This chemical standard operating procedure (SOP) and the associated Safety Data Sheet (SDS) are for our safety. Read and understand both documents. If this is a paper copy, check for updated versions on the IsoLab website.
We use acetic acid in our Sequential Iron Extraction process. We also use acetic acid to clean the water vaporizers on our infrared laser spectrometers (e.g. CRDS Water Isotope Analysis - δD δ18O - Abel).
Hazards - SDS
Flammable liquid and vapor. Causes severe skin burns and eye damage.
Protection - SDS
Concentrated acetic acid should only be used in a fume hood. Ensure the fume hood has proper air flow by checking the flow rate on the control panel and / or using a smoke match or wipe to visualize flow. Concentrations below 10% (i.e. vinegar) may be used outside of a fume hood.
If you are sharing a fume hood with someone and you will be working with concentrated acetic acid, make certain they are aware you are using concentrated acetic acid.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
When working with concentrated acetic acid, wear tightly fitting safety goggles, nitrile gloves, and a flame retardant anti-static laboratory coat (these are the purple lab coats in the drawers on the west wall of 303B).
Handling - SDS
Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Keep away from heat, sparks, open flames, and hot surfaces. Make sure you have your laboratory coat, eye protection, and gloves on before handling the bottle.
Storage - SDS
In general, acetic acid must be stored in 303B East Fume Hood Corrosives Cabinet. Use MyChem, the UW EH&S chemical inventory database, to find exactly where in the lab suite this chemical is stored. Store at room temperature and in the provided secondary containment within the flammables cabinet.
Spills - SDS
- Inhalation - Remove person to fresh air and keep comfortable for breathing. For advice, call UW Employee Health Center (206.685.1026) or the Washington Poison Center (800.222.1222). For emergency help, call 911.
- Skin contact - In case of skin contact, remove all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water / shower. For advice, call UW Employee Health Center (206.685.1026) or the Washington Poison Center (800.222.1222). For emergency help, call 911.
- Eye contact - Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. For advice, call UW Employee Health Center (206.685.1026) or the Washington Poison Center (800.222.1222). For emergency help, call 911.
If the spill is fully contained inside the fume hood, close the sash and prepare yourself to clean it up. Grab the closest spill kit. Make sure you have the appropriate PPE on (lab coat, nitrile gloves, eye protection). Do not allow the substance to enter the drain. Use liquid-absorbent material to soak up the chemical. Put all generated waste into a bag. See Waste section below.
If the spill is outside of the hood, do not breathe vapors and ensure adequate ventilation. Do not let anyone enter the contaminated space until the air is cleared or proper PPE has been donned.
If you need assistance or advice, use the IsoLab Emergency Contacts sheet.
Consult the EH&S Spill Poster and Exposure Poster
Waste - SDS
If you are cleaning up after a spill and have a bag of debris, ensure the bag is sealed and use multiple bags as needed. Complete an EH&S Hazardous Waste Label and adhere it to the bag. Here are instructions for how to label chemical waste containers. Labels are located in a drawer on the west wall of 303B near the door to the hallway.
If your waste is low concentration acetic acid (e.g. 5-10%), neutralize with sodium bicarbonate, measure the pH, and when neutral, pour down the drain. Complete an entry in the drain log.
If your acetic acid is too concentrated or has other chemicals in it that can not go down the drain, use a waste container. Options for waste containers can be found under the west sink in 303B. Complete an EH&S Hazardous Waste Label and adhere it to the bottle. Here are instructions for how to label chemical waste containers. Labels are located in a drawer on the west wall of 303B near the door to the hallway.
Place the properly labeled container in one of the gray tubs near the hallway door of 303B. Segregate from other waste containers as appropriate.
Consult our generalized Chemical Waste Disposal SOP.
Acetic acid is not deemed a particularly hazardous substance by EH&S and you do not need approval before using it. You do need to complete the list of requirements below before using this chemical.
- You must have completed Managing Laboratory Chemicals in the last three years. Login to check.
- Read and understand the SDS for acetic acid.
- Read, understand, and digitally sign this SOP.