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Author: Subject: Bad Habits In The Lab
Deathunter88
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[*] posted on 22-4-2015 at 04:45


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by SimpleChemist-238  
For me, all that is on this thread. ;)

That means there are at least three of us who burn things on the floor.
(Indoor fire pits are trendy anyway. Everyone should have one.)


I set fire on the floor too. lol
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Jimmymajesty
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[*] posted on 22-4-2015 at 04:46


I always wondered why smoking chemists (hobbyist or professional) need protective equipments like fume hoods, masks etc. If they are deliberately and persistently after some lung cancer why they bother to save themselves from some benzene vapor... heck it would even help them to reach their goals
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Etaoin Shrdlu
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[*] posted on 22-4-2015 at 11:09


Quote: Originally posted by Jimmymajesty  
I always wondered why smoking chemists (hobbyist or professional) need protective equipments like fume hoods, masks etc. If they are deliberately and persistently after some lung cancer why they bother to save themselves from some benzene vapor... heck it would even help them to reach their goals

Well, there are other things to worry about besides the chance of cancer, like neurological damage, sensitization, or just acute toxicity from some reagents.

(Really, I'm surprised chemists didn't go en masse to e-cigarettes, though. Less expensive and there's the option to fully customize what you're inhaling.)

Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Hey, be nice. I have like 20 chemicals of quantities over 10g. I have 10 more chemicals in quantities over 1g. I have ~10 chemicals in 10mL 0.1M dropper bottles. That's it. I use everything frequently. I use the metal ions a lot, and all f the acids. I own two bases, ammonia solution and bicarb. And I have to go out to buy some more. I can't afford to give away anything. I've managed to do something cool with everything...except boric acid.

What sort of things are you interested in that your parents will allow?
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aga
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[*] posted on 22-4-2015 at 12:50


Quote: Originally posted by Jimmymajesty  
I always wondered why smoking chemists (hobbyist or professional) need protective equipments like fume hoods, masks etc.

Quite often we don't bother - the gas mask makes it hard to smoke a cigarette and drink a beer, although it isn't impossible.




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[*] posted on 22-4-2015 at 17:36


Quote: Originally posted by Jimmymajesty  
I always wondered why smoking chemists (hobbyist or professional) need protective equipments like fume hoods, masks etc. If they are deliberately and persistently after some lung cancer why they bother to save themselves from some benzene vapor... heck it would even help them to reach their goals


Jimmy, you seem so bright, why this sudden digress?
Smoking is an addiction, not a desire for lung cancer and death. We all have our demons, I am sure you do as well.


[Edited on 23-4-2015 by morganbw]
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Texium (zts16)
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[*] posted on 22-4-2015 at 19:40


Quote: Originally posted by Deathunter88  
Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by SimpleChemist-238  
For me, all that is on this thread. ;)

That means there are at least three of us who burn things on the floor.
(Indoor fire pits are trendy anyway. Everyone should have one.)


I set fire on the floor too. lol
Haha, you can add me to that list if you're keeping count. I've done that a coupe of times, though generally I'll take the stuff out on the driveway so as not to smoke up the garage. (pretty easy since my lab is just inside the garage door)



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Jimmymajesty
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[*] posted on 23-4-2015 at 05:07


I just find it odd or rather a paradox when I see a smoking chemist. All chemists especially we hobbyist who do experiments at our own expense -so we are more devoted to chemistry that most of the professionals- should know the most that this will surely reduce the expectable lifespan, even if it is an addiction. Also, I always attributed smoking to weak personalities and was always feeling strange when I saw person of high intellect smoking.

Anyway it is an interesting fact that here in our steam cracker always the smokers are sent to sample BTX and all the nasty smelly stuff. It is a common agreement within the unit.

aga: you do not need to struggle with makeshift solutions anymore, google up "gas mask bong":)
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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 23-4-2015 at 08:22


Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  

Quote: Originally posted by The Volatile Chemist  
Hey, be nice. I have like 20 chemicals of quantities over 10g. I have 10 more chemicals in quantities over 1g. I have ~10 chemicals in 10mL 0.1M dropper bottles. That's it. I use everything frequently. I use the metal ions a lot, and all f the acids. I own two bases, ammonia solution and bicarb. And I have to go out to buy some more. I can't afford to give away anything. I've managed to do something cool with everything...except boric acid.

