ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Glycerin, glycerine, propan-1,2,3-triol, 1,2,3-propanetriol, trihydroxypropane.
Clear, colourless viscous liquid. Combustible.
Can react violently with strong oxidising agents such as chromates, dichromates, potassium permanganate, sodium peroxide, silver perchlorate, calcium perchlorate, potassium peroxide and perchloric acid. Reaction with concentrated nitric acid can form nitroesters which can be explosive. Can react violently with fuming sulphuric acid.
Glycerol is an eye irritant. It is practically non harmful to skin although prolonged skin contact can cause dermatitis. Inhalation will irritate mucous membranes. Ingestion can cause drowsiness, gastrointestinal pain, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and unconsciousness. If excessively large amounts are ingested coma and death may result. Chronic poisoning by ingestion or inhalation can produce headache, giddiness, disturbance of vision, smell, taste and sleep, trembling of the limbs, weakness and mental excitement. These symptoms may be accompanied by loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep away from concentrated nitric and concentrated sulphuric acids.
Combustible, keep away from heat or naked flames.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
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 dermatitis develops 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 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. If irritation persists or develops seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. If pain or irritation develop seek medical attention.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from incompatible substances.
Rubber gloves, face shield and laboratory coat. Have an all purpose canister respirator available.
A gas leak: keep the concentration of the gas below the explosive mixture range by forced ventilation. Remove the tank to an open area and allow dissipation to the atmosphere. Attempt to cap the valve outlet and return the tank to the supplier.
A liquid: absorb on paper. Evaporate in an iron pan in a flame proof fume hood then burn the paper.
A solid: sweep on to paper and place in an iron pan in a fume hood. Burn the paper and compound.
A gas leak: pipe the gas into an incinerator or lower into a pit and allow to burn.
A liquid: atomise into an incinerator. Combustion may be improved by mixing with a more flammable solvent.
A solid: make up packages in paper or other flammable material. Burn in the incinerator. Or the solid may be dissolved in a flammable solvent and sprayed into a fire chamber.
No data available.


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