Questions about chemical safety, including questions about proper lab procedure, safe chemical handling, and chemical storage.

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Carbon monoxide detection without a detector

I have just been waken up by an alarm and found out that my neighbour did something terrible with his lighter. Luckily, there was no fire, only a plenty of smoke, and our flats were hermetically ...
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2answers
45 views

Safety concerns - Heating PMMA (acrylic glass) and fluorinated polymers

I have some plastic optical fiber, which consists of a thin core of PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), covered by a fluorinated polymer. I would like to heat a bundle of these fibers to ~130 degrees, in ...
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90 views

Is this reaction safe?

For my chemistry experiment, I was assigned to produce Ammonia Sulfide and test the chemical properties of the compound. From my online research, I found out that I can mix household ammonia and match ...
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2answers
43 views

How to treat Magnesium powder and ribbon

I am a master student of nuclear physics. Due to some measurements I'd like to make, I have to use Magnesium as a beam target. Searching through the net to see it's properties I found that it can be ...
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2answers
90 views

How can I safely carry out an electrolytic etch on stainless steel without producing relatively harmful by-products?

I propose to carry out an electrolytic etch on a stainless steel plate like so: One of electrodes must be the stainless steel plate which is being etched and the surface layer must be removed. I'm ...
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31 views

Is there a danger in electrolyzing NaCl?

To make $\ce{NaOH}$ one could electrolyze a solution of $\ce{NaCl}$ in water ($\ce{H2O}$) It would go like this: $\ce{2H2O (l) + 2Cl^- (aq) + 2Na^+(aq) -> H2(g) + Cl2(g) + Na^+(aq) + 2OH^-(aq)}$ ...
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2answers
66 views

What is an effective experiment to demonstrate the safety of wearing leather shoes while experimenting in the chemistry lab?

Quite often (from my own experience anyway), one of the safety rules in a school (high school or university) laboratory is that the students must wear leather shoes. I like to demonstrate some of ...
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3answers
83 views

Why do some dentists claim mercury “leaks out” of amalgam fillings?

From a chemistry point of view, if dental amalgam is a compound of mercury and other metals, and compounds are elements which are chemically bonded, how would it be possible for mercury to "leak out" ...
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1answer
79 views

Is hydrogen peroxide safe for cleaning porcelain?

From my understanding hydrogen peroxide only reacts with bacteria in a way that it should burn them more or less. If that is true, can I then safely use hydrogen peroxide to clean my bathroom sink ...
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60 views

Is it possible to cut yourself on pyrite?

I am planning an RPG adventure where the characters might end up getting a large cubic lump of "gold", which in reality, as you might have guessed, is in fact pyrite. I also wanted to plan for the ...
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3answers
68 views

Is it safe to mix potassium alum powder with magnesium oil (made from water and magnesium flakes)?

Will mixing these two together cause a reaction of any sort? If so, is it safe and is there an order in which one should be added to the other?
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21 views

Can you heat water with chemical additives? Would it remain safe to drink? [duplicate]

I've been wondering, is there some chemical that reacts with water, causes heat but isn't toxic?
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108 views

Will a Galileo's Thermometer containing liquid paraffin explode in my car if the temperature is above 35 degrees Celsius?

I'm driving from Sydney to Melbourne (approximately 12 hours trip) and I'm wondering if it's safe to have this Galileo's Thermometer in my car during the trip if it's going to be a scorcher of a day. ...
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1answer
45 views

Is there any substance that's a 0-0-0 on the NFPA diamond?

Is there any substance that's a 0-0-0 on the NFPA diamond? Basically a perfectly safe chemical.
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1answer
53 views

What are the properties of various solutions at pH <2 that may cause injuries?

For example, why do some solutions not cause any injuries at pH 2 while HCl does?
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1answer
38 views

Safety concerns for radical halogenations of methane in sunlight?