What sort of things are you interested in that your parents will allow?

If you mean donations, they wouldn't like that. But I'll probably be raking in a nice order of 9 chemicals in various quantities from OnyxMet when the school year ends. I just like inorganic coordination chemistry at the moment, but most any chemistry that involves pigments is also of interest,
Haem. coordination, for example.




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kecskesajt
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[*] posted on 1-5-2015 at 00:10


My bad habitat is to eat into chemicals.Im not talking about heavy metals but food grade chemicals like erithrytol or citric acid and ascorbic acid.These are food grade but this isnt allowed to eat into chemicals in lab.
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SimpleChemist-238
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[*] posted on 1-5-2015 at 15:32


For me testing tiny amounts of rocket propellents on the floor on a brick. Its a good thing I have a large fan and vent. I do wash my hands before and after going into the lab. Another bad habit brushing dust from a desk onto the floor and covering my desks with a sheet of paper towels for easy emergency clean up but it might catch fire. Good thing I keep all of water based extinguishers around when using my potassium chunks next to the cans of acetone and gunpowder.



We are chemists , we bring light to the darkness. Knowledge to ignorant, excitement to the depressed and unknowing. we bring crops to broken fields and water to the desert. Where there is fear we bring curiosity.

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Zombie
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[*] posted on 1-5-2015 at 18:21


Quote: Originally posted by SimpleChemist-238  
Good thing I keep all of water based extinguishers around when using my potassium chunks next to the cans of acetone and gunpowder.



There's a scene in a movie where the wife puts a metal pot in a microwave. The oven bursts into flames...

The husband says "I told you no metal. Why would you do that?"

She replies... "I read in Cosmo. that these science ovens take all the nutrients out of our food. Do you want me to serve non nutritional food to my family?"

He sighs, and says... "Well I guess you did the right thing"

She says... "You're darn right I did! Thank God for me!"




They tried to have me "put to sleep" so I came back to return the favor.
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Hellafunt
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[*] posted on 1-5-2015 at 19:27


from Praxichis' post above:

"This might not be a bad habit but I tend to stock up on things that I think will be removed from OTC shelves soon. Consequently I have "reserves" of multiple gallons of toluene, MEK, and sulfuric acid."


Generally speaking, when common OTC chemicals (in the USA) have had their availability restricted, has there been an announcement or grace period, or does it just occur overnight
? I seem to recall talk about the status of the common meth reagents quite a bit before they became scarce, but others, like toluene, just seemed to quietly stop being ordered. Like at first the moratorium on sales is voluntary, then later it becomes the law of the land. Anyone know more about the process?

There is a local, independently owned hardware shop near me. I frequently buy H2SO4 and NaOH there. I always pay cash. One time i bought both items at the same time and the employee asked me if I was making meth? I looked him right in the eye and said "I dont know how to do it with these chemicals, could you teach me?" and he gave me the serious stink eye. And he still looks at me suspiciously when I go in there. But buying these things doesnt qualify as a bad habit like other things in this thread, maybe me being a smartass in those situations is a bad habit.

[Edited on 2-5-2015 by Hellafunt]
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Zombie
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[*] posted on 1-5-2015 at 22:00


Quote: Originally posted by Hellafunt  



Generally speaking, when common OTC chemicals (in the USA) have had their availability restricted, has there been an announcement or grace period, or does it just occur overnight
? I seem to recall talk about the status of the common meth reagents quite a bit before they became scarce, but others, like toluene, just seemed to quietly stop being ordered. Like at first the moratorium on sales is voluntary, then later it becomes the law of the land. Anyone know more about the process?




It kinda happens quietly overnight.

I buy approx 55 gallons of acetone a week in the spring, and 55 a month the rest of the year.

Last year around june/july I received a questionnaire re: my line of work, my need for acetone, expected quantities needed, if I sold wholesale, retail, and in what quantities.

Included was a copy of this...

