What should be stored in Acid and Alkali Storage Cabinets?

Acid Alkali Cabinet

Firstly, we must establish why Acid and Alkali substances require storage in a separate Acid and Alkali Storage Cabinet, this is because both Acid and Alkali substances can both be corrosive.

Corrosive Substances

Corrosive Substances in Acid Alkali Cabinets

Corrosive substances are substances which can cause damage to some solid structures and surfaces therefore they must under COSHH regulations be stored separately and securely, in an acid alkali cabinet.

Generally, when we think of corrosive we think of Acids and Alkali or bases but many other substances have similar properties but in a weaker strength and can still cause harm. Particularly any substance which destroys the skin usually by denaturing (changes the proteins in the skin leading to cell death) must also be stored in an Acid and Alkali Storage Cabinet.

Always check the CoSHH data sheet which should accompany all hazardous products to check the Ph level of the particular substance, this will tell you if the substance is Acid or Alkali.

Certain corrosive substances often have other hazards associated with them, many are flammable and also can be toxic. For instance, Chromic and Nitric acid are both significant oxidizing agents, others like sulfuric acid are water reactive.

Cabinet Positioning

Acid Alkali Cabinet Positioning

Due to the many different hazards associated with differing substances several cabinets may be required to separate not just the Acid and Alkali Storage but also substances that are flammable and corrosive too.

The correct positioning of any Acid and Alkali Storage cabinet is also important as consideration must be given to the possibility of explosion of containers. Some Acids that are water reactive have a pressure build up hazard associated with them, should condensation form within the container this may cause a pressure increase within it. Therefore, consider positing the Acid and Alkali Storage cabinet in an area that will not experience wide temperature differences to avoid condensation forming within the containers.

As mentioned in our other pages make sure the cabinets are stored at a low level and are fixed securely to avoid the risk of spillage or injury when the contents are removed.

Never store corrosive substances under a sink even if stored in an Acid and Alkali Storage Cabinet. The corrosive nature of the substances may corrode the pipe work and create a water leak which could react with certain corrosive substances stored within the cabinet with dangerous effects.

Both Acids and Alkali substances will react badly with each other if they both come into contact. This condition could occur if a bottle of acid and alkali were to break and the contents come into contact.

The reaction between the two would cause toxic fumes, dangerous spattering of the resulting mixture and in certain cases the possibility of a fire.

It is important to identify the types of substances, both Acids and Alkali and separate them where possible. Alkali substances have a low corrosive strength such as amines but are flammable, requiring storage in a flammable liquid cabinet but with ventilation.

acid alkali cabinets