The Environment, Health & Safety Office (EHS Office) in Nagoya University focuses on safety education and training in order to ensure healthy and safe conditions for faculty, staff, and students. We have been implementing safety education and related programs that are based on two internal guidelines: “Guideline on General Safety Education” and “Education Guideline for Safe Laboratory Works.”These guidelines were established on May 2015, and have been developed to prescribe the contents of the education and training on general safety and health management and prevention of accidents in research activities involving laboratory work. These guidelines include essential educational content covering a wide range of topics from general safety to laboratory work, such as handling chemical substances, high-pressure gases, cryogen, laser, electrical, and machine work. We have prepared and provided standard materials for safety education, and conducted lectures on safe handling of these materials. We are going to develop the contents of the standard materials and lectures to enable the faculty, staff, and students to nurture their own safety consciousness, and to guide our students in safe research at the laboratory.
In research laboratories, atmospheres as well as equipment and facilities are shared. Our previous research revealed that experimenters are often exposed to chemical substances which they do not use in their own protocol because air environments are shared in laboratories.To reduce the possible risks, the total airflow in the whole room needs to be studied. is evident that the total airflow is affected by the layout of the room and that the optimum air environment may vary depending on the purpose of the room’s usage and the type of operations conducted in the room.
In this study, the relationship between laboratory layout and total airflow was discussed to prevent unintended exposure risks in shared places. The airflow condition was calculated by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation, and was analyzed from the viewpoint of airflow vectors and the concentration of chemical substances at each position of the room.
Through CFD simulation, it was suggested that airflows and diffusion pathways of volatile chemical substances depended on the positional relationship of an air supply port, a fume hood and walls. In addition, the effect of installation of an extra wall in the room depended on airflows in the whole room. These results indicated importance of the relationship between laboratory layout and air environment for proper risk management.
4-nonylphenol isomers (4-NP’s) have the highest toxicity in the NP’s. We evaluated the toxicity of 4-NP’s with algal test using delayed luminescence (DL) to determine toxic influence on algae. The results suggest that the toxicity of linear chain type (4-n-NP) is the highest in 4-NP’s, though the toxicity of branched type of NP’s has been reported to be higher than its linear chain type. It is reported that the toxicity of NP’s differs according to the isomers. In fact, the EC50 of 4-NP’s is unequal (0.4~4.0), suggesting that individual toxic evaluation on NP’s is important.
We have developed a database of chemical substances, pathogens, and toxins (8,595 entries in total) that are regulated or defined in 22 Japanese statutes and guidelines. This database is equipped with a search function allowing users to search keywords such as names of statutes, chemical substances, pathogens, or toxins. In order to enhance convenience and to reduce chances of search failures, the keyword entry field is equipped with autocomplete functionality. Results of keyword searches based on chemical substances, pathogens,or toxins are displayed with the names of regulating statutes and a summary of legal restrictions/requirements. To facilitate its use by foreign researchers and students, users can search controlled substances, of interest either in Japanese or English. While extracting data regarding controlled substances from those statutes, we discovered that some provisions do not explicitly identify regulated materials,but only specify physical properties thereof. Accordingly, it is not possible to grasp the entire regulatory framework defined by the statutes based solely upon a database of regulated substances. However, development of the database allowing users to easily and quickly find out whether there are any regulations governing specific substances and the intent of such controls, even in English, should improve compliance, safety, and health at Japanese universities and research institutions.