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Lotilko
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shocked.gif posted on 2-8-2016 at 14:54
Unknown Substance


I did not know where to post this, so I posted it here. Sorry if I posted this in the wrong thread and broke some rules. Also, english is not my first language so sorry for any spelling errors or mistakes. Anyways, here is the story:

I was exploring an old mine with a friend of mine, because his dad told us that the previous owner had bought all kinds of equipment and glassware from a hospital, because he wanted to sell the equipment. However, he had not sold it and it was all left there to rot. The glassware has been sitting there for 20-25 years.

So I got there today with my friend to look for some still usable glassware. We found two unused burettes and a few vessels. Then he stumbled across a plastic box. I checked it and saw it contained some kind of a white powder. The box had a piece of tape over it with a biohazard symbol. The symbol was black with a yellow background. As you can see, it says it's "Stardust" with some numbers that I was unable to identify. There was a logo on the side of the box. It's the same as the one on the other picture. I have done some research and came to the conclusion that it must be some kind of a hazardous drug. I only took one photo. The white powder seemed to be non-crystalline. What do you think? Could it be something usable like medicine or some kind of a biological toxin? If there was something biological in it, I don't think it survived 25 years locked up in a plastic box. Please tell me your ideas.

DSC_0115.JPG - 1.3MB DSC_0116.JPG - 1.3MB
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Oscilllator
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 15:37


Well google translate says that "per scienta post tenebras lux" is latin for "the science behind the darkness, light".
It seems to me that this is almost certainly the motto for the university who's crest is also present in the photo.
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Lotilko
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 15:51


Quote: Originally posted by Oscilllator  
Well google translate says that "per scienta post tenebras lux" is latin for "the science behind the darkness, light".
It seems to me that this is almost certainly the motto for the university who's crest is also present in the photo.


I tried srearching for the motto, but without success. So you say it's a university. Thanks for the insight.

[Edited on 2016.8.2 by Lotilko]
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Oscilllator
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 16:00


Maybe. Universities tend to be the one to have crests and latin mottos like that. It could be the hospital though. I suggest you find out which hospital it came from, and check if that hospital had a crest and/or a motto like the one in the above picture.

Do you have any kind of home laboratory with which you could test this substance?

Edit: I just had a closer look at your second image. Are you sure it doesn't say "starchest" and not "stardust"?

[Edited on 3-8-2016 by Oscilllator]
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Lotilko
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 16:03


I don't have an appropriate laboratory for that. I have the most essential glassware and a few reagents, but not a laboratory, althought I plan on constructing one this month.

[Edited on 2016.8.3 by Lotilko]
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Lotilko
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 16:09


Quote: Originally posted by Oscilllator  
Maybe. Universities tend to be the one to have crests and latin mottos like that. It could be the hospital though. I suggest you find out which hospital it came from, and check if that hospital had a crest and/or a motto like the one in the above picture.

Do you have any kind of home laboratory with which you could test this substance?

Edit: I just had a closer look at your second image. Are you sure it doesn't say "starchest" and not "stardust"?

[Edited on 3-8-2016 by Oscilllator]


It could be starchest. I'll run a quick search.
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Lotilko
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 16:12


Nothing came up. :(
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Lotilko
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 16:50


Any idea on how to identify the substance and what precautions should be taken?
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 16:53


Quote: Originally posted by Oscilllator  
Well google translate says that "per scienta post tenebras lux" is latin for "the science behind the darkness, light".
It seems to me that this is almost certainly the motto for the university who's crest is also present in the photo.


That's not a crest, it's a coat of arms (and a crappy one, at that). It may be the manufacturer's attempt at a oat of arms, rather than that of a university.




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Write up your lab reports the way your instructor wants them, not the way your ex-instructor wants them.
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[*] posted on 2-8-2016 at 16:59


Hmm. Biohazard symbol. Found in a mine. Sounds a little shady, to me (don't you think?). I'd avoid it until I could handle it in a hood (preferably laminar flow with a HEPA) and proper PPE. I'd treat any unknown very carefully, as if it could bite. An unknown with that symbol...doubly so.

However, what you describe, and the name "starchest," or whatever, suggests it might be starch. This can be easily tested with tincture of iodine or with KI/peroxide. I should caution you, though, that starch has been used as a carrier for much nastier things.

Careful,

O3




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Lotilko
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[*] posted on 3-8-2016 at 00:33


Quote: Originally posted by Ozone  
Hmm. Biohazard symbol. Found in a mine. Sounds a little shady, to me (don't you think?). I'd avoid it until I could handle it in a hood (preferably laminar flow with a HEPA) and proper PPE. I'd treat any unknown very carefully, as if it could bite. An unknown with that symbol...doubly so.

However, what you describe, and the name "starchest," or whatever, suggests it might be starch. This can be easily tested with tincture of iodine or with KI/peroxide. I should caution you, though, that starch has been used as a carrier for much nastier things.

Careful,

O3


I don't have a have hood at the moment. I think I am going to leave it there until I have the proper equipment. Thanks for the info.
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[*] posted on 4-8-2016 at 05:19


"per scienta post tenebras lux" means "With science, you get light after the darkness"
--> Science brings light into the darkness.

At the Free University of Brussels, they have the following sentence: Scientia vincere tenebras.

The logo of your picture is a bit trouble, but I think that you have a biohazard in the yellow, a nucleus with electrons in the blue, a pharmacy (caduceus) symbol in the white and ??? into the red.

