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CHEMICAL HANDLING
IS YOUR SAFETY AT RISK?


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CHEMICAL HANDLING

Successful hydroponic cultivation involves the use of various aggressive liquid Chemicals. Some of these liquids are extremely dangerous indeed and require very careful handling.

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL

1. ALWAYS keep all hazardous materials under lock and key and always OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN.

2 ALWAYS wear goggles, gloves and appropriate safety clothing when handling aggressive liquids.

3. ALWAYS ensure that a good supply of fresh water is close to hand in case of accidental spillages. _____________________________________________

Orthophosphoric acid ( H3PO4) is used at high concentrations in products for lowering pH. The concentration may be very strong so handle with care. This is a very dense liquid and should feel much heavier than water. Often found in kettle and boiler descaling fluids it is very corrosive and burns skin easily.

Concentrated Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) is a very caustic liquid and should be handled with extreme care. In hydroponics is used to raise pH. This chemical is often used in oven cleaners and is extremely damaging to skin, causing deep burns and often bad scarring.

Never mix concentrated chemicals together.

Potassium Silicate is used to adjust pH in some nutrient tanks. It is also used as a foliar mist. It causes chemical burns to skin and soft tissue. If inhaled as a mist it can cause severe burns to the nasal passages, throat and lungs. Exposure to the eyes can cause permanent loss of vision. Ingestion may cause damage to the digestive tract.

Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) is a very unstable liquid and should be treated with great caution. At low concentrations it is quite gentle on skin, being used to clean minor wounds, however this chemical can be dangerous in its concentrated form as it is a powerful oxidant. In hydroponics it is used to add Oxygen to nutrient solutions.

It is not recommended to dilute Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide.

It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED the grower dilute the solutions before use wherever it is safe to do so.

1. Diluting the solution renders it correspondingly safer to handle.
2. Diluting the solution makes it easier to use. More is required so dosing is less critical. (less chance of mistakes).

ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS MUST STILL BE ADHERED TO.

Five Litre plastic Jerry cans are ideal for storing diluted pH control solutions. Tap water should be added to the can first and then the pH solution added slowly and carefully before mixing them together thoroughly.

Example:
250-ml Orthophosphoric Acid (81%) is added to about 4750-ml water in a 5 Litre container. 250 ml H3PO4 at 81% + 4750ml water = 5 L H3PO4 at about 4 % a 1:20 dilution.

Please note that these numbers are approximate. Exact measurements are not needed provided that the grower is using a meter to measure his pH.

We recommend the use of a pipette or syringe as the best and safest way to measure and transfer hazardous liquids.

Personal Safety Precautions
Protective Clothing, safety goggles, rubber or plastic gloves must be worn.

Adequate ventilation is needed for safe handling of chemicals.

Always remember that a small amount of chemical will try to fill the available space and may cause permanent injury or even death in an enclosed space.

Goggles are essential for eye safety when handling aggressive liquids.

First Aid Measures

Eyes:
Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting the upper and lower lids. Get medical aid immediately.

Do NOT allow victim to rub or keep eyes closed.

Skin:
Get medical aid immediately. Immediately flush skin with plenty of soap and water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Discard contaminated clothing in a manner which limits further exposure.

Ingestion:
Do NOT induce vomiting. If victim is conscious and alert, give 2-4 cupfuls of milk or water. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Get medical aid immediately.

Inhalation:
Get medical aid immediately. Remove to fresh air immediately. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen.

Note to Physician:
Treat symptomatically and supportively.

Click here for more information about
chemical handling and safety.



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