Research Cleanroom

Are typically soluble in water.
Are corrosive.
Taste sour.
Form salts when mixed with bases.
Turn litmus paper red.
Burn organic tissues and/or inorganic materials.

Chemicals available in the clean room
Chemical Symbol Properties Special Precautions
Acetic CH3COOH Liquid and vapors cause severe burns to skin. Reacts vigorously with oxidizing agents and other acids (particularly nitric). Odor similar to that of strong vinegar. Incompatible with most other acids. Store alone!
Hydrochloric HCL Highly corrosive to skin and mucous membranes. Repeated exposure causes erosion of teeth. Strong chlorine odor detectable at 1-5 PPM.
Hydrofluoric HF Liquid and vapors cause burns that may not be immediately painful or visible. HF attacks glass. HF looks like water and can kill in small amounts. Found in Buffered Oxide Etch (BOE). Use only plastic containers.
Nitric HNO3 Highly corrosive to skin, mucous membranes and teeth. Highly reactive with acetic acid. Reacts explosively with combustible organic or other oxidizable materials. Use only glass containers.
Phosphoric H3PO4 Liquid is highly irritating to skin. Vapors are highly toxic. Contact with most metals causes formation of flammable and explosive hydrogen gas.
Sulfuric H2SO4 Liquid and vapors are extremely corrosive to skin and mucous membranes. Generates heat upon contact with water. Reacts with acetic acid. Keep away from water.
Ammonium Hydroxide NH4OH Irritating to skin and mucous membranes. Emits highly toxic vapors when heated.
Ammonium Fluoride NH4F Highly toxic and irritating to skin and mucous membranes. Emits toxic vapors when heated or when in contact with acids.
Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2 Strong oxidizing agent. Irritating to skin and mucous membranes. Reacts violently with acids and organic solvents. Cap with vented cap. Do not boil in open vessels, may cause explosion.

Specical Handling:
Hydrofluoric Acid
Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is EXTREMELY dangerous. Be extra attentive when working with HF. HF is colorless and odorless; it looks and smells like water. HF is an ingredient in many oxide etches which are used to etch glass. Because of the danger, only trained personnel should pour HF. According to DuPontís MSDS, HF will:

Penetrate skin. Attack (decalcify) bones.
React with your bodyís chemicals to make poisonous salts.
HF may:
Kill if more than 5% of the body is exposed.
Kill if ingested or inhaled.
Depending on concentration, not cause pain for up to 24 hours after contact.

Some of the symptoms of HF exposure are:
Red or white discoloration of the skin.
Pain within 24 hours after contact.
Discoloration under fingernails or toenails.

Sulfuric Acid
When heating sulfuric acid, a mist will form. The sulfuric acid mist is a known carcinogen. As such, trained personnel should only use sulfuric acid in fume hoods. In all cases of chemical exposure, report the incident to the lab manager and seek medical attention immediately.

Chemical Spills
Try to prevent spills from happening. When a spill does occur, follow these guidelines.

If there are fumes, leave and evacuate others immediately.
Do not attempt to wipe up the spill.
Do not dilute the spill.
Block off the area.

Contact one of the following people starting at the top of the list for cleanup:
Karl Dersch office - 353-1959, cell -
Brian Wright office - 355-5233, cell - 525-5630
Dr. Tim Hogan office - 432-3176, cell -