Health & Safety Department

Hazardous Substances

Guidance information and publications produced by the Health and Safety Department which are relevant to hazardous substances used within the University.

Chemical Laboratories

Laboratory hygiene

Following Code of Practice CS CoP001 Laboratory hygiene will minimise risk to laboratory users.

Good laboratory practice

The object of Code of Practice CS CoP002 Good laboratory practice is to provide a standard for good laboratory practice when working with chemicals rather than attempt to be specific regarding either substances or procedures.

Please also ensure you have read and understood all the Codes of Practice relating to chemical hazards.


Substances of particular concern

Some hazardous substances have a particular hazardous aspect and this Code of Practice should be reviewed prior to working with them, CS CoP009 Substances of particular concern.

Guidance and advice on more common hazardous substances is linked below.


Guidance and advice on the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2005

Instruction, supervision and training

Guidance and advice on instruction, supervision and training


Guidance on sensitisers in the workplace, including laboratory animal allergens (LAAs).

Animal Allergens (AAs)

Information and guidance when working with animals and animal allergens (AA), possible health effects and control measures.

UK CLP Regulations

The UN Globally Harmonised System (GHS) aims to make all classification etc of substances harmonised the world over to reduce confusion and aid risk reduction measures. Since the 1st January 2021, the EU CLP has now been implemented as the UK CLP.

Storage of hazardous substances

Guidance on storage of hazardous substances


A large number of organic solvents are in regular use in many University schools.

Disposal of chemicals

All chemicals used in laboratories must be disposed of safely and legally.

Misuse of Drugs Act

The Misuse of Drugs Act is the main piece of legislation covering drugs and their categorisation.

Drug Precursor Chemicals

Companies who deal in precursor chemicals need to be licensed or registered with the Home Office.


REACH (Registration, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) is the system for controlling chemicals out on the market in Europe. Since 1st January 2021, EU REACH was replaced by UK REACH with some changes as highlighted below.


Nanotechnology involves the creation and/or manipulation of materials at the nanometre (nm) scale (1-100nm) either by scaling up from single groups of atoms or by refining or reducing bulk materials.


Hazards associated with mercury and disposal methods.

Ethidium Bromide

Ethidium Bromide is a potent mutagen which has been commonly used as a nucleic acid stain for many years.


Ether (diethyl ether, ethyl ether) is an extremely common solvent that is routinely used in varying quantity in laboratory procedures through out the University.

Hydrofluoric acid

Hydrofluoric Acid is classed as a hazardous substance, therefore the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2005 must be complied with.


Guidance on the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR)

Explosives and desensitised explosives

Guidance on the licensing and safe storage of explosives and desensitised explosives.

Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets should be consulted prior to beginning work with any chemical and also when completing your risk assessment.

Chemical Weapons Convention (secured)

Overview of the requirements of the CWC declarations.

Asbestos guidance

All guidance on asbestos in the University can now be found on the Estates Department asbestos webpages.

Asbestos information