Safe Use of Perchloric Acid

Perchloric Acid (HClO4) is a potentially dangerous, strong acid that can form explosive metallic perchlorates in the ducts of fume hoods if used inappropriately. Below you will find some information on the safe use and handling of perchloric acid.

Properties

  • Strong acid
  • Strong oxidizing agent when heated, i.e. highly reactive


Use

  • Should never be heated or used at concentrations greater than 72% outside of a fume hood
        specifically designed for use with perchloric acid.
  • Hoods designed for heated perchloric acid use should NOT be used for research using
        other types of materials.


NOTE: TO ENSURE THAT ADEQUATE SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND PROCEDURES ARE IN PLACE, PLEASE CONTACT ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY (EHS) AT 410-706-7055 IF YOU INTEND TO USE CONCENTRATED (GREATER THAN 72%) OR HEATED PERCHLORIC ACID.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Safety glasses / face shield
  • Chemical resistant gloves
  • Lab coat


Storage

  • Should be segregated from ALL other chemicals, especially organic materials and
        flammable compounds, and placed in secondary containment.
  • Must be tightly capped at all times to prevent evaporation.

Waste

  • Perchloric acid should be discarded if discoloration is noted.
  • Perchloric acid waste should be placed in acid-resistant bottles and not mixed with any other waste.


Please feel free to contact Environmental Health and Safety at 410-706-7055 should you have any additional questions or concerns.

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