ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
POTASSIUM THIOCYANATE (KCNS)
Potassium sulphocyanide, potassium rhodanide.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Keep away from oxidising agents.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep the container tightly closed.
Keep in the dark.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Colourless or white deliquescent crystals.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
Potassium thiocyanate is a skin and eye irritant and is toxic when ingested. Eye contact will cause redness and pain. Skin contact will cause localised irritation. Ingestion will cause headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and faintness.
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 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.
Decomposes when exposed to light. Reacts violently with oxidising agents.
Keep the container tightly closed and store in the dark in a cool, dry atmosphere.
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.
Rubber gloves, safety glasses and laboratory coat.
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.
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.