ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




None known.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Avoid inhalation or ingestion.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Keep away from moisture.
Keep away from strong acids or bases.
Keep the container tightly closed.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Bright, silver­grey metal granules or pellets.
Zinc is an eye, skin and respiratory tract irritant. Inhalation of the powder can cause chest pain and lung oedema which can be fatal. It is a flammable solid and should not be handled close to heat or a naked flame. It is air and moisture sensitive.
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). 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. Seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Seek medical advice.
Zinc is incompatible with amines, cadmium, chlorinated solvents, sulphur, strong acids, strong bases, fluorine and carbon disulphide. It is air and moisture sensitive.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat, moisture 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.
Heavy gloves, safety glasses and laboratory coat.
1 Larger pieces of less expensive metals can be sold as scrap metal. eg. aluminium, copper and brass.
2 The more expensive metals are worth salvaging even in small pieces. eg. platinum wire and silver foil.
3 Metal should be sorted and placed in boxes, properly labelled. Turnings, shot and cuttings of the cheaper metals may be assigned to a landfill


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