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Author: Subject: Chemist's Nightmare
sasan
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[*] posted on 17-3-2014 at 10:58


In a gold bracelet and ring production complex,a workman was melting gold in a crucible to make gold solder,it needs cadmium metal to decrease the m.p of the solder,when the gold completely melted,he drops the cadmium chunk to the melt and the fume hood wasnt working!!!as you know the b.p of cadmium in near 765 c,and the gold m.p is near 1100 c!!a lot of reddish yellow cloud of very toxic cadmium oxide releases from the melt and unfortunately I breathed it,it had a bitter smell!!!
Cadmium salts are enough toxic and cariconogen!
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woelen
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[*] posted on 18-3-2014 at 06:35


@IrC: Thanks for your long elaboration. I will take what you write very seriously and will do my best to avoid exposure to thallium. I am amazed that I could buy this material without any hassle. It sounds nastier than cyanides and the latter are very very hard to obtain where I live. Probably this has to do with the media "knowledge" about cyanide, while thallium is an unknown thing.



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IrC
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[*] posted on 18-3-2014 at 07:31


I do not know if Tl is comparable to Cyanide in acute terms but I doubt it. However Tl in my experience is systemic, slow, immune system damaging. That was so long ago I have not studied Tl in light of today's easy information access. Would be a good idea for anyone using it in experiments however. My exposure was likely very much greater than anything you are going to see unless some kind of lab accident were to occur.




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Pyrovus
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[*] posted on 18-3-2014 at 08:01


Thallium sulphate used to be used as a rat poison. I don't know about the rest of the world, but it was banned in Australia, around about the 1950s because of it's popularity as a murder weapon; just about everyone was using it to kill people they didn't like. It's popularity of a murder weapon comes from the fact that it is, like arsenic, colourless, odorless and tasteless. Notable serial killers who used thallium include Caroline Grills (aka "Aunty Thally"), who made tea and baked cakes laced with thallium which she used to poison members of her family, and Graham Frederick Young, who poisoned about 70 of his colleagues with thallium laced tea. His life story is depicted in the movie "The Young Poisoner's Handbook".

[Edited on 18-3-2014 by Pyrovus]




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ElizabethGreene
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[*] posted on 1-4-2014 at 18:27


My chemistry nightmare is a 3 a.m. flashbang explosion and black clad ATF agents smashing through my door. A heartbeat later a half dozens armed men have automatic rifles pointed at my head. If I'm lucky enough not to be shot outright then I face arrest and the prospect of police and prison abuse, gang-rape, and spending my life savings attempting to prove innocence to the news media and a jury of my peers*.

* - Most of which who would be terrified of dihydrogen monoxide.

I'm afraid to practice science because of my government.




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thesmug
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[*] posted on 1-4-2014 at 18:36


Quote: Originally posted by ElizabethGreene  
My chemistry nightmare is a 3 a.m. flashbang explosion and black clad ATF agents smashing through my door. A heartbeat later a half dozens armed men have automatic rifles pointed at my head. If I'm lucky enough not to be shot outright then I face arrest and the prospect of police and prison abuse, gang-rape, and spending my life savings attempting to prove innocence to the news media and a jury of my peers*.

* - Most of which who would be terrified of dihydrogen monoxide.

I'm afraid to practice science because of my government.

Wow, pretty specific. Do you have actual worries of this happening?
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BobD1001
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[*] posted on 1-4-2014 at 18:39


Quote: Originally posted by ElizabethGreene  
My chemistry nightmare is a 3 a.m. flashbang explosion and black clad ATF agents smashing through my door. A heartbeat later a half dozens armed men have automatic rifles pointed at my head. If I'm lucky enough not to be shot outright then I face arrest and the prospect of police and prison abuse, gang-rape, and spending my life savings attempting to prove innocence to the news media and a jury of my peers*.
* - Most of which who would be terrified of dihydrogen monoxide.
I'm afraid to practice science because of my government.


I couldn't agree with that 'nightmare' enough. That really is my biggest concern; I cant say I'd really care much if they aim firearms at me, but my goodness do I worry about them shooting my dog, or hurting another family member, something of that nature would truly destroy me.
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plante1999
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[*] posted on 1-4-2014 at 18:41


I often have a nightmare in which something I bought online as been shipped with UPS instead of USPS and I got to pay 70% of the item price as "customs" fee, but the item happens to be expensive...





