ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Aluminium Potassium Sulphate

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

ALUMINIUM POTASSIUM SULPHATE (AlK(SO4)2.12H2O)

SYNONYMS
Alum, aluminum potassium alum, aluminum potassium disulphate, aluminum potassium sulphate, burnt alum, exsiccated alum, potassium aluminium sulphate, potassium aluminum sulphate, potassium alum, potash alum.
CHARACTERISTICS
Odourless, colourless crystals or crystalline powder.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Aluminium potassium sulphate attacks many metals. Heating produces toxic fumes of sulphuric acid. Avoid contact with strong bases.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
This substance combines with water to form a weak sulphuric acid solution. It is a skin and eye irritant and can cause burning to the eyes and the skin when moisture is present. There is insufficient data available on the effects of inhalation although it will cause irritation when the dust combines with moisture in the mucous membranes. It is mildly toxic when ingested. Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal irritation, stomach burns, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Recent studies in Britain have suggested that a link 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 skin and eye contact.
Avoid ingestion.
Keep away from heat.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Cover open sores and cuts.
Wear protective clothing to avoid skin and eye contact or ingestion. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
TREATMENTS
Skin ­ remove contaminated clothing and immediately wash the affected area with large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If irritation persists seek medical attention.
Eyes ­ immediately wash the affected eye with large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If irritation or pain persist seek medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. Keep warm and allow to rest. If irritation or pain develop seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ rinse the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Seek immediate medical advice.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat and incompatible substances.
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 if local laws allow, 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 if local laws allow, 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. If local laws allow, 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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