Acetic anhydride (108-24-7) hasa molecular weight of 102.09 and molecular formula of C5H6O3 (Science lab.com, 2011).It exists as a colorless liquid characterized by sharp distinct color (Carswell, 2005). Acetic anhydride is mostly used in the manufacture of dyes, perfumes, plastics, drugs and explosives.
Just like other any chemical, acetic anhydride has various hazardous effects. It is very corrosive and its exposure to human beings, either in vapor or liquid form causes severe irritation to any site of contacts such as the skin or eyes (New Jersey Department of Health And Senior Services, 2011). When inhaled, acetic anhydride causes respiratory track irritation. It can also cause lung damage, corneal scarring or structural damage to the iris, and skin allergy.
The chemical gets into the atmosphere through different channels. The main sources of exposure of acetic anhydride are manufacturing industries, acetic anhydride- producing plants and different industrial processes (Chemicalland 21, 2011). Acetic anhydride is exposed from these sources through release during production processes(by the production plants) and during use (during the manufacture of different chemical substances-where acetic anhydride is used as a raw material such as dyes, chloroacetic acid, vinyl acetate, flavorings, triacetate fibers and explosives).
In cases of accidental contact with acetic anhydride various safety control measures can be used. These include immediate washing or taking shower to eliminate the effects of chemical; moving the victim to places with sufficient air to prevent further exposure of the victim to the chemical; and providing the victim with several glasses of water or milk, followed by the milk of magnesia (OSHA, 2011). Other control measures such as the use of appropriate policies and procedures, engineering methods, and proper administration training among other methods are also significant workplace control measures.
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