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9.2: Safety

  • Page ID
    212004
  • II. Safety of Chemicals1

    You will be handling a number of chemicals during this experiment, all of which must be treated with care in order to avoid harm to yourself or to the surroundings. None of these chemicals should be ingested or allowed to come in contact with your skin and eyes. You must take extra precautions to avoid breathing the vapors from these chemicals. Assume that all of these volatile organic chemicals are flammable and each could be irritable to the eyes, skin and respiratory system. Descriptions of each of the chemicals follow with a brief summary of their properties.

    Methanol

    Flammable liquid and vapor. Harmful if inhaled. May be fatal or cause blindness if swallowed. May cause central nervous system depression. May cause digestive tract irritation with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Causes respiratory tract irritation. May cause liver, kidney and heart damage. Target Organs: Kidneys, heart, central nervous system, liver, eyes.

    Ethanol

    Flammable liquid and vapor. May cause central nervous system depression. Causes severe eye irritation. Causes respiratory tract irritation. Causes moderate skin irritation. This substance has caused adverse reproductive and fetal effects in humans. Warning! May cause liver, kidney and heart damage. Target Organs: Kidneys, heart, central nervous system, liver.

    1-Propanol

    Flammable volatile organic liquid. Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin, may affect central nervous system. Causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract. Aspiration may cause lung damage.

    2-Propanol

    May cause central nervous system depression. May form explosive peroxides. Flammable liquid and vapor. Hygroscopic. Causes respiratory tract irritation. Aspiration hazard if swallowed. This material has been reported to be susceptible to autoxidation and therefore should be classified as peroxidizable. Causes eye irritation. Breathing vapors may cause drowsiness and dizziness. Prolonged or repeated contact causes defatting of the skin with irritation, dryness, and cracking. Target Organs: Central nervous system, respiratory system, eyes, skin.

    1-Butanol

    An eye and skin irritant. A sensitizer, which is hazardous in case of contact with skin. Contact may be characterized by itching, redness and sometimes blister formation.

    2-Butanol

    Avoid direct heat, open flame. Avoid contact with strong oxidizing agents and strong acids and bases. Exposure can cause irritation to the respiratory tract, dizziness, headache, nausea, and narcosis. Liquid and high vapor concentrations can be irritating, and can cause conjunctivitis and corneal burns.

    2-Methyl-1-Propanol

    Flammable. Irritating to respiratory system and skin. Vapor may cause drowsiness and dizziness.

    1-Pentanol

    Hazardous irritant in case of skin (permeator) or eye contact. Hazardous in case of ingestion or inhalation.

    1-Hexanol

    An irritant if exposed to skin, eyes and respiratory tract. May cause inflammation in the eyes with characteristic redness, watering and itching. Repeated exposure can result in target organ damage.

    1-Octanol

    Skin, eye and respiratory tract irritant. Prolonged repeated skin contact may cause dermatitis.

    3-Methyl-1-butanol

    Highly flammable. High vapor concentrations are irritating to eyes and upper respiratory tract. Contact with skin may cause irritation.

    Benzyl alcohol

    Sensitizer slightly hazardous in case of skin contact. Repeated prolonged exposure can produce target organ damage. May be toxic to liver and central nervous system (CNS).

    Benzoic Acid

    Eye, skin and respiratory irritant. Dust and liquid may cause mild irritation and redness. Ingestion of large amounts can cause coughing, nausea and vomiting.

    Formic Acid

    Contact with the eyes causes severe burns. Could result in scarring and ulceration. Causes severe burns on skin contact. Can sensitize the skin causing an allergic reaction. Could result in blistering of the skin on contact. Ingestion or breathing in the vapor could cause sever burning in the digestive tract resulting in abdominal pain, vomiting and possible death. Vapors can cause dizziness, nausea, itching, burning, and swelling of the eyes.

    Butyric Acid

    Hazardous in terms of contact with skin, eyes or respiratory system. Contact with skin could cause burns. The vapor or mist can produce tissue damage targets include the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and respiratory tract. Inhalation could cause coughing, choking and shortness of breath.

    Propanoic Acid

    Hazardous in terms of contact with skin, eyes or respiratory system. Contact with skin could cause burns. The vapor or mist can produce tissue damage targets include the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and respiratory tract. Inhalation could cause coughing, choking and shortness of breath. Eye inflammation will show up as redness, itching and watering. Skin inflammation is generally characterized by redness, itching and blistering.

