ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Sodium Fluoride

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

SODIUM FLUORIDE (NaF)

SYNONYMS
None known.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion.
Keep away from heat.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep away from acids or acid fumes.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Cubic or tetragonal crystals.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
Sodium fluoride is very toxic by any route into the body. It can be absorbed through the skin in concentrations sufficient to cause narcosis. It can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea, skin rashes and damage the central nervous system. It is a strong eye irritant.
TREATMENTS
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). If irritation persists seek immediate medical attention. 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). Seek immediate 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. Give at least one ounce of vinegar in an equal amount of water. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat. Seek immediate medical attention.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Keep away from acids and acid fumes. Absorbs moisture. Keep the container tightly closed.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat, acids or acid fumes.
HANDLING
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.
DISPOSAL
WEAR:
Rubber gloves, safety glasses and laboratory coat.
SPILLS:
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.
PACKAGE LOTS:
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.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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