ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Hexamethylenetetramine, methenamine, metramine, uritone, urotropine, 1,3,5,7­tetraazadamantane.
Avoid eye contact.
Avoid inhalation.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Keep away from oxidising materials.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
White, crystalline powder, colourless lustrous crystals, practically odourless. Flammable.
This substance is a moderate irritant to eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Acute exposure from material or fumes to skin may cause rash, itching, erythema, scarlatiniform and vesicular lesions. Inhalation may cause moderate irritation to mucous membranes. If ingested may be moderately toxic, causing diarrhoea, albuminuria and haematuria.
TREATMENTS 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 (approximately 15 minutes). If hypersensitivity develops seek medical attention.
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 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 respiratory irritation persists seek medical advice.
Ingestion ­ if conscious give large quantities of water. Induce vomiting by touching the back of the throat and transport to hospital or doctor.
Reacts violently with sodium peroxide. Avoid all oxidising materials. Heating produces formaldehyde.
Store in a well ventilated area away from sources of ignition.
Wear protective clothing to avoid skin and eye contact or inhalation. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
WEAR: Butyl rubber gloves, face shield or all purpose canister respirator and laboratory coat.
SPILLS: Liquid or solid - cover with sodium bisulphite. Spray with water and discharge to sewer with a large excess of water.
Add the contaminated amine to a layer of sodium bisulphite in a large evaporating dish. Spray with water. Neutralise and discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water.
OR Dissolve in a flammable solvent then burn in open pit or in an incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber. ENVIRONMENT:


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