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Post: "Help"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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- Archived Message from Inactive Forum -

Ralph and Sandra Weiland

Just a few more words of caution. Nitric acid is a VERY strong oxidizer, and like sulfuric, mixing it with water is VERY exothermic. (1) Never handle either of these acids without goggles and neoprene or other acid-resistant gloves. And try to have a shower nearby (or a lake) to jump into in case something happens. (2) Never add water to acid as it will probably boil VIOLENTLY and spray you with scalding acid. Permanent blindness is extremely easy to achieve!!! Nitric will turn your skin yellow if it comes into contact with skin. As for neutralizing before disposal, this should probably be done, but it's hard to do properly. You can use soda lye (also very exothermic when being made up as a solution from solid pellets (read Drano)) but it's real easy to over-neutralize which is as bad as not neutralizing enough. And the neutralization reaction is also very exothermic. You can use pH paper to indicate neutrality, but that's getting pretty technical. A bucket of nitric is a "frightening" thought. Best stay with a small quantity and clean your fittings in small batches. Then you don't have that much to dispose of. Bottom line: nitric acid is very hazardous and should be treated with the utmost respect.

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