ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




1­propanol, propylic alcohol, n­propyl alcohol.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation of the vapour.
Avoid ingestion.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Keep away from strong oxidising agents.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Colourless liquid with characteristic odour.
This is a flammable liquid and should not be stored or handled close to heat or a naked flame. The vapour is heavier than air and can travel for a considerable distance along the ground to a source of ignition and flash­back. It is a toxic substance, a narcotic and a skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant. It can be absorbed into the body by skin absorption, inhalation or ingestion. Skin contact may cause localised redness. It defats the skin and prolonged contact can cause dermatitis. Eye contact will cause redness and pain. Inhalation may cause coughing, shortness of breath, dullness and unconsciousness due to depression of the nervous system. Ingestion causes abdominal pain and dullness. The ingestion of alcoholic beverages enhances the toxic of this substance.
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). Dermatitis will require medical treatment. 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. If signs of toxicity develop seek immediate medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Seek immediate medical advice.
Reacts violently with alkalis and alkali earth metals generating flammable gas (hydrogen). Reacts violently with oxidising agents causing fire and explosion hazards.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat and incompatible substances.
Use a fume hood to minimise exposure to this substance. Wear protective clothing. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
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.


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