Ministry calls for improved management of dangerous chemicals

Updated: 2013-05-24 21:12


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The Ministry of Education issued a circular on Friday calling for the improved management of dangerous chemicals used in university labs, after two recent deadly accidents.

Education authorities at various levels and universities supervised by the Ministry of Education are required to further intensify management of dangerous chemicals for lab use, specify managing responsibilities and intensify supervision and approval on the handling of labs, according to the circular.

A system should be established to put the entire procedures of purchase, use, recycling and disposal of dangerous chemicals under supervision to ensure safety, the circular said.

Strict management should be carried out for poisonous chemicals. At least two people are required to store or use such chemicals, it said.

Thorough inspections should also be made to ensure no inflammable or explosive chemicals exist before a lab stops being used or is demolished, it added.

The measures were released after a poisoning case and an explosion in two of China’s universities recently due to mishandling of chemicals, the Ministry of Education said.

Huang Yang, a 28-year-old student at the prestigious Shanghai’s Fudan University, died in April after being poisoned. Police investigations said the primary suspect is his roommate, who was accused of intentionally killing Huang after he took a deadly chemical compound from a lab and put it into the water dispenser in their dormitory.

Also in April, an empty lab at the Nanjing University of Science and Technology in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, exploded, killing one person and injuring three.

The explosion happened when a construction team was demolishing the lab and removing lab accessories, university said.