why it is not advisable to pick up metallic Sodium with bare hands?
Pure sodium metal is extremely hazardous. It is very sensitive even to minor moisture content. Our air contains enough moisture (water) in it to react with the sodium metal. Sodium metal reacts violently with water and can explode. Even our hands contain some minor moisture that sodium can react with thus burning our hands. The fire produced by the reaction of sodium cannot be put out with water or carbon dioxide.
Sodium is commonly stored in a container with mineral oil or kerosene to prevent oxidation with moisture (water).
In handling sodium metal, any person should wear safety goggles, masks and gloves.
Hope this helps :)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial