Questions tagged [safety]

Questions regarding chemical and lab safety. This includes questions about proper lab procedure, safe chemical handling, and such.

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30 views

Safe & Convenient method to hydrate CaO into Ca(OH)2?

I'd like to prepare a solution of $\ce{Ca(OH)2}$ from $\ce{CaO}$. Ideally I guess I'd go for slowly adding the powder to a water-cooled round flask containing pure water but I have no mechanism to ...
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1answer
48 views

How can I neutralise H2 gas without burning it? [closed]

I was thinking of maybe making it bubble into a solution containing something that would react with H2 yielding either a dissolved substance or a precipitate from the reaction. Maybe a solution with ...
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39 views

What is the pale green solution from dissolving sodium hydroxide in a stainless steel flask?

I have previously used drain/sink cleaner gel based on sodium hydroxide but noticed that caustic soda crystals were a lot cheaper. I decided to experiment with making my own cleaner. I bought a 1 ...
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1answer
50 views

Safely mixing methanol and chloroform [closed]

Sorry for what is likely a naive question. I haven't worked with chemicals at all and have only had some brief lab safety instruction. I need to create a mixture of chloroform and methanol 2:1 for a ...
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2answers
80 views

Is there a quantitative test/analysis technique that can determine if some chloroform has degraded into phosgene?

Before I go to use any chemical that I've had in storage for a while, I try to check if it's degraded into something else (e.g.: checking the $\ce{H2O}$ content of $\ce{H2O2}$, checking for $\ce{H2O2}$...
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3answers
219 views

Why do most explosives have symmetrical chemical structures?

I was just turning the pages of my chemistry dictionary, when I found the structure of TNT (Trinitrotoluene): ...there after I got interested in its symmetry as an explosive, and started looking for ...
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1answer
65 views

Why should I not use different battery types together?

Everyone knows about this but I'm curious about why one should never mix batteries of different types. By type I mean the same shape of the cell like AAA but with different chemical reactions and ...
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1answer
31 views

Formaldehyde safety levels

I've obtained a simple air quality analyzer which measures several items, formaldehyde concentration among them. While I cannot vouch for its correctness, I found the values measured during the last ...
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2answers
62 views

Safe and responsible disposal of aluminum chloride?

This answer affirms that reacting aluminum with HCl is a (seemingly convenient) way to produce hydrogen for use in other experiments, but the byproduct, AlCl3, is rather nasty. What's the best way to ...
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1answer
75 views

What chemical regularly transported by road in the UK would cause serious injury/loss of life if it escaped in a road accident?

I'm writing a story where a serious multi-vehicle pileup happens in the winter during foggy weather. I need the fallout from this to include the escape of a substance that will cause significant ...
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25 views

Which is the more effective home insecticide? Boric acid or borax?

I recall my late father introducing me to one of either boric acid or borax... as a relatively low human toxicity very effective insecticide. The thing is, I cannot remember which chemical my father ...
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1answer
40 views

Is it considered safe to sonicate with flammable solvents?

I use a sonicator at work in a cleaning process. It involves sonicating acetone, NMP, and IPA. We would like to move forward with other flammables as well. We currently do the work in a hood, but no ...
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1answer
82 views

How can I increase the viscosity of dilute hydrochloric acid

I'm cleaning the mortar off a new clinker brick wall. Walls actually. I hate this job. The builder told me to wash down the wall with weak HCl, leave it for a minute or two, and then spray it off with ...
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165 views

What is the maximum concentration of HNO3 (nitric acid) which may be handled outside of a hood?

Commercial stock solutions of HNO3 (nitric acid) are usually 70% w/w, and according to several MSDSs (e.g. here), it is dangerous to inhale it: Symptoms/effects after inhalation : Irritation ...
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3answers
93 views

How can I get this glass stopper out? Need troubleshooting!

I placed a glass stopper in a $\pu{100 mL}$ round bottom flask while my solution was still warm and let it cool overnight. Now I think I created a vacuum seal and I can’t force the stopper out to ...
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3answers
555 views

Can 32% hydrochloric acid be stored in a milk jug (HDPE)?

