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I use a desiccant named Drierite to remove water from air in experiments. It is composed of $98\%\ \ce{CaSO4}$ and $2\%\ \ce{CoCl2}$. Every once in a while the Drierite gets saturated with water vapor and it must be dried out so it can be used again.

According to the manufacturer you put the chemical in a lab oven, set to $230\ ^\circ\mathrm{C}$ until it turns blue. The cobalt dichloride $\ce{CoCl2}$ is an indicator that turns blue when dry and pink/purple when saturated. One of my coworkers noted that cobalt dichloride is a carcinogen, and now he wants me to stop heating it in the lab oven because of the vapor it is giving off that we are breathing.

  • Could cobalt dichloride give off anything that would cause a person harm espcially when heated to $230\ ^\circ\mathrm{C}$?

I have looked at the safety data sheet but it is not very helpful. It does say that cobalt dicloride is a carcinogen but not how or when it is transferred.

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    $\begingroup$ Related: How dangerous is cobalt(II) chloride used in silica gel balls? $\endgroup$ – Loong Feb 15 '17 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Loong I read this post and safety precautions are in place to keep the dust under control. My and my coworkers concern is if there is any airborne danger because the lab oven vents directly into the lab. $\endgroup$ – Drew_J Feb 15 '17 at 14:17

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