Dichromate disposal


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What is the accepted method of disposing of unused dichromate solution once your violin is stained?  I think it can be saved and used again, but I have some that I mixed with a quart of water instead of a cup and I have something from years ago that I think is dichromate but I'm not sure.  I would like to get rid of the weak and unknown solutions safely.

 

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Proceed to at least 12 miles offshore, use what you've got to wash down your teak (wearing gloves, etc., of course), then flush it all thoroughly overboard with a salt water hose.  Legally, "international waters" is the open season potty of the world.  Have a nice day! :):ph34r:   [Well, that settles that topic :lol: ]

 

If that's not satisfactory, take it to your local hazmat disposal where you already take batteries, old cans of Raid, fluorescent bulbs, and the like.

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I've taken P.Dichromate and Nitric Acid to our local HazMat disposal site and they said they incinerate these types of hazardous material. I would think most communities these days have places to dispose of harmful chemicals.

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Incinerating nitric acid would not be smart. It would either simply vaporize into the atmosphere or create even less desirable products. Much better would be to dilute it with lots of water and fertilize your lawn with it. In my working life our waste dichromate went down the drain, but if I ever need to dispose of a small amount it will be poured in a discrete location.

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This is the second recent thread that has addressed the issue of safe disposal of the byproducts of our trade.  I sense an opportunity for further education on this topic through, perhaps, a VSA convention presentation/discussion.  Violadamore, I nominate you as an MNer with bona fides in this area.  Tentative title: The Greening of Violin Making and Maintenance...

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isn't p.dichromate highly toxic and carcinogenic?

The portion of dichromate composed of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) can cause cancer in the lungs from inhalation, and cancer in the intestines and duodenum from ingestion. The "safe" health threshold (reference dose) was set back in 1998 and is currently in review by the EPA.

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...which would be all of it.  :)  Chromate and dichromate are hexavalent.  However, it can be easily reduced, so it's no longer hexavalent.

Not knowing how the solution was used I was allowing for the possibility that the dichromate could be partially reduced to trivalent chromium (Cr(III)) which is much less toxic.  Also I'm a biologist not a chemist, so I'm comfortable talking about the health effects (part of my job) but not redox reactions.   

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Jim and fiddle collector

In all seriousness. Obviously the dry chemical must be treated with a great deal of respect but if one washes the solution off your hands and don't boil it or create a vapor are you likely to have it enter your system? Like wise if one uses it with tannic acid as a mordant and let it dry with light exposure then seal it with shellac ( standard neck treatment)is it still dangerous?

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Sorry Nathan (and everyone else) I wasn't trying to sound like an alarmist. Yes the chemical is safe to use with proper safety and handling procedures. Can Cr(VI) cause cancer? Definitely, but when we're talking cancer it is from chronic lifetime exposures. Something to consider is that dermal contact exposure does not necessarily end when you wash your hands if the chemical is absorbed into the dermal layers. So I would recommend wearing gloves. Again, occasional contact is no big deal, but daily contact might be a problem. My best advice is to keep an MSDS sheet for every chemical you use, and follow the safety procedures for handling that chemical. Here is the MSDS for potassium dichromate.

 

Rereading the above, I think I still sound like an alarmist. <_<   I guess it's just my direct writing style. :)

 

 

-Jim

 

 

Potassium dichromate MSDS.pdf

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