I'm a enthusiastic and devoted amateur chemist (in disguise, I'm actually a mathematician), but lately I've been thinking to what extend it is safe to pursue my hobby. I'm after all an amateur with just high-school lab skills and some unnecessary math to back me up. I really love chemical experiments, but I don't want to get seriously injured. The point is that same very basic materials, like sulfuric acid or cyclohexylamine, already have a 3 on the NFPA 704 scale of health hazards, quoting:
Short exposure could cause serious temporary or moderate residual injury (e.g. chlorine)
Of course I read the MSDS of the chemicals I'm working with, wear a protective lab coat and tightly connected safety goggles, plus safety gloves, but I don't have nearly the safety equipment of a normal lab (fumehood, eye showers, sprinklers, etc.) To to concretize my question:
- Speaking for all amateur chemists out there: to what extend do you as a professional chemist consider amateurs like me to be safe. Can we handle level 3 or perhaps even level 4 chemicals, or should we stick with 2 (greatly reducing our potential experimenting terrain)?
- What measure can we (and should we) take to ensure our safety?
I understand that the capabilities vary greatly between people, but there was not sufficient information regarding this topic (from reputable sources) for me to be found on the internet, so I though I post it here. I don't feel like this is a primarily opinion based question, as there is at least to some degree consensus that amateurs cannot (and are not allowed to!) safely handle, say for example tabun or potassium cyanide (just a ridiculous example to illustrate my point).
I hope you can appreciate my concerns and that if this is not the right place for this type of question (I think it is, there is even a safety tag here) you cordially redirect me to an other more suited place and close this.