ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
FERROUS SULPHATE (FeSO4.7H2O)
Iron sulphate, iron sulphate heptahydrate, ferrous sulphate, heptahydrate.
Greyish white powder in the dried form to bluish green crystals or a pale green crystalline powder. It is odourless but efflorescent in air. It oxidises in moist air, becoming brown.
Heating produces toxic fumes of sulphur. Ferrous sulphate is incompatible with alkalis, soluble carbonates, lead acetate, potassium and sodium tartrate and sodium borate.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
A potential carcinogen that has produced tumours in laboratory animals but none have been reported in humans. A skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant, and is moderately toxic.
HANDLING and GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Possible carcinogen, handle with care.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Keep the lid tightly closed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
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 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 or pain persist seek medical advice.
Inhalation remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. If breathing has ceased apply artificial respiration. Seek medical advice.
Ingestion if the victim is conscious wash the mouth with water then give two to four glasses of water or milk to drink, followed by at least one ounce of milk of magnesia (available from any pharmacy). Seek immediate medical attention.
Keep in a tightly closed container in a cool, dry atmosphere. Store away from alkalis and other incompatible substances.
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.