ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences - Trichloracetic Acid

 

ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences

 


 

TRICHLORACETIC ACID (CCl3COOH)

SYNONYMS
None known.
GENERAL PRECAUTIONS
Use a fume hood.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion.
Keep away from heat.
Keep away from strong bases.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep the container tightly sealed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
CHARACTERISTICS
Colourless, deliquescent crystals or crystalline masses with a pungent odour.
HEALTH HAZARD DATA
When dissolved in water it is a strong acid and very corrosive. Reacts violently with strong bases. Can be absorbed into the body by inhalation or ingestion. It is corrosive to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Inhalation causes sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath and laboured breathing. Inhalation may also cause lung oedema, serious cases may be fatal. Skin contact causes redness, pain and skin burns. Eye contact causes redness, pain and blurred vision. Ingestion causes sore throat, abdominal pain and vomiting.
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 pain persists or burns develop 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). 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 in a half­upright position. Seek immediate medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Seek immediate medical advice.
INCOMPATIBILITY
Reacts violently with strong bases. When heated decomposes into highly toxic phosgene gas and highly corrosive hydrochloric acid.
STORAGE
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat and moisture. Keep away from strong bases.
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, self contained breathing apparatus or all purpose canister respirator, and laboratory coat.
SPILLS:
Eliminate all sources of ignition. Turn on the fume hood if the acid is volatile. Cover the spill on bench or flooor, with an excess of sodium bicarbonate and vermiculite. Mix and scoop into a large beaker of water. When the reaction is complete discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water. Wash the spill site with soap solution.
PACKAGE LOTS: Either
1 Pour on to an excess of sodium bicarbonate. Mix and scoop into a bucket. Dump into a 200 litre drum and fill with water. After 24 hours slowly discharge to sewer with a large excess of water.
OR
2 Pour on to vermiculite in an open incinerator. Cover with scrap wood and paper. Pour waste alcohol over all and ignite with a torch or fuse. Stay on the upwind side.
OR
3 Dissolve in a flammable solvent such as waste alcohol. Spray into an incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber.
ENVIRONMENT:

 


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