Phosphoric Acid Storage

Phosphoric Acid Storage

compliant chemical storage lockerPhosphoric acid is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid. Phosphoric acid will not burn, although it can form very hazardous decomposition products. Since the acid is corrosive, contact with metals can increase flammable hydrogen gas.

Chemical Applications

Phosphoric acid has many uses, from a rust inhibitor all the way to dentistry and orthodontics as an etching solution. The chemical is also used in fertilizer feed-stock, flux, dispersing agent, food additives, and home cleaning products.

Health Effects

Main routes of exposure from phosphoric acid are from either skin contact or eye contact.The chemical is not expected to be an inhalation hazard unless heated.

Skin contact: Highly corrosive. Contact can cause pain redness, burns, and blistering.

Eye contact: Corrosive and can cause severe burns with swelling and blurred vision. Permanent damage can occur.

The chemical is not known to cause cancer.

First Aid Measures

Skin Contact: Always wear proper PPE. If PPE becomes contaminated, quickly take off contaminated clothing. Immediately flush with lukewarm water for at least 30 minutes – do not break. Immediately call the nearest poison center or emergency professional.

Eye contact: Wear proper PPE. Immediately flush contaminated eyes with lukewarm  water for at least 30 minutes. Do not attempt to remove any contact lens while flushing. Do not stop flushing during the 30 minute window. Contact a poison center or doctor immediately.

Handling and Storage Practices

Handling: Always wear proper PPE before handling any containers. Only handle where there is adequate ventilation. Avoid generating vapors or leaks. If transferring the substance to another container, ensure the new container is suitable for the product. Never reuse empty containers. Contact your local emergency response personnel if you report a leak or spill.

Storage: Store in a cool, dry and well-ventilated chemical storage building. Place containers away from direct heat and ignition sources including sunlight. Racks or shelving should contain corrosive chemical resistance. All chemical storage buildings must be properly labeled to notify employees, workers and personnel of the type of chemicals being stored. Inspect containers for any dents, cracks, leaks or spills. Vacuum relief venting and pressure relief may be necessary for safe storage. Do not handle swollen drums.

References:

OSH Answers Fact Sheets. Phosphoric Acid. CCOHS.

New Jersey Department of Health. Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet. Phosphoric Acid.

Pub Chem. Phosphoric Acid. Open Chemistry Database. Compound Summary for CID 1004. June 11, 2016.

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