[Edited on 4-8-2016 by PHILOU Zrealone]




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Lotilko
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[*] posted on 5-8-2016 at 02:31


The red is a double helix if I recall correctly.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2016 at 02:55


Quote: Originally posted by PHILOU Zrealone  
The logo of your picture is a bit trouble, but I think that you have a biohazard in the yellow, a nucleus with electrons in the blue, a pharmacy (caduceus) symbol in the white and ??? into the red.

[Edited on 4-8-2016 by PHILOU Zrealone]


The yellow looks like a radiation symbol to me https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionizing_radiation

it's indeed shady, whatever it is. Could you take an high resolution picture of the logo only? I could try to alter the image and do an image search.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2016 at 03:02


I am going back on sunday, I'll snap a few shots. By the way it could be hexastarch, based on what has been posted here. I don't know any uses for it though.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2016 at 03:13


Quote: Originally posted by Lotilko  
I am going back on sunday, I'll snap a few shots. By the way it could be hexastarch, based on what has been posted here. I don't know any uses for it though.

I've read of penta/heta starch used in medicine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxyethyl_starch

I'm not well versed in this field tho
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[*] posted on 6-8-2016 at 08:36


Could be mercury salts. Miners used to use mercury to extract lighter metals. They also used to have medicinal supplies such as antibiotics.



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[*] posted on 6-8-2016 at 09:20


Quote: Originally posted by Metallus  
Quote: Originally posted by PHILOU Zrealone  
The logo of your picture is a bit trouble, but I think that you have a biohazard in the yellow, a nucleus with electrons in the blue, a pharmacy (caduceus) symbol in the white and ??? into the red.

[Edited on 4-8-2016 by PHILOU Zrealone]


The yellow looks like a radiation symbol to me https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionizing_radiation

it's indeed shady, whatever it is. Could you take an high resolution picture of the logo only? I could try to alter the image and do an image search.


That's meant to be a scientific-looking coat of arms. Four quarters, showing symbols for radiation, the atom, medicine (although for medicine it should only have one snake), and DNA, tied together with a chief showing a rising sun.




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Write up your lab reports the way your instructor wants them, not the way your ex-instructor wants them.
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[*] posted on 9-8-2016 at 06:54


Here are a few more pics. I took these on sunday. My eyes must've decieved me as the sign is orange, not yellow.

DSC_0136.JPG - 1.2MBDSC_0138.JPG - 1.4MBDSC_0137.JPG - 1.1MB
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[*] posted on 9-8-2016 at 11:52


Well if you happened to possess a sample of say..... anthrax..... for example and did not want to or know how to dispose of it then what would you do with it?
Logically one would hide it far far away knowing that it's available as a last resort if it ever came to that while in the mean time it never rears its ugly head.
An unlikely scenario but it fits.
I would leave it and pretend I never found it.





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[*] posted on 9-8-2016 at 12:59


Quote: Originally posted by froot  
Well if you happened to possess a sample of say..... anthrax..... for example and did not want to or know how to dispose of it then what would you do with it?
Logically one would hide it far far away knowing that it's available as a last resort if it ever came to that while in the mean time it never rears its ugly head.
An unlikely scenario but it fits.
I would leave it and pretend I never found it.



I buried it in a large pile of debris. I don't think anyone else will ever see it again, as it was sitting there for about 25 years. I might dig it up one day when I'll have the right equipment to identify it, but it must rest for now. Anyways, I found lots of odd glassware which I was unable to identify. I might upload those photos too if research fails. Thanks for everyone's help here.
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[*] posted on 24-8-2016 at 15:46


Get a friend with a gc/ms or throw the shit out (at haz disposal site)

If you buried it you will eventually forget it and then some poor bastard will find it. There are idiots that will try insufflating it or worse..dispose as if it were a biohazard. Please! (while you still can find it.) Could be anthrax..

[Edited on 24-8-2016 by chemrox]




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[*] posted on 25-8-2016 at 16:52


Quote: Originally posted by froot  
Well if you happened to possess a sample of say..... anthrax..... for example and did not want to or know how to dispose of it then what would you do with it?
Logically one would hide it far far away knowing that it's available as a last resort if it ever came to that while in the mean time it never rears its ugly head.
An unlikely scenario but it fits.
I would leave it and pretend I never found it.



Yes. I agree! Call a biohazard team just in case, because some people are desperate enough to release that(or will accidentally do so) and essentially it'd be your fault for not saying anything about it. If someone were to have hid it there, thinking no one would ever find it—you did—and just because you buried it, doesn't mean someone else won't find it either. It is critical that you report it as soon as possible. And explain everything.




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[*] posted on 26-8-2016 at 04:05


Personally, I find that coat of arms extremely suspicious of having been printed out by any amateur chemist (or not). Look at the symbols. It is totally different from any other coat of arms. So not serious that I can't even think of it as being even from a manufacturer. This was created with Paint/GIMP.

The attempt at a Latin motto shows "scienta" instead of "scientia", another giveaway. Furthermore, "per" needs accusative afterwards, so it would definitely be "scientiam" anyway!!
The lack of care in the positioning of the motto, the dodgy looking coat of arms and the ersatz Latin... if not a hoax, you have just found the legacy of an ambitiously esoteric amateur chemist!

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[Edited on 26-8-2016 by Eddygp]




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Lotilko
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[*] posted on 31-8-2016 at 12:39


I got af friend of mine to dipose of it. He knows someone who works at a waste disposal company. They supposedly dumped it in an incinerator.
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