Class 8 Dangerous Goods are classified by the Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) Code as corrosive substances. Corrosive substances are materials that can cause severe damage to other materials such as human flesh, metals, stone, upon contact through chemical reaction.
Corrosive substances have the ability to cause extensive damage to people and property, which means they should be stored and handled in a safe and compliant manner. Australian law outlines the requirements for the safe storage and handling of corrosive substances in AS3780 – The storage and handling of corrosive substances.
At Wholesale Safety Storage Australia (WSSA), we supply Indoor Corrosive | Chemical Storage Cabinets, that are specifically designed for the storage of Class 8 Corrosive Substances. These storage cabinets are manufactured right here in Australia, and able to withstand Australian conditions, and more importantly, meet the requirements of AS3780-2008.
To work with Class 8 Corrosives, it is important to identify and understand the properties of these substances, to come up with viable strategies to ensure its safe use and containment.
Below is a short list of some Class 8 Corrosives of acids, bases, and alkali.
An acid is a chemical substance, usually a sour-tasting liquid, which contains hydrogen and can react with other substances to form salts. Acids have the ability to burn or dissolve other substances that they come into contact with.
1. Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
This acid can immediately begin to dissolve skin tissue upon contact. This acid is commonly used in the production of batteries, fireworks, leather, and building materials. Corrosive as it is, our bodies can produce HCL naturally to assist in our digestive process.
2. Sulphuric Acid (H₂SO₄)
Sulphuric acid is one of the most essential industrial chemicals used in the production of a lot of manufactured goods. Apart from being used primarily in the production of fertilisers, it is also used in the production of dyes, paints, and fabric pigments, lubricants, batteries, and even explosives.
Sulphuric acid is a dehydrating agent, which means it will react violently with water, causing it to boil and splash. Sulphuric acid released into the atmosphere can cause acid rain, which can cause harm to the environment.
3. Nitric Acid (HNO₃)
This highly corrosive chemical is used in the production of plastics, dyes, ammonium nitrate, explosives such as TNT and nitroglycerine. When combined with hydrochloric acid, it forms aqua regia, which is a fuming liquid capable of dissolving gold and platinum.
Skin exposure can cause severe burns, ulceration, dermatitis, and yellow staining. It is capable of dissolving most materials, including most metals.
A compliant safety cabinet is required to store nitric acid in order to prevent acid burns and damage to valuable equipment, machinery, and property.
4. Acetic Acid (CH₃COOH)
Acetic acid is commonly known as vinegar. Although what we use for food production is highly diluted to cause harm. However, acetic acid, in its highly concentrated state, is considerably harmful to human health and the environment.
Acetic acid is primarily used in the production of vinyl acetate monomer. It is also used in the production of solvents used in inks, paints, and coatings. Additionally, it is also widely used in the medical industry, most especially in the treatment of cancer and ear infections.
5. Phosphoric Acid (H₃PO₄)
This corrosive is a component used in the production of fertilisers, detergents, and many household cleaning products. It is also used in dental cements and in the preparation of albumin derivatives, and in sugar and textile industries.
Contact can be very hazardous and cause irritation if vapours are inhaled and burn the eyes.
A base is a bitter-tasting corrosive substance that can neutralise acids. They feel slippery, and can conduct electricity when dissolved in water. Bases have many important uses, such as in many cleaning products and in concrete.
6. Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)
Potassium hydroxide (caustic potash) is a caustic chemical that can cause burning and/or ulcers to tissues on contact. This odourless and lumpy solid, is often prepared in a water solution, is used in soap production, alkaline batteries, electroplating, lithography, and paint and varnish removers, and liquid drain cleaners.
Laboratories use the chemical to neutralise acidity and adjust the pH of solutions, and is a valuable agent for the titration of acids to determine their concentration.
7. Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)
Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda, is a highly corrosive white crystalline odourless solid with the ability to absorb moisture from air. It can produce a substantial amount of heat when dissolved in water, which may be sufficient to ignite combustible materials.
Predominantly used in the paper industry, it is also found in most cleaning agents and as a pH regulator in organic synthesis and metal production.
Sodium hydroxide is corrosive and hazardous to human health if it is not handled correctly and stored in a safe corrosive storage cabinet.
8. Ammonium Hydroxide (NH₄OH)
In its pure form, it is a clear liquid with a strong smell. Though it is a weak base, it can cause corrosive reactions with galvanised surfaces, copper, brass, aluminium alloys, mercury, gold, and silver.
Once heated, it releases ammonia. Contact can severely irritate and burn the skin and eyes that may lead to eye damage. High exposures may cause pulmonary oedema, or fluid in the lungs.
9. Ferric Chloride (FeCl₃)
Ferric chloride is an orange to brown-black solid that is slightly soluble in water. Though it is noncombustible, it is corrosive to aluminium and most metals.
Its primary use is to treat sewage and industrial waste. It is also used to purify water and as an etching agent for the engraving of circuit boards, and in the manufacture of other chemicals.
10. Sodium Hypochlorite (NaOCl)
Sodium hypochlorite is a strong oxidiser, which means its oxidation reactions are corrosive. Being a corrosive substance, it will eat away at materials it comes into contact with. Sodium hypochlorite reacts with flammable compounds.
Due to these characteristics, care must be kept in mind during transport, storage, and use.
Domestically, it can be found in bleach and disinfectants.
How to store corrosive substances.
- Segregation—Similar to other classes of dangerous goods, Class 8 Corrosive Substances are incompatible with a host of other dangerous substances and may cause violent chemical reactions. To avoid risks, they must be safely segregated from other incompatible classes of dangerous goods.
- Separation—Corrosive substances have the ability to dissolve materials, including human flesh. To avoid causing harm to people and property, corrosive chemical substances and its stores must be separated from protected places by certain distances, as mandated by AS 3780
Corrosive Chemical Storage Solutions
It is without a doubt that major industries have to work with corrosive substances to produce more useful items that make all our lives easier and more convenient. However, these chemicals do pose risks not only to health but to properties and the environment.
Wholesale Safety Storage Australia (WSSA), supplies a range of Indoor Corrosive | Chemical Storage Cabinets and Outdoor Dangerous Goods Storage, capable of storing Class 8 Corrosive Substances, and are compliant with AS2312-2014 and Australian Standard AS3780.