How To Handle (and Prevent) Benzoic Acid Hazards in the Workplace

Benzoic Acid Hazards in the Workplace

Work injuries are on the rise in the United States. In 2019 alone, there were 4,572 preventable work deaths. That’s an increase of 2%. 

Whether you’re an employee or employer, you’ll want to know how to prevent work injuries. Chemicals such as benzoic acid hazards can lead to dangerous situations as well. 

This article will take a look at how to handle and prevent benzoic acid hazards. Read on to explore this guide and make sure that your company is safe today. 

Why Benzoic Acid Safety Is Important

While it isn’t the most dangerous chemical, benzoic acid safety is still vital. This is in order to avoid any health risks or injuries due to this substance. It’s a crystalline and white powder with a non-offensive and faint odor. 

You can find it naturally in plants. It’s naturally in many organic substances as well. 

You can find it in different industrial products such as topical medications, insect repellants, perfumes, and dyes. It’s often used as a pH adjustor and preservative in different foods. This is because it prevents the growth of microbes in order to encourage food safety. 

This is due to it changing the internal pH of microorganisms to an acidic state. They’re not able to survive and grow. 

Benzoic Acid Health Hazards

At this time, there isn’t enough testing to suggest whether or not benzoic acid’s hazardous properties include the risk of cancer. Contact with benzoic acid can irritate your skin and cause redness, burning, or a rash.

If you inhale the acid, it can irritate your lungs, throat, and nose. This can lead to shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing. 

Protective Equipment

Use protecting clothing for headgear, suits, gloves, and footwear. You’ll want to clean them each day and put them on before working. 

Wear goggles with side shields for the ultimate protection. Choose a face shield when you’re working with toxic or irritating substances. 

Reach out to safety equipment manufacturers and suppliers for any questions. They can give you recommendations on clothing, and protective gloves for your protection. 

Use a self-contained breathing apparatus that’s MSHA/NIOSH with full protective gear. When dust is at a certain concentration, it can form explosive mixtures with air. 

First Aid

If you experience skin contact, you’ll want to wash the affected area with water and soap. Rinse it with water for at least 15-20 minutes. If the irritation or discomfort continues, seek medical advice. 

For swallowing benzoic acid, don’t vomit. Instead, take sips of water. If irritation continues, reach out for medical help. This includes if vomiting or discomfort continues as well. 

If you inhaled the acid, loosen your clothing and make sure that you’re in a comfortable position. If breathing becomes difficult, or there’s still irritation or discomfort, seek medical attention. 

Some acute symptoms can include diarrhea, irritation, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, irritation. It has the potential to cause permanent eye injuries.

Repeated or prolonged skin contact can cause dermatitis. When you go to seek medical attention, make sure that you bring SDS documentation with you. It might cause a respiratory tract irritation, avoid inhalation. 

Benzoic Acid Storage

Make sure that you minimize dust accumulation. Avoid dust in the air. Wash your hands after handling it. 

Have your company perform routine housekeeping. The use of dry powder can lead to static electricity charges when they’re mixed or transferred. 

Never use personal products when you handle the acid, and don’t smoke, drink, or eat. For laboratories, follow the chemical hygiene plan. Only use it in well-ventilated areas. Contact professionals of benzoic acid to find out if it needs to be handled under special conditions where you are. 

Chemical Facts

Benzoic acid has to be preheated before ignition occurs. Keep in mind that it can cause significant irritation. If released, it has the potential for environmental damage. 

It’s a fire hazard since concentrated dust can cause an explosive mixture. Combustion can occur in the air. It’s also a dust explosion hazard. 

At high temperatures, it can cause irritation to the skin, respiratory system, and eyes. It can react with oxidizing reagents at high temperatures. 

Benzoic Acid Spills

If you experience a spill, sweep or vacuum up the area. Place it into a disposal container. 

Don’t produce dusty conditions. Make sure that you provide ventilation for the area. Don’t let the chemicals enter the environment. 

Only use benzoic acid in a chemical fume hood. Never let it touch your clothing, eyes, or skin. 

Keep it away from areas of ignition. Keep it in a dry and cool location. Store it in a tightly closed container. 

Each facility that has benzoic acid needs to have a safety shower and eyewash facility. It’s stable under normal pressures and temperatures. The hazardous decomposition products are canon dioxide and carbon monoxide. 

Depending on your location, check the rules and regulations for the handling of benzoic acid. Canada, Europe, the United States, and other areas have their own requirements. Keep it away from light and heat when you store it. 

Exploring How To Handle and Prevent Benzoic Acid Hazards

Now that you’ve explored this guide on how to handle and prevent benzoic acid hazards, you should have a better idea of how to protect yourself and your employees. Take your time setting up preventative measures, and never rush working with chemicals.

Would you like to read more how-tos and guides? We can help! Check out our other articles on our site today for more up-to-date content. 

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