ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Sodium Tetraborate

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

SODIUM TETRABORATE (Na2B4O7)

SYNONYMS
Borax, sodium borate.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Avoid eye contact.
Avoid ingestion.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep the container tightly closed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Colourless crystals or white crystalline powder. Efflorescent in dry air.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
Sodium tetraborate is an eye irritant and is moderately toxic when ingested.
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). 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 seek 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. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat. Seek immediate medical attention.
INCOMPATIBILITY
None known although moisture leads to instability.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere.
HANDLING
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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