Can $32\%$ ($20$-degree Baume) hydrochloric acid (typically found as 'muriatic acid' in hardware stores) be stored in a milk jug? I have read that acids can be safely stored in polyethylene bottles. ...
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216 views

Why add NaBH4 slowly to 4-t-butylcyclohexanone in ether solution? [Lab Procedure]

$\ce{NaBH4}$ is to be added slowly to 4-t-butylcyclcohexanone in ether solution according to laboratory procedures, but I am curious as to why that is? 4-t-butylcyclohexanone undergoes reduction with $...
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1answer
36 views

dangers of radiation question

At a recent flea market, someone was selling a surplus military device that was marked as having 900 millicuries and should be disposed of in a safe way. I picked it up to read the words. Whould 900 ...
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1answer
115 views

Safely lowering bleach pH without chlorine gas?

According to Eurekalert, by lowering the pH of household bleach (e.g., by adding vinegar or citric acid), we can increase $\text{[HOCl]}$ and consequently greatly improve the disinfecting capabilites ...
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1answer
301 views

Evaporation of concentrated formic acid and semi-concentrated sulfuric acid at room temperature

I recently looked at a reaction where CO is synthesized using formic acid and sulfuric acid, which seems to be one of the easier to control reactions for this, and obviously ventilation etc is ...
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1answer
111 views

what would happen if someone smell just a little chloroform? [closed]

I'm new in labratoary and a few days ago I smelled chloroform just for a second, out of curiosity. The next day I became very sick with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue and pain in my muscles. ...
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2answers
81 views

Hazards of trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium

I am examining a material safety data sheet that reports on trivalent and hexavalent chromium in chemical films. It covers each type where it is used in a product individually. Is there a practical ...
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1answer
53 views

Is Reverse Osmosis Sanitizer safe to use? [closed]

The Sanitizer is called Sani-System (For Reverse Osmosis). The purpose is to get rid of the bacteria within a Reverse Osmosis system (Priority is the tank: that holds the water) -- edit Safe meaning ...
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2answers
152 views

What dangers/risks are there in the production of carbon subnitride?

I was reading that carbon subnitride or Dicyanoacetylene has one of the hottest flames when used as a fuel, but it also is unstable and can explode easily into carbon powder (no specifics on cause). ...
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1answer
129 views

Do I really need to wear protective clothing while using isopropyl alcohol? [closed]

I recently purchased a 500ml bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol (aka isopropanol aka rubbing alcohol) for everyday use at home. The label for the bottle worryingly states: Wear protective gloves/...
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1answer
60 views

How can I safely store highly outgassing self-pressurizing chemicals?

I have a standard copper etching solution of 1 part $\pu{10M}$ $\ce{HCL}$ and 2 parts 3% $\ce{H2O2}$ (as described in numerous places online). I previously had this stored in a tightly-sealed glass ...
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1answer
144 views

Creating water from hydrogen and oxygen [closed]

Assuming a scientist has two canisters: One with a liter of pure gas of hydrogen (single atoms gas), and one with half a liter of pure gas of oxygen (single atoms gas). The scientist desires to ...
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480 views

Safest and easiest method to neutralize nitric acid

I would like to know the safest method for neutralizing 70% ACS Reagent Nitric Acid that is used in small amounts of 1-5 ml, for an electronics process in which there will be small traces of silicone ...
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1answer
46 views

Why is aluminium used to treat waste after a lab experiment? [closed]

How does adding aluminum metal pieces into a waste beaker help treat solids and liquids in the beaker so you can safely send the solids to a landfill and dispose of the liquids in the sink drain ...
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2answers
77 views

How to make dichloromethane human-friendly and safe for storage?

I use dichloromethane to polish 3D printed object as postprocessing step. Most of it is stored in darkened glass on my balcony (now at $\pu{-15^\circ C}$). What chemical reactions I need to make it ...
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250 views

What is the difference between n-heptan (CAS 93924-37-9) and branched, linear and cyclic heptane (CAS 426260-76-6)?

I am looking at the substitution of hazardous substances in my company. I would like to explain what makes the branched, linear and cyclic heptane (CAS 426260-76-6) safer than n-heptane (CAS 93924-37-...
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1answer
2k views

Do plasma globes generate ozone?

My kids and I were playing with a small plasma globe like this: After touching it we all noted a faint smell like that created by other high voltage static discharges, which I always understood to be ...
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1answer
666 views

What makes dimethyl compounds so extreme?

