ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences



SAFRANIN O (Colour Index No. 50240)
Safranin O is a mixture of dimethyl and trimethyl phenosafranin.
Dimethyl phenosafranin (C20H19N4Cl)
Trimethyl phenosafranin (C21H21N4Cl)

Safranin Y, safranin A, gossypimine, cotton red.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid eye contact.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Dark red powder. Quinone­imine group of dyes.
Its toxicity has not been quantified but other dyes in this group are known to be highly toxic and mutagenic, e.g. toluidine blue, and potential carcinogens, e.g. resorcin fuchsin.
Skin ­ remove contaminated clothing then wash the affected area with soap or mild detergent and large amounts of water until all evidence of the dye has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If irritation persists seek medical advice. Wash contaminated clothing before re­use.
Eyes ­ immediately wash the affected eye with large amounts of water until all evidence of the dye has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If irritation persists seek immediate medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. If breathing has ceased apply artificial respiration. Give oxygen if required. Keep warm and allow to rest. Seek immediate medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and seek immediate medical attention.
Heating produces toxic fumes of hydrogen chloride and nitrogen compounds.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat.
Use a fume hood to keep the level of exposure to a minimum. Wear protective clothing. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
Butyl rubber gloves, laboratory coat and self contained breathing apparatus.
On skin and clothing: wash skin with strong soap solution immediately. Rinse thoroughly. Contaminated clothing should be removed, dried and washed with strong soap solution or destroyed. It may be necessary to destroy shoes by burning.
Small spills: absorb liquid on paper towels. Brush solids on to paper. Place in an iron pan and allow evaporation in a fume hood. Add crumpled paper and burn. Wash spill site with a strong soap solution.
Large spills: cover with sand and soda ash mixture (90/10). Mix and shovel into a cardboard box. Pack with a large excess of crumpled paper. Burn in an open pit or incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber.
1 Pour or sift on to a thick layer of sand and soda ash mixture (90/10). Mix, and shovel into a heavy paper box with much paper packaging. Burn in an incinerator. The fire may be augmented with scrap wood. Stay on the upwind side.
2 Dissolve in a flammable solvent and spray into the firebox of an incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber.


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