ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Polyethylene Glycols

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

POLYETHYLENE GLYCOLS [HO(CH2H2O)NH]
Polyethylene glycols are mixtures of mainly penta, hexa, hepta and octo ethylene glycols, each individual product is blended to give a particular molecular weight between 200 and 6,000. EP and USP purity grades are available.

SYNONYMS
None known.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid prolonged skin contact.
Avoid eye contact.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
CHARACTERISTICS
White solid or clear, viscous liquid depending upon the molecular weight.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
Polyethylene glycols are considered to be practically non­harmful. They are combustible substances and should never be stored or handled near a naked flame. Prolonged skin contact can be irritating and eye contact can cause irritation.
TREATMENTS
Skin ­ immediately wash the affected area with large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes).
Eyes ­ 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 medical advice.
INCOMPATIBILITY
None known.
STORAGE
Store away from heat or naked flames.
HANDLING
Wear protective clothing to avoid skin and eye contact. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves and safety goggles as a minimum standard.
DISPOSAL
WEAR:
Rubber gloves, face shield and laboratory coat. Have an all purpose canister respirator available.
SPILLS:
A gas leak: keep the concentration of the gas below the explosive mixture range by forced ventilation. Remove the tank to an open area and allow dissipation to the atmosphere. Attempt to cap the valve outlet and return the tank to the supplier.
A liquid: absorb on paper. Evaporate in an iron pan in a flame proof fume hood then burn the paper.
A solid: sweep on to paper and place in an iron pan in a fume hood. Burn the paper and compound.
PACKAGE LOTS:
A gas leak: pipe the gas into an incinerator or lower into a pit and allow to burn.
A liquid: atomise into an incinerator. Combustion may be improved by mixing with a more flammable solvent.
A solid: make up packages in paper or other flammable material. Burn in the incinerator. Or the solid may be dissolved in a flammable solvent and sprayed into a fire chamber.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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