ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Potassium Bromide

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

POTASSIUM BROMIDE (KBr)

SYNONYMS
None known.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation of the powder.
Avoid ingestion.
Keep away from heat.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Colourless crystals or a white crystalline powder.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
A moderately toxic solid which attacks the central nervous system causing emaciation, depression, psychoses and mental deterioration. It is a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant and a skin sensitiser. The most detrimental route of exposure is through the respiratory system.
TREATMENTS
Skin ­ 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 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 immediate medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. Keep warm and allow to rest. Seek immediate medical advice.
Ingestion ­ wash the mouth with water and give two to four glasses of water to drink. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat and seek immediate medical attention. Never induce vomiting in a patient that is unconscious or give anything by mouth.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Avoid contact with bromium fluoride.
Heating produces toxic bromine fumes.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat and incompatible substances.
HANDLING
Use a fume hood to avoid inhalation of the powder. Wear protective clothing to avoid skin contact. 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 and laboratory coat.
SPILLS:
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.
PACKAGE LOTS:
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.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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