I never asked for this.
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violet sin
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[*] posted on 2-4-2014 at 03:28


every time I see this thread bob back up to the daily posts, it reminds me of a dream I had as a teenager. oddly this was well before I had any aspiration of being a chemist( loved science and chem was fun, but I was 14 ).

any how I remember the nightmare well. I was all decked out in my lab coat, goggles and gloves working in this very impressive lab. I mean it was awesome,.. great lighting, tons of experiments going on, clean as a bell, this space was all my own and I had an assistant! racks and racks of glassware, tubes all woven through and about, flame and percolating sounds all working in concert.

now that the picture is painted; my assistant and I were fresh in that morning, just getting started. attending to long running projects and making sure nothing had deviated overnight. all was well. I think I turned to the assistant and inquired what he had planned for his snack break coming up as I was hungry. in the midst of this polite banter, I was working with a 1L erlenmeyer containing some beautiful blue clear liquid. I turned to say something as I put it back, its corner caught an edge of the large rack system. the 3-hole stopper came loose as it shifted, dumping the blue liquid all over my left arm above the gloves. it ran all down me and sank into my lab coat.
(an odd sensation came on. as an awake person I had not the faintest idea what was in the bottle, it was just blue, but through the magic of dreams I had instant inside knowledge that it was incredibly, horribly toxic. still didn't know the name of it, but the dream lab version of me did. and he was terrified!!)
I turned towards the wash station, but I didn't make it 3 feet before I started to pass out. coming in waves of odd intoxication and then clarity. it brought me to a leaned over tripod stance by the time I was 5 feet away, then down to one knee shortly there after. I turned to my assistant and said something like "tell my wife I love her..." as I crumpled, then I was on my face on the white tile. fading, grey to black. with each heartbeat I would get a little vision back, and then fade darker. I heard him scrambling to get help and panicking, a partially muted frantic phone call ... and life left me. I think there was a couple flashes of medical personnel trying resuscitation but I never came back.

any how forgive me for taking the title "chemists nightmare" literally, but this just kept popping into my head. it's odd how some dreams have *ALL* the details of real life. the extra reflections in glass of distant objects, detectable faint smells, background noises; lab coat rustle, the chirp of soft shoe rubber on clean tile floor, people across the hall working, it had it all.
-Violet Sin-
ohhh ya, about a year ago I spilled ~20-30ml of strong cobalt chloride I was concentrating, on my bare leg. had a nice flash back to my nightmare. obviously no damage from the spill, just washed it quickly, but a clear reminder of the blue mystery liquid death dream.
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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 2-4-2014 at 05:46


When you said " clear blue liquid", I first thought of liquid oxygen.
So you don't know what the liquid was in your dream?




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[*] posted on 2-4-2014 at 07:11


There are many things that could go wrong in the laboratory but I feel like I am safety-conscious enough to avoid most of those potential disasters.

My worst nightmare would be if someone broke into my house, and while rifling through the lab (breaking all sorts of expensive glass!) managed to either seriously hurt themselves with a corrosive spill or irreversibly contaminate the place (with Hg for example), and the ensuing lawsuit/cleanup...




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HgDinis25
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[*] posted on 2-4-2014 at 11:53


Has anyone mentioned an earthquake? Seriously, think about it: all your precious exotic ultra-expensive hitting the floor, rooling over benchs and desks, or simply hitting one another in their shelfs; your storage flask liberating their chemicals, flooding your entire lab with all sort of reactions; toxic gases, explosives, or corrosive substances, all at once inside your lab; and the list goes on and on.
I hope that never happens to anyone...
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thesmug
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[*] posted on 2-4-2014 at 16:07


Quote: Originally posted by Zyklonb  
When you said " clear blue liquid", I first thought of liquid oxygen.
So you don't know what the liquid was in your dream?

Blue-dyed dimethylmercury would fit the description well.
Quote:

Has anyone mentioned an earthquake? Seriously, think about it: all your precious exotic ultra-expensive hitting the floor, rooling over benchs and desks, or simply hitting one another in their shelfs; your storage flask liberating their chemicals, flooding your entire lab with all sort of reactions; toxic gases, explosives, or corrosive substances, all at once inside your lab; and the list goes on and on.
I hope that never happens to anyone...

There are places in California which have safety procedures for exactly this. I live in Chicago so I don't really have to worry. We do, however, get some bad ones since Chicago is right in the middle of the North American tectonic plate. I also, unfortunately, live pretty far north, near Rogers Park (if you don't know much about Chicago this is going to get confusing), and fairly close to the Ridge street microfault. The geological makeup of that area changes almost instantly from granite to soft sand, and I happen to be on the sand side of things.
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Zyklon-A
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[*] posted on 2-4-2014 at 16:13


I live right in tornado ally, so the possibility of damages happening are quite scary. But, I also live on a hill, so tornados have never been reported to get all the way to the top.



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[*] posted on 2-4-2014 at 16:14


Quote: Originally posted by Zyklonb  
I live right in tornado ally, so the possibility of damages happening are quite scary. But, I also live on a hill, so tornados have never been reported to get all the way to the top.

Unrelated but one time in Michigan there was a waterspout right about 100 ft. from the shore (our house is about 25 ft. from shore).
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[*] posted on 27-6-2014 at 17:17


Here is a follow-up to the t-butyl-lithium fire at UCLA a few years back. Professor was convicted on safety violations. Tough call on liability, I thought she was a PhD candidate, but I guess she was just an employee with a bachelor's in chemistry. Seemed she was either in way over her head or was left hopelessly unsupervised. Either way, horrible way to go.


http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=736_1403912064

http://documents.latimes.com/calosha-report-faults-professor...
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