Chemical Storage Compatibility

Group I: Flammable Liquids

Includes liquids with flashpoints < 100 F. Examples: all alcohols, acetone, acetaldehyde, acetonitrile, amyl acetate, benzene, cyclohexane, dimethyldichlorosilane, dioxane, ether, ethyl acetate, histoclad, hexane, hydrazine, methyl butane, picolene, piperidine, propanol, pyridine, scintillation liquids, all silanes, tetrahydrofuran, toluene, triethylamine, xylene

Primary Storage Concern: To protect from ignition 

Recommended Facilities/Measures:  
 1.  Flammable Cabinet
 2.  Refrigerator**: for containers less than 1 liter.

Compatible Storage Groups:
Volatile poisons may be in the same compartment of the flammable cabinet as flammables if bases are not present.

Group II: Volatile Poisons

Includes poisons toxics and known and suspected carcinogens with strong odor or evaporation rate greater than 1 (butyl acetate = 1): Examples: carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, dimethylformamide, dimethyl sulfate, formamide, formaldehyde, halothane, mercaptoethanol, methylene chloride, phenol.

 Primary Storage Concern: To prevent inhalation exposures. 

Recommended Facilities/Measures:  
 1.  Flammable Cabinet
 2. Refrigerator**: for containers less than 1 liter. 

Compatible Storage Groups:
Volatile poisons may be in the same compartment of the flammable cabinet as flammable if bases are not present. 

Group III: Oxidizing Acids

All oxidizing acids are highly reactive with most substances and each other. Examples: nitric, sulfuric, perchloric, phosphoric acids, and chromic acids.

Primary Storage Concern: Preventing contact and reaction with each other and other substances and corrosive action on surfaces. 

Recommended Facilities/Measures:
  1. Safety Cabinet.  Each oxidizing acid must be double-contained, i.e., the primary container must be kept inside canister, tray or tub. 

Compatible Storage Groups:
Oxidizing acids must be double-contained and should be segregated in their own compartment in a safety cabinet. When quantities are small (e.g., 1 or 2 bottles) they do not warrant a separate compartment. Small quantities may be double-contained and stored with Group 4 Organic and Mineral Acids. Store oxidizing acids on bottom shelf below Group 4. 

** Refrigerator must be certified/labeled to handle flammable material.

Group IV: Organic and Mineral Acids

Examples: acetic, butyric, formic, glacial acetic, hydrochloric, isobutyric, mercaptoproprionic, proprionic, trifluoroacetic acids. 

Primary Storage Concern: To prevent contact and reaction with bases and oxidizing acids and corrosive action on surfaces.  

Recommended Facilities/Measures:  
  1. Safety cabinet. 

Compatible Storage Groups: Small amount of double-contained oxidizing acids can be stored in the same compartment with organic acids if the oxidizing acids are stored on the bottom shelf. Exceptions: acetic anhydride and trichloroacetic anhydride are corrosive. These acids are very reactive with other acids and should not be stored in this group. It is better to store these with organic compounds as in Group 7 Non-volatile Liquid Poisons. 

Group V: Liquid Bases

Examples: sodium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, glutaraldehyde

Primary Storage Concern: Preventing contact and reaction with acids. 

Recommended Facilities/Measures:  
 1. Safety Cabinet
 2. In tubs or trays in normal cabinet. 

Compatible Storage Groups:
Liquid bases may be stored with flammables in the flammable cabinet if volatile poisons are not also stored there. 

Group VI: Oxidizing Liquids

Oxidizing liquids react with everything potentially causing explosions or corrosion of surfaces. Examples: ammonium persulfate, hydrogen peroxide (if greater than or equal to 30%)

Primary Storage Concern: To isolate from other materials. 

Recommended Facilities/Measures:  

  • Total quantities exceeding 3 liters should be kept in a cabinet housing no other chemicals.
  • Smaller quantities must be double-contained if kept near other chemicals, e.g., in a refrigerator. 

Compatible Storage Groups: None

Group VII: Non-Volatile Liquid Poisons

Includes highly toxic (LD50 oral rat < 50 mg/kg) and toxic chemicals (LD50 oral rat < 500 mg/kg), known carcinogens, suspected carcinogens and mutagens Examples: acrylamide solutions; diethylpyrocarbonate; diisopropyl fluorophosphate; uncured epoxy resins; ethidium bromide; triethanolamine

Primary Storage Concern: To prevent contact and reaction with other substances. Recommended Facilities/Measures:

  • Cabinet or refrigerator (i.e., must be enclosed)
  • Do not store on open shelves in the lab or cold room.
  • Liquid poisons in containers larger than 1 liter must be stored below bench level on shelves closest to the floor. 
  • A smaller container of liquid poison can be stored above bench level only if behind sliding (non-swinging) doors.

Compatible Storage Groups:
Non-hazardous liquids (e.g., buffer solutions). Exceptions: Anhydrides, e.g., acetic and trichloroacetic are organic acids, however it is better to store with this group than with Group 4 Organic Acids, since they are highly reactive with other organic or mineral acids.

Group VIII: Reactives Metal Hydrides and Pyrophorics

Most metal hydrides react violently with water, some ignite spontaneously in air (pyrophoric).  Examples of metal hydrides, are sodium borohydride, calcium hydride, lithium aluminum hydride. Other pyrophorics are boron, diborane, dichloroborane, 2-Furaldehyde, diethyl aluminum chloride, lithium, white or yellow phosphorus and trimethyl aluminum. Other water reactives include aluminum chloride-anhydrous, calcium carbide, acetyl chloride, chlorosulonic acid, sodium, potassium, phosphorous pentachloride calcium, aluminum tribromide, calcium oxide, and acid anhydrides.

Primary Storage Concern:
To prevent contact and reaction with liquids and, in some cases, air. 

Recommended Facilities/Measures: 

  • Secure, water-proof double-containment according to label instructions.
  • Isolation from other storage groups.

Compatible Storage Groups: If securely double-contained to prevent contact with water and/or air, metal hydrides may be stored in the same area as Group 9 Dry Solids.  

Group IX: Dry Solids

Includes all powders, hazardous and non-hazardous. Examples: benzidine, cyanogen bromide, ethylmaleimide, oxalic acid, potassium cyanide, sodium cyanide

Primary Storage Concern: To prevent contact and potential reaction with liquids. Recommended Facilities/Measures: 

  • Cabinets are recommended, but if not available, open shelves are acceptable. 
  • Store above liquids. 
  • Warning labels on highly toxic powders should be inspected and highlighted or amended if they do not cause the containers to stand out against less toxic substances in this group.
  • It is recommended that the most hazardous substances in this group be segregated. 
  • It is particularly important to keep liquid poisons below cyanide-or sulfide-containing poisons (solids). A spill of aqueous liquid onto cyanide – or sulfide – containing poisons would cause a reaction that would release poisonous gas.
  • Compatible Storage Groups: Metal hydrides, if properly double-contained may be stored in the same area.
  • Exceptions: Solid picric or picricsulfonic acid can be stored with this group, but should be checked regularly for dryness. When completely dry, picric acid is explosive and may detonate upon shock or friction. Picric acid in contact with some metals may form explosive metal picrates. Use non-metal caps. 

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