ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Ammonium Oxalate

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

AMMONIUM OXALATE [(CO2NH4)2.H2O]

SYNONYMS
Ammonium ethanedioate.
CHARACTERISTICS
Colourless crystals, no odour.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Can react violently with sodium hypochlorite and ammonium acetate. Heating produces the toxic fumes of carbon and nitrogen.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
This is a corrosive substance and a powerful irritant to skin and eyes. Inhalation will cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract, ulceration of the mucous membranes, epistaxis, headache, irritation and nervousness. Highly toxic when ingested causing severe caustic effects. Other symptoms may include vomiting, burning and internal pain followed by muscular tremors, convulsions and collapse. Death may occur in minutes.
HANDLING and GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid ingestion.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation.
Keep away from heat.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Wear protective clothing to avoid skin or eye contact, inhalation 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 then 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 advice. Wash contaminated clothing before re­use.
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 persists seek immediate medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure and lie flat. If breathing has ceased apply artificial respiration. Keep warm and allow to rest. Seek immediate medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat or by administering Ipecac syrup. Seek immediate medical attention.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat and foodstuffs.
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 collect in a corrosion proof container for disposal by waste disposal contractor. Solution - cover with soda ash, mix and scoop into a beaker of water. Neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid and collect in a corrosion proof container for disposal by waste disposal contractor.
PACKAGE LOTS: Add slowly to a large container of water. Stir in a slight excess of soda ash. If fluoride is present add slaked lime. Let stand for 24 hours. Decant or siphon into another container and neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid. Collect in a corrosion proof container for disposal by waste disposal contractor. The sludge may be added to land fill.
ENVIRONMENT
This is an environmental pollutant and must be contained.

 


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