I wanted to know about the substitution reaction of alkanes particularly interested in the reaction of methane with fluorine and chlorine.
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0answers
126 views

Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS) Safety and Toxicity

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with PFBS or PFOS (perflurooctane sulfonic acid)? I am thinking about trying to purchase some of these fluorosurfactants in bulk in order to (hopefully) ...
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1answer
132 views

Storing chloroform

I'm going to be aliquoting out ethanol-stabilized chloroform into smaller containers. It's presently in a large bottle sealed with a rubber(y) sheet so I can only draw it out with a needle. My ...
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1answer
51 views

How to prevent petrol from being flammable?

Is there any way to prevent petrol from being flammable without losing it's solvent properties? Preferably some affordable way that is applicable for DIY. In my case, petrol is used for bearing ...
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1answer
93 views

How to quickly cool a test tube without cracking it?

Is there a way to safely cool a heated test tube quickly without cracking it due to sudden thermal stress in the glass? One thing that I tried was blowing on it, cooling it in slightly lukewarm water ...
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2answers
233 views

Why do pharmaceutical drugs have a expiration date?

Every now and then you reach into the bathroom cabinet to find that some pill or ointment you where planning to use has gone past its expiration date. I am interested whether this expiration date has ...
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1answer
68 views

Rotary Evaporator Cleaning

I am using a rotary evaporator ('rotovap') in my lab mainly with dichloromethane as a solvent. Usually between experiments I clean the receiving and boiling flasks with a brush using soap and water ...
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0answers
182 views

Is it dangerous to inhale the steam coming from electrolysis of salt-water solution

Is chlorine in there that accumulates (at the anode) and emerge out as chlorine gas? I was worried since I added a pinch of salt to the steamer inorder to hasten the heating of tap water when I caught ...
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137 views

Consequences of using reagent preserved with sodium azide on gold film

I am running experiments using reagents preserved with 0.1% sodium azide, which are applied to a gold film. Unfortunately, there are very few options for using reagents without sodium azide. I ...
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1answer
70 views

Safe, easily detectable gas or aerosol for testing fume hoods

I've recently started undertaking a project to construct a small fume hood. So far I'm considering its use for soldering, 3d printing with ABS and polystyrene, and PCB etching using a muriatic ...
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1answer
132 views

Peltier Bismuth-Telluride toxicity

From what I understand, the working agent inside a peltier cooler is Bismuth-Telluride. I've read a toxicity data-sheet regarding Bismuth-Telluride here: ...
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1answer
140 views

How to disarm and correctly dispose of tear gas spray?

I have a can of spray for self-protection which has expired way back in 2008. It hasn't been used at all, and it doesn't seem a good idea to just throw it away without disabling it somehow first. I'm ...
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54 views

Why is lithium likely to explode when burnt on non-metal surfaces only?

In this YouTube video (scrolled to 3:27) the researchers rip apart a battery and extract a thin sheet of lithium. At 3:27 they set the metal sheet on fire by putting it onto some metal part and ...
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5answers
21k views

Is it actually possible to dispose of a body with hydrofluoric acid?

In the TV show "Breaking Bad", Walter White frequently gets rid of people who get in his way by submerging them in a plastic container full of hydrofluoric acid. This, at least in the TV show, ...
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3answers
2k views

Please explain why dioxygen difluoride is so dangerous

I just read this article that mentioned that dioxygen difluoride is very dangerous. The terms it uses are "awful", "violently hideous" and "deeply alarming". But I couldn't get a handle on exactly ...
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3answers
942 views

Isopropyl alcohol forming peroxides

I read in many MSDS that Isopropyl alcohol tends to form peroxides (by reacting to air OR light) which may explode when they reach a given concentration. For example: ...
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3answers
2k views

Is there any substance that's a 4-4-4 on the NFPA diamond?

A lot of the organometallics are rather... interesting compounds to work with. The most famous (among those who care, anyway) is tert-butyllithium or t-BuLi. It is the textbook example of a pyrophoric ...
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1answer
58 views

What is a level 4 carcinogen?

My friend spilt a "level 4 carcinogen" on their lap. What is it and how dangerous is it? They had washed if off after.
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1answer
92 views

Impact of detergent on internal living tissue?

