ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Boric Acid

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

BORIC ACID (H3BO3)

SYNONYMS
Boracic acid, orthoboric acid.
CHARACTERISTICS
Colourless brilliant plates, white crystals or crystalline powder, unctuous to the touch, odourless.
INCOMPATIBILITY
None known.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
This substance is an eye and respiratory tract irritant and is toxic when ingested. Under conditions of normal use should not present a significant hazard. Avoid repeated or prolonged skin contact, particularly if the skin is broken. Ingestion will produce vomiting and if not rapidly treated will induce coma.
HANDLING and GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powder.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
HANDLING
Wear protective clothing to avoid skin or eye contact, inhalation or ingestion of the powder. 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 soap or mild detergent and 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 to fresh air. If breathing has ceased apply artificial respiration. Keep warm and allow to rest. If irritation persists seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and then give milk to drink. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat.
Seek immediate medical attention.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere.
DISPOSAL
SPILLS:
Cover the contaminated surface with sodium bicarbonate or soda ash-slaked lime mixture (50/50). Mix, and add water if necessary to form a slurry. scoop up the slurry and discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water.. wash the spill site with a soda ash solution.
PACKAGE LOTS:
Add slowly to a large volume of an agitated solution of soda ash and slaked lime until the solution is neutral. Discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water.
ENVIRONMENT

 


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