Corrosive Materials; Flammable Materials; Oxidizers; Moisture Reactive; Compressed Gases; Toxic and Poisonous Substances

Standard Operating Procedure No. 3


Scope: Liquids:  Nitric and Perchloric Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide (>30%)

Solids:  Iodine, Peroxides, Perchlorates, Periodates, Chlorates, Bromates, Iodates, Chlorites, Hypochlorites, Permanganates, Persulfates, Dichromates, Nitrates and Nitrites

Gases:  Halogen Gases – Chlorine, Bromine, Fluorine

Storage: Liquids:  Liquid oxidizers are highly reactive.  See specific SOP for perchloric acid.  Nitric acid is highly corrosive and causes immediate burns to human tissue.  It reacts violently with all organic substances, and explosively with metal powders, solvents, and reducing agents such as carbides, sulfides and hydrides.  Hydrogen peroxide may violently decompose on contact with common metals and their salts.  It can ignite combustible materials on contact.  Mixtures of hydrogen peroxide and organics may create sensitive explosive combinations.

Solids:  All solid oxidizers exhibit corrosive effects when contacted with human tissue.  Many are capable of immediate explosion and violent decomposition if subjected to heat, shock and/or friction.  All possess explosive hazards when contacted with easily oxidizable organic substances, metals, and reducing agents.  Finely divided forms increase the oxidizer’s potential for explosion.  All are considered toxic by inhalation.  Toxicity is increased when involved in fires and explosions.

Gases:  Halogens are highly reactive oxidizers and considered highly toxic.  They react with most oxidizable materials at normal room temperatures, often vigorously enough to ignite.  Pressurized cylinders allow rapid release of the gas and present physical hazards from flying debris.  Introduction of contaminates (e.g. oil) into cylinder equipment such as valve regulators can cause explosion.

Storage: Liquids:  Containers should be protected or made from glass with safety coated plastic film.  Segregate from other acids and oxidizable substances.  Keep containers at room temperature and tightly sealed.  Use inert stoppers, not rubber or cork. 

Solids:  Store containers according to standard laboratory storage patterns in use (e.g. Flynn) and ensure segregation from oxidizable substances.  Protect area from sunlight, heat, shock, and accidental contact.  Keep containers tightly sealed at all times.

Gases:  Cylinders must be secured at all times.  Valves must be shut off when not in use.  Cylinders may not be located within 20 feet of Oxygen cylinders.

PPE: Liquids:  Safety Goggles; Gloves; Instructor Lab-coat

Solids:  Safety Goggles; Gloves; Instructor Lab-coat

Gases:  Safety Goggles; Gloves; Instructor Lab-coat

Usage: Liquids:  Liquids should be transferred in hood.  Keep amounts outside of hood to the absolute minimum required for the experiment.  Heating increases the potential for violent reaction and explosion and should be done with great care.  When diluting nitric acid, always add the acid to the water under gentle agitation.

Solids:  Handle all solids with great care, being careful not to shock container.  Do not drop.  Ensure transfer materials (e.g. spatula) are not contaminated.  Experiments with concentrated oxidizers must only be performed in hood.  Do not grind these substances.  Ensure container lip is free from substance particles before replacing cap.  Ensure only the amount necessary for the experiment is removed from the container.

Gases:  Open cylinder valves and regulators slowly to prevent rupture of attached tubing.  Ensure cylinders are well secured.  Do not use gases near sources of oxidizable materials.  Ensure connection material and thread wrap is compatible with gas being used.  Close regulators and valves when finished with experiment.  Do not transport unless caps are securely fastened.

Waste: Liquids, Solids, Gases:  Contact Maine Department of Environmental Protection for details.  Wastes may be hazardous in nature requiring disposal by a DEP-licensed contractor.