Chemistry of hazardous materials - Essay Example

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White phosphorus also known as yellow phosphorus requires safety measures like wearing gloves while handling because of the significant hazard it can cause to its user. This allotrope is tremendously toxic and can be lethal. Moreover, white phosphorus can cause deep slow healing…
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Chemistry of hazardous materials
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Chemistry of Hazardous Materials Chemistry of Hazardous Materials A) White phosphorus also known as yellow phosphorus requires safety measures like wearing gloves while handling because of the significant hazard it can cause to its user. This allotrope is tremendously toxic and can be lethal. Moreover, white phosphorus can cause deep slow healing burns and is highly inflammable and reactive to the extent that a fire can erupt, however, while burning white phosphorus can also cause damage to the kidneys, heart, or liver. Furthermore, prolonged skin exposure to phosphorus can cause dermatitis. Therefore, in order to avoid hazards that may cause skin burn it is necessary to wear gloves while handling phosphorus. Thus, not only gloves but also other equipments along with protective measures are also necessary while handling phosphorus (Lenntech, 1998).
Phosphorus slowly reacts with water and forms phosphine. It should be noted that Phosphine is a poisonous gas that is released when solids like phosphorus are exposed to water. Therefore, phosphorus becomes a water reactant. When this poisonous gas is exposed to water, it can contribute to the danger to the firefighters because the basic element that they use while extinguishing a fire is water. Thus, water can release oxygen from the water-reactive materials and can add to the fire causing the fire to aggravate rather extinguish. In order, to reduce the fire and finally extinguish it, it is necessary to use dry sand rather water to reduce the risk of aggravation of fire. Thus, it is advisable to the fire fighters to use dry sand while extinguishing the fire that is ignited due to red phosphorus (Burke, 2002).
References List
Burke, R. ( 2002). Hazardous Materials Chemistry for Emergency Responders, Second Edition. Florida: CRC Press.
Lenntech. (1998). Phosphorus - P. Retrieved october 15, 2012, from Lenntech: Read More
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