Material Safety Data Sheet
Potassium Metal

ACC# 19180
Section 1 - Chemical Product and Company Identification

MSDS Name: Potassium Metal
Catalog Numbers: P168I-50
Company Identification:

              Fisher Scientific
              1 Reagent Lane
              Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
For information, call:
Emergency Number:
For CHEMTREC assistance, call:
For International CHEMTREC assistance, call:

Section 2 - Composition, Information on Ingredients

CAS# Chemical Name Percent EINECS/ELINCS
7440-09-7 Potassium >98% 231-119-8

Section 3 - Hazards Identification


Appearance: silver solid.
Danger! Reacts violently with water liberating highly flammable gases. Causes eye and skin burns. Causes digestive and respiratory tract burns. May ignite or explode on contact with moist air. May form unstable peroxides.
Target Organs: Eyes, skin, mucous membranes.

Potential Health Effects
Eye: Causes eye burns.
Skin: Causes skin burns. Reacts with moisture in the skin to form potassium hydroxide and hydrogen with much heat.
Ingestion: Causes gastrointestinal tract burns.
Inhalation: May cause irritation of the respiratory tract with burning pain in the nose and throat, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and pulmonary edema. Causes chemical burns to the respiratory tract. Inhalation may be fatal as a result of spasm, inflammation, edema of the larynx and bronchi, chemical pneumonitis and pulmonary edema.
Chronic: No information found.

Section 4 - First Aid Measures

Eyes: Get medical aid immediately. Do NOT allow victim to rub eyes or keep eyes closed. Extensive irrigation with water is required (at least 30 minutes).
Skin: Get medical aid immediately. Immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Wash clothing before reuse. Destroy contaminated shoes.
Ingestion: Do not induce vomiting. If victim is conscious and alert, give 2-4 cupfuls of milk or water. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Get medical aid immediately.
Inhalation: Get medical aid immediately. Remove from exposure and move to fresh air immediately. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Do NOT use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If breathing has ceased apply artificial respiration using oxygen and a suitable mechanical device such as a bag and a mask.
Notes to Physician: Treat symptomatically and supportively.

Section 5 - Fire Fighting Measures

General Information: As in any fire, wear a self-contained breathing apparatus in pressure-demand, MSHA/NIOSH (approved or equivalent), and full protective gear. Reacts with water to form explosive hydrogen gas. May ignite or explode on contact with steam or moist air.
Extinguishing Media: Use dry sand or earth to smother fire. Do NOT use carbon dioxide. Use approved class D extinguishing agents or smother with dry sand, clay, or sodium bicarbonate. DO NOT USE WATER! Contact professional fire-fighters immediately.
Flash Point: Not available.
Autoignition Temperature: Not available.
Explosion Limits, Lower:Not available.
Upper: Not available.
NFPA Rating: (estimated) Health: 3; Flammability: 2; Instability: 2; Special Hazard: -W-

Section 6 - Accidental Release Measures

General Information: Use proper personal protective equipment as indicated in Section 8.
Spills/Leaks: Vacuum or sweep up material and place into a suitable disposal container. Avoid runoff into storm sewers and ditches which lead to waterways. Clean up spills immediately, observing precautions in the Protective Equipment section. Remove all sources of ignition. Use a spark-proof tool. Provide ventilation. Do not expose spill to water.

Section 7 - Handling and Storage

Handling: Do not allow water to get into the container because of violent reaction. Use spark-proof tools and explosion proof equipment. Do not breathe dust, vapor, mist, or gas. Do not get in eyes, on skin, or on clothing. Keep container tightly closed. Use with adequate ventilation. Store protected from air. Use and store under nitrogen. Do not allow contact with water. Container should be opened by a technically qualified person. Discard contaminated shoes. Keep from contact with moist air and steam.
Storage: Keep away from sources of ignition. Keep container closed when not in use. Store in a tightly closed container. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances. Keep away from water. Water free area. Store in inert atmospheres, such as argon or nitrogen, under liquids that are oxygen free, such as toluene or kerosene, or in glass capsules that have been filled under vacuum or inert atmosphere.

Section 8 - Exposure Controls, Personal Protection

Engineering Controls: Use explosion-proof ventilation equipment. Facilities storing or utilizing this material should be equipped with an eyewash facility and a safety shower. Use adequate ventilation to keep airborne concentrations low.
Exposure Limits
Chemical Name ACGIH NIOSH OSHA - Final PELs
Potassium none listed none listed none listed

OSHA Vacated PELs: Potassium: No OSHA Vacated PELs are listed for this chemical.
Personal Protective Equipment
Eyes: Wear chemical splash goggles and face shield.
Skin: Wear appropriate protective gloves to prevent skin exposure.
Clothing: Wear appropriate protective clothing to prevent skin exposure.
Respirators: Follow the OSHA respirator regulations found in 29 CFR 1910.134 or European Standard EN 149. Use a NIOSH/MSHA or European Standard EN 149 approved respirator if exposure limits are exceeded or if irritation or other symptoms are experienced.

