ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences





Acids are best stored on acid resistant trays in acid storage cabinets with a glass reinforced, cement base. The cabinets can also be used for the storage of other corrosive agents provided that substances stored close together are compatible (see incompatible chemicals). Trays should have sides high enough to contain spills and the cabinet should be clearly marked on the outside with the word 'ACIDS'. The inside surface of commercially manufactured cabinets is coated with a corrosive resistant epoxy enamel.

Examples of some acid incompatibilities are as follows21:

  • Hydrochloric acid should never be stored with alkalis or active metals.
  • Hydrofluoric acid should never be stored with ammonia, (aqueous or anhydrous).
  • Nitric acid should not be stored with acetic, chromic or cyanic acids, aniline, carbon, hydrogen sulphide, fluids, gases, copper, heavy metals or substances that are readily nitrated (strong bases).
  • Sulphuric acid should never be stored with chlorates, perchlorates, permanganate's, organics, carbides, fulminates, picrates, metals or water.



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