The vapors of all organic solvents are toxic some

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Unformatted text preview: with the skin, all organic solvents cause dryness and cracking. The vapors of all organic solvents are toxic, some more so than others. Typical symptoms from overexposure to organic solvent vapors include dizziness, slurred speech, unconsciousness and, rarely, death. Typically affected are the central nervous system, the liver, and the kidneys. Avoid skin contact with these liquids. When present in your breathing air, their vapors must be at concentrations less than the PEL or TLV, whichever is lower. A few organic solvents (e.g., ethers, some non-aromatic unsaturated cyclic hydrocarbons) can form potentially explosive peroxides. These solvents are particularly dangerous if they are evaporated close to dryness. Your instructor can provide details. Always consult the MSDS before proceeding with laboratory work involving any organic solvent. 21 students short index 1/15/03 12:45 PM Page 22 Acids and Bases All strong acids and bases and some weak acids and slightly soluble bases (e.g., glacial acetic acid, hydrofluoric acid, hydrobromic acid, calcium hydroxide) are corrosive. When in contact with the eyes or the skin, they irreversibly destroy living tissue. The more concentrated the acid or base and/or the longer the contact, the greater the destruction. Some acids and bases start damaging within 15 seconds of contact. All of the hydrogen halides are acids; their aqueous solutions are toxic, and their vapors are serious respiratory irritants. Hydrogen fluoride poses a special danger. Both gaseous hydrogen fluoride and its aqueous solution, hydrofluoric acid, are toxic and are rapidly absorbed through the skin, penetrating deeply and destroying the underlying tissues. Contact with a dilute solution of hydrofluoric acid is usually painless for several hours, but then serious burns appear along with adverse internal effects and excruciating pain. First aid procedures for hydrofluoric acid exposures are complex, requiring prior preparation of a special gel and other measures. T...
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