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Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals
should be conducted in a fume hood under an inert gas such as nitrogen or argon. Safety glasses, impermeable gloves, and a fire-retardant laboratory coat are required.
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 butyllithium solution is ingested, obtain medical attention immediately. If large amounts of butyllithium solution are inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once.
In the event of a spill, remove all ignition sources, and allow the butyllithium to react with atmospheric moisture. Carefully treat the residue with water, soak up with a spill pillow or absorbent material, place in an appropriate container, and dispose of properly. Respiratory protection may be necessary in the event of a large spill or release in a confined area.
Excess butyllithium solution can be destroyed by dilution with hydrocarbon solvent to a concentration of approximately 5 wt %, followed by gradual addition to water with vigorous stirring under an inert atmosphere. Alternatively, the butyllithium solution can be slowly poured (transfer by cannula for s- or t-butyllithium) into a plastic tub or other container of powdered dry ice.
The residues from the above procedures and excess butyllithium 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.