Pyrophoric Liquids Safety Alert

     Examples:

    • Metal hydrides i.e. (sodium hydride, lithium aluminum hydride)
    • Alkali metals i.e. (sodium, lithium)
    • Grignard reagents
    • Alkylated derivatives of metal and non metal hydrides i.e. (triethylaluminum, butyl lithium)
  • Pyrophoric liquids are highly flammable substances that can spontaneously ignite with contact to air or water. They are often accompanied by organic solvents which may also have highly flammable characteristics. Pyrophoric liquids can also be peroxide formers, corrosive, and toxic to target organs.
  • Due to the risk of using these types of chemicals, precautions need to be considered before any experiment is started and a written standard operating procedure (SOP) should be developed by the principal investigator.
  • An understanding of the hazardous characteristics of a chemical can be found by reviewing the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of any chemical before use.
  • Any researcher working with pyrophoric liquids or any reactive chemical MUST first take the online "Working Safely with Reactive Chemicals" training located at MyEHS.
  • Any person who will be working with pyrophoric liquids should be trained and fully competent on the activities of handling the pyrophoric liquids in the intended safe manner of the protocol prior to use.
  • Any person who will be working with pyrophoric liquids should be trained and fully competent on the activities of handling the pyrophoric liquids in the intended safe manner of the protocol prior to use.
  • It is also strongly advised that the Sigma Aldrich technical bulletins AL-134 (Handling Air Sensitive Reagents) and AL-164 (Handling Pyrophoric Reagents) be reviewed prior to developing a protocol involving pyrophoric materials.
  • All safety devices, personal protective equipment and engineering controls need to be considered before work with the chemical begins.
  • Contact EHS at 410-706-7055 for questions or additional information.
  • Or visit our website for additional information on reactive chemicals.