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Common Chemicals

Common materials - why they are here and what they are used for:

Anhydrous Ammonia

Hazard Description:

Ammonia is an irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes, respiratory tract and mucous membranes. May cause severe chemical burns to the eyes, lungs and skin. Skin and respiratory related diseases could be aggravated by exposure.

Use:

Anhydrous Ammonia is stored as a liquid in high-pressure tanks at agricultural chemical retailers. AA is off-loaded from large bulk tanks into smaller trailer nurse tanks that are then plumbed to a farm implement that injects the AA into the soil. Anhydrous ammonia is also used as a refrigerant and in a wide variety of other chemicals and products.

Effects of Over Exposure:

Eye: Tearing, edema or blindness may occur.

Skin: Irritation, corrosive burns, blister formation may result. Contact with liquid may produce a caustic burn and frostbite.

Inhalation: Acute exposure may result in severe irritation of the respiratory tract, bronchospasm, pulmonary edema or respiratory arrest.

Ingestion: Lung irritation and pulmonary edema may occur.

EMERGENCY AID: Dial 9-1-1

What to do if Over Exposed

Eye: Flush with copious amounts of water for a minimum of 20 minutes. Eyelids should be held apart and away from eyeball for thorough rinsing.

Skin: Flush with copious amounts of water for a minimum of 20 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Do not rub or apply ointment on affected area. Clothing may initially freeze to skin. Ensure clothing is not frozen prior to removal.

Inhalation: Remove to fresh air. Administer oxygen or artificial respiration, if necessary.

Ingestion: If conscious, give large amounts of water to drink. May drink orange juice, citrus juice or diluted vinegar to counteract ammonia.

DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING! 

Chlorine

Hazard Description:

Chlorine is a very dangerous material. Liquid chlorine burns the skin and gaseous chlorine irritates the mucus membranes.

Use:

Chlorine is commonly used as an antiseptic and is used to make drinking water safe and to treat swimming pools. Large amounts of chlorine are used in many industrial processes, such as in the production of paper products, plastics, dyes, textiles, medicines, antiseptics, insecticides, solvents and paints.

Effects of Over Exposure:

Eye: Exposure to chlorine gas may cause severe eye damage. Direct contact of the eyes with liquid chlorine will produce serious eye burns even blindness.

Skin: Contact with liquid chlorine may cause serious burns, blistering and tissue destruction. Chlorine vapors can cause irritation, burning and blisters.

Inhalation: Major potential route of exposure. Exposure to chlorine gas may cause severe irritation of mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and respiratory tract followed by severe coughing, burning, chest pain, vomiting, headache, anxiety, and feeling of suffocation. Severe breathing difficulties may occur and may be fatal. Repeated or prolonged exposure may result in reduced pulmonary capacity and dental erosion.

Ingestion: Ingestion of liquid chlorine may result in severe irritation or ulceration of the mouth, throat and digestive tract which may be displayed by nausea, pain, vomiting, cyanosis (lack of oxygen in the blood), and, in severe cases, collapse, shock and death.

EMERGENCY AID: Dial 9-1-1

What to do if Over Exposed

Eye: If liquid chlorine or high concentrations of chlorine gas get into the eyes, flush eyes immediately with a directed stream of water for at least 15 minutes while forcibly holding eyelids apart to ensure complete irrigation of all eye and lid tissue. Do not attempt chemical neutralization of any kind. Contact lenses should not be worn when working with chlorine.

Skin: If liquid chlorine or high concentrations of chlorine gas get on the skin, immediately flush the contaminated skin with water for at least 15 minutes. If liquid chlorine or high concentrations of chlorine gas penetrate through the clothing, remove clothing under a safety shower and continue to wash the skin for at least 15 minutes. Wash clothing before reuse. Destroy contaminated shoes.

Inhalation: If a person breathes in large amounts of chlorine, move the exposed person to fresh air at once. If breathing has stopped, perform artificial respiration. Keep the affected person warm and at rest.

Ingestion: Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. If swallowed, Give large quantities of water. If vomiting occurs spontaneously, keep airway clear and give more water.

DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING! 

Hydrogen

Hazard Description:

Hydrogen is a colorless gas with no odor. It is non-toxic; the immediate health hazard is that it may cause thermal burns. It is flammable and may form mixtures with air that are flammable or explosive. Hydrogen may react violently if combined with oxidizers, such as air, oxygen, and halogens.

