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I was wondering about use of some barrels that I procured. Answered

They had Polyacrylic acid (CAS# 9003-01-4) in them, which was being used as a calcium dispersant/scale inhibitor.  I was wondering with a good rinse, wash and soak if they would be ok for use in a rainwater collection system that feeds a garden.  I discovered that that specific chemical is also used in all kinda of cosmetics, and in many of different pills (Musinex as an example) as a time release agent.  I figure if I clean them good, how bad could it be if it's something that you would ingest anyway?



Best Answer 8 years ago

Contact the manufacturer. They mightl tell you if it is dangerous or not, after all they are handling the stuff.
I did the same thing when I wanted to use a 1000 litre tank that had contained cocamide diethanolamine for garden water. After checking the msds and other internet info I found that it could be used in waterproofing products and rust inhibitors. I thought it was derived from coconut and wasn't too harmful, but now I was getting a little concerned.
I contacted the manufacturer and after convincing them that I was genuine in my enquiries, they informed me it was derived from coconut and is used in soap products too make it frothy. They sent me an msds and some additional info, and after some more checking I realised it was OK to use the drum.

Better safe than sorry.

Good idea.  I think that I will look that up tomorrow.  I don't know how I never thought of that, but it really is the best answer.  Thanks!

I found out that in the form that it was in the barrels, the chemical is rated by the FDA for food contact.  Apparently it is able to occasionally come into contact with food when discharged form a cooling system.  So I'm going to go for that it's ok to use for rainwater!

Used in cosmetics???

From the MSDS sheet:
Contact a licensed professional waste disposal service to dispose
of this material.
Risk Statements: May cause cancer. May cause heritable genetic
Safety Statements: Restricted to professional users. Attention -
Avoid exposure - obtain special instructions before use. In case
of accident or if you feel unwell, seek medical advice
immediately (show the label where possible).
This product is or contains a component that is subject
to SARA313 reporting requirements.

That was not on the MSDS.  I"m actually looking at it right now.  Where did you get that from?  Mine that came from the barrel says that you can flush it down the drain no problem. 

I simply googled for polyacrylic acid.  Check the link, it's from the University of Minnesota.

.  MSDSs tend to lean toward the ultra-safe side and are often only applicable to large quantities. Use of the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) will limit your exposure. The Wikipedia article claims that PAA is used in disposable diapers.
.  Apparently you don't want to eat or breathe the stuff so cleaning the barrels safely may be a problem for the average DIYer.

That is for the powder version.  It is used in disposable diapers, also as a time release agent in pills, and is an ingredient in Mucinex (by their own listing).  The only danger there would be inhalation, due to Polyacrylic Acid holding more than 500% of it's own weight in water.  That can cause severe dryness and obvious cracking of skin.  This was a liquid form.  Possible skin dryness is listed for prolonged contact directly, But under the listed carcinogenicity there is none known.  This applies to chronic affects as well.  

I was just seeing if anyone had any information that I possibly had not gathered.  I have been working on finding things out off and on all day between projects.

Thanks for the help though!


8 years ago

Could we just get rolling with this barrel cleaning?


Questions of dosage. There must be a MSDS for the stuff; look it up and that will tell you what the risks are.