691
Joined: 13 Jun 2006, 10:00
Job Title: Lab Assistant
School: DHS
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by J »

I'm pretty sure ours turns on automatically early in the morning - maybe 5.00ish and runs all day until maybe 5.00ish in the afternoon.
It broke down once and the fumes were ok but I wondered why I could no longer hear it running. Reported it and it was quickly repaired. :clap3:
User avatar
Labbie
Posts: 3058
Joined: 28 Nov 2006, 10:00
Job Title: Retired
Suburb: At Home
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Labbie »

Going on the size of the room, it should be on 24/7
Regards Labbie

Lab Manager/Lab Tech, mind reading etc etc
Now retired :wub:
User avatar
KassH
Posts: 33
Joined: 16 Oct 2020, 10:14
Job Title: Lab Tech
School: SPC KMPSY
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by KassH »

Thanks J and Labbie
Will ask for a timer if we ever get new labs/chem store room! For now I think I'll keep leaving it on. Save my lungs!
User avatar
Loopy
Posts: 574
Joined: 08 Jun 2006, 10:00
School: Mater Dei Catholic College
Suburb: Wagga Wagga
State/Location: NSW

Re: Chemical Store "odours"

Post by Loopy »

The old saying, chemicals don't stop fuming just because we go home... :-(
Lou P.
Learner Lab Technician
Wagga Wagga
NSW
Post Reply