Calcium chloride is an odorless, white, crystalline solid compound that is highly soluble in water. A type of salt, this chemical is hygroscopic, which means it can attract and absorb water molecules from its surroundings. Calcium chloride has a variety of applications and can lead to potential health risks if handled improperly.
These are some important tips for handling and storing calcium chloride safely.
Calcium chloride is used in a wide range of industries. Namely, this material is used to make road de-icing agents and brine. Other common applications include:
- Dust control
- Salt-based dehumidifiers
- Calcifying aquarium water
- Increasing water hardness in swimming pools
- Food additive
Calcium chloride poses some serious health and safety hazards. If ingested, calcium chloride can lead to burns in the mouth and throat, excess thirst, vomiting, stomach pain, low blood pressure, and other possible severe health effects.
It can also irritate skin by causing excessive dryness or desiccating moist skin. In extreme cases of exposure or ingestion, this chemical can cause skin burns, cardiac disturbances, respiration issues, and seizures. Because of the hazards posed by calcium chloride, it is important to exercise caution when handling this material, whether in the workplace or any other setting.
When handling calcium chloride in the workplace, protect yourself from potential hazards by using safety glasses, a synthetic apron and gloves. Ensure eyewash stations and washing facilities are located in the immediate workspace wherever this chemical is prevalent. In case of exposure to calcium chloride, follow these first aid guidelines:
- Inhalation - Seek fresh air and immediate medical attention.
- Eye Contact - Remove contact lenses, if present. Immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes to prevent damage, and seek medical attention.
- Skin Contact - Flush affected area with plenty of water. Remove contaminated clothing and wash with soap. Get medical attention and cover any irritated skin with an emollient.
- Ingestion—Do NOT induce vomiting. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Seek medical attention immediately if large quantities of this material are ingested.
Store calcium chloride in a secure area away from incompatible materials and moisture. Keep container tightly closed in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. This chemical must be disposed of in accordance with federal, state, and local environmental control regulations.
To learn more about the potential health threats of this chemical and others in your workplace, browse our extensive library of MSDS information here.