PART 1310 — RECORDS AND REPORTS OF LISTED CHEMICALS AND CERTAIN MACHINES

§1310.04 Maintenance of records.

(a) Every record required to be kept subject to §1310.03 for a List I chemical, a tableting machine, or an encapsulating machine shall be kept by the regulated person for 2 years after the date of the transaction.

(b) Every record required to be kept subject to Section 1310.03 for List II chemical shall be kept by the regulated person for two years after the date of the transaction.

(c) A record under this section shall be kept at the regulated person's place of business where the transaction occurred, except that records may be kept at a single, central location of the regulated person if the regulated person has notified the Administration of the intention to do so. Written notification must be submitted by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Divisional Office for the area in which the records are required to be kept.

(d) The records required to be kept under this section shall be readily retrievable and available for inspection and copying by authorized employees of the Administration under the provisions of 21 U.S.C. 880.

(e) The regulated person with more than one place of business where records are required to be kept shall devise a system to detect any party purchasing from several individual locations of the regulated person thereby seeking to avoid the application of the cumulative threshold or evading the requirements of the Act.

(f) For those listed chemicals for which thresholds have been established, the quantitative threshold or the cumulative amount for multiple transactions within a calendar month, to be utilized in determining whether a receipt, sale, importation or exportation is a regulated transaction is as follows:

(2) List II Chemicals:

(i) Imports and Exports

Chemical Threshold by volume Threshold by weight
(A) Acetic anhydride 250 gallons 1,023 kilograms.
(B) Acetone 500 gallons 1,500 kilograms.
(C) Benzyl chloride N/A 4 kilograms.
(D) Ethyl ether 500 gallons 1,364 kilograms.
(E) Potassium permanganate N/A 500 kilograms.
(F) 2-Butanone (MEK) 500 gallons 1,455 kilograms.
(G) Toluene 500 gallons 1,591 kilograms.
(H) Sodium permanganate N/A 500 kilograms
(ii) Domestic Sales

Chemical Threshold by volume Threshold by weight
(A) Acetic anhydride 250 gallons 1,023 kilograms.
(B) Acetone 50 gallons 150 kilograms.
(C) Benzyl chloride N/A 1 kilograms.
(D) Ethyl ether 50 gallons 135.8 kilograms.
(E) Potassium permanganate N/A 55 kilograms.
(F) 2-Butanone (MEK) 50 gallons 145 kilograms.
(G) Toluene 50 gallons 159 kilograms.
(H) Anhydrous Hydrogen chloride N/A 0.0 kilograms.
(I) Sodium permanganate N/A 55 kilograms

The first list is what I am allowed to purchase, and the second is what I am allowed to sell, and I am under obligation to report all "suspicious sales.

If I do not keep these records or fail to report... I can be prosecuted.

This is not a matter of public record. You can find the info but "they" do not want the general public to know they can be arrested for purchasing these items in "bulk".
Nor am I under any obligation to forewarn the purchaser. Doing so can again get ME in trouble.

Guess I just blew that!




They tried to have me "put to sleep" so I came back to return the favor.
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Hellafunt
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[*] posted on 2-5-2015 at 17:24


wow, those quantities seem pretty generous to me, should be enough for "personal use", no?
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[*] posted on 2-5-2015 at 17:39


The quantities are just guidelines. Many times of the year I use much more but it is not a report-able issue due to the nature of my use .ie: retail.

Now lets say in January I ordered 1500 gallons in one month. If my supplier did not report me, and I did anything wrong... He gets prosecuted right along with me. as a co-conspirator.

It's simple yet complex. All they want are proper records for "watch items.




They tried to have me "put to sleep" so I came back to return the favor.
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[*] posted on 3-5-2015 at 16:14


I sometimes squirt the pipette of pure acid back in the mother container – which can contaminate. Plus,I'm titrating directly from the acid bottle.
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[*] posted on 8-12-2015 at 08:54


I usually work without gloves. If it's hydrochloric acid I'm working with, no repercussions follow: it merely irritates. Today, when distilling hydrochloric acid, I was handling a piece of PTFE tape soaked in azeotropic hydrochloric acid, and didn't find the experience too painful. We Russians have a proverb: "A chicken's no bird, a woman's no husband". I modified this one into "A chicken's no bird, hydrochloric's no hydrofluoric, it will itch a bit and stop".

