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  Safety Measurements

General Instructions

  • Damped nitrocellulose must not be allowed to dry out. Dry nitrocellulose is more susceptible to ignition.
  • Nitrocellulose should not be subjected to heat through direct sunlight, impact or friction. This can lead to decomposition of the product and eventually to ignition.

For the same reason, it should not be allowed to come into contact with either alkaline or strongly acidic chemicals.

Fire Safety

Nitrocellulose is a highly combustible material. The following precautions must be taken to avoid fire.

  • Adequate supply of water should be available for extinguishing fires, flooding unburnt material and cooling adjacent unignited drums. Only water should be used as carbon dioxide foam system and chemical extinguishers are ineffective.
  • Nitrocellulose burns fiercely when ignited, so all attempts to control or extinguish a fire must be made from a safe distance.
  • The lids of drums are liable to be blown off during a fire and accordingly due care should be taken by the fire fighting personnel.
  • As burning nitrocellulose gives off highly poisonous nitrous fumes, fire fighting personnel must wear breathing apparatus.

Effect on Health

  • Butanol/spirit damped nitrocellulose is not dangerous to health, but nitrous fumes from burning nitrocellulose are a lung irritant with delayed action.

First Aid

  • Remove the patient to fresh air and call a doctor. Give artificial respiration only if breathing has ceased.
  • Support the patient in a position which he finds most comfortable. Allow change of position if the patient desires.
  • Discourage physical activity and keep under observation for 24 hours.