Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Aluminum Potassium Sulfate Hazards?

  1. Dec 6, 2011 #1
    Is anyone familiar with Aluminum Potassium Sulfate? We have a "crystal growing kit" at school, and this is the chemical used to grow the crystals. Since some of my students have conduct disorders, I wanted to know more about the chemical before I permitted the project. I read the hazard codes, but I'm looking for a more "straight dope" description of the hazards of this chemical. What exactly happens if you touch it? If someone licked a crystal, would it actually be necessary to call poison control? (I'm not going to let anyone lick it. In fact, I'm almost certainly going to prohibit this project. I'm just looking for some justification, if it exists.)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2011 #2

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Fishing rod: google "Aluminum Potassium Sulfate MSDS"

    Fish: this is quite safe substance. Some may find it slightly irritating to the skin, but the same can be said about kitchen salt. Just washing hands should be enough in the case any symptoms appear (which is as far as I remember quite unlikely, I did similar lab eons ago, I think the effect I remember was that the skin got a little bit dry and harsh). No reported toxicity, so even if they swallow some there should be no problems. Compare http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alum - plenty of cosmetic/culinary/medicinal uses.
     
  4. Dec 7, 2011 #3

    chemisttree

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Well, I've heard that you can keep your cat from eating your parakeet with it. (starts at 2:20 min.)

    Seriously though, it's a pretty safe chemcal... one of the few remaining ones that students can play with. It used to be formed into a stick and sold as a styptic pencil. Cut yourself shaving? Press the pencil against the cut and it stops bleeding immediately (for small cuts).

    If you want an excuse not to use it, you can always say that aluminum salts are implicated with Alzheimers.
     
  5. Dec 7, 2011 #4
  6. Dec 7, 2011 #5

    chemisttree

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

  7. Dec 7, 2011 #6

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Quote from Flinn's MSDS:

    Would you dare to try to guess what substance requires such measures?

    Would you guess what chemical they described this way? (Same First Aid Measures listed, seems like they put exactly the same information everywhere.)

    They sell to schools, their MSDSs are there to cover their back.

    Edit: I see chemisttree did exactly the same, just faster :rofl:
     
  8. Dec 7, 2011 #7
    It is used in water treatment plants for clarifying water. At low concentrations it is ok but some accidents have occured fairly recently (in Britain)where huge quantities were dumped in the water system and illness occured in people drinking the tap water supplied.
     
  9. Dec 7, 2011 #8
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Aluminum Potassium Sulfate Hazards?
  1. Potassium Chlorate (Replies: 50)

  2. Sodium and Potassium? (Replies: 2)

Loading...