Precautions to remember while using formic acid
Formic acid is an important component of preservatives and pesticides for agricultural elements such as livestock, hay and beehives. It is a colourless liquid that is easily recognized by its pungent and penetrating odor. Formic acid is toxic in nature and exposure to it should be avoided at all costs. Generally, formic acid is not available to the general public as it is most used by professionals. Exposure to it can cause a number of effects such as irritation in the throat, soreness, and chest pain in case of inhalation, increased sensitivity to light and watering of eyes in case the acid comes into contact with eyes and burns in case of contact with skin.
Following are precautions that need to be undertaken before dealing with formic acid:
- -> Anyone dealing with formic acid should be protective clothing including gloves, shoes and protective eyewear to minimize the chances of contact.
- -> Formic acid manufacturers should make sure that their employees are provided with basic amenities such as well-ventilated work spaces, personal protective equipment, and immediate first aid service in case of contact with the acid and finally, education regarding the effects of formic acid contact and precautions that need to be undertaken.
- -> The effects of formic acid contact can be substantially abated by immediately getting rid of the clothing that came in contact with the acid. Moreover, the contaminated clothes should not be worn unless they are thoroughly washed and all the acid is removed from the items. In case the skin comes in contact with formic acid, immediate medical attention is advised along with washing off of the acid with water to ward off any long-term damage.
- -> Formic acid suppliers should be careful about the way in which they package and distribute the acid. All rules related to packaging and transportation of toxic chemicals, need to be followed. Formic acid suppliers should also ensure that they provide their employees with all protect equipment and the suitable work environment to ensure that chances of people coming directly into contact with the acid are greatly reduced.