CLEAPSS Supporting practical science and technology
CLEAPSS Chemistry
Chemistry – Let's make it happen!

CLEAPSS provides guidance for teachers, technicians, science advisers and H&S officers on all aspects of practical work. We know that chemistry experiments can cause problems and activities may not 'work' as expected, or provide the effective learning opportunity that’s required. Sometimes, health and safety concerns are raised about the chemicals involved.

CLEAPSS works with suppliers and others to ensure that suitable chemicals and equipment are used in schools and we can also suggest ideas and innovative methods that might help you enhance practical chemistry in your school.

Colourful displacement reaction
So, if you’re stuck, or need a bit of advice, get in touch by e-mail or 'phone and we'll do our best to help!

Latest news from CLEAPSS..
Start of Term - Lab Checks
The start of term is an ideal time to do some basic checks in your labs. Aside from the more basic checks like are the sinks clear, and do the taps work. There are more important checks to be made...

All benches / worktops / bollards which have gas taps should not allow any movement (in any direction). CLEAPSS has repeatedly found loose worktops, benches and bollards which can wobble and move considerable amounts. This can damage the supply gas pipe, which in turn could lead to a gas leak. 

Watch this video for an example of the issue. 

If you do discover any movement, then the gas in that lab should be turned off and the gas should not be used until repairs have been made to stop the movement. After these repairs the gas system should be checked by a Gas Safe engineer. (This is often called a tightness test)

If you do discover a gas leak in a lab then turn off the gas supply within the lab, then follow the school procedure(s) to evacuate the building and call 0800 111 999 (if you have LPG then call the supplier number, FLOGAS 03457 200100 or CALOR GAS 03457 444999). 
Remember do not use any flames, or operate any switches on or off, and do not use your mobile phone until you are outside.
Are you a new technician?
Welcome to the CLEAPSS science website. You can find specific resources by adding a key word to the search box. Chemicals can be searched by formula as well as by name.

Our guide for the induction and training of new technicians can be found here.
You can find our guide for model risk assessments for laboratory technician activities here

For further advice you can email the Helpline via the tab on the website or if more urgent call on 01895 251496.

Technicians' Workshop
Looking for an idea for a workshop at your next technician network meeting or conference?Then click here to learn more about the Technicians' Workshops organised by SciLabware. They're designed to help improve knowledge and understanding of the features and benefits of glass and plastic laboratory ware.
CLEAPSS at ASE Conference 2019
Once again CLEAPSS had a large presence at the 2019 ASE Conference in Birmingham.

Find all the resources from our workshops and talks here.


New Edition of CLEAPSS Guide L093 - Radioactives in Schools
We have issued a new edition of L093. See Guide GL114 for a list of the changes and what you need to do. 

The main reason for the new edition was the change in the Ionising Radiations Regulations which we explained in our termly bulletins and web site earlier this year.  

If your school holds the typical radioactive sources for teaching, your employer must register the work with the Health and Safety Executive. (See guide GL258.)

However, we have also been reviewing ageing sources that schools have acquired in the past. There is convincing evidence that using Becquerel plates and radium-painted timepieces of this age can no longer be justified. 

The condition has degraded to such an extent that they can no longer be regarded as safe to use. These need to be disposed of L93 gives details of disposal. 
Chemistry Resources
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Members only resource Click to download Document.
This leaflet is intended to give brief details only of the major manufacturers and suppliers of electronic balances suitable for use in science within secondary schools and colleges.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Outlines the work that science technicians do, the tasks which they should not, ideally, be given, and provides a pointer to the number of technicians needed in a department and to management issues w.. more

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This includes all the pictograms required by the Globally Harmonised System for chemical hazard labelling. A selection of large (A4) and small sized pictures for printing and use in schools

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Straightforward advice on how to make sure your practical lessons work as you intend. Includes planning and preparing the activity, managing students, timing and equipment, and clearing away. Also inc.. more

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Straightforward instructions on using a tap funnel, a piece of equipment used in several chemical preparations and investigations.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Brief risk assessment guidance and experimental notes for a range of practical activities involving monobasic organic acids and their salts (Hazcards 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D).

Free resource Click to download Document.
This guide is intended for those using, buying, or designing fume cupboards for schools and colleges. Information is provided on common problems, on choosing and installing appropriate cupboards an.. more

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This now inclduies some general information on food calorimetry as well as explaining something of nut allergy and a range of control measures which could be used to enable effective, relevant practic.. more

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Brief risk assessment guidance and experimental notes for a range of practical activities involving sulfuric(VI) acid (Hazcard 98A), sulfamic acid and sulfate(VI) salts (Hazcard 98B).

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Contains a wealth of information on the various ways of measuring pH, and the advantage and disadvantage os each. Includes all sorts of background theory which will help the reader make the most appro.. more

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