Doing chemical experiments should be fun because we can learn how the chemicals react with other components and see how it goes. But some people forget the danger of this activity. Some people also forget about how dangerous the chemicals for our self especially our health.
Chemical compounds have a lot of materials that could be dangerous from us. Chemicals in the laboratory are relatively large as well as the amount of equipment. Besides that there are quite a lot of chemicals which can pose a high risk of danger, therefore in the management of the laboratory aspects of storage, arrangement and maintenance of chemicals are important parts that must be considered.
Common things that must be considered in storing and structuring chemicals include aspects of segregation, multiple hazards, labeling, storage facilities, secondary containment, expired materials (outdated chemicals), inventory, and hazard risk information (hazard information).
Storage and arrangement of chemicals based on alphabetical order is not appropriate, the need is only needed to carry out the administration process. Alphabetical sorting will be more appropriate if the chemicals have been grouped according to physical properties, and their chemical properties are mainly the level of exposure.
Chemicals that must not be stored with other chemicals must be stored specifically in an isolated secondary container. This is intended to prevent mixing with other hazardous sources such as fire, toxic gases, explosions, or chemical degradation. Storage of these chemicals must be based on the highest level of hazard risk. For example, benzene has flammable and toxic properties.
Flammability can be seen as having a higher risk than carcinogens. Therefore benzene storage must be placed in a cabinet where liquid flammable stores are stored rather than stored in a toxic cabinet. The following is a general guide to sorting the hazard level of chemicals in relation to their storage. You may also read about Chemicals Combination We Should Never Mix
Why Should Chemicals Be Stored Away from Food
Because of the dangers of chemicals, we must keep all the chemicals we use to experiment or create a product of all the food we consume. Here are the reasons why chemicals must be kept away from food:
Air contains oxygen and moisture. Hygroscopic chemicals must be stored in bottles that can be sealed. These chemicals if they are stored incorrectly, they will run water, they can even turn into solutions.
Materials that are easily oxidized, in the presence of oxygen in the air will experience oxidation. For example, the chemical crystals of iron (II) sulfate which are light green, will immediately turn into light brown (III) sulfate crystals. This happens when the storage bottle is not closed or does not close it. You may also read about Examples of Inorganic Chemistry in Everyday Life
2. Liquids: water, acids, bases, other liquids
Why should chemicals be stored away from food? Keep all chemicals dry. Place ingredients in a dry place. The material is easily damaged if left in a wet condition. Chemicals must be stored in a dry place. Moreover, chemicals that are reactive to water. Metals such as Na, K, and Ca react with water to produce H2 gas which is directly burned by the heat of the reaction formed.
Other substances that react with water violently, such as concentrated sulfuric acid, metal halide hydrate, nonmetallic oxide halides must be kept away from water or stored in a dry and leak-free room when it rains. Fire due to the above substances cannot be extinguished by water.
Acidic liquids have more destructive power than water. The acid which is gas, for example, more hydrochloric acid. Because together the air will easily move from its place of origin. The best way is to isolate the acid itself, for example placing acid bottles that are tightly closed and placed in special cabinets, or in a fume hood. You may also read about Harmful Chemicals in Antibacterial Soap
Chemicals that must be avoided from large impacts and stresses are explosive chemicals, such as ammonium nitrate, nitroglycerin, trinitrotoluene (TNT).
Rays, especially ultraviolet (UV) rays greatly affect chemicals. For example, a solution of potassium permanganate, when exposed to UV light will experience a reduction so that it will change the nature of the solution. Therefore, to store potassium permanganate solution it is recommended to use a brown bottle.
Silver nitrate crystals will also be damaged if exposed to UV light, therefore storage must be avoided from the effects of UV light. Tools should also be avoided from direct sunlight, so it is recommended to install curtains in the laboratory window. You may also read about List of Chemist Who Has a Solution for Not Succeeding
5. The nature of the chemical itself
Chemicals have their own characteristics. For example, acid is very easy to react with bases. Chemical reactions can run from the very slow to the spontaneous ones. Spontaneous reactions usually cause high heat and fire.
Explosion can occur if the reaction occurs in a closed space. Examples of spontaneous reactions: concentrated sulfuric acid which is dripped on a mixture of solid potassium chlorate and granulated sugar when a fire will occur. Likewise, if potassium permanganate crystals are dripped with glycerin.
From the explanation above we can learn that chemistry is very dangerous if it is not placed in the place that should be especially if it is contaminated with the food we consume. Some chemicals can evaporate easily and will react with air which is contaminated with the food we consume will pose a danger to our health.
Another factor that needs to be considered in the storage process is the length of storage time for certain substances. Ether, paraffin is liquid, and olefins will form peroxide when in contact with air and light. The longer stored the greater the amount of peroxide. You may also read about Why Should Chemicals Never Be Smelt by Putting The Container to Your Nose
Isopropyl ether, ethyl ether, dioxane, and tetrahydrofuran are substances that often pose a danger due to the formation of peroxide in storage. Ethers such as substances should not be stored for more than one year, except for inhibitors.
Ether that has been opened must be spent for six months, For this reason, let’s be more careful with the use and placement of chemicals to avoid events that we don’t want.