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Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals
Reactivity and Incompatibility
Violent reaction may occur on exposure to strong acids and bases, amines, strong oxidants, copper, and bromine. Violent polymerization can be initiated by heat, light, strong bases, peroxides, and azo compounds.
Storage and Handling
Because of its carcinogenicity and flammability, acrylonitrile should be handled using the "basic prudent practices" of Chapter 5.C, supplemented by the additional precautions for work with compounds of high chronic toxicity (Chapter 5.D) and extremely flammable substances (Chapter 5.F). In particular, work with acrylonitrile should be conducted in a fume hood to prevent exposure by inhalation, and splash goggles and impermeable gloves should be worn at all times to prevent eye and skin contact. Acrylonitrile should be used only in areas free of ignition sources. Containers of acrylonitrile should be stored in secondary containers in the dark in areas separate from oxidizers and bases.
In the event of skin contact, immediately wash with soap and water and remove contaminated clothing. In case of eye contact, promptly wash with copious amounts of water for 15 min (lifting upper and lower lids occasionally) and obtain medical attention. If acrylonitrile is ingested, obtain medical attention immediately. If large amounts of this compound are inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once.
In the event of a spill, remove all ignition sources, soak up the acrylonitrile with a spill pillow or absorbent material, place in an appropriate container, and dispose of properly. Evacuation and cleanup using respiratory protection may be necessary in the event of a large spill or release in a confined area.
Excess acrylonitrile and waste material containing this substance should be placed in an appropriate container, clearly labeled, and handled according to your institution's waste disposal guidelines. For more information on disposal procedures, see Chapter 7 of this volume.