Washington State University
Environmental Health & Safety General Policies and Recommendations


It is prudent to minimize all chemical exposures. Washington State Department of Occupational Safety and Health has established Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for over 600 chemical agents. These chemicals and their exposure limits are listed in Table 3 of WAC 296-841 and in Appendix B. Exposure to these agents must be controlled in such a manner that the workers’ exposure shall not exceed the applicable limits. (Reference – Lab Safety Manual Appendix B, List of Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs))

Because few laboratory chemicals are without hazards, the following general precautions for handling all laboratory chemicals are presented below. Precautions for handling specific chemicals are contained in Section IV.