Particularly Hazardous Substances - University of Houston
Skip to main content

Particulary Hazardous Substances (PHS)

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration's (OSHA) Laboratory Standard (29 CFR 1910.1450 (e) (3) (viii), requires that provisions be made for employee protection for work with particularly hazardous substances. These include select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and acutely toxic substances.
“Particularly Hazardous Substances” are defined as belonging to one of three groups:

  • Select carcinogens, acutely toxic chemicals, reproductive toxins and chemicals known to have undesirable biological effects.
  • Chemicals for which reliable toxicity information is not available, but are highly suspected to be a PHS because of their similarity in chemical structure or function to known toxic agents.
  • Chemicals which are explosive or otherwise violently reactive, such as pyrophorics and water-reactive materials.

Chapter 5 of the UH Chemical Hygiene Plan details Particularly Hazardous Substances (PHS), which all require an SOP.  Appendix 4 has a partial list of PHS; however, the list isn’t exhaustive.  Each lab is responsible for reviewing the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for all chemicals in its inventory and determining whether or not an SOP is required based upon the criteria in Chapter 5. 

UH EHS has developed some generic SOP templates which the PI can choose to adopt or develop their own.