ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences
Electrostatic charges represent a risk of
ignition to flammable substances when they discharge. This form of
charge can develop:
- When non-conducting containers are
filled with non-conducting liquids such as acetone, cyclohexane,
diethyl ether, carbon disulphide and toluene.
- With the rapid escape of gases
containing solid particles such as rust or liquid droplets.
- With persons who are insulated from
the earth by shoes or floors of a non-conductive material.
The dangers from electrostatic build up can
be minimised by adopting the following procedures:
- Pour slowly and not from a great
- Use combinations of equipment which
all have the same conductive or non-conductive properties. For
example, avoid using metal funnels with glass or plastic flasks.
- Provide an electrical connection
between conductive equipment and ensure that it is earthed.
- Use a funnel with a stem that reaches
to the base of the vessel being filled in order to avoid
splashing or spraying the liquid being poured.
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