ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Sodium

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

SODIUM (Na)

SYNONYMS
None known.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
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 all substances.
Keep away from water ­ a violent reaction results.
Store under paraffin oil or kerosene and keep the container tightly sealed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Light, silvery white, soft metal which reacts violently with water with combustion and formation of combustible gas (hydrogen) and corrosive fumes of sodium hydroxide.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
Corrosive to eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Inhalation of vapours and/or fumes may cause shortness of breath and laboured breathing. Skin contact causes redness, pain and skin burns. Eye contact causes redness, pain and blurred vision. Ingestion causes sore throat, vomiting and abdominal pain.
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). Seek 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).
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 signs of toxicity develop seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Do not induce vomiting. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Seek immediate medical advice.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Keep separate from all substances, especially water.
STORAGE
Store under paraffin oil or kerosene in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat or ignition sources.
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:
Leather gloves, large face shield and laboratory coat.
SPILLS:
Small: cover with excess soda ash or sodium bicarbonate. Mix and add slowly to butyl alcohol. After 24 hours dilute and discharge to sewer with a large excess of water.
Large: mix with dry soda ash or sodium bicarbonate. Scoop into a dry bucket. in a remote area spread onto a large iron pan. Cover with scrap wood, paper and ignite with a torch or fuse.
OR
burn in an open pit incinerator.
OR
direct dry steam on to the waste spread on a iron pan. Beware of splatter.
WARNING:
Beware of possible violent reaction with water.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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