ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Sodium Azide

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

SODIUM AZIDE (NaN3)

SYNONYMS
None known.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Explosive properties ­ risk of explosion as result of concussion, friction or heating.
Use a fume hood.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powder.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Keep away from combustible substances.
Keep away from metal powders.
Keep the container tightly sealed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Colourless crystals. May decompose explosively on heating, shock, concussion or friction. Reacts with silver, copper forming compounds sensitive to mechanical shock, concussion, friction or sparks. Do not discard solutions containing azides down domestic sinks.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
May be absorbed by inhalation and ingestion; irritates eyes, respiratory tract and mucous membranes. Affects nervous system and may cause vascular system disorders. Inhalation causes shore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness and faintness. Skin contact causes redness and pain. Eye contact causes redness, pain and blurred vision. Ingestion causes abdominal pain, dizziness and spasms.
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 hypersensitivity develops seek medical attention.
Eyes ­ 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. If irritation persists or signs of toxicity develop seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Do not induce vomiting. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Seek immediate medical advice.
INCOMPATIBILITY
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat or ignition sources.
HANDLING
Use a fume hood to minimise exposure to this substance. Wear protective clothing to avoid skin or eye contact, inhalation or ingestion. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
DISPOSAL
WEAR:
Leather gloves, heavy face shield and laboratory coat. Work from behind a barricade (body shield or wall). Avoid unnecessary heat, friction or impact.
SPILLS:
Absorb the liquid with paper or vermiculite. If it is a solid, dampen then brush on to paper with great care. Place in a plastic bag and remove outside for burning.
OR
Sponge up with water, followed by decontamination with 10% ammonium ceric nitrate solution. 'Kill', by adding to a greater stoichiometric amount of ammonium ceric nitrate solution with agitation sufficient to provide suspension of all solids. Cool the reaction. The organic azides and heavy metal azides are explosive. Alkali and alkaline earth azides are not considered explosives under normal laboratory conditions. Keep the stock of azides very low. Stamp the date of receipt upon the package.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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