Perchlorate Salts: A Silent Danger Inside Your Fume Hood


Jul 24, 2015

Perchlorate Salts: A Silent Danger Inside Your Fume Hood

 

Chemistry is fun

but the job is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Working inside the laboratory exposes a person to a long list of hazards that endangers a person's life. One typical example is performing analysis that involves heating of perchloric acid.

 

More often that not, chemists perform analysis that involves perchloric acid inside a general purpose fume hood. However, such kinds of analysis demands a specialized fume hood with a wash-down system.

The dangers we are exposed to
Perchloric acid is a powerful oxidizing, strong acid useful for certain analytical procedures, but carries potential dangers due to the formation of perchlorate salts within the fume hood, ductwork, and fan components. When heated, perchloric acid vaporizes, then condenses to form metallic perchlorates. Its salts are extremely shock sensitive which can explode with very little disturbance.

The solution