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Did you know that...

If you or someone in your family is considering receiving a Whole Body Scan, you may want to look more carefully at the potential risk involved. Read more ....

While refueling your car..

Many motorists return to their cars for various reasons. When they slide out of the car a static charge is generated. Then, when they touch the nozzle, a spark can ignite the fuel vapors around the nozzle. Read more...

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)..

Is a fast growing imaging modality within Nuclear Medicine. It is useful in detecting cancer and staging the severity of disease, in cardiovascular disease and in diagnosing neurological disease. The new device, which has arrived on the Stanford University campus....

If you have rechargeable batteries that you need disposed ...

EH&S has teamed up with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) to ensure an environmentally friendly and cost effective solution to disposing of spent rechargeable batteries. More ....

Did you know that...

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are possible sources of carbon monoxide. More...











EH&S E-News and Notes


Winter'04, No. 13

Stanford University
Environmental Health and Safety
480 Oak Road
Stanford, CA 94305-8007

C o n t e n t s

"Plague at Stanford" Annual Emergency Exercise

Contributed by
Training and Communications Specialist, Susie Claxton

November 12, 2003 the Stanford campus experienced a simulated plague as the scenario of its annual campus-wide emergency exercise. All around campus, School and VP units activated their Satellite Operations Centers (SOCs) to evaluate their local business operations in the face of this emergency. The campus Emergency Management Team convened at the Emergency Operations Center at the Faculty Club to gather information about the fast paced developments including illnesses and deaths. The team had to make decisions based on the information about how to assist in the containment of the spread of the illness, treatment of the ill, and continuing University operations including classes and research. Thanks and credit goes to all the participants in the exercise. Read the full story in the Stanford Report.

EH&S & PSSI Host Computer Recycling
Workshop and Event

Contributed by
Environmental Programs Specialist, Heather Perry

Environmental Health and Safety and Peninsula Sanitary Services, Inc. hosted a first of its kind "Computer Recycling Workshop and Event" on Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11. The event was sponsored by Dell, Inc. and the National Recycling Coalition. Friday's workshop was attended by recycling professionals from state and local colleges and municipalities. Attendees were trained on how to host their own recycling event in addition to being given an in depth analysis of the state of the electronics recycling industry. Attendees from Friday's workshop were then given hands-on training as volunteers at Saturday's Computer Recycling Event. For complete details and to learn more about electronics recycling, read more on our EH&S Environmental Programs web pages.

Holiday Fire Safety Information

Contributed by
Alison Pena, Asst. Univ. Fire Marshal

With the Holiday Season upon us we are busier than ever. But in our haste let us not forget to take time to ensure that this holiday will be a safe one. Please review our important Holiday Fire Safety Information.

Working with Exempt Quantities of Toxic Gas

Contributed by
Industrial Hygienist, Mary Dougherty

Will you be working with Phosgene, Carbon Monoxide, or Ammonia? These are only a few of the many toxic gases regulated by the Santa Clara County (SCCo) Toxic Gas Ordinance (TGO).

To determine if your research will use a gas or material that is regulated by the TGO, consult Stanford University's Regulated Toxic Gas Table.

Even if you're planning to work with exempt quantities of regulated toxic gas, there are still some steps you will need to take to ensure that your lab is ready to support the operation. Check out EH&S's document for more information regarding working with exempt quantities of toxic gas.

Revisions to the Lab Fire Code Matrix
California Building Standards Code

Contributed by
Stanford University Fire Marshal, Joe Leung

Stanford University is subject to a myriad of codes and standards that regulate the design, construction and use of our facilities. The codes and standards are intended to prevent fires and protect life and property in the event of a fire.

The California Building Standards Code, which consists of ten (10) parts including the California Building Code and California Fire Code, is extremely complex especially in the area of hazardous occupancies such as laboratory buildings. In our continued effort to provide much needed tools and technical resources to the design and construction community, the Stanford University Fire Marshal's Office has over the years posted a number of documents on the Web, one of which, the Laboratory Code Requirement Matrix, has received wide recognition among the design professionals.

The California Building Standards Code is developed on a three-year cycle. In order to keep pace with the latest code development, we have recently updated the Laboratory Code Requirement Matrix to the current 2001 California Building Standards Code.

Some of the code changes are highlighted as follows:

1. The 1998 California Fire Code (CFC 8003.1.3.2) requires spill control for hazardous materials liquids depending on the individual vessel size and aggregate capacity. However, the 2001 Santa Clara County local Fire Code Amendments require spill control regardless of hazard category or vessel size for non-exempt quantities.(Ord. No. NS-800.22)

2. The 1998 California Fire Code (CFC 8003.1.3.3) requires secondary containment for hazardous materials liquids and solids depending on the individual vessel size and aggregate capacity. However, the 2001 Santa Clara County local Fire Code Amendments require secondary containment regardless of hazard category, or vessel size for non-exempt quantities. (Ord. No. NS-800.22)

3. Emergency power requirements for Group H-8 Occupancies
While the 1998 CBC was silent on the requirement for emergency power for H-8 occupancies, the 2001 CBC expressly requires emergency power in accordance with the Electrical Code. (CBC 307.2.7)

4. Ventilation system emergency shut-off (CBC 1202.2.3)
The 1998 CBC requires ventilation manual shut-off switch to be located outside the principal access door serving H-2, H-3, H-7 and H-8 Occupancies. However, the 2003 State Fire Marshal written interpretation concurs that the shut-off switch may be omitted when exhaust systems conveying explosive, corrosive, combustible, flammable or highly toxic dusts, mists, fumes, vapors or gases are 100 % exhausted to the outside.

5. Exterior wall and opening protection based on location on property for all
construction types. The 1998 California Building Code did not include H-8 occupancies in Table 5-A which addressed exterior wall and opening protection based on location on property for all construction types. The 2001 CBC, however, include H-8 occupancies in the same categories as H-2, H-3, H-4, H-6 and H-7 Occupancies.

5. Clarification of exempt amounts for use for Flammable Solids in Table 3-D -
Exempt Amounts of Hazardous Materials Presenting a Physical Hazard (Maximum Quantities per Control Area). The 1998 CBC did not indicate the exempt amounts for use of Flammable Solids which was misconstrued to mean that a H-3 facility was required for use of any quantities of Flammable Solids. Through participating of the code development process, SUFMO was successful in effecting the code change and clearly identifying the exempt amounts for use of Flammable Solids, thus negating the need to build H-3 facilities on campus for use of any quantities of Flammable Solids.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone (650) 723-0609,or email (






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