ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences



Occurs naturally as the mineral corundum.

Alumina, alumine, alumina, alpha-alumina, aluminum oxide, aluminum trioxide, corundum.
White, odourless, crystalline solid or powder.
Incompatible with:
Hot chlorinated rubber ­ violent reaction.
Chlorine trifluoride ­ violent reaction with flames.
Ethylene oxide ­ violent polymerisation may occur.
This substance is an abrasive and is a skin, eye and mucous membrane irritant. Skin and eye contact may cause localised irritation and pain. Inhalation may cause irritation, coughing and dyspnoea. Chronic exposure may in addition cause pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema and pneumonia. Pneumothorax has been reported in some workers and rarely, encephalopathy. Ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting and weakness. Recent studies in Britain have suggested that a link exists between ingestion of aluminium and senile dementia. Introduction of aluminium compounds directly into the bloodstream may contribute to the development of neurological effects resembling senility.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powder.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Cover open sores and cuts.
Use a fume hood to minimise exposure to this substance. Wear protective clothing to avoid skin or eye contact, inhalation or ingestion. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
Skin ­ immediately wash the affected area with soap or mild detergent and large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed. If hypersensitivity develops seek medical attention.
Eyes ­ 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 immediate medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. Keep warm and allow to rest. If irritation persists seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Seek immediate medical advice.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from incompatible substances. Keep the lid tightly closed.
Wear heavy gloves and safety glasses. The waste may be used as fill in reclaiming low areas or may be dumped in a landfill.
No data available.


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