Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Operations
Cruise Planning

Hazardous and Radioactive Materials

"General" laboratory chemicals, such as compressed gases, flammable liquids, preservatives, corrosives or solvents are allowed on-board, but must be adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Transport chemicals to and from the ship in a responsible manner. Chemicals must be double contained and properly labeled.
  • Include an adequate supply of neutralizing agents, buffers, and absorbents.
  • Personal protective equipment must be supplied and worn by user.
  • A complete Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) should be posted in the wet lab.
  • Materials must be kept in clearly labeled containers, and stored and handled in a safe manner.
  • All spills or contamination must be reported to a ship's officer immediately.
  • The cabinet containing the chemical container should be lockable and should be locked when the chemical is not in use.
  • The quantity of the chemical brought on board should be an amount expected to be used on the cruise.
  • The lab should be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day, and all chemicals and associated waste and empty containers should be removed at the end of each cruise by the same party responsible for bringing them on board.

    Radioactive Materials

    Plans to use any special chemicals, explosives or radioactive materials must be approved by the Director of Marine Operations and Vessel Master prior to any cruise. Use of these materials must also be approved by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety, and must be accompanied by an emergency response plan, specialized safety gear, clean-up materials, and any special permits required by law.

    MBARI Radioisotope use policy:

    MBARI scientists desire to keep background radioactivity levels as low as possible aboard our ships to avoid interference with observations of natural isotope distributions. The use of radioisotopes is discouraged unless there is no practical alternative.

    Our policy is that radioisotopes will never be permitted within the permanent shipboard laboratory spaces. Non-MBARI ship users may apply to MBARI's Radioisotope Officer for permission to use radioisotopes on MBARI ships. The user will have to provide appropriate licenses, written procedures, and provisions for receiving isotopes at MBARI. Users will be charged for a wipe down test after use. MBARI's license does not cover external users so provisions for the investigators' home institution to cover any anticipated use will be required. Users will be required to restrict the isotopes to a portable user-provided van that would be mounted on the deck. Users should consult with MBARI's Division of Marine Operations before outfitting a portable van as the footprint for mounting vans on the Western Flyer is undersized and will not accommodate standard sized lab containers (maximum of 16 feet in length). This application should also document the experience the particular group has with radioisotope handling.

Last updated: Apr. 25, 2013