Safety Precautions

Acids, even in dilute form, can cause serious injuries to the eyes and other portions of the body. Acids are destructive to clothing as well. Therefore operators should be protected with face shields and rubber boots and aprons. Eye fountains and showers adjacent to acid cleaning operations should be provided for use in case of accidents. Nonslip floor coverings in the vicinity of tanks or spray operations are also advised.

Precautions must be taken against cyanides entering the acid cleaning system to avoid formation of deadly hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas.

Electrolytic cleaning systems are potentially dangerous because of splashing; therefore, rubber shoes and gloves are necessary to protect operators working near these installations. Electric power at 5 to 15 V is not hazardous to operators.

Mist from spray systems or from gassing can be a health hazard. Mist formation increases with the amount of work in process, the temperature, the acidity of the solution, and the current density in electrolytic cleaning. This mist contains all the ingredients of the acid solution. Adequate ventilation is important. Additional information concerning hazards in the use and disposal of acids is given in the article on pickling of iron and steel in this Volume.

Health and safety regulations are made and enforced by several groups within the federal, state, and local governments. Since the regulations vary and are subject to change, the several sets of regulations should be considered when planning an installation or major changes in operations.

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