ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Sodium Hydroxide

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

SODIUM HYDROXIDE (NaOH)

SYNONYMS
Caustic soda, soda lye.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Very corrosive.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep the container tightly closed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Off white to white deliquescent pellets, frill or flakes.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
Very corrosive substance that will cause severe burns on contact. Permanent damage may result. Inhalation can result in burns to the entire respiratory system.
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). Burns will require 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). If irritation or pain persist or vision remains blurred 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. Seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water or milk to drink. Do not induce vomiting. Seek immediate medical attention.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Incompatible with aluminium, zinc and some other non­ferrous metals as hydrogen gas is released by the reaction. Incompatible with acids, organic materials and small amounts of water.
STORAGE
Keep the container tightly closed and store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from incompatible substances.
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, large face shield, all purpose or special canister respirator for ammonia and laboratory coat.
SPILLS:
Solid: sweep up, dilute and neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid, in a large bucket. Discharge to sewer with a large excess of water.
Solution: neutralise and mop up.
PACKAGE LOTS:
Pour into a large tank of water and neutralise. Discharge into sewer with a large excess of water.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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