Aluminum Sulfate Safety
.Aluminum Sulfate, often called Alum, is typically used as a coagulant at water and wastewater treatment plants. It is also used for phosphorus removal.
General Safety Information:
Obtain a copy of the Aluminum Sulfate SDS from your supplier and follow the recommendations. (This one is from USALCO). Be sure to review the SDS carefully before using or storing the product.
Employees should use personal protective equipment to protect their eyes and skin from contact as noted in the SDS, and avoid ingesting alum.
Alum is especially dangerous to the eyes, so wear eye protection and a full face shield when working with it.
Storage and Delivery
Storage and delivery methods should be in compliance with the recommendations in the SDS.
Alum is corrosive to many metals, so storage should be in stainless steel, fiberglass, cross-linked polyethylene, or reinforced plastics.
All storage tanks, lines and connections should be signed or marked: Aluminum Sulfate
Employees accepting chemical deliveries should be well trained in the process. Chemical deliveries should include a standard documentation process. And delivery should NEVER occur unless a properly trained employee is present.
Aluminum Sulfate Incidents
One of the worst aluminum sulfate accidents caused contamination to the water supply in Camelford, England in 1988. Twenty tons of the chemical were mistakenly added to a finished water tank instead of a raw water tank by a driver making a delivery to an unmanned plant. Repercussions from the accident are ongoing, including investigation into the death of a resident from a rare brain disease in 2012, and a government apology in 2013.
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