ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Sodium dioxide, sodium superoxide.
Use a fume hood.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion of the powder.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep away from combustible substances.
Keep away from reducing agents.
Keep away from metal powders.
Keep the container tightly sealed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Pale yellow granules which, when heated, yield oxygen which increases fire hazard. Is a strong oxidant and reacts violently with combustible and reducing material and light metals causing fire and explosion hazard. Reacts violently with water, generating heat forming a strong base (NaOH) and oxygen.
May be absorbed by inhalation and ingestion. Is corrosive to eyes, skin and respiratory tract. Inhalation may cause lung oedema; and causes sore throat, shortness of breath and laboured breathing. Skin contact causes redness, pain and serious skin burns. Eye contact causes redness, pain and blurred vision. Ingestion causes sore throat, vomiting and diarrhoea.
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 ­ 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. Keep warm and allow to rest. If irritation persists or signs of toxicity develop seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Do not induce vomiting. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Seek immediate medical advice.
Combustible substances, reducing agents and light metals.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat or ignition sources.
Use a fume hood to minimise exposure to this substance. 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, large face shield and laboratory coat. A body shield should be available.
Cover with at least double the volume of sand-soda ash mixture (90/10). Mix thoroughly and break up any lumps of peroxide.. with a plastic scoop add slowly to a large beaker of sodium bisulphite solution 93 or 4 litres) with stirring. Neutralise with dilute sulphuric acid. When settled, decant the sulphate solution and discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water. The sand can be used for land fill.
Hydrogen peroxide: spill or packaged lots - dilute and discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water.
Use the above method for the encrusted, impure peroxide. Repackage the recovered pure granular peroxide in glass containers with rubber stoppers.


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