Use:

Hydrogen is a commercially important element. Large amounts of hydrogen are combined with nitrogen from the air to produce ammonia. Hydrogen is also added to fats and oils, such as peanut oil, through a process called hydrogenation. Liquid hydrogen is used in the study of superconductors and, when combined with liquid oxygen, makes an excellent rocket fuel. Hydrogen combines with other elements to form numerous compounds. Some of the common ones are: water, ammonia, methane, table sugar, hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid.

Effects of Over Exposure:

Eye: none

Skin: none

Inhalation: Asphyxiation is the primary health risk.

Ingestion: none

EMERGENCY AID: Dial 9-1-1

What to do if Over Exposed

Remove the affected person from the gas source or contaminated area. Note: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including positive pressure, self contained breathing apparatus, may be required to assure the safety of the rescuer. The concentration required for asphyxiation is above the upper flammable limit. A boundary region, in the flammable range, may exist between contaminated and uncontaminated areas.

  • If the affected person is not breathing, administer rescue breathing.
  • If the affected person does not have a pulse, administer CPR.
  • If medical oxygen and appropriately trained personnel are available, administer 100% oxygen to the affected person.
  • Call for an ambulance. If an ambulance is not available, contact a physician, hospital, or poison control center for instruction.
  • Keep the affected person warm, comfortable, and at rest while awaiting professional medical care. Monitor the breathing and pulse continuously. Administer rescue breathing or CPR if necessary.

Muriatic/Hydrochloric Acid

Hazard Description:

Clear, colorless to faintly yellow. Causes eye and skin burns. May cause severe respiratory and digestive tract irritation with possible burns. The chemical substance is the water-based solution of hydrogen chloride (HCl) gas. It is a strong acid and of wide industrial use. As a highly corrosive liquid, hydrochloric acid should be handled only with appropriate safety precautions. Hydrochloric acid, or muriatic acid by its historical but still occasionally used name, has been an important and frequently used chemical from early history.

Use:

It became an important industrial chemical for many applications, including the large scale production of organic compounds such as vinyl chloride for PVC plastic, polyurethane and small scale applications, such as production of gelatin and other ingredients in food, and leather processing.

Effects of Over Exposure:

Eye: May cause irreversible eye injury. Vapor or mist may cause irritation and severe burns. Contact with liquid is corrosive to the eyes and causes severe burns. May cause painful sensitization to light.

Skin: May be absorbed through the skin in harmful amounts. Contact with liquid is corrosive and causes severe burns and ulceration.

Inhalation: Causes severe irritation of upper respiratory tract with coughing, burns, breathing difficulty, and possible coma. May cause pulmonary edema and severe respiratory disturbances.

Ingestion: May cause circulatory system failure. Causes severe digestive tract burns with abdominal pain, vomiting, and possible death. May cause corrosion and permanent tissue destruction of the esophagus and digestive tract.

EMERGENCY AID: Dial 9-1-1

What to do if Over Exposed

Eye: Flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting the upper and lower lids. Get medical aid immediately. Do NOT allow victim to rub or keep eyes closed.

Skin: Get medical aid. Rinse area with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing and shoes.

Inhalation: Remove from exposure to fresh air immediately. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical aid.

Ingestion: If victim is conscious and alert, give 2-4 cupfuls of milk or water. Get medical aid immediately.

DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING!

Oxygen

Hazard Description:

Oxygen is non-toxic under most conditions of use and is necessary to support life. Liquid Oxygen or Cold Gas will freeze tissue and can cause severe cryogenic burns. Most likely to be in a compressed gas environment and could react violently with combustible materials.

Use:

Oxygen can be combined with acetylene to produce an extremely hot flame used for welding. Liquid oxygen, when combined with liquid hydrogen, makes an excellent rocket fuel.

Effects of Over Exposure:

Eye: none

Skin: none

Inhalation: Continuous inhalation of high concentrations could lead to nausea, dizziness, respiratory difficulty, and convulsion.

Ingestion: none

EMERGENCY AID: Dial 9-1-1

What to do if Over Exposed

Eye: none

Skin: none

Inhalation: Evacuate area, initiate air ventilation, and eliminate ignition sources.