I've noticed that dimethyl compounds tend to have extreme reactive, including bioreactive, characteristics. Am I being misled by anecdotal selection bias, or is this generally true. And if generally ...
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1answer
524 views

Isopropanol in contact lens solution plastic bottle

I have a rather large plastic bottle of isopropanol ($99.7\%$), and I wanted to store some of it in a smaller, more handy container. I have two empty plastic bottles from contact lens solution that I ...
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1answer
57 views

Residual catalyst leaching from PETE

I am trying to look for healthy options for 5 gallon water jugs. The problem is all the plastic 5 gallon water jugs on the market are either made of #1 PETE (BPA free) or #7 (which contains BPA). It ...
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1answer
276 views

What type of gloves should be used while diluting sulfuric and hydrochloric acids?

What type of gloves should we use on hands while diluting sulfuric and hydrochloric acid? Can we use these gloves in chemistry lab to handle other acids?
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1k views

Would the concentration of oxygen around fire increase as we get close to the fire (from the outside)

Since fire require oxygen, wouldn't a fire, like those in the American forest along west coast, constantly draws in oxygen from around? And if that is so, would the concentration of oxygen around the ...
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2answers
224 views

Is HDPE affected by long term exposure to methanol?

For at least several years I'be been storing various chloride solutions with methanol as a solute in Nalgene containers, which I believe are made from high density polyethylene (HDP). But recently ...
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78 views

Have I inadvertely diethyl ether peroxides?

About 1 week ago, I used diethyl ether to wash some solid products. I dumped it in my temporary waste container, which also contains water and some other solvents like DCM. I returned today, and ...
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1answer
262 views

Reusable and safe endothermic reaction [closed]

I am looking for a reusable endothermic reaction that is safe to both touch and handle, it needs to be able to be stored in a jacket and light enough to do physical activity. Any suggestions?
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1answer
360 views

What is the Chemical Compound that has a NFPA 704 (Fire Diamond) of 2-2-1-ox?

I recently saw this fire diamond configuration of: 2 - Flammability; 2 - Health; 1 - Reactivity; OX - Extra Information I have been attempting to find a database of terms, but after turning up with ...
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3answers
69 views

Are there any guidelines for what constitutes an “organic acid” regarding storage requirements?

I am moving a large amount of chemicals to a new lab and I’m curious about any guidelines for chemical separation. I’ve seen suggestions that organic acids and non-organic acid be stored separate from ...
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1answer
57 views

questions for my 13 year old's STEM class. (Users of Potassium) [closed]

Would you please answer the following questions for my 13 year old girl's STEM class? Do you have a story about a time something went wrong using Potassium? What are some of the precautions you ...
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3answers
3k views

How are N95 masks different from dust masks?

There is a fire raging through my hometown right now. People in the area are advised to be wearing N95 masks to filter out smoke and particulates; and there is misinformation being spread that these ...
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2answers
2k views

How to properly store acids at home?

I bought different kinds of acid for experiments and home usage that I stored in secured containers into an IKEA cabinet. I just realized that despite the fact that all the containers are properly ...
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1answer
1k views

Is sulfuric acid still hazardous after it dries?

One of our housemates decided to pour battery electrolyte (which is 30-40% sulfuric acid) into a motorcycle battery on our back porch next to our laundry washer and dryer. He did so extremely ...
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2answers
568 views

Dangers of expired bleach?

I have some unopened Clorox bleach bought over a year ago (at $8.25~\%\ \ce{NaOCl}$) and read on Wikipedia that bleach naturally decomposes according to $$\ce{3 NaOCl (aq) -> NaClO3 (aq) + 2 NaCl(...
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33 views

Distillery Transfer Hoses

I was hoping an actual person could offer me some advice. I work in a craft distillery and I'm getting a lot of mixed information on how compatible PVC is with high-proof alcohol. It definitely seems ...
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197 views

Why is Lithium Fluoride much safer than Sodium Fluoride

I've looked at the MSDS of Lithium Fluoride and Sodium Fluoride. It really seems that Lithium Fluoride is much safer to work with. Why is that, if both are in the Alkali Group?
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33 views

How to safely change the color of a fire tornado?

So I've been watching a lot of fire tornado videos and I came across one that had a reasonable and safe setup (around the 3:23 mark): Fire Tornado DIY Is there a way to change the color of the fire ...