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Chemical Demonstration Guidelines from the Professional Association of Chemists

Minimum Safety Guidelines for Chemical Demonstrations

 Chemical Demonstrators Must:

  1. Know the properties of the chemicals and the chemical reactions involved in all demonstrations presented.

  2. Comply with all local rules and regulations.

  3. Wear appropriate eye protection for all chemical demonstrations.

  4. Warn the members of the audience to cover their ears whenever a loud noise is anticipated.

  5. Plan the demonstration so that harmful quantities of noxious gases (e.g., NO2, SO2, H2S) do not enter the local air supply.

  6. Provide safety shield protection wherever there is the slightest possibility that a container, its fragments, or its contents could be propelled with sufficient force to cause personal injury.

  7. Arrange to have a fire extinguisher at hand whenever the slightest possibility of fire exists.

  8. Not taste or encourage spectators to taste any non-food substance.

  9. Not use demonstrations in which parts of the human body are placed in danger (such as placing dry ice in the mouth or dipping hands into liquid nitrogen).

  10. Not use "open" containers of volatile, toxic substances (e.g., benzene, CCl4, CS2, formaldehyde) without adequate ventilation as provided by fume hoods.

  11. Provide written procedure, hazard, and disposal information for each demonstration whenever the audience is encouraged to repeat the demonstration.

  12. Arrange for appropriate waste containers for and subsequent disposal of materials harmful to the environment.

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