Sodium carbonate is a mildly toxic substance, especially when handled indiscriminately. Read on to find out about how to safely handle the chemical.

What Is Sodium Carbonate

Sodium Carbonate is also known as soda ash, washing soda, and soda crystals. It is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula Na2CO3. It is an odorless, white, and water-soluble salt.

Sodium carbonate is the most important of basic heavy chemicals. Sodium carbonate can be found in plants growing on sodium-rich soil.

Sodium Carbonate Uses

Sodium carbonate can be employed in various means which include:

  • It can be used to manufacture soaps, detergents, and paper.
  • It can also be used in manufacturing sodium silicate (water glass), sodium phosphate, borax, and several other compounds of sodium.
  • It can be used as a foaming and abrasive in toothpaste.
  • It can be used to soften water.
  • It can be used as a wetting brick during the production of brick.
  • It can be used as a pH modifier.

Sodium Carbonate Hazards

Sodium carbonate is a chemical that can pose danger to your safety and health if handled improperly. Here are some of the hazards of Sodium Carbonate;

Skin Contact

Coming in contact with excess sodium carbonate might irritate with redness and blistering. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the skin may cause sensitization.  After contact, flush skin with water and soap for a minimum of 15 minutes. Remove clothes and shoes that came in contact.

Eye Contact

Contact with sodium carbonate can be corrosive to the eyes and can cause corneal destruction and conjunctival edema. Other several symptoms might arise from eye contact with sodium carbonate. There is the possibility of serious injury if the eyes are kept closed tightly. After contact, flush your eyes with a lot of water for about 15 minutes, lifting the up and down eyelids regularly.

Ingestion

Sodium Carbonate is just a little bit toxic, but it tends to be a little corrosive to the gastrointestinal tract once excessive ingestion occurs. Symptoms of ingesting sodium carbonate include vomiting, serious abdominal pain, diarrhea, death, and collapse. Once sodium carbonate has been swallowed, don't induce vomiting. Give the person a large amount of water to reduce the impact of the chemical.

Inhalation

Inhaling sodium carbonate tends to irritate the respiratory organs. The symptoms usually noticed after excessive inhalation are difficulty in breathing and coughing. Excessive inhalation of sodium carbonate tends to cause damage to the nasal septum. In case of a possible inhalation, expose such a person to artificial breathing or in the worse case, give oxygen.

How To Handle Sodium Carbonate

The following are safety measures you be take into consideration while handling Sodium Carbonate:

  • Sodium Carbonate should be kept closed tightly in a container, and stored in a dry, cool, and ventilated area.
  • Ensure to also wear body covering clothes while handling the chemical. This keeps your body safe from any form of spillage while handling the chemical.
  • Use hand gloves to protect your hand and skins around the hand.
  • Make use of a face shield and goggles to protect exposure of the chemical to the eye.
  • For conditions where exposure to the mist or dust is apparent, a half-face mist/dust respirator can be worn to protect you from inhalation.

How To Dispose Sodium Carbonate

Whatever remnant of sodium carbonate that can't be saved for use or recycling  should be kept in an approved and appropriate waste disposal facility. Disposal regulations might vary based on your federal, state, and local rules. It is advisable not to flux down the drain as large quantities of it can cause harm to the aquatic animal.

Where To Buy Sodium Carbonate

Sodium carbonate is available for sale at Camachem. The company is capable of delivering large quantities of chemicals to buyers across different countries.