ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Nitrotoluene

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

4­NITROTOLUENE (NO2C6H4CH3)

SYNONYMS
None known.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Use a fume hood.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powder.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Keep away from oxidising materials.
Keep away from reducing agents.
Keep away from strong bases.
Keep the container tightly sealed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Yellow crystals. Thermal decomposition yields carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. May explode when heated and may be shock sensitive.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
May be fatal if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin. Is an irritant to mucous membranes, respiratory tract, eyes and skin. Symptoms may include burning sensation, coughing, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, headache, nausea and vomiting. Absorption leads to formation of methaemoglobin which in sufficient concentrations can cause cyanosis. Onset may be delayed.
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). If signs of toxicity develop 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 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. Do not induce vomiting. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Seek immediate medical advice.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Oxidising agents, reducing agents and strong bases.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat or ignition sources.
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:
Butyl rubber gloves, laboratory coat, self contained breathing apparatus and protective shoes.
SPILLS:
On skin and clothing: wash skin with a strong soap solution immediately. Rinse well. Contaminated clothing should be removed and cleaned at once or destroyed by burning.
Small spills: absorb liquid on paper towels or vermiculite; sweep solid spills on to paper. Put on an iron pan in a fume hood and allow to evaporate. Burn the paper or vermiculite in the absence of other inflammables. Wash the site thoroughly with a strong soap solution.
Large spills: absorb or mix with vermiculite, sodium bicarbonate or sand. Package this in a paper carton and burn in an open pit. Use wood scraps and crumpled paper to augment burning. Wash the site thoroughly with a strong soap solution.
PACKAGE LOTS: Either
1 Pour os sift on to sodium bicarbonate or a sand, soda ash mixture (90/10). Mix and package in heavy paper cartons with plenty of paper packing to serve as fuel. Burn in an incinerator.
OR
2 Mix with a flammable solvent and spray into a firebox of an incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber.
NOTE:
Destruction by chemical decomposition is recommended for dinitro, trinitro and other compounds with explosive potential. Add the material, slowly, while stirring, to 30 times its weight of a solution prepared by dissolving 1 part sodium sulphide in 6 parts water. For unstable acidic materials (eg. picric acid) dissolve in 25 times its weight in a solution from 1 part sodium hydroxide and 21 parts sodium sulphide in 200 parts water. Some hydrogen sulphide and ammonia is evolved.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


BACK to the top of the Glossary Contents List
BACK to the top of the Chemical Contents List

REFERENCES