ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
SODIUM CHLORATE (NaClO3)
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 reducing agents.
Keep away from strong acids.
Keep the container tightly sealed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
White crystals which decompose on heating forming oxygen. Is a strong oxidant, reacts violently with combustible and reducing materials causing fire and explosion. Reacts with strong acids forming toxic chlorine dioxide.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
May be absorbed by inhalation and ingestion; irritates eyes, skin and respiratory tract. May affect blood forming methaemoglobin. May also damage liver and kidneys. Inhalation causes sore throat, coughing, headache, dizziness, bluish skin and faintness. Eye contact causes redness and pain. Skin contact causes redness. Ingestion causes vomiting, abdominal spasm, diarrhoea, unconsciousness and bluish skin.
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. Induce vomiting. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Seek immediate medical advice.
Reacts violently with combustible and reducing material causing fire and explosion hazard. Reacts with strong acids forming toxic chlorine dioxide.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat or ignition sources.
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.
Rubber gloves, face shield and laboratory coat. A body shield should be available for the more active agents. Replace the face shield with self contained breathing apparatus for such agents as chlorine and bromine.
Gas leak: if the valve is leaking because it cannot be closed, the gas can be bubbled through a reducer (sodium sulphite) and excess sodium bicarbonate solution. Be sure to include a trap in the line to prevent the solution being sucked back into the cylinder. If this cannot be done the cylinder should be placed in or adjacent to a fume hood and left to bleed off. If the leak is in the valve assembly, a plastic bag can be fastened over the head of the cylinder which can then be taken outside or to a fume hood.
Liquid or solid: cover with a reducer (sodium thiosulphate, a bisulphite or a ferrous salt not carbon, sulphur or strong reducing agent). Mix well and spray with water. A sulphite or a ferrous salt will require addition of 3mol/l sulphuric acid to promote a rapid reduction. Scoop the slurry into a container of water and neutralise with soda ash. Discharge to sewer with a large excess of water. Wash the site thoroughly with a soap solution containing some reducer.
Add to a large volume of concentrated solution of reducer (sodium thiosulphate, a bisulphite or a ferrous salt and acidify with 3mol/l sulphuric acid). When the reduction is completed add soda ash or dilute hydrochloric acid to neutralise the solution. Discharge to sewer with a large excess of water.