Ferric Chloride: MSDS and safety precautions

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In summary: I would not recommend using a gas mask--it will be a lot more cumbersome than just wearing gloves. If you do get it on your skin, dilute it with water and flush it with plenty of fresh air. The MSDS suggests washing it with soap and water and then calling a hazardous material disposal service.You should also call a hazardous material disposal service if you spill any of the solution.
  • #1
enigma
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Hi all,

I have an application where I'm going to need to be using Ferric Chloride ( http://www.sciencestuff.com/msds/C1731.html ).

Unfortunately, the guy who told me what I needed to use is now out of town, and out of communication so I'm not able to ask him what a reasonable level of safety precautions are needed.

Am I going to just need gloves?
Gloves and air filter?
Gas mask?
Hood?
Full bunny suit?

Can someone take pity on this dumb aerospace engineer and help me make sense of the MSDS?

-thanks
 
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  • #2
I would say it isn't that dangerous of a material to work with. The health hazard is only a 2. Many of the common solvents people work with like hexanes, acetonitrile, and DCM are a lot worse for you to be exposed to. Its not flammable or very reactive so I would say wear gloves (you should always no matter what chemical you are working with), goggles/safety glasses, apron or lab coat and you should be fine. Just don't expose the compound to a lot of light, since it decomposes to HCl which could potentially be dangerous.
 
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  • #3
Actually I just looked up a MSDS for it at JTBaker http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/f1060.htm

This one lists the contact rating and says it is very corrosive, so you will want to be more cautious than I originally thought. Just work in the hood, avoid contact w/ skin and try not to breathe in any vapors it gives off (which will be HCl gas most likely).
 
  • #4
Yes, it is corrosive so don't get it on your skin: use gloves. Don't get it on your clothes either: it will make nasty staines. My bf got it on his pants, it did not burn any holes.. but now the black pant has a brown stain :tongue2:

I am not sure what the best way is to inactivate the material. Do you have a chemical disposal service? You should give any excess to them. By bf read on the internet to put soda (sodium carbonate) in it.. I would not do that: it makes a biiggg mess (giant souffle).
 
  • #5
In dealing with chemicals, the rules of thumb are pretty much the same, except for exceptional cases.

Wear gloves, goggles, be careful in handling the solution (try not to spill it), wear shoes and long pants, much of it is common sense. The MSDS seems to suggest the use of a fume hood...although I don't quite remember such measures when handling this compound in lab.

Be sure to follow up on the sheet in case any contact should occur. It might also be safe to wear masks in this case, although this may be a bit excessive...try not to breathe the vapor.
 
  • #6
Thanks all!
 
  • #7
I'm guessing this is for etching PCBs. Ferric chloride is relatively harmless...just make sure you've got gloves on, and keep in mind the it is a good dye, so don't spill.
 
  • #8
I've used FeCl3 for etching printed-circuit boards. It's acidic (salt of a strong acid & weak base) and can cause skin irritation, but I never had any problems when it got on me (some people are more sensitive). You should wear eye protection, though.
 

1. What is Ferric Chloride?

Ferric Chloride (FeCl3) is a chemical compound that is commonly used in various industries, including water treatment, electronics, and pharmaceuticals. It is a dark brown, corrosive, and highly reactive chemical.

2. What is an MSDS for Ferric Chloride?

MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheet. It is a document that contains information about the potential hazards, handling, storage, and emergency procedures for Ferric Chloride. It is important to review the MSDS before working with Ferric Chloride to ensure safety.

3. What are the safety precautions for handling Ferric Chloride?

Some safety precautions for handling Ferric Chloride include wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, and a lab coat, working in a well-ventilated area, and avoiding contact with skin and eyes. It is also important to keep Ferric Chloride away from incompatible materials and sources of heat or flames.

4. What should I do in case of an emergency involving Ferric Chloride?

In case of an emergency involving Ferric Chloride, such as a spill or exposure, it is important to follow the emergency procedures outlined in the MSDS. This may include seeking medical attention and cleaning up the spill with appropriate materials and methods.

5. Is Ferric Chloride toxic to humans?

Ferric Chloride can be toxic if ingested, inhaled, or comes into contact with skin and eyes. It is important to handle this chemical with caution and follow safety precautions to avoid any potential health risks. If exposed, seek medical attention immediately.

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