There was some spirited debate between the members of my chemistry lab today about the theoretical consequences of ingesting a large amount of the detergent Triton X-100 at a 100% concentration. The ...
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1answer
5k views

What makes Kleenex Cool Touch tissues cool to the touch, and is it safe?

I love Kleenex Cool Touch tissues. I'm just wondering what makes them actually feel cool. For some reason it makes me think of refrigerant but I'm sure that's not in them. Is it the combination ...
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1answer
336 views

Is the vinegar and baking soda experiment safe for children?

To be more specific, could the carbon dioxide fumes produced in the reaction be harmful to a small child? I don't have a strong background in chemistry, and I was prompted to ask this question when it ...
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1answer
515 views

In practice, how dangerous is liquid oxygen as an oxidizing agent?

The Wikipedia page on liquid oxygen tells us Liquid oxygen is also a very powerful oxidizing agent [...], if soaked in liquid oxygen, some materials such as coal briquettes, carbon black, etc., ...
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1answer
592 views

How dangerous is Cobalt (II) Chloride used in silica gel balls?

I was looking up silica gel beads on wiki and noticed that some (and from experience most) are doped with a colouring agent to indicate that they have absorbed all that they can. The wiki page says ...
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2answers
101 views

Silicon nitride ceramic safe to hold without protection?

If I have a complete Silicon Nitride ball bearing unit, is it safe to hold without any protection? If it cracks, or disintegrates is it also safe?
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1answer
466 views

Options for long term storage of helium?

Specifically, if I wanted to purchase a large amounts of helium, what are my options for purchasing helium in a state that is suitable for long term storage? It's my understanding that if I were to ...
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2answers
160 views

Can caffeine be separated from coffee?

Is there a way to extract caffeine from coffee completely?
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1answer
125 views

What components of safety should be included in a chemistry laboratory experiment conclusion?

The focus of my question here is this: In a laboratory there is a Bunsen burner, a hot plate, hydrochloric acid, and concentrated ammonia. What would you mention about safety precautions? As ...
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1answer
53 views

What legal guidelines exist for completeness of a Materials Safety Data Sheet?

I know that the answer to this question will vary by country, but some aspects must be similar amongst those countries that have authorities overseeing chemical and industrial hygiene. The Wikipedia ...
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1answer
1k views

How to properly dispose of sodium…or store it properly

While performing an inventory of my school's chemical storage closet today, my fellow teacher and I found some sodium tucked away in the back corner of our flammables cabinet. One container appears ...
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1answer
105 views

How can I identify and neutralize the chemical leaching out of new nitrile gloves?

I have a few cases of brand-new, nitrile gloves of a type and vendor that used to be good. But apparently, the vendor has moved manufacturing to a different country and outsourced customer service to ...
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2answers
5k views

Why first water and then acid?

From the school time I remember the very important rule: the first you need to pour water and then acid (when need to mix them) not otherwise. This is because otherwise the aсid becomes very hot and ...
4
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1answer
87 views

How can I be safe and protect myself using trimethyl tin chloride?

I will be using trimethyl tin chloride (1M in THF) in a few days for the first time. Looking at the MSDS, it looks like it is very toxic and has noxious vapors. Are there any more standard precautions ...
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2answers
2k views

What type(s) of gloves are effective against DCM and acetone?

I know that standard latex and nitrile gloves don't stop common organic solvents such as DCM and acetone. However, I was reading a Reddit thread and there were comments that if you are coming into ...
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5answers
1k views

Why does oxygen not condense onto open dewers of liquid nitrogen?

I had a discussion with my supervisor today after I was a touch careless pumping down a flask with a liquid nitrogen cold trap attached. I checked, and there are reports of explosions after running ...
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3answers
506 views

Calcium carbonate toxicity

I can't make heads or tails of the information on the net — although there seems to be plenty of it, it seems contradictory. Supposedly, calcium carbonate is used in antacids—yet there are warnings ...