I also often work with conc sulfuric, also without gloves. My hands look like hands of a coal miner, half of the epidermis is carbonized and black.

And also my lab table is also my computer table and dinner table. It's Russian winter, so I moved everything into the great hall: the only place where it's always warm. In summer, situation is different, of course.




Smells like ammonia....
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[*] posted on 12-12-2015 at 09:00


My first bad habit is to leave stuff unfinished and not packed because I have no suitable conditions at the moment. For example, I have a bunch of chemicals left wrapped in paper because as a perfectionist I want to obtain nicer vials and containers. Of course, they tend to absorb moisture, degrade, and generaly make mess all around them...
I am constantly trying to force myself to finish projects, purify products, pack stuff, etc...

Second bad habit, maybe just the worst, is that I have no habit of writing stuff down. From experiments (I keep them in my head in the begining, but time wipes serious ammount of info from there) and even photos of them, to labels on bottles and containers. I end up having periodically check-ups of situation in home lab, ending in several contaners with question marks on them and a lot of useful informations lost in oblivion.
I am puting some hard effort in eliminating that particularly bad habit, up to point of writing even my thoughts down because they might be usefull and give some serious clues on what I was doing and what have I acomplished...

All the rest should fall in "bad days at the lab" subject...
Ah yes, I have succesfully eliminated the "leave this pile of dirty vessels for the next time" habit in the early days. Definitely worth the effort!




...and then I disappeared in the mist...
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[*] posted on 12-12-2015 at 13:48


NOT writing down the Important stuff makes the whole exercise utterly worthless, no matter how much fun it is.

May as well chuck random stuff in a bucket and go "wooohoo ! it went green !!"

Edit:

A good Compromise for random mixer-uppers is to weight all the reagents FIRST, then do the random mixing up, then weight the reagents after to see how much you actually used ...


[Edited on 12-12-2015 by aga]




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JJay
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[*] posted on 13-12-2015 at 05:10


I'll sometimes use a respirator instead of performing a procedure in a fume hood.
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The Volatile Chemist
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[*] posted on 14-12-2015 at 15:24


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
I'll sometimes use a respirator instead of performing a procedure in a fume hood.

Haha, for me, using a respirator was a step up, I don't have a hood :)




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[*] posted on 17-3-2016 at 17:18


Quote: Originally posted by Tdep  
Too many to choose from........ probably the cider drinking while quietly doing things. I mean it's not like I get drunk and make explosives but yeah, even drinking any liquid in a lab setting feels kinda wrong.

But whatever, it is my own lab, i'm going to play loud music and be awesome.

Edit: why do I sound like a rebellious 13 year old? At what point does the 'Adult' upgrade package get delivered?

[Edited on 5-4-2015 by Tdep]


I'm 76 and still waiting for the adult upgrade to kick in...but the waiting has been fun!:D
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[*] posted on 17-3-2016 at 18:56


I also am still waiting. I changed to e-cigs awhile ago. I still want to smoke. I could say it's so I could detect CN but I'd be lying. I can't keep my coffee out of the lab. I have to say that NH4 and Cl2 fumes are rather more immediate concerns than tobacco smoke and definitely require a hood. I used to boil DCM under an exhaust fan until my MD ran a test on me and told me to keep the stuff away from skin and nose. My liver params had hit "tilt."



"Ignorance is the Mother of Devotion." — Robert Burton.
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[*] posted on 17-3-2016 at 19:53


These young 'uns don't seem to understand how things used to be in the labs that made nearly everything in modern life possible. This photo is typical of the time, and also, I think, rather ironic, no?

I should note that smoking probably saved several lives in cyanide labs, back in the day.

O3

Dr Bernhard Cinader at OCI smoking in the lab 1960.jpg - 53kB




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[*] posted on 17-3-2016 at 20:02


Ok. Tell me about the connection between smoking and cyanide. I haven't heard that one.



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