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CSAIL logo
Knight Lab


You need to know these people's names for the Level III inspections.

  • EHS representative: Reshma Shetty (rshetty AT mit)
  • EHS coordinator: Frank Tilley (ftilley AT csail)
  • EHS lead contact: Kathy Gilbert (kgilbert AT mit)

Information and training

See Heather's very complete explanation of all the safety training you need to do. The only adjustments for the Knight lab are that you should read the CSAIL chemical hygiene plan (not the Biology one) and you should do the Knight lab specific chemical training. Both of these are linked below.

General safety resources

Much of the labs safety references including MSDS's (Material Safety Data Sheets) are kept on the short bookshelves in the hallway between 32-311 and 32-321.

Heather has written up a lot of useful safety information here.

CSAIL emergency preparedness plan

Emergency Preparedness Materials

  • includes floor evacuation maps and an explanation of the Stata Alarm system

CSAIL chemical hygiene plan

Everyone in the lab has to read through the CSAIL Chemical Hygiene Plan. It is linked below and also available as a paper copy on the shelves in the hallway between 32-311 and 32-321. To make changes to the document, contact Austin Che.

CSAIL Chemical Hygiene Plan <--Read and familiarize yourself with this.
(Template from Barry Mendes, EHS, x3-1665. Modified and extended by Austin.)

Once you've read this document, sign the compliance form posted on the bulletin board outside 32-306.

Lab chemical training

If you've never had lab specific chemical training before, have Tom or Reshma take you through it. For renewal training (done on a yearly basis), you can just read through the lab specific chemical training linked below. It is also available as a paper copy on the bulletin board outside 32-306 and on the shelves in the hallway between 32-311 and 32-321. If you have any questions or want to suggest modifications, talk to Reshma.

Lab specific chemical training <--Read and familiarize yourself with this.
(Template from Kathleen Gilbert, EHS, x3-8409. Modified and extended by Reshma.)

Once you've completed this training, sign the compliance form posted on the bulletin board outside 32-306.


MIT's standard operating procedures on a variety of topics can be found at the EHS SOPs, SOG, Fact Sheets, Programs, etc. site.

Safety checks

Waste disposal

Some brief instructions on how to properly dispose of waste in the lab.

Chemical storage

Acetic acid and other organic acids

From Kathleen Gilbert, EHS, x3-8409

Acetic acid is tricky because it is an organic acid that is ignitable and it is more compatible with other organic flammables than with inorganic acids. Acetic acid can be stored with the flammables in a flammable cabinet without a secondary container. If Acetic acid is stored with inorganic acids, it should be in a separate secondary container since it is incompatible with inorganic acids. Trifluoracetic acid is also an organic acid so the same rules apply as with acetic acid.

You do not need the acids stored in a closed [secondary] container. A gray bin is fine.