A number of chemistry labs have been temporarily shut down this week following safety concerns. Four labs in the RCS1 building were closed last Friday, after a fire audit organised by the Department of Chemistry, and carried out by external consultants, raised concerns over procedures for chemical storage and general housekeeping. The Head of Chemistry, Professor Alan Armstrong, made the decision to temporarily close the labs “so those working there could carry out housekeeping activities, such as the removal of waste”, a College representative told Felix.

Sources tell Felix that the research groups affected are working with the College and Faculty of Natural Sciences to ensure that the labs comply with safety policy.

A number of students have been affected by the closure, which will continue until safety compliance is achieved.

In a statement, a College representative told Felix “Disruption caused by the temporary closure of the labs will be taken into account when assessing student projects. Those working in the labs have been reminded of the need to comply with the highest safety standards at all times.”

Two of the labs have since been reopened, and the College say that “the others are expected to follow soon.”

The RCS1 Building, which is located next to the Sir Alexander Fleming Building, houses lab groups in the Department of Biology, Biochemistry, and Chemistry.