ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
COBALT CHLORIDE (CoCl2.6H2O)
Cobalt chloride hexahydrate.
Dark ruby red crystals or crystalline powder.
Heating produces toxic fumes of hydrogen chloride. Hazardous polymerisation is possible. Discard after one year.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
A suspected carcinogen and very toxic. Cobalt chloride attacks the blood, liver, thyroid, lungs and connective tissues. It is an eye and respiratory tract irritant and a skin sensitiser. Eye contact causes redness and pain. Skin contact may produce an allergic response in previously sensitised individuals. Inhalation and ingestion produce flushing, mild hypotension and rash with possible blood disorders and liver and thyroid damage.
HANDLING and GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Potential carcinogen, handle with great care.
Use a fume hood.
Avoid skin contact, skin sensitiser.
Avoid eye contact.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Keep away from heat or naked flames, heating produces hydrogen chloride.
Use a fume hood to avoid inhalation as the most detrimental route of exposure is through the respiratory tract. Wear protective clothing. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
Skin remove contaminated clothing and shoes, 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 an allergic response is evident or irritation persists 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 irritation persists seek immediate medical advice.
Inhalation remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. If breathing has ceased apply artificial respiration. Keep warm and allow to rest. Seek medical advice.
Ingestion Give large amounts of water or milk. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat, then seek immediate medical attention.
Keep the container tightly closed and store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat or naked flame.
Rubber gloves, safety glasses and laboratory coat.
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.
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. Discharge to sewer with a large excess of water. The sludge may be added to land fill.