General health & safety guidance

Here you can find general health and safety guidance to give you some ideas about procedures needed to conduct safe chemistry experiments at home. You must check the local standards applicable to your situation and do your own safety assessment before conducting any chemistry experiments.

Safety requirements

Here you can find EU safety requirements for chemistry sets for performing safe experiments at home. Please note that safety requirements in other countries or for other situations, such as chemistry experiments in schools, could be different. Always check applicable safety requirements before conducting chemistry experiments.

  • Keep young children, animals and those not wearing eye protection away from the experimental area.
  • Always wear eye protection.
  • Store any chemicals out of reach of children.
  • Clean all equipment after use.
  • Make sure that all containers are fully closed and properly stored after use.
  • Ensure that all empty containers are disposed of properly.
  • Wash hands after carrying out experiments.
  • Do not use any equipment which was not specially designed for use to conduct chemistry experiments.
  • Do not eat or drink in the experimental area.
  • Avoid skin or eye contact with chemicals. Do not ingest.
  • If a container or a glassware intended for direct food contact was used during an experiment, please discard it immediately after use. The container is no longer safe for food handling.

First aid measures

The following first aid recommendations are taken from EU chemistry set recommendations. Please note that your local guidelines could be different.

  • In case of eye contact: Wash out eye with plenty of water, holding eye open if necessary. Seek immediate medical advice.
  • If swallowed: Wash out mouth with water, drink some fresh water. Do not induce vomiting. Seek immediate medical advice.
  • In case of inhalation: Remove person to fresh air.
  • In case of skin contact and burns: Wash affected area with plenty of water for at least 10 minutes.
  • In case of doubt, seek medical advice without delay. Take the chemical and its container with you.
  • In case of injury always seek medical advice.
  • For medical emergencies contact the regional poison center or seek medical attention immediately by calling emergency line or going to a local emergency department.
  • Find information about the closest local emergency department, including the phone number, before conducting the experiments. Have this information in writing next to you when conducting the experiments.

Disposal of chemicals

All chemical residues must be disposed of in accordance with applicable regional, national, and local laws and regulations.

How to act in the chemistry laboratory

These recommendations are given to performing safe experiments at home in EU. Please note that safety requirements in other countries or for other situations, such as chemistry experiments in schools, could be different. Always check applicable safety requirements before conducting chemistry experiments.

Workplace

Keep in mind that your desk will turn into a chemical lab bench during the experiment, so please follow these important guidelines:

  • keep your desk free of any objects not required for the experiment;
  • do not keep food or drinks at your lab bench;
  • work carefully and do not rush;
  • do not work unless someone is present to supervise you. It is prohibited even for a trained chemist to conduct experiments alone in a lab;
  • clean your work bench thoroughly after the experiment.

Chemicals

You should know all the properties of the chemicals you are using. Carefully read the manuals and various academic resources (such as books and educational web sites) for more information about each compound. Use the safety data sheet of your chemical supplier as a source of information about the chemicals. Please note that when buying, storing and using chemicals, you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.