ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Potassium Chloride

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE (KCl)

SYNONYMS
Potassium monochloride.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion.
Keep away from heat.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Colourless to white crystals or crystalline powder.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
Potassium chloride is a toxic substance. It is a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant. Ingestion can result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Large doses can cause in addition weakness and circulatory disturbances which can be fatal.
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 irritation persists seek medical attention. 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 develops seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Seek immediate medical attention.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Heating produces toxic fumes.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat.
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 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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