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Isotope Geochemistry Laboratories

Academic Staff Member

Professor M.J. Bickle
Dr A. Piotrowski

Local Officer for Safety

Dr. H.J. Chapman

Radiation Protection Officer for Section

Professor M.J. Bickle


Dr. H.J. Chapman


S. Wing – 4th floor - Rooms S405, S406a, S406b, S407, S408, S409, S410


  1. All persons using the clean chemistry facility must read and abide by these Departmental Codes of Safe Practice and be familiar with the risk assessment for the area prior to commencement of work.
  2. To enter the clean chemistry laboratories full personal protective equipment suits must be worn. Please see list of type and manufacturer in Appendix 1.
  3. Use trolleys and suitable carriers to move Winchesters of acids, large water and decon tubs from store to laboratories and between laboratories.
  4. Persons using the fume cupboards musthave been instructed in their use before starting work, and must have completed a COSHH form for the chemicals involved in the processes to be carried out:

    1. These fume cupboards are of special "low airflow" design.
    2. These cupboards are notfor general chemistry use. Acids must be stored in the correct cupboards.
    3. Before starting work, check there is air flow (it is not sufficient to rely on the indicator light).
    4. The safety window must be at its lowest position except when working in the cupboard.
    5. High temperatures or naked flames must never be used in these cupboards.
  5. The use of hydrofluoric and nitric acid in these laboratories is only allowed after full safety instruction is given. The procedures set out in Appendix 3 must be followed for use of HF acid. NOTE: An HF first Aider must be informed before using. Extreme care is needed in decanting any acid from large to small containers; this must be carried out inside a fume cupboard wearing a full-face mask and double gloves and within calling distance of another person. Disposal of waste acid must be done only with the authority of the Departmental Chemistry Officer (Dr. Jason Day) and/or through the University Safety Office. For guidance please read the booklet in the chemistry lab (S415) on University Guidance for Discharges to Drains.
  6. The infra-red lamps must not be switched on until the fume cupboard safety sash has been lowered.
  7. Pressure vessels for dissolution of rock powders and minerals must never be opened when hot. Allow them to cool before unscrewing the metal case and always open the Teflon inner jacket in the fume cupboard.
  8. The Mass-Spectrometers must not be adjusted or touched by any unauthorised person. When the EHT is at high voltage (8000V) any visitors to the lab must be warned. The nitrogen gas cylinder is to be changed only by a qualified operator. When filling the cold trap with liquid nitrogen you must observe the safety guidance in Appendix 6.
  9. All persons using radioactive material (e.g. U-Th spikes for the mass spectrometer) must be familiar with the 'Precautions in the Use of Radioactive Materials' booklet, which is available from room S032. (Also, see Appendix 4.) Contaminated filaments must be kept in the labelled container in the special loading cabinet. (Radioactive material may be disposed of only via the Radiation Protection Officer.) Cleaning of contaminated filaments must follow the procedures detailed in Room S405.
  10. All chemical radioactive waste material must sealed and labelled to be disposed of via the Departmental Radiation officer or through the University Safety advisers office, and recorded. Please read the reference in the Library Safety section, University of Cambridge Guidance for Discharges to Drains. (See also Appendix 5. )
  11. The operation of the Elga R.O. and Millipore Direct-Q and Milli-Q water purifier units and all quartz stills must be in accordance with the procedures written for and attached to each area. Verbal and written instructions for the ovens, ultrasonic bath, rotary pumps and outgassers, balances, the loading block and battery screwdriver, may be obtained from the Local Officer for Safety.
  12. The air over-pressure and filter system for these labs must be checked at least every month (six-monthly for the fume cupboards), or wheneverthere has been any alteration to the system. It is the responsibility of the Local Officer for Safety to organise this.
  13. Working out of hours: see Appendix 2.
  14. Liquid nitrogen: see Appendix 6.