Section 9 - Physical and Chemical Properties

Physical State: Solid
Appearance: silver
Odor: odorless
pH: Basic in water (>7)
Vapor Pressure: Not applicable.
Vapor Density: Not applicable.
Evaporation Rate:Not applicable.
Viscosity: Not applicable.
Boiling Point: 770 deg C
Freezing/Melting Point:63 deg C
Decomposition Temperature:Not available.
Solubility: Reacts violently in water.
Specific Gravity/Density:0.862
Molecular Formula:K
Molecular Weight:39.0983

Section 10 - Stability and Reactivity

Chemical Stability: Combines vigorously or explosively with water. Potassium metal will form the peroxide and the superoxide at room temperature even when stored under mineral oil; may explode violently when handled or cut. Oxide-coated potassium should be destroyed by burning.
Conditions to Avoid: Exposure to air, contact with water, exposure to moist air or water.
Incompatibilities with Other Materials: Water, oxidizing agents.
Hazardous Decomposition Products: Hydrogen gas, peroxides, oxides of potassium.
Hazardous Polymerization: Will not occur.

Section 11 - Toxicological Information

CAS# 7440-09-7: TS6460000
Not available.

CAS# 7440-09-7: Not listed by ACGIH, IARC, NTP, or CA Prop 65.

Epidemiology: No information found
Teratogenicity: No information found
Reproductive Effects: No information found
Mutagenicity: No information found
Neurotoxicity: No information found
Other Studies:

Section 12 - Ecological Information

No information available.

Section 13 - Disposal Considerations

Chemical waste generators must determine whether a discarded chemical is classified as a hazardous waste. US EPA guidelines for the classification determination are listed in 40 CFR Parts 261.3. Additionally, waste generators must consult state and local hazardous waste regulations to ensure complete and accurate classification.
RCRA P-Series: None listed.
RCRA U-Series: None listed.

Section 14 - Transport Information

Hazard Class: 4.3 4.3
UN Number: UN2257 UN2257
Packing Group: I I

Section 15 - Regulatory Information


     CAS# 7440-09-7 is listed on the TSCA inventory.
Health & Safety Reporting List
     None of the chemicals are on the Health & Safety Reporting List.
Chemical Test Rules
     None of the chemicals in this product are under a Chemical Test Rule.
Section 12b
     None of the chemicals are listed under TSCA Section 12b.
TSCA Significant New Use Rule
     None of the chemicals in this material have a SNUR under TSCA.
CERCLA Hazardous Substances and corresponding RQs
     None of the chemicals in this material have an RQ.
SARA Section 302 Extremely Hazardous Substances
     None of the chemicals in this product have a TPQ.
SARA Codes
     CAS # 7440-09-7: immediate, fire, reactive.
Section 313      No chemicals are reportable under Section 313.
Clean Air Act:
     This material does not contain any hazardous air pollutants.
     This material does not contain any Class 1 Ozone depletors.
     This material does not contain any Class 2 Ozone depletors.
Clean Water Act:
     None of the chemicals in this product are listed as Hazardous Substances under the CWA.
     None of the chemicals in this product are listed as Priority Pollutants under the CWA.
     None of the chemicals in this product are listed as Toxic Pollutants under the CWA.
     None of the chemicals in this product are considered highly hazardous by OSHA.
     CAS# 7440-09-7 can be found on the following state right to know lists: California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts.

California Prop 65

California No Significant Risk Level: None of the chemicals in this product are listed.

European/International Regulations

European Labeling in Accordance with EC Directives
Hazard Symbols:
     F C
Risk Phrases:

     R 14/15 Reacts violently with water liberating extremely flammable
     R 34 Causes burns.

Safety Phrases:

     S 45 In case of accident or if you feel unwell, seek medical advice
     immediately (show the label where possible).
     S 8 Keep container dry.
     S 5B Keep contents under liquids which are oxygen-free, e.g. kerosen
     e, toluene, etc.

WGK (Water Danger/Protection)

     CAS# 7440-09-7: 2
Canada - DSL/NDSL
     CAS# 7440-09-7 is listed on Canada's DSL List.
Canada - WHMIS
     This product has a WHMIS classification of B6, E.
This product has been classified in accordance with the hazard criteria of the Controlled Products Regulations and the MSDS contains all of the information required by those regulations.
Canadian Ingredient Disclosure List

Section 16 - Additional Information

MSDS Creation Date: 12/12/1997
Revision #5 Date: 6/22/2006

The information above is believed to be accurate and represents the best information currently available to us. However, we make no warranty of merchantability or any other warranty, express or implied, with respect to such information, and we assume no liability resulting from its use. Users should make their own investigations to determine the suitability of the information for their particular purposes. In no event shall Fisher be liable for any claims, losses, or damages of any third party or for lost profits or any special, indirect, incidental, consequential or exemplary damages, howsoever arising, even if Fisher has been advised of the possibility of such damages.