How safe are the attractants to use?
NB. When handled properly,
the attractants are all safe to use. However, all are potentially
toxic and/or inflammable when not used with due precautions.
The following general precautions should be
observed when handling the attractants.
- Store attractants in a cool, well-ventilated
place away from direct sunlight.
- Store away from unauthorised users, particularly
- Store attractants in proper containers that
are clearly labelled. Avoid using old food or drink containers,
e.g. Coke bottles, that could encourage unauthorised users to
drink or eat the contents.
- Wear protective overalls, gloves and eye protection
when handling the attractants, particularly when using large
quantities. These will provide protection against any toxic or
corrosive effects. It should also be noted that octenol and the
phenols have rather unpleasant and particularly "clinging"
odours and you may find your friends avoiding you if your everyday
clothes get contaminated.
- Never eat, drink or smoke while working with
Below is a summary of the main hazards for each of the attractants.
Click on the link to see a full Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
Carbon dioxide is an odourless, non-flammable gas. It is present
in the atmosphere (0.03-0.04%) and in exhaled human breath (4%)
and at such levels is non-toxic. At higher concentrations it
can cause hyperventilation and asphyxiation.
Acetone is a volatile (bp 56°C), highly inflammable liquid.
It must be stored in strong, well-sealed containers, and care
taken when opening these in case of pressure build up. Being
so volatile, high concentrations of the vapour can easily occur
and these can be suffocating as well as being easily ignited.
Acetone is a good solvent, dissolving paint and attacking some
plastics, and potentially penetrating the skin. It is miscible
with water and organic solvents, and hence can be easily diluted
with water in case of accidents. (MSDS)
Butanone has very similar properties to acetone except that it is less
volatile (bp 80°C) and hence easier to handle and marginally less
hazardous. Unlike acetone, butanone is only partially miscible with water.
Octenol (1-octen-3-ol) is a liquid with strong smell of mushrooms.
It can be nauseating at high concentrations, but is otherwise
relatively non-hazardous. (MSDS)
4-Methylphenol (p-cresol) is a liquid on hot days and
solid on cold days. It has a pungent, disinfectant-like smell,
but the main hazard is that it is corrosive on skin and particularly
damaging to sensitive tissues - e.g. it will cause severe burns
to the digestive tract if consumed. Thus contact with skin should
be avoided by handling with care and using gloves and protective
clothing. It is significantly soluble in water, so that spills
can be washed away with lots of water, particularly with soap
or soda added. (MSDS)
3-Methylphenol (m-cresol) is a liquid with similar hazardous
properties to those of 4-methylphenol. (MSDS)
3-Propylphenol is a liquid with similar hazardous properties
to those of 4-methylphenol. (MSDS)
Ask another question about
Ask another question?