ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Ammonium oxalate [(COONH4)2.H2O]
Colourless crystals.

Calcium oxalate (CaC2O4.H2O)
White powder.

Cobaltous oxalate
Pink powder.

Cupric oxalate
Pale blue powder.

Ferric potassium oxalate
Green crystals.

Ferrous oxalate [(COO)2Fe.2H2O]
Syn : Iron oxalate
Pale yellow powder.

Lithium oxalate (C2Li2O4)
White crystals or powder.

Magnesium oxalate
White powder.

Manganous oxalate
White crystalline powder.

Potassium hydrogen oxalate (KHC2O4)
Syn: Potassium binoxalate.
Colourless crystals.

Potassium oxalate [(COOK)2.H2O]
Colourless crystals or crystalline powder.

Potassium tetraoxalate [KH3(C2O4)2.2H2O)
Colourless crystals.

Potassium titanium oxalate [K2TiO(C2O4)2.2H2O]
White crystals or crystalline powder.

Sodium oxalate [(COONa)2]

Stannous oxalate
White powder.

Zinc oxalate
White powder.

Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powders.
Keep away from heat.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
These compounds are severe eye and skin irritants and can cause permanent eye damage. They are also toxic if inhaled or ingested and can cause severe internal and respiratory pain and collapse.
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 irritation persists 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 or pain persist or vision appears blurred 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 discomfort persists seek immediate medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give plenty of water to drink. Seek immediate medical advice.
Heating produces toxic fumes of carbon. Mixtures with strong oxidising agents can cause an explosion when water is added.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat and incompatible substances.
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.
Rubber gloves, safety glasses and laboratory coat.
Solid: collect in a beaker, dissolve in a large amount of water. Add soda ash, mix and neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid and discharge to sewer with large excess of water.
Solution: cover with soda ash, mix and scoop into a beaker of water. Neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid and discharge to sewer with a large excess of water. If a spill contains a fluoride, add slaked lime in addition to the above treatment.
Add slowly to a large container of water. Stir in a slight excess of soda ash. If fluoride is present add slaked lime. Let stand for 24 hours. Decant or siphon into another container and neutralise with 6M hydrochloric acid. Discharge to sewer with a large excess of water. The sludge may be added to land fill.


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