Sodium azide with react with many metals such as lead and copper and others to for m shock sensitive (easily detonated) materials. Lead azide is in fact u sed in detonating systems. In the manufacture of sodium azide only stainl ess steel is allowed (not even chrome plated) to prevent potential formation of such compounds. There have been unpublished or anecdotal reports of chrome plated dome fasteners on coveralls wearing away the chrome plating, exposing “azide-reactable” metal which reacted with azide over relatively short periods of time and then “popped” or “sn apped” when workers closed the dome fastener. Zippers may have responded in a similar fashion.
In a lab setting one would need to ensure that there are adequate processes fo r decomposing the azide so none is flushed down the sink even inadvertently.& nbsp; Equipment used to handle the azide should ideally be dedicated to that purp ose and thoroughly decontaminated after use so that later maintenance activity does not expose residual azide to shock or friction.
Glenn Wood (PhD, CIH, ROH) | Associate: Sr. Health and
Safety Consultant | Golder Associates Ltd. &
2390 Argentia Road, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5N 5Z7
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