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Introduction

Sodium nitrite is an inorganic compound, which has the chemical formula NaNO2. It is a hygroscopic and soluble in water with a white to slight yellow crystalline appearance. Nitrite group of compounds constitute one nitrogen atom along with two oxygen atoms. Although it is incombustible in nature, it can accelerate the burning of combustible materials.

 

Production

There are two industrial processes to produce sodium nitrite, which include the oxidation of lower nitrogen oxides and reduction of nitrate salts. Another method involves the use of molten sodium nitrate and lead that is oxidized. Scrap iron fillings are used to produce nitrites by reducing nitrates. A common production process involves the treatment of nitrogen oxides in alkaline aqueous solution in the presence of a catalyst. The production process is governed by the nitrogen oxides used and what the oxidizing agent is, since the conditions must be kept under control to prevent nitrogen atom’s over oxidation. Sodium nitrite is also produced by nitrate salts’ reaction through exposure to light, heat, metals, ionizing radiation, electrolytic reduction and hydrogen.

 

Applications

Chemical and pharmaceutical industries buy sodium nitrite in large amounts to produce pharmaceuticals, pesticides and dyes. Sodium nitrite suppliers and manufacturers supply the chemical to produce heat transfer salts, detinning solutions and multipurpose greases. It is used as an anti-corrosion inhibitor for multipurpose greases. The medicinal industries buy sodium nitrite for use as a drug to stop cyanide poisoning. Sodium thiosulfate is used along with it. Sodium nitrite suppliers supply the chemical to produce various products such as preservative in cured meats, color fixative, rubber accelerators, dye manufacture, photographic and analytical reagent.

 

Toxicity

Sodium nitrite (CAS Number:7632-00-0) is an oxidizer, which can intensify fire. Ingestion of the compound can have toxic implications such as muscular incoordination, weakness, tremors, reflex loss and death from circulatory collapse. It can cause serious eye irritation. The chemical may cause conjunctivitis and permanent corneal opacification. It is highly toxic to aquatic life. Sodium nitrite may cause cyanosis, methemoglobinemia, convulsionsand death. It causes irritation of the digestive tract. It can have mutagenic effects and development of tumors are also possible. Industries that buy sodium nitrite must read and understand the toxicity of the chemical. Sodium nitrite suppliers, manufacturers, consumers and intermediate users should be aware of the toxic effects of the compound.

 

Exposure Controls and Personal Protection

Sodium nitrite suppliers, manufacturers and distributors storing and using it must have provisions for safety showers and eyewash facility. Apt protective goggles, gloves and clothing must be worn by the chemical manufacturing professionals. Respirators should be used when the workplace conditions permit. Other industriesand manufacturers, who buy sodium nitrite should be equipped with the required safety protection facilities and equipment.

 

Handling and Storage

Dust generation and accumulation should be minimized. Contact with clothing, skin and eyes should be avoided. Ensure thorough washing after handling. Contaminated clothing must be removed and washed before reuse. Contact with combustible materials should be avoided. It must be kept in a tightly closed container. Those who buy sodium nitrite and use, must do so in an inert atmosphere under a chemical fume hood only. The chemical should be stored in a cool and dry place away from non-compatible materials. Sodium nitrite suppliers, manufacturers, sellers, wholesalers and factory personnel must carefully handle and store it.

 

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