Working Safely

Methanol is not generally considered to be a dangerous material. It can be harmful, even cause death, but this is almost unheard of in a laboratory. If ingested, methanol is converted into formaldehyde and may lead to blindness or death. Medical treatment is essential and must be given immediately, without delay.

It is inflammable and burns with a pale flame. Sometimes this flame is difficult to see and burns may result accidentally. Exercise caution if methanol is used as a fuel and ignited. Fire fighting materials should always be readily available for use when needed, although large fires should be left for professional fire fighters.

Ethanol spills may be cleaned up by soaking into a cloth or paper towels, then washing out the cloth and wiping down the area with a wet cloth. Other than sufficiently large quantities of water being used, no further treatment is necessary.



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