To avoid any unwanted incidents because of chemical contamination at several schools and to maintain the health of people at school, the committee has ruled out the program which eliminates student and staff of potential hazardous exposure chemicals.
The program has arranged the list of banned chemicals in schools. Based on this program, person-in-charge has to identify the hazardous chemicals and planning to remove and dispose any banned chemicals in schools.
Chemicals Banned in Schools
Here is the list of chemicals which have been banned in schools, especially from Department of Education.
- Ammonium nitrite
Ammonium nitrite (H4N2O2) is an inorganic chemical compound, which is a yellow to colorless solid and soluble in water. Ammonium nitrite is a salt form of nitrous acid. Ammonium nitrite is highly unstable and decomposes into water and nitrogen even at room temperature. It can explode if heated above 60 – 70°C.
- Ammonium nitrate
Ammonium nitrate (H4N2O3) is classified as a High Consequence Dangerous Goods (HDCG) which means it has the potentiality to cause any mass destructive and causalities. Ammonium nitrate is ammonium salt of nitric acid, which is soluble in water. Schools are not permitted to use ammonium nitrate other than educational purposes and store above 3 kgs of ammonium nitrate in the workplace at one time. This solid substance can decompose explosively when heated into two gases, which are nitrous oxide and water vapor. Furthermore, ammonium nitrate is an oxidizing agent.
- Asbestos fiber
Asbestos is a thin fiber which found in rocks and soil. Asbestos itself means the materials can withstand high temperature. Asbestos is a mineral which can be pulled into fluffy consistency and resistant to electric and chemical corrosion. Asbestos exposure causes any symptoms, so it is easy to be inhaled and swallowed without realizing it. Once it’s been inhaled, it can cause lung cancer.
Benzene is a chemical compound which is flammable and toxic chemical, which exposure cause cancer disease. The uses of benzene in everyday life is in detergents, plastic, and rubber. It can be happened because benzene is a carcinogen. Human can be exposed through breathing air, contacting with the skin, even contaminated food or water. Benzene (C6H6) evaporates quickly when exposed to the air.
- Carbon disulfide
Carbon disulfide is a colorless liquid with strong odor. This substance is classified as a flammable substance with high concentration (1 – 50%). Carbon disulfide can evaporate easily at room temperature and easily explode in the air. Carbon disulfide can go through our body by inhaling, eating, drinking, and contacting it through the skin. With high concentration, carbon disulfide may be life threatening because it affects nervous system, heart, brain, and liver. Furthermore, after contacting with carbon disulfide, it can cause burned skin in the infected area.
- Carbon tetrachloride
Carbon tetrachloride is a substance which could be easily evaporated. Most carbon tetrachloride is founded in a gas form. Carbon tetrachloride is a substance which can be found easily when producing refrigeration fluid and propellants. This substance is classified as a toxic chemical which harm people and cause cancer or birth defects. Human’s liver is also sensitive to this substance. After being exposed, breakdown products will attack cell proteins and interfering function of liver cells.
Chloroform, which is usually called trichloromethane or methyltrichloride. It is a colorless liquid with slightly sweet taste. This substance is classified as flammable liquid. Chloroform evaporates very quickly when exposed to the air. The process of chloroform’s breakdown takes much time. The breakdown’s product includes phosgene, which is more toxic than chloroform itself. Chloroform itself cause any harm for human’s organs, such as liver, brain, kidney, reproductive system, and gastrointestinal.
- 1,2-dichloroethane (ethylene chloride)
Ethylene chloride is a colorless, toxic, and volatile liquid which resembles with chloroform. Ethylene chloride is converted into vinyl chloride for production of polyvinyl chloride or PVC. Chloroethane can affect and harm nervous system
- Hydrofluoric acid
Hydrofluoric acid is one of the strongest inorganic acids, which is used for industrial manufacturing, such as glass etching, metal cleaning, electronics, manufacturing. It is a colorless gas or liquid. Hydrogen fluoride could be easily exposed through the skin and into the tissues. It will damage the cells and cause them not to work properly. Breathing this substance can bring damage for lung tissue and cause swelling and fluid.
- Perchloric acid
Perchloric acid is one of strongest acid which has been used for cleaning. Its power to oxidize will increase with concentration and temperature. Concentrated perchloric acid can reacts heavily with organic material, which resulted in devastating explosions in the past. it can be harmful if swallowed, causing digestive and respiratory tract burns.
- Picric acid
Picric acid or renowned as 2,4,6-trinitrophenol is an odorless crystalline solid which has been used as a military explosive substances and antiseptic.
- Potassium cyanide
Potassium cyanide is a white, granular, or crystalline solid. Potassium cyanide will release hydrogen cyanide which is highly toxic and interferes with body’s ability to use oxygen. Potassium cyanide can affect many organ systems which are sensitive to low oxygen levels, such as central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and pulmonary system.
- Sodium cyanide is a similar with any types of cyanide.
- Toluene (methyl benzene)
- List of any substance in Appendix A of the 7th Edition of the ADG Code as Goods Too Dangerous chemicals in everyday products to be transported.
- List of any substance which requires a permit as listed in Schedule 2, 3, 4, 8, & 9 in the Commonwealth Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons and Schedule 7 poisons in the standard which listed in the Victorian Poison Code
- All Scheduled Carcinogenic Substances
No Scheduled Carcinogenic Substance may be used without a license.
If the schools needs any chemicals which requires any permit, this chemicals should be consulted first with local government authorities.
Schedule 1 Prohibited Carcinogenic Substance
Schedule 1 carcinogenic substance is a substance and its salts form is used as a pure substance or in a mixture. Here is the list of prohibited carcinogen.
- Amosite (brown asbestos)
- Benzidine and its salts (including benzidine dihydrochloride)
- Chloromethyl methyl ether (technical grade which contains bis(chloromethyl) ether)
- Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
- 2-Naphythylamine and its salts
Schedule 2 Notifiable Carcinogen
Schedule 2 notifiable carcinogen is any other substance and its salts form is used as a pure substance or in a mixture containing 0.1% or more of that substance. Here is the list of notifiable carcinogen.
- Chrysotile (white asbestos)
- Cyclophosphamide (cytotoxic drug)
- 3,3’-Dichlorobenzidine and its salts (including 3,3’-Dichlorobenzidine dihydrochloride)
- Diethyl sulfate
- Dimethyl sulfate
- Ethylene dibromide
- 4,4’-Methylene bis(2-chloroaniline) MOCA
- o-Toluidine and o-Toluidine hydrochloride
- Vinyl chloride monomer
The list of chemicals banned in school has been a guideline for the school when doing a procurement of chemicals which will be used in laboratory. School has to stick to this list and never bring those chemicals inside the school.