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Old 02-04-2004, 09:01 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Portsmouth, RI
Posts: 124
How safe is gallium?

I've always wanted to play with gallium since it melts in your mouth and in your hands, and through the wonders of birthday money and ebay I now find myself in a position to get some. There's one problem, I know nothing about it as far as safety is concerned. Is it safe to hold or is that a bad idea like with mercury? Do I have to scrub my hands raw after holding it or where protective gear? As much as I like the idea of playing with molten metal in my hands it's definitley not worth poisoning myself over.
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Old 02-04-2004, 09:05 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 3,919
Quote:
**** SECTION 3 - HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION ****

EMERGENCY OVERVIEW
Irritating to eyes, respiratory system and skin.Moisture
sensitive.The toxicological properties of this material have not been
fully investigated.

Potential Health Effects
Eye:
Causes eye irritation.
Skin:
Causes skin irritation. May be harmful if absorbed through the skin.
The toxicological properties of this material have not been fully
investigated. May cause contact dermatitis.
Ingestion:
May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and
diarrhea. The toxicological properties of this substance have not
been fully investigated. May be harmful if swallowed.
Inhalation:
Causes respiratory tract irritation. The toxicological properties of
this substance have not been fully investigated. May be harmful if
inhaled.
Chronic:
May cause bone marrow abnormalities with damage to blood forming
tissues. Administration of gallium to humans has caused metallic
taste, skin rashes, and bone marrow depression.
http://acialloys.com/msds/ga.html
Old 02-04-2004, 09:13 PM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Portsmouth, RI
Posts: 124
Darn, there go all my hopes and dreams. Thank you for your helpful and incredibly prompt response Eleusis.
Old 02-05-2004, 12:36 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,267
How about [url=http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/WO/woods_metal.html]Wood's metal[/url, which has a mp of 66oC.

Not very toxic but can still be melted with hot water.

I'll see if I can find a similar alloy without the Cd.
Old 02-05-2004, 12:41 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,267
Woods metal
Cerrobend
Old 02-05-2004, 01:17 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The City State of Noosphere
Posts: 3,540
Galinstan looks like fun
Old 02-05-2004, 05:27 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Ranger
From their safety sheet:
Quote:
Substances to be avoided: Chlorine, bromine, metals, light metal alloys, aluminium (amalgam formation)
Amalgam formation, eh? I wouldn't gargle it.

"Barkeeper, give me your strongest stuff!" - "Here, this one will dissolve your fillings. Literally."
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