ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Lead Acetate

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

LEAD ACETATE ((CH3COO)2Pb.3H2O)

SYNONYMS
Sugar of lead.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Use a fume hood.
Not to be handled by staff who are pregnant.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion.
Keep away from heat.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Colourless or white crystals or crystalline powder.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
Lead acetate is a very toxic substance. The effects of lead are cumulative leading to an ever increasing build up in the body. This substance is a potential carcinogen and a teratogen. It should not be handled by staff who are pregnant. It can be absorbed into the body through the skin or by inhalation or ingestion. It particularly attacks the lungs, kidneys and blood.
TREATMENTS
Skin ­ immediately remove contaminated clothing and 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). 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 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. If irritation persists or signs of toxicity develop seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat. Seek immediate medical attention.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Heating produces toxic fumes. Incompatible with oxidising agents, acids and phenol.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat and incompatible substances. HANDLING
Use a fume hood to minimise exposure to this substance. Wear protective clothing. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
DISPOSAL
WEAR:
Rubber gloves, safety glasses, laboratory coat and a respirator (or work in a fume hood).
PACKAGE LOTS AND RECOVERED SPILLS:
Convert to nitrates with a minimum of concentrated nitric acid. Evaporate in a fume hood to a thin paste. Add water and saturate with hydrogen sulphide. Filter, wash and dry the precipitate.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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