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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How do I understand exactly how hazardous a material is based on SDS?

I work with a lab occasionally and get asked often if a chemical is safe to breathe, how hazardous is it if it lands on skin, etc. For the most part, I'll try to go to an SDS and look it up. The ...
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38 views

Phosphoric acid spill cleanup

While working with some rust converter (MSDS, ~20% phosphoric acid by weight), a sequence of events that would make Rube Goldberg proud led to me spilling about 500mL of it all over the place. Yes I ...
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Standard practice for keeping salts dry

I should point out first that I'm not a chemist, but I'm currently doing a little bit of chemistry; this should clarify that I don't have formal training in a chemistry lab (other than some basic chem ...
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Are there safe inks that allow one to eat a fish after painting it?

Just came across a specific type of art called Gyotaku where specific types of ink are used to paint over one side of a fish and then a paper (rice paper, shoji paper, ...) is placed on top in order ...
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Can I safely use a solution of sodium hydroxide in methanol to dispose of 3D printing PLA waste at home?

In the article Depolymerization of Post-Consumer Polylactic Acid Products the abstract states: "... It was found that the most rapid decomposition occurred in solution of sodium hydroxide in ...
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181 views

Safest way to conduct a reaction with bromine under reflux conditions

I am conducting an electrophilic aromatic bromination reaction according to literature. The substrate and intended substitution pattern do not matter, but the reported procedure requires the dropwise ...
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24 views

When multiple sources give the content of an ingredient my an unqualified percentage, can I safely assume this is by weight? Or; it's not a wart

I am trying to make a simple scented shampoo and body soap for my own use and for Christmas gifts. I statr with a base of 32 oz – (a bit under a kg) of a mild commercial castille soap (Dr. Bronner’s ...
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Is there a safe way to neutralize bleach at home [closed]

I don't want to simply replace one hazardous chemical with another. The bleach is stubbornly clinging to my shower walls and I feel its effects every time I take a shower. Ascorbic acid seems like the ...
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625 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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What are the consequences of mixing Ferric Chloride Solution, distilled vinegar, baking soda and water? [closed]

I was attempting to etch and blade with a ferric chloride solution. I did not have enough so I filled a glass with vinegar and water (3 parts vinegar to 1 part water) then added 2 oz. of ferric ...
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736 views

Guidelines for home generation of hypochlorous acid disinfectant from salt water [closed]

I bought a home generator for making hypochlorous acid by electrolysis of a water and salt solution. I would like to figure out guidelines for safe and effective use of my generator. I have found ...
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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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Is it safe to look at a mercury gas discharge tube? [closed]

As part of a chemistry course, I recently observed a demonstration in which the instructor electrified a mercury gas discharge tube (the tube looked something like this image). The glow from the tube ...
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Does aluminium foil, warmed up by sunlight, harm human health? [closed]

I must lightproof and block sunlight in new bedroom. I can't afford blinds or window coverings. I don't use garbage bags, because a plastic bag baking in the sun may emit harmful chemicals (see Home ...
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General Question about transferring Solution from containers (Workplace Related)

At my workplace we will soon begin diluting a solution to specific concentrations, this is done within a specific container. The solution to be diluted is provided by a manufacturer in the following ...
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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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Is it safe to combine sodium hypochlorite (bleach) sodium triphosphate (TSP) for cleaning?

I've heard this combination can be particularly effective at cleaning biofilms, perhaps because the TSP is a surfacant, allowing bleach to "attack" more layers of the biofilm. However, I'm ...
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40 views

Are burns from Lye or Potash that bad?

I read that the chemicals potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide are extremely corrosive and will cause severe burns but I also see videos of people saying that if you get lye on you, then just wash ...
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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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How does sulfuric acid react to heating?

How would $\ce{H2SO4}$ react to heat? I assume that it would form toxic sulfur (di/tri)oxide, but I can't find any information on this. I'm concerned about fire hazards specifically, so assume very ...
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Does davis safety lamp detect explosive gases in ship compartments? [closed]

I feel managers at Bangladesh ship breaking yard are not properly caring for safety of workers. Many workers die in explosions while salvaging metal. documentary available on YouTube by National ...
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1answer
3k views

Is this poor laboratory safety?

I'm a formulation chemist. My co-worker, is also a formulation scientist but has no previous formal training in chemical safety or lab chemistry settings. I always work in the hood unless I’m just ...
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17k views

Is palladium really that poisonous?

In Iron man 2, the protagonist Tony Stark was anxious about his blood toxicity due to palladium core that was keeping him alive was slowly poisoning his blood. It is written here that: The ...
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123 views

What is the size in m³ of a toxic benzene cloud when if 20.000 kg liquid benzene would vaporize?

Benzene is carcinogen, The short term exposure limit for airborne benzene is 5 ppm for 15 minutes see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzene#Benzene_exposure_limits I would like to know which volume of ...
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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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89 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 ...
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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 "...
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174 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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161 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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50 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
86 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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755 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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5k views

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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495 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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61 views

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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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), ...
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57 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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34k views

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 ...
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553 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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15k 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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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 ...
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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). ...
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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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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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426 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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