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Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals
and splash goggles and impermeable gloves should be worn at all times to prevent eye and skin contact. Cyanide salts should be stored in a cool, dry location, separated from acids.
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 sodium or potassium cyanide is ingested, obtain medical attention immediately. If cyanide is inhaled, move the person to fresh air and seek medical attention at once. Specific medical procedures for treating cyanide exposure are available but usually must be administered by properly trained personnel. Consult your environmental safety office or its equivalent before beginning work with cyanides.
In the event of a spill, remove all ignition sources, soak up the sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide 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 sodium or potassium cyanide 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.