Environmental Health & Safety Video Training Series 




This video promotes chemical safety. Phenol-chloroform extraction and ethanol precipitation are used to demonstrate the safety principles that apply to working with many of the hazardous chemicals found in the modern biology laboratory. This video will introduce new staff to good laboratory practices and provide a meaningful technical review in safety for the more experienced laboratory worker.

"People who start in the lab have the tendency of being extremely concerned with radioactivity. Phenol and acids they are not too concerned about because you know exactly what happens if you pour acid on your hand. I tend to think that these are actually much more dangerous for the kind of research that we do where we use low levels of radioactivity most of the time. These (phenol, acids) are the accidents one should really watch for."

Nouria Hernandez, Ph.D.

Associate Investigator, HHMI

Working with chemicals safely means doing all the things required for doing good science:

  • Know your protocol; execute procedures meticulously.
  • Know your chemicals.
  • Use smaller quantities of chemicals;
  • consider safer substitute protocol.
  • Wear safety glasses, gloves and a lab coat when handling hazardous chemicals.
  • Avoid splash hazards.
  • Use a fume hood when handling stock quantities of volatile hazardous chemicals.
  • Be alert for hazardous situations.
  • Use a healthy dose of common sense and maintain concentration.


Viewing time:  11:00 Minutes - Click here to view this video

Produced by Schumann Productions for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Office of Laboratory Safety 


Used with permission