Risk assessment of chemicals in the laboratories of Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Health, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran

2 Environmental Health Research Center, Faculty of Health, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Iran


Several chemicals are used in the labrotaies of universies for teaching and research activities, and lack of awareness regarding their toxicity and safety may be hazardous to the health of staff and students. The present study aimed to identify the chemicals used in the academic and research laboratories of Golestan University of Medical Sciences in the north of Iran and classify them based on human health and environmental hazards. Data were collected through the observation of the chemicals in the laboratory and via interviews with the laboratory manager during March-August 2019. Hazard classification and risk description were performed using based on the guidelines of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The results indicated 408 chemicals, five, eight, and 12 of which belonged to groups one (carcinogenic to humans), 2A (probably carcinogenic to humans), and 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans), respectively based on the IARC guidelines. Additonally, three, two, and 15 chemicals had compounds with the capablity of severe flammability, reactivity, and health hazard, respectively based on the NFPA guidelines. The presence of hazardous chemical compounds such as benzene, chloroform, formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, diethyl ether, and picric acid revealed that medical science laboratories may be hazardous to the health of the staff, faculty members, and students if not properly managed. Therfore, the design and implementation of comprehensive programs are essential to the risk management of chemicals in academic laboratories.


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