ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Sodium Borohydride

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

SODIUM BOROHYDRIDE (NaBH4)

SYNONYMS
None known.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powder.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep the container dry.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
White powder or pellets. Readily liberates hydrogen gas in contact with water.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
This substance is a flammable solid and should not be handled close to heat or a naked flame. It liberates hydrogen when in contact with water. It is a corrosive substance and can cause burns. It is a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant and can cause lung damage. It is moderately toxic if ingested. If the contents of the container are likely to have absorbed moisture, loosen the lid to prevent a pressure build up in the container.
TREATMENTS
Skin ­ remove contaminated clothing and 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. 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 persists seek immediate medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. Keep warm and allow to rest. If irritation persists toxicity develop seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and seek immediate medical attention.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Heating produces toxic fumes of boron compounds.
Produces hydrogen gas in contact with water. The decomposition is inhibited by about pH 10.5. Adding a palladium catalyst to solutions can cause ignition of the liberated hydrogen.
STORAGE
Keep the container dry. If the contents are likely to have absorbed any water or atmospheric moisture, loosen the lid to prevent pressure build up in the container. Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from moisture and heat.
HANDLING
Shut off all sources of ignition. Use a flame proofed fume hood. 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, fire proof clothing and face shield. Work from behind a body shield. Keep available pulverised dolomite or dry graphite for fire fighting.
SPILLS:
Eliminate all sources of ignition. Scoop spill into a dry plastic bag which has first been purged with inert gas. Remove to the outside for burning. flood the burned residues with water to ensure complete destruction of the hydrides.
PACKAGE LOTS: Either
1 Mix with dry sand to avoid or stop a fire. Scoop into a bucket and remove to an open area. Slowly spray with dry butyl alcohol. Later ad water by fogging until the last of the hydrides is destroyed. Scoop the solid into a large container. Neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid and allow to settle. Decant and discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water. Send the sand residue to landfill. If the hydride is a gas, dispose of it by controlled burning.
OR
2 Burn in an iron pan or an open pit.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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