ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




2­hydroxy­1,2,3­propanetricarboxylic acid, B­hydroxytricarballyic acid, acide citrique.
Combustible, colourless crystals or white crystalline powder.
Incompatible with strong oxidising agents. heating produces toxic fumes of carbon.
This is a combustible substance and should not be stored close to heat or a naked flame. It is an irritant to the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. A splash to the eye will burn the epithelium and cause burning pain. It can be absorbed into the body by inhalation or ingestion. Acute exposure to the skin and eyes may cause redness and pain. Inhalation may cause sore throat and abdominal pain.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powder.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
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 ­ remove contaminated clothing and immediately wash the affected area with large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If irritation persists seek medical advice. 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 persists seek immediate medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. If irritation persists seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ rinse the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Seek medical advice.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat.
Rubber gloves, face shield and laboratory coat. A body shield and self contained breathing apparatus should be available.
Eliminate all sources of ignition. Cover the contaminated surface with soda ash or sodium bicarbonate. Mix and add water if necessary. scoop up the slurry, check for neutrality with litmus then discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water. Wash the spill site with soda ash solution.
1. Liquid acid may be injected at the base of an incinerator after mixing with a flammable solvent. the incinerator should be equipped with an afterburner and scrubber.
2. A solid acid may be dissolved in a flammable solvent and burned as above.
3. A solid acid may be packaged in paper or other flammable material and burned in an incinerator equipped with an afterburner.
This chemical forms moderately acidic solutions which can have an adverse effect upon the environment. It has a high biological oxygen demand and can cause significant depletion in aquatic systems. If neutralised it does have a low potential to affect aquatic organisms, germination, the growth of some plants and secondary sewerage treatments. It is readily biodegradable and is not likely to concentrate. When diluted with large quantities of water and released into the environment it is not expected to cause significant environmental problems.


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