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Environment, Health and Safety

Chemical Storage & Compatibility

Following are general guidelines for compatibilities of several chemical groups. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive or cover every possible combination. Contact EH&S if you have any specific compatibility issues or if unsure which chemicals can be safely stored together.

CHEMICAL GROUP INCOMPATIBLE WITH:
Flammable solvents (xylene, toluene, benzene, ethyl benzene, etc) Caustics, acids (with the exception of acetic acid which should be stored along with flammables), oxidizers
Inorganic acids, non-oxidizing (sulfuric, hydrochloric, phosphoric acids, etc.) Caustics, flammables, cyanides, sulfides, most halogenated and non-halogenated organics, reducing compounds, peroxides
Inorganic acids, oxidizing (nitric, chromic acids, etc.) Organic acids, flammables, caustics, cyanides, sulfides, most halogenated and non-halogenated organics, reducing compounds, peroxides
Organic acids (formic acid, etc.) Inorganic acids (oxidizing), flammables, cyanides, sulfides, caustics, most non-halogenated and halogenated organics
Oxidizers (sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, etc.) Organics, inorganic acids, organic acids, reducers
Water reactives (sodium metal, lithium, etc) Water, should be stored separate from all other chemicals
Cyanide and sulfide compounds Inorganic and organic acids
Ammonia Bleach, acids, organics
Halogenated solvents (chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene, etc.) Acids, caustics, oxidizers

Other Resources

The Chemical Reactivity Worksheet is a free program you can use to find out about the reactivity of substances or mixtures of substances from the Office of Response and Restoration, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Useful Links

Cole-Palmer Instrument Company - Chemical Compatibility
University of Georgia - Chemical Storage Plans for Laboratories