(Chapter 5.F) and reactive (Chapter 5.G) substances. Safety glasses, impermeable gloves, and a fire-retardant laboratory coat should be worn at all times when working with sodium, and the metal should be handled under the surface of an inert liquid such as mineral oil, xylene, or toluene. Sodium should be used only in areas free of ignition sources and should be stored under mineral oil in tightly sealed metal containers under an inert gas such as argon.

Accidents

In the event of skin contact, immediately remove contaminated clothing and any metal particles and wash with soap and water. 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 sodium is ingested, obtain medical attention immediately. In the event of a spill, remove all ignition sources, cover the sodium with a dry chemical extinguishing agent, 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 sodium and waste material containing this substance can 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 scraps of sodium by carefully adding 95% ethanol to a beaker containing the metal scraps covered in an inert solvent such as xylene or toluene. The resulting mixture should then 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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