Sodium alginate is a substance used in the food industry. In assessing the safety of sodium alginate important things to know are its chemistry and features, as well as the hazards it poses.
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Sodium alginate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula of NaC6H7O6. As a sodium, salt of the alginic acid sodium alginate is a solid that is stable when at room temperature. Its pH ranges from 5.5 to 8.5. Solubility varies from 3 to 10 per cent.
Inhalation of sodium alginate may cause laboured respiration and in serious cases may stop breathing altogether. Ingestion may cause vomiting, diarrhoea or nausea (in serious cases it can cause intestinal blockage). Contact with eyes or skin may cause irritation.
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Sodium alginate is combustible at high enough temperatures, with such starters as sparks of flame or open flame. Electrical shock however does not cause sodium alginate to combust. Other than fire, sodium alginate must be kept away from such things as acids, oxidising agents and alkalis.
Protective clothing is a good precaution when handling sodium alginate. Protective clothing can include safety or splash goggles, a separate air source, boots, lab coat, gloves or a full protective suit. Using protective general engineering controls is also a good precaution (including ventilators and process enclosures).
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