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 potassium hydride or sodium hydride is ingested, obtain medical attention immediately. If sodium hydride dust is inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once.

In the event of a spill, remove all ignition sources, quench the metal hydride, whether burning or not, with a dry chemical extinguishing medium, sweep up, place in an appropriate container under an inert atmosphere, and dispose of properly. Respiratory protection may be necessary in the event of a spill or release in a confined area.

Disposal

Excess potassium or sodium hydride and waste material containing these substances should be placed in an appropriate container under an inert atmosphere, clearly labeled, and handled according to your institution's waste disposal guidelines. Experienced personnel can destroy small quantities of sodium hydride and potassium hydride by the careful dropwise addition of t-butanol or iso-propanol to a suspension of the metal hydride in an inert solvent such as toluene under an inert atmosphere such as argon. Great care must be taken in the destruction of potassium hydride because of its greater reactivity. The resulting mixture of metal alkoxide 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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