ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Pyrogallic acid, 1,2,3­trihydroxybenzene, 1,2,3­benzenetriol.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion.
Keep the container tightly sealed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Dense, white crystals, turn grey on exposure to air.
Pyrogallol can be absorbed into the body by inhalation, ingestion or through the skin. It is toxic and an eye, skin and respiratory tract irritant and prolonged skin contact may cause dermatitis. Inhalation can cause coughing, shortness of breath, nausea and faintness. Ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and unconsciousness. Blood disorders, liver and kidney damage can result. Serious cases can be fatal.
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 irritation persists or 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 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. Induce vomiting by touching a finger to the back of the throat. Seek immediate medical attention.
None known.
Keep the container tightly closed and store in a cool, dry atmosphere.
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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