explosive above the flash point. Carbon dioxide and dry chemical extinguishers should be used to fight benzene fires.

Reactivity and Incompatibility

Fire and explosion hazard with strong oxidizers such as chlorine, oxygen, and bromine (in the presence of certain catalysts such as iron) and with strong acids.

Storage and Handling

Because of its carcinogenicity and flammability, benzene 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 benzene 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. Benzene should be used only in areas free of ignition sources.

Accidents

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 benzene 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 benzene with a spill pillow or absorbent material, place in an appropriate container, and dispose of properly. Respiratory protection should be employed during spill cleanup.

Disposal

Excess benzene 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.



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