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Topic: Safety precautions: NaOH  (Read 35423 times)

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Offline Lilly

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Safety precautions: NaOH
« on: April 30, 2008, 07:33:25 PM »
I just needed to ask, Is 0.4M concentration of NaOH safe to use in a laboratory?
What precautions can be taken to ensure safety?



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Offline nj_bartel

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Re: Safety precautions: NaOH
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008, 01:35:29 AM »
Typical lab attire - latex gloves, goggles, jeans, full shoes are more than enough protection.  That's very weak stuff.

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Safety precautions: NaOH
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008, 07:49:58 AM »
There should be general rules on the topic and related topics, posted in the lab, or required reading before you enter the facility, for liability reasons.  I recognize from your other posts, that you're working out an experiment from scratch, but things like "what to wear", "where the eyewash station is", and "where does waste go" aren't the sorts of things you're supposed to formulate yourself, there rules are written down somewhere, and if there's an accident (perhaps entirely unrelated to your weak solution of NaOH,) you don't want to start any sort of answer with, "I heard on-line ...", you instead want to say, "I followed the written procedure ..."
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline limpet chicken

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Re: Safety precautions: NaOH
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2008, 04:08:21 PM »
Thats not particularly strong NaOH, it probably won't burn your skin fast at all, although taking a bath in it, I may add, is not a reccomended limpet chicken(tm) procedure ;D

Above all else, wear goggles, I myself would be fairly comfortable working with an 0.4m solution without gloves, if I had no access to them at the time, but goggles, always, ALWAYS wear 'em, I lost most of the vision in my right eye through having boiling NaOH/solvent solution blown out of a narrow-necked flask and into my face during a rxn gone runaway, now unless I wear my glasses, I can't see jack s#*$ from more than 2 feet away in that eye, just fuzz, so please, always wear goggles, the moment you neglect them, is for sure, going to be the one, solitary moment when something chooses to give you an eyeful.
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Offline Gerard

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Re: Safety precautions: NaOH
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2008, 02:19:55 PM »
I just needed to ask, Is 0.4M concentration of NaOH safe to use in a laboratory?
What precautions can be taken to ensure safety?




sodium hydroxide even at the most limited concentration,or any solution from a strong acid or base, should be treated as hazardous and corrosive....
that is the main rule of the thumb
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Online DrCMS

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Re: Safety precautions: NaOH
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2008, 05:29:56 PM »
Anything less than ~2% is only classed as an irritant so don't worry too much about it.

Offline Gerard

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Re: Safety precautions: NaOH
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2008, 12:06:09 PM »
uhm i still consider that as dangerous...,mild irritant maybe...just to be safe..
"Charles! Charles! That's it Mr. Charles Darwin get out of this room, I told you once and I told you twice not to tease your fellow Mr. Arrhenius!"

Online DrCMS

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Re: Safety precautions: NaOH
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2008, 06:04:45 AM »
uhm i still consider that as dangerous...,mild irritant maybe...just to be safe..

Well I do not.  I get very annoyed with people who want to consider every chemical as "dangerous". 

Look at the real evidence to determine the hazards.  Do not rely on hearsay but look as the MSDS/label for the risk phrases associated with the concentration you'll be using.  Think about how you'll be handling the material and how much you'll be handling to determine your real risks.  Then with that information decide what you need to do to do it safely.

Doing a titration with 25ml of 0.4M caustic in the lab and I'd just wear safety glasses.

Pushing 1T of hot 0.4M caustic through a presure filter at 75°C and 3 bar of back pressure and I'd wear a full chemical resistant suit and face shield.

Offline limpet chicken

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Re: Safety precautions: NaOH
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2008, 03:11:01 PM »
MSDS sheets often overstate actual danger of compounds just to cover their arses.

I had a bottle of potassium carbonate at one time that was marked with a skull and crossbones, and corrosive 'acid-burn' stickers, do not contact skin etc.

I used it for heartburn when I was out of antacids, worked perfectly ;D
The light blinds
So behold darkness as our new light
In our darkness we can see
So with others blindness
We take flight.

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