    Acetic Acid

    Hazardous in terms of contact with skin, eyes or respiratory system. Contact with skin could cause burns. The vapor or mist can produce tissue damage targets include the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and respiratory tract. Inhalation could cause coughing, choking and shortness of breath. Eye inflammation will show up as redness, itching and watering. Skin inflammation is generally characterized by redness, itching and blistering. Repeated or prolonged breathing of the mist or vapor can result in respiratory tract irritation eventually leading to frequent attacks of bronchial infection.

    Isobutryric Acid

    Hazardous in terms of contact with skin, eyes or respiratory system. Contact with skin could cause burns. The vapor or mist can produce tissue damage targets include the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and respiratory tract. Inhalation could cause coughing, choking and shortness of breath. Eye inflammation will show up as redness, itching and watering. Skin inflammation is generally characterized by redness, itching and blistering. Repeated or prolonged breathing of the mist or vapor can result in respiratory tract irritation eventually leading to frequent attacks of bronchial infection.

    Pentanoic Acid

    Hazardous in terms of contact with skin, eyes or respiratory system. Contact with skin could cause burns. The vapor or mist can produce tissue damage targets include the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and respiratory tract. Inhalation could cause coughing, choking and shortness of breath. Eye inflammation will show up as redness, itching and watering. Skin inflammation is generally characterized by redness, itching and blistering. Repeated or prolonged breathing of the mist or vapor can result in respiratory tract irritation eventually leading to frequent attacks of bronchial infection.

    Iso-Pentanoic Acid (3-Methyl-butanoic) (Isovaleric Acid)

    Hazardous in terms of contact with skin, eyes or respiratory system. Contact with skin could cause burns. The vapor or mist can produce tissue damage targets include the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, and respiratory tract. Inhalation could cause coughing, choking and shortness of breath. Eye inflammation will show up as redness, itching and watering. Skin inflammation is generally characterized by redness, itching and blistering. Repeated or prolonged breathing of the mist or vapor can result in respiratory tract irritation eventually leading to frequent attacks of bronchial infection. Severe over exposure can result in death.

    Sulfuric Acid

    Concentrated sulfuric acid is used in this lab and causes severe burns on skin and clothing. Do not inhale the vapor severe lung damage can result. An extremely corrosive acid handle carefully. Causes sever eye burns which could result in irreversible eye injury. A corrosive oxidizer may be fatal if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. If inhaled may cause severe damage to respiratory tract resulting in coughing, shortness of breath and delayed lung edema. Destructive to tissue in mucous membranes. Can cause severe burns to the respiratory tract. Prolonged breathing of the vapors may cause nosebleeds, chest pain, and bronchitis. Contact with many organic chemicals can cause fire and explosion.

    Ester BP °C Density g/cm3 20nD Aroma
    Amyl acetate 149 0.876 1.4023 Banana
    Benzyl acetate 212 1.054 15232 Peach
    Butyl acetate 126.1 0.883 1.3941 Banana/Apple
    Ethyl acetate 77.1 0.902 1.3724 Pear
    Hexyl acetate 171.5 0.867 1.4092 Plum
    Isoamyl acetate 142 0.876 1.4000 Banana
    Isobutyl acetate 118 0.875 1.3902 Fruity/floral
    Octyl acetate 203-211 0.868 ± 1.4205 Orange
    Prenyl acetate 149.7 0.917 ± 1.4290 Juicy Fruit
    Propyl acetate 102 0.888 1.3844 Pear
    Ethyl benzoate 211-213 1.045 1.5040 Fruity
    Amyl butyrate 186 0.883 1.4100 Apricot
    Ethyl isobutyrate 112-113 0.865 1.387 Fruity
    Butyl butyrate 165 0.869 ± 1.4060 Pineapple
    Ethyl butyrate 120-121 0.879 1.392 Pineapple
    Isopentyl butyrate 184-185 0.862 1.411 Fruity
    Methyl butyrate 102 0.898 1.385 Raspberry
    Ethyl formate 54 0.921 1.3597 Rum
    Isobutyl formate 98.4 0.885 1.385 Raspberry
    Methyl isovalerate 116-117 0.881 ± 1.3950 Perfumes
    Methyl pentanoate 126 0.890 1.397 Fruity
    Isoamyl valerate 204 0.872 ± 1.4140 Apples
    Ethyl propanoate 98.9 0.888 1.3844 Pineapple
    Isobutyl propanoate 136.8 0.869 1.397 Rum
    Methyl propanoate 80 0.915 1.3775 Rum like
    Propyl propanoate 122-124 0.881 1.393 Pineapple

    Table 1: Physical properties of some organic esters.

    Sigma Aldrich & Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 84th Edition, CRC Press

    Footnotes

    1 Various Material Safety Data Sheets: Mallinckrodt Chemicals, J. T. Baker, Phillipsburg, NJ; Fisher Scientific, MSDS, Pittsburgh, PA

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