Ingestion: none

Propane

Hazard Description:

Flammable liquid gas under pressure. Can form explosive mixtures with air and may cause frostbite. Propane is non-toxic and is a simple asphyxiant, however it does have slight anesthetic properties and higher concentrations may cause dizziness.

Use:

Propane is used mostly for heating by homes, farms, businesses, and industries. Certain industries find propane well-suited to their special needs. Metal workers use small propane tanks to fuel their cutting torches and other equipment. Portable propane heaters give construction and road workers warmth in cold weather. Propane heaters at construction sites are used to dry concrete, plaster, and fuel pitch. Propane also heats asphalt for highway construction and repairs. And because propane is a very low-pollution fuel, fork-lift trucks powered by propane can operate safely inside factories and warehouses.

Effects of Over Exposure:

Eye: Contact with liquid or cold vapor could cause freezing of tissue

Skin: Contact with liquid or cold vapor could cause frostbite.

Inhalation: Simple asphyxiant. It should be noted that suffocation could occur; possibly causing both an oxygen-deficient and explosive atmosphere. Lack of sufficient oxygen may cause serious injury or death.

Ingestion: none

EMERGENCY AID: Dial 9-1-1

What to do if Over Exposed: 

Eye: Gently flush eyes with lukewarm water.

Skin: Immediately warm affected area with lukewarm water.

Inhalation: Persons suffering from lack of oxygen should be moved to fresh air. If victim is not breathing, administer artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, administer oxygen. Get immediate medical attention.

Ingestion: none

Sodium Hydroxide

Hazard Description:

Sodium hydroxide is a chemical that, when added to fats and water will facilitate the creation of soap and glycerin that we all know and love as "a bar of soap."

Use:

It is used as an acid neutralizer and for refining petroleum, manufacturing paper products, metal cleaning, detergents, and regeneration of ion exchange resins (Baking Soda).

Effects of Over Exposure:

Eye: Instantaneous painful irritation of the eyes. Can penetrate deeply causing irritation or severe burns depending on the concentration and duration of exposure. In severe cases, ulceration and blindness may occur.

Skin: Severe burning, frequently deep ulcerations and ultimate scarring. Destructive effect on tissues.

Inhalation: Irritation of respiratory tract, inflammation of lungs, difficulty breathing. May cause pulmonary edema.

Ingestion: Burning of the mouth, throat, and esophagus; vomiting; diarrhea; edema; swelling of larynx; and subsequent suffocation. Perforation of gastrointestinal tract can occur.

EMERGENCY AID: Dial 9-1-1

What to do if Over Exposed:

Eye: Flush immediately with water for at least 20 minutes. Forcibly hold eyelids apart to ensure complete irrigation of eye tissue.

Skin: Immediately flush affected area with lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes or until slippery feeling is gone. Remove contaminated clothing while under running water.

Inhalation: Remove victim to fresh air. Give artificial respiration only if breathing has stopped. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen.

Ingestion: If vomiting occurs, lean victim forward to prevent obstructive breathing. Give a cup of water to dilute chemical in stomach. If vomiting occurs, give another cup of water after vomiting. Do not give anything by mouth to an unconscious or convulsing person.

DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING!

Sulfuric Acid

Hazard Description:

A strong acid that, when concentrated is extremely corrosive to the skin and mucous membranes.

Use:

It is used in making fertilizers, dyes, and industrial explosives.

Effects of Over Exposure:

Eye: Contact can cause blurred vision, redness, pain and severe tissue burns. Can cause blindness.

Skin: Symptoms of redness, pain, and severe burn can occur. Circulatory collapse with clammy skin, weak and rapid pulse, shallow respirations, and scanty urine may follow skin contact or ingestion. Circulatory shock is often the immediate cause of death.

Inhalation: Inhalation produces damaging effects on the mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract. Symptoms may include irritation of the nose and throat, and labored breathing.

Ingestion: Swallowing can cause severe burns of the mouth, throat, and stomach, leading to death. Can cause sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea. Circulatory collapse with clammy skin, weak and rapid pulse, shallow respirations, and scanty urine may follow ingestion or skin contact. Circulatory shock is often the immediate cause of death.

EMERGENCY AID: Dial 9-1-1

What to do if Over Exposed

Eye: Immediately flush eyes with gentle but large stream of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lower and upper eyelids occasionally.

Skin: In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Wash clothing before reuse.

Inhalation: Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen.

Ingestion: Give large quantities of water. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.

DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING!