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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1answer
35 views

How to crush caustic soda flakes to powder? [closed]

I bought caustic soda flakes and need to crush them to powder. I am new to this and thought about using mixer grinder but am not sure if this is the right way of doing it. Can you help?
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Colored Solid Rocket Fuel Experiment [closed]

My goal is to find a solid rocket fuel compound that will burn vigorously and also colorless. I would then like to add different salts to this compound to create a colored flame. If I am not able to ...
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3answers
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Why can radioactive contamination be spread by people?

So I am reading a book called "Voices from Chernobyl" where witnesses, nuclear plant workers, firefighters and other persons involved in the 1986 accident give testimony of their experiences....
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1answer
59 views

Laboratory setup for the distillation of sulfuric acid

Purification of Laboratory Chemicals, 5th Edition, by Armarego, reads (p. 53): Reagents such as water, ammonia, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, perchloric acid, and sulfuric acid can be purified via ...
39
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6answers
8k views

How does ammonium nitrate explode on its own?

I thought ammonium nitrate was an oxidizer that needed to be mixed with fuel to form a high explosive (e.g., ANFO). But apparently there have been accidental explosions involving just the "...
2
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0answers
167 views

How do we know a nerve agent is tasteless?

According to the BBC, the nerve agent sarin is a tasteless liquid. How do we know that this liquid has no taste, given that anyone to have (not) tasted it in any meaningful quantity presumably died ...
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2answers
450 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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2answers
128 views

Determination of percentage of Methanol in an Alcohol based hand sanitiser [closed]

Note: I am looking for advice on a chemical test - not a sermon. I expect that this is entirely on topic in this forum, downvotes and sermon comment notwithstanding. More than about 5% of Methanol in ...
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39 views

How do you purify gases formed in electrolysis with a potassium hydroxide electrolyte?

I am interested in the $\ce{KOH}$ vapor that is released with my gasses during electrolysis. I have two questions. What would be the best place to start research on the $\ce{KOH}$ vapor produced in ...
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1answer
83 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
697 views

Mixing Oxalic acid and glycerin

I am doing an experiment for a miticide for honey bees. I will be dissolving 600 g of 99.6 % oxalic acid in one liter vegetable glycerin at 150 °F. I have been told it will give off formic acid fumes ...
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3answers
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Practical safety of storing potassium

Potassium ($\ce{K}$) seems to be the transitional alkali metal in terms of safety. Lighter than $\ce{K}$ and we can store under oil with no worries. Heavier than $\ce{K}$ and only ampules will work. $\...
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1answer
464 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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2answers
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cheap anti-fog agent!

What are some safe and widely available alternatives to specifically formulated anti-fog sprays/treatments? Specifically for use on glasses, goggles, and face shields.
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1answer
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Should β-mercaptoethanol and anything that touches it be handled only under fume hoods for safety aspects?

Background: I recently started in a lab that regularly uses β-mercaptoethanol (βME) for protein purification. I know that the chemical is an irritant for the lungs if inhaled (mucus membranes), ...
3
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1answer
53 views

What is the safe level of energy output for hydrogen combustion at home?

With confinement, my son would like to do some home experiments for a class. So far, he has a good setup that seems sound for the electrolysis of water. A later part of the experiment would combine ...
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1answer
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why does milk of magnesia have an expiration date?

I noticed an old bottle of milk of magnesia in my refrigerator and saw that it had an expiration date printed: January 2015. Checking the ingredients, I saw only three: magnesium hydroxide, purified ...
3
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1answer
519 views

Reactivity and transport safety of substituted methyl benzoates

This was a practice question from an MCAT book whose answer I didn't really understand: The normal reactivity of methyl benzoate is affected by the presence of certain substituents. Which of the ...
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2answers
14k views

What are the effects of Lithium Dioxide on the body?

My question is about how much science-fiction and how much chemistry is involved in the the 'Randy's Donuts' scene of Iron Man 2: Agent Romanoff injects Lithium Dioxide into Tony Stark's neck to ...
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1answer
47 views

can i use an isobutane stove (like jetboil) or butane blowtorch with borosilicate glass?

I don't have a bunsen burner, but have a camping stove (similar to https://www.amazon.com/Stansport-183-B-Isobutane-Backpack-Stove/dp/B004EPWM5S) and a blow torch. I'd like to do some distillation ...
3
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0answers
30 views

316 stainless steel and high concentration, high temperature Hydrogen Peroxide

I'm looking at doing some experiments with small scale rocketry and I need to find the right materials for this project, where I will be burning through lots of HTC (peroxide above 90% concentration). ...
4
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0answers
52 views

Spraying difluoroethane into an enclosed space

I'm working on developing physics lab activities that my students can do at home during the covid quarantines. For an activity involving waves and thermodynamics, I came up with an experiment at home ...
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2answers
260 views

How much time liquid mercury takes to evaporate?

I asked before about a thermometer that I broke yesterday. To summarize, I broke a mercury thermometer in my bedroom, which is a place where is difficult to have sure that I get rid of all mercury, ...
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1answer
52 views

Treating styrene in the atmosphere

I was actually inspired to ask this question in certain circumstances. In the outskirts of my city, there happened to be a styrene gas leak early morning today which killed thirteen and hospitalized ...
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1answer
318 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 capabilities ...
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2answers
10k views

Is iron pyrite dangerous to handle?

I have a cube of pyrite similar to: (Source: Britannica) Can pyrite turn into sulfuric acid? Is this dangerous for me to touch, especially if my hands are sweaty?
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1answer
20 views

Putting sanitiser in PVC bottles [closed]

can I put hand sanitiser in PVC bottles or must the bottles be PET. With the shortage of bottles I am keen to know if a 70% ethanol or isapropyl based sanitiser will distort or soften a PVC bottle in ...
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2answers
4k views

What's the composition of gun smoke and is it dangerous?

Background I've been conducting an informal (i.e. mental) risk assessment of visiting gun ranges. There are a couple of obvious sources of hazard: Injury by bullet Hearing loss Hot casings flying ...
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68 views

Safety of IPA and sodium hypochlorite mixture?

Is the mixture of 97% isopropyl alcohol and 0.5% of sodium hypochlorite safe? Do they react together and form any compounds ? Does this mixture present more danger to humans and animals than its ...
4
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1answer
1k views

How does potassium nitrate work as an oxidiser?

Potassium nitrate is very popular compound in pyrotechnics, used as an oxidiser. It can be mixed with sugar to make a "rocket candy", with coal and sulphur to form black powder. You can stick it on ...
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0answers
29 views

At what temperature does a polyester release toxic gases?

I've bought a "Shrinky Dinks" printable sheets and now I'm feeling unsure about using it since I've read that heating polyester materials may be very harmful for health, and the final purpose of this ...
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2answers
286 views

Does a zinc metal coating react with coffee in a coffee grinder?

I'm restoring an old coffee grinder and I want to give the grinder mechanism a nice zinc / silver coating. But I read it is not safe for zinc to be in contact with acidic foods. When I look at the ...
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2answers
125 views

Producing hydrogen sulfide at home - how dangerous is it? [closed]

When I was a kid, I used to go to the pharmacy to buy sulfur and iron powder, then mix it together and heat it until it starts to react into iron sulfide. Put a chunk of iron sulfide into some vinegar,...
2
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1answer
61 views

Is sodium percarbonate the safest and by weight the most efficient oxygen generator? [closed]

I have been reading about $\ce{Mn}$-catalyzed reaction of sodium percarbonate and water to produce gaseous oxygen in medical emergency situations. This seems safe due to its reagents and products, ...
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0answers
28 views

Formic acid and carbon monoxide outgassing from latex mattress

Formic acid is used as a coagulant to turn rubber tree sap into latex, formic acid also decomposes to carbon monoxide. Does this mean things like latex mattresses have the potential to off-gas carbon ...
2
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2answers
967 views

Is it safe to store muriatic acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetone?

I am recently getting into PCB etching. So I use 10 M HCL solution, 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed in 1:1 ratio for my etchent. Currently, I am storing my HCL and hydrogen peroxide in my shed which can ...
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2answers
59 views

Lab goggle recommendations?

I'm taking my first chemistry class with a laboratory component this quarter. My first laboratory session was earlier this evening (observing simple metathesis reactions). While I found the lab work ...
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1answer
71 views

Is it safe to touch salts given to you for analysis? [closed]

In our chemistry practical paper (High school level), Inorganic salt analysis is one of the questions asked. We are given a petri dish with a sample of salt and are asked to find the cation and anion ...
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2answers
5k views

Mixing bleach and ammonia?

I know that the two should not be mixed, but i want to know that if the two become mixed in a contained unit, does it build pressure? Or can you seal the container safely untill it can be disposed of ...
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1answer
4k views

Neutralizing a sulfuric acid spill

From my AP Chem Prep Book: What should you do if you spill sulfuric acid on the countertop? A) Neutralize the acid with vinegar. B) Sprinkle solid NaOH on the spill. C) Neutralize the acid with ...
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4answers
25k views

Are modern newspaper inks a health risk?

It's very common in India to see newspapers being used to absorb oils from oily snacks, or simply for temporary food packaging. Some articles say that covering food items in newspaper is a health risk....
2
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1answer
103 views

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

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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0answers
26 views

What happens when these 3 chemicals are mixed in air? [closed]

What happens when these 3 chemicals are mixed in air? Pentanone/Di-isopropyl Ketone (2,4-Dimethyl-3-Pentanone) Iodine, reagent grade Sodium Iodide, reagent grade. The 3 parts make up a liquid in ...
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1answer
37 views

Safety requirements for the laboratory work with salts of heavy metals [closed]

So I am going to start a set of experiments involving the following metal nitrates: Cobalt nitrate hexahydrate Barium nitrate Cerium nitrate hexahydrate Ammonium nitrate nonahydrate Iron(II) nitrate ...
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2answers
732 views

Does combustion occur more easily at higher oxygen concentrations or just higher oxygen partial pressure?

I saw a trailer for The Martian and started thinking about space flight. I know that spacecraft and spacesuits often operate at low pressure with high oxygen content (near 100% $\ce{O2}$ at about 20 ...
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3answers
5k views

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

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 in order to hasten the heating of tap water when I ...
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1answer
70 views

How dangerous is the Mercury-Thallium filled thermometer? [closed]

What's the amount of Mercury and Thallium in a typical low-temperature thermalmeter? How poisonous is Thallium when bounded with Mercury?
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1answer
1k views

How to dispose of NaOH solution? [closed]

I have a range of sodium hydroxide solutions with different concentrations. (from 1.0 mol dm^-3 to 0.5 mol dm^-3). The max volume of each is 100ml. How can you easily dispose of these? Can I pour them ...
3
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1answer
6k views

Separate precious metals from catalytic converter

I am looking to separate the small quantities of platinum and palladium in a catalytic converter. However since these are very inert metals I am unsure how to proceed about doing so. Melting the ...
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4answers
88 views

Will ground glass joints relieve pressure non-catastrophically?

I need to heat a fluid for seven days at a time. The fluid goes in round bottom flask that is suspended in a water bath. The test fluid will decompose and generate a small amount of gas over time. ...

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