ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




None known.
Use a fume hood.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation of the vapour.
Avoid ingestion of the liquid.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Clear, colourless, flammable liquid with a penetrating odour.
This is a flammable substance and should never be handled close to heat or a naked flame. It is a severe irritant and neurotoxin. The vapour and liquid will irritate the eyes and may cause conjunctivitis. The liquid may irritate the skin and may cause dermatitis. Some of the effects from irritation of the respiratory system are headache, nausea, vomiting and giddiness. Ingestion or prolonged exposure can cause death due to cardiac arrest.
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 or dermatitis develops seek immediate 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. Seek immediate medical advice.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Seek immediate medical advice.
Heating produces the highly toxic fumes of cyanides. Pyridine is incompatible with iodine and sulphur trioxide with which there can be a violent reaction. It can react vigorously with oxidising materials. Can react vigorously with maleic anhydride at temperatures above 150°C.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat or naked flames.
Use a flame proofed fume hood that will keep the level of exposure below the recommended threshold limit, ie. 5ppm. If exposure is expected to exceed this limit then a respirator is recommended. Wear protective clothing. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves (nitrile), safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard. If there is any likelihood of a splash occurring wear a full face shield.
Butyl rubber gloves, laboratory coat and self contained breathing apparatus.
On skin and clothing: wash skin with strong soap solution immediately. Rinse thoroughly. Contaminated clothing should be removed, dried and washed with strong soap solution or destroyed. It may be necessary to destroy shoes by burning.
Small spills: absorb liquid on paper towels. Brush solids on to paper. Place in an iron pan and allow evaporation in a fume hood. Add crumpled paper and burn. Wash spill site with a strong soap solution.
Large spills: cover with sand and soda ash mixture (90/10). Mix and shovel into a cardboard box. Pack with a large excess of crumpled paper. Burn in an open pit or incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber.
1 Pour or sift on to a thick layer of sand and soda ash mixture (90/10). Mix, and shovel into a heavy paper box with much paper packaging. Burn in an incinerator. The fire may be augmented with scrap wood. Stay on the upwind side.
2 Dissolve in a flammable solvent and spray into the firebox of an incinerator equipped with an afterburner and scrubber.


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