Hexane is a substance that producers get from crude oil and petroleum. Through a process of advanced extraction, a hexane manufacturer will get a liquid that smells of gasoline and doesn’t have any color.
Always remember that this is a highly flammable chemical. It is imperative to get proper training before handling it. Otherwise, it should be managed by experienced professionals.
Nowadays, hexane can be found in various products that we use at home. The chemical can be processed and utilized for industrial and consumer products. Among others, it is very important to store the substance properly in an isolated area.
Hexane is toxic and causes a lot of damage if ingested or if it gets in touch with the mucous membrane. When handling the substance, it is very important to have precautionary measures in place.
This is also important in the case of fire as hexane is a highly flammable liquid.
How is hexane used?
Most people don’t even know what hexane is. This makes sense, given that this is a chemical compound and not a brand name. However, the liquid is very potent and can be used in a wide variety of ways.
Among others, it is often used by big companies, but it can also be found within households.
Here are some of the most common ways people use it:
What are the biggest issues with hexane?
As previously indicated, there are a lot of potential hazards when handling the substance. The chemical is very dangerous for humans, and you need to take a lot of precautionary measures before you start using it.
First off, short-term exposure to vapors can cause issues such as nausea, dizziness, and headache. In some cases, it might even lead to unconsciousness. And this is only in small amounts.
If you expose yourself to the substance over a prolonged period of time, the damage can be quite severe. The toxins will affect your nervous system, and if you swallow hexane, it will cause a lot of stomach pain.
The substance can have a disastrous impact on your respiratory system leading to coughing, shortness of breath, burning in the throat, chest, and mouth, as well as chemical pneumonitis.
Besides its impact on biological organisms, the substance is very flammable. It shouldn't be kept close to sources of heat. It is recommended that users keep it in a cold, damp place that can easily be extinguished in case of a fire.
Due to all of these factors, it is very important for a person to get acquainted with the substance and apply proper measures before using it.
How to properly use hexane as well as a first-aid kit
If your company is already working with hexane, they probably have the necessary safety measures in place. New industrial and individual users should buy protective gloves and clothing, safety goggles, and breathing equipment that would allow them to use the substance without being endangered.
Due to its high flammability, a handler shouldn’t smoke in the vicinity of the liquid. You also shouldn’t eat or drink while near the chemical.
In case of exposure, even if it’s a minor one, you should seek immediate medical attention. Regardless of your symptoms, or lack thereof, you need to address the issue. Here are some tips that would help you out:
What to do in case of a hexane fire?
Not only is hexane flammable, but it can also cause an explosion. In order to prevent any of these issues, the substance should be kept in a secluded, closed environment.
This area should have a proper ventilation system. Lights and electrical devices should be explosion-proof, as well. When dealing with the explosion, you shouldn't use power tools that create sparks.
Here are the four steps you should take in the case of a fire:
In case of a fire or chemical spill, you should contact local pollution control. You will also need to get in touch with an emergency medical provider.