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Author Topic: Eyewash advice for home lab?  (Read 1467 times)

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Consequentium

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Eyewash advice for home lab?
« on: June 01, 2017, 07:11:30 AM »

Hello, I'm coming close to finishing my B.S. in chemistry, and I've been happy to tinker and putter around with chemistry and electronics at home. Nothing fancy, but I find it helpful to "convince myself" of things as I learn about them, and I get a fair amount of benefit in terms of experience with azeotropic and other distillation techniques and old-school separations and identification techniques (modern spectroscopy means it's not something I was ever formally taught.) Electrochemistry is also something I do a fair amount of.

I do like to be very safe: I have a lot of strong acids, bases, and solvents. I store them carefully (separate acids and bases, I keep as little solvent as possible, synthesize ethers only when I need them etc.) I have an ABC fire extinguisher handy. Gloves, goggles, etc. Spray bottles with vinegar and baking soda solutions. I mention all of this in case it helps people understand what the possible issues are.

TL;DR: I'm pretty safe, but I don't have a great eyewash setup. I have two gallon bottles of distilled water in a dedicated area (near the first aid kit) in case I need a deluge or eye wash. I was thinking of buying one of those buffered eyewash kits, but I'm not sure it's an advantage. I work in a finished basement, but I'm pretty far from a sink. I was wondering if people had more advice on the subject.

I may seem a bit overcautious, but honestly, even a small disaster would probably complicate my life a great deal.
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Enthalpy

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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 11:43:55 PM »

In a basement, I'd worry about toxic gases.
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marquis

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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2017, 07:58:20 AM »

There are bottled solutions, ( do a quick search of the Haws 7543 single bottle personal emergency eyewash station).  They are not as good as eyewash stations,  it a lot better than nothing. And relatively inexpensive.

Enthalpy has a point about chemical gases.  It is a cause of concern. 

Myself, I'm happy you are serious about safety.  Many people say they are, but don't train or prepare for safety issues.  Good luck.
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Consequentium

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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 02:39:26 PM »

In a basement, I'd worry about toxic gases.

I worry about that too, I work near one of those high basement windows and have a box fan pushing air out of it above the workspace. I also do electronics work in that area, so I also have small fume extractor for soldering. Not really as good as the box fan, though. 
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billnotgatez

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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 08:27:35 PM »

@Consequentium
Have you thought about making your own fume hood?
http://www.instructables.com/howto/fume+hood/

@marquis
Is this an example of what you suggest for Personal eyewash station
Haws 7543 Single Bottle Personal Emergency Eyewash Station, (1) Sterile Saline Solution Bottle
https://www.eyewashdirect.com/haws-7543-single-bottle-personal-emergency-eyewash-c2610689

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Consequentium

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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 01:27:20 PM »

@Consequentium
Have you thought about making your own fume hood?
http://www.instructables.com/howto/fume+hood/


I HAVE!!! And I am really interested to see what people are doing on that front. My big problem at this point is that it's a lot of effort before I move to new place, for something I'm not sure I'll be able to take with me. But I do kind of like the oven fan idea. I had to install one of those not too long ago, and it's not at all a bad option if you can vent it out a window. But it might be worth considering the very next place I move to.
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P

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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2017, 10:54:26 PM »

Regarding eye washing - it sounds like you are taking the right kind of precaution  -  mainly having a squeezy bottle to flush the eye with somewhere easily assessable by the sink. I like to have a mirror there too so I can look at myself to inspect the skin/eye if it has been splashed...  and to admire ones own reflection of course. :-)
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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 08:40:14 AM »

For an eye wash you want to make sure it can dispense a lot of liquid in a short amount of time, because the goal is to really flush the eyes. A regular wash bottle doesn't really fit the bill.
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hypervalent_iodine

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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 05:55:01 PM »

If you have a sink or some sort of faucet in your space, can you not rig something up with that? I'm thinking of something along the lines of flexible hosing connected to the tap, so you could manoeuvre it to flush out your eyes easily enough.
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Consequentium

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Re: Eyewash advice for home lab?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2017, 04:07:44 PM »

For an eye wash you want to make sure it can dispense a lot of liquid in a short amount of time, because the goal is to really flush the eyes. A regular wash bottle doesn't really fit the bill.

Yeah, that's why I was going for a few gallon jugs... more of a chemical shower concept. If one runs out, I can grab another, no problem, and the lids can be flipped off rather fast. That's actually why I'm skeptical of the little half-liter wash bottles that are sold as eyewash kits--it doesn't seem like enough.

If you have a sink or some sort of faucet in your space, can you not rig something up with that? I'm thinking of something along the lines of flexible hosing connected to the tap, so you could manoeuvre it to flush out your eyes easily enough.

There is a sink, but it's all the way on the other side of the basement. I don't have my space set up near there because there's food kept nearby there in a fridge, and I keep an electric kettle there for coffee and tea, etc. I did briefly perform experiments there on a small portion of counter space, with the reasoning that I would put anything food related away and then promptly clean up after myself. But I realized after the very first experiment I performed in that area it was untenable: I spilled hot copper sulfate solution and while most of it got caught in a plastic container lid, a couple of drops landed on the actual countertop and dried quickly. It took a little doing to actually remove the stain. It's just too easy to ruin a space for food use.

The basement is the size of the footprint of the house, so I'm not keen on having to find my way there from an opposite corner if seconds count. I run water through my condensers and so on using a fish pump in a bucket, and I keep gallons of distilled water on hand, so I usually don't need a sink except for final cleaning of glassware, and I'm starting doing that in a dedicated set of plastic tub to avoid food cross contamination. Pretty much all the sinks in the house are used either for cleaning dishes or cleaning people. It used to be less of a concern, but I've started doing things with heavy metals lately.
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