ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Perchloric acid - ammonium salt, perchlorate.
White or colourless, orthorhombic crystals. Odourless.
Explosive substance, protect from shock or impact. Keep away from heat or sources of ignition. Contact with the following can be explosive: oxidising substances, finely divided metals and metal oxides, acids especially sulphuric acid, any combustible, sulphur, and sources of ignition. Heating also produces toxic fumes of chlorides.
Ammonium perchlorate is an explosive when dry and should be handled with great care. It may explode upon impact, shock or if heated. It is an irritant to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.
Prolonged exposure to skin can cause dermatitis. It is a toxic substance when ingested causing nausea and vomiting. It can cause methaemoglobinaemia. In severe cases this will cause headache, weakness and breathlessness. The vapour is also toxic and corrosive.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion.
Keep away from heat.
Keep away from reducing substances.
Protect against physical shock.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Handle with extreme care. Avoid sudden shock. Use a fume hood to minimise exposure to this substance with an explosion shield in place. Wear protective clothing. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
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 irritation persists 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 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.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere, protected from shock, away from all sources of heat and ignition and away from incompatible substances.
Caution: keep your stock low and date each container as received. Never transfer to glass stoppered containers or screw cap bottles which can cause dangerous friction. Wear rubber gloves, large heavy face shield and laboratory coat. Work under a flash proof fume hood and from behind a heavy body shield.
SPILLS: Eliminate all sources of ignition. Surround the spill site with inert absorbent material. Spills may be absorbed in a large quantity of vermiculite, sand, or inert absorbent material. Using a soft, plastic scoop, carefully place the mixture in a plastic container. Spread on a steel pan or in a deep pit. Ignite from a safe distance with a torch or fuse. Wash the scoop and container with 20% sodium hydroxide. Burn the original cartons and bags or dispose of by commercial waste disposal contractor.
Small quantity - a very small amount of solid or liquid may be destroyed by adding 10 volumes of 20% sodium hydroxide. after 24 hours, neutralise using litmus paper as an indicator then discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water.
No data available.


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