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Chemical Compatibility

Chemical compatibility must be managed in any laboratory activity in which chemicals are handled, used or stored.

Separate storage areas should be provided for “incompatible chemicals,” which may react and create a hazardous condition.  For example, some oxidizing acids (nitric, sulfuric, perchloric), when stored together with flammable solvents can create a fire if the bottles are broken, allowing contact of the two materials. 

If you have any questions concerning chemical storage, please contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at (215) 503-6260.

Do not store chemicals by alphabetical listing. Instead store by acids, bases, salts, flammables, etc.

The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) should always be referred to first before using or storing any chemicals.  In addition, charts like the following can be used as reference guides to determine which classes of chemicals may or may not be used or stored together.