ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
BARIUM CHLORIDE (BaC12.2H2O)
Colourless crystals or crystalline powder.
Reacts violently with bromofluorene and 2furan percarboxylic acid.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
This substance is a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant. It is a neurotoxin which attacks the muscles causing paralysis and possible death. It is a strong oxidising agent. Acute exposure to the skin and eyes causes redness and pain. Inhalation causes sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, faintness and possible paralysis of arms and legs. Ingestion causes abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, trembling, faintness, paralysis of arms and legs and possible death.
HANDLING and GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Use a fume hood.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powder.
Keep away from heat.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep the lid tightly closed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Use a fume hood that will keep the level of exposure to the dust at a minimum. The recommended threshold level of exposure is 0.5 mg/m3. If the level of exposure is expected to exceed this limit then a respirator is recommended. Wear protective clothing. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
Skin immediately wash the affected area 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.
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 immediate medical attention.
Inhalation remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. If breathing has ceased apply artificial respiration. Keep warm and allow to rest. Seek immediate medical attention.
Ingestion wash the mouth thoroughly with water then give one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a glass of water. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat. Seek immediate medical advice. Epsom salts are available off the shelf in pharmacies. If barium chloride is handled in your laboratory then Epsom salts should be in your laboratory first aid kit. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person nor induce vomiting.
Keep the container tightly closed. Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat, sparks or naked flames and incompatible substances. Keep away from moisture.
PACKAGE LOTS AND RECOVERED SPILLS: Dissolve the waste in 6M hydrochloric acid and filter. Neutralise the filtrate with 6M ammonium hydroxide (use litmus) then precipitate with excess sodium carbonate. Filter, wash and dry the precipitate.
If the waste is of a very small volume:
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. If a spill contains a fluoride, add slaked lime in addition to the above treatment.