ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Aluminium Ammonium Sulphate

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

ALUMINIUM AMMONIUM SULPHATE (AlNH4(SO4)2.12H2O)

SYNONYMS
Ammonium alum, ammonium aluminium alum, aluminum ammonium sulphate, burnt ammonium alum, burnt ammonium sulphate, exsiccated ammonium sulphate, aluminum ammonium sulphate.
CHARACTERISTICS
White odourless colourless crystals or crystalline powder.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Heating produces toxic fumes.
Avoid strong bases - can react violently.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
This substance is regarded as having a low toxicity. It combines with moisture in the eyes, respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract to form a weak sulphuric acid solution which can cause burning and irritation. It may be harmful if ingested, particularly in large amounts, causing gastrointestinal irritation, stomach burns, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Skin contact may cause sensitisation in some individuals. Recent studies in Britain have suggested that a line exists between ingestion of aluminium and senile dementia. Introduction of aluminium compounds directly into the bloodstream may contribute to the development of neurological effects resembling senility.
HANDLING and GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid eye contact.
Avoid inhalation of the powder.
Avoid heat.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Cover open sores and cuts.
Wear protective clothing to avoid eye contact and inhalation. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
TREATMENTS
Skin ­ wash the affected area with large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If irritation develops seek medical advice.
Eyes ­ immediately wash the affected eye with large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If discomfort persists seek medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. If discomfort or irritation persist seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth with water and give plenty of water to drink. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. If ingested in large amounts seek medical attention.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat.
DISPOSAL
Wear rubber gloves, safety glasses and laboratory coat.
SPILLS
Solid - collect in a beaker, dissolve in a large amount of water. Add soda ash, mix and neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid and discharge to sewer with large excess of water.
Solution - cover with soda ash, mix and scoop into a beaker of water. Neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid and discharge to sewer with a large excess of water.
PACKAGE LOTS: Add slowly to a large container of water. Stir in a slight excess of soda ash. Let stand for 24 hours. Decant or siphon into another container and neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid. Discharge to sewer with a large excess of water. The sludge may be added to land fill.
ENVIRONMENT
No data available.

 


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