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Author: Subject: Acid Attacks in UK: Here We Go Again
Praxichys
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 06:50
Acid Attacks in UK: Here We Go Again


http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/14/europe/london-acid-attack/inde...
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Following an attack in June on 21-year-old aspiring model Resham Khan and her cousin Jameel Muhktar, a petition on Change.org demanding that the UK Parliament require individuals purchasing acid to hold a special license now has almost 370,000 signatures.

Here we go again with yet another highly vague mandatory licensing push for another set of useful chems... this time, it's "acid."

I guess nobody cares which acid.




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MrHomeScientist
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 07:02


Better start hoarding your vinegar and lemon juice!
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 07:06


Just been reading about it online.


There are about 730 acid attacks per year in the UK.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4462016/Two-acid-att...


There are about 32 448 knife attacks per year in the UK.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4462016/Two-acid-att...

(Other newspaper websites are available).


It's getting harder and harder for people to do chemistry as a hobby in the UK.

Are they really going to bad drain cleaner?






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veganalchemist
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 07:08


They have already banned nitric acid (without an EPP licence).
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 07:16


I cant help but see the remarkable similarties between cooking without knives and doing chemistry without acids. I suppose we're going back to the basics, untill someone figures out concentrated lye will cause equally debilitating injuries and become regulated similarly.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 07:30


Yes, we tell our students that sodium hydroxide is worse that acid (weak acid, say 2 M), as it really attacks your eyes.

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JJay
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 09:50


There definitely needs to be more said about first aid after taking a liter of sulfuric acid to the face (wash it off with water immediately). But more to the point, why are acid attacks so common in Great Britain and not in the rest of Europe?



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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 09:59


Eventually even the rocks on the street will be the target of legislation.



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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 10:06


The rest of us has access to guns :D

To be serious for a moment, it probably has to do with access. Where I live (a bit north-east of the UK) sulfuric acid hasn't been sold as a drain cleaner for many decades, even battery acid has been banned from sale to the public.




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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 10:08


Quote: Originally posted by MrHomeScientist  
Better start hoarding your vinegar and lemon juice!
A vicious carbonic acid attack:



I just hope they saved some for the gin. :)




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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 11:04


Quote: Originally posted by Fulmen  
To be serious for a moment, it probably has to do with access.


It's clearly a cultural issue, I'm not seeing British people throwing acid into other British peoples faces on a regular basis and until the root cause of the cultural problem is recognised these violent attacks will continue in one form or another.

To be honest I'm disgusted it has gone this far
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 12:22


A natural source of (deoxyribonucleic) acid.

nucleusfigure1.jpg - 35kB
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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 14-7-2017 at 14:57


As the article suggests, there isn't a law (yet) against carrying around sulfuric acid like there is about carrying a gun or a knife. I guess it's a less risky method of assault. If the perpetrator's weapon isn't legally a weapon until he uses it, it's a pretty good way to get off the hook with a reasonably short sentence I think. Plus, unlike a bat or a knife, acid to the face pretty much makes any chance of the victim fighting back impossible.

[Edited on 14-7-2017 by Praxichys]




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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 05:19


Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys  
As the article suggests, there isn't a law (yet) against carrying around sulfuric acid like there is about carrying a gun or a knife. I guess it's a less risky method of assault. If the perpetrator's weapon isn't legally a weapon until he uses it, it's a pretty good way to get off the hook with a reasonably short sentence I think. Plus, unlike a bat or a knife, acid to the face pretty much makes any chance of the victim fighting back impossible.

[Edited on 14-7-2017 by Praxichys]


Not actually correct, there is a law, its something along the lines of carrying a corrosive substance with intent.

The bit that is worrying is there are ample legal protections against this kind of attack, if you throw acid at someone then you face a possible life in prison sentence under the GBH with intent law.

Thats the bit that should worry people, the laws are already there, extra legal protection isnt needed.

We have (in scotland in particular) extra tight gun control to the point you need a firearms license to own a air riffle. but people still get shot.

Laws and restrictions are not helping, they burden a system that is already unable to cope with the demand on it. Try getting house insurance with a criminal record even once its spent!!

Making normal people criminals isnt the way forward.. Ban sulphuric acid and they will use Lye, ban that and they will use something else. ban all chemicals and they use a cheap Chinese ebay laser pen.

I think the punishments for the actual crime are what need looking at, do something stupid or dangerous then forget rehab make the punishment really harsh.
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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 05:50


The strength of punishment matters, but criminals are deterred to a greater extent by the likelihood of punishment. A criminal might risk death if he thinks he will probably get away with his crime but generally won't risk so much as a parking ticket if he is certain he will be caught.

I was under the impression that sulfuric acid isn't sold on shelves in the U.K.





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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 06:08


Certainty of consequence is a greater influence than severity of consequence. Every parent knows that one.
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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 06:50


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
Do you wish to defend your claim that acid attacks in the UK are caused by availability?


Sure, why not. I should start with a clarification, I never meant to claim that availability alone can explain this. But it is hard to abuse something you can't get hold of. And lets face it, few can make it from other OTC sources.

Where I live sulfuric acid has been off the marked for decades. Until 25years ago I could buy it from a local paint store, after that it was only available as battery acid for "dry charged batteries". But that source dried up about 10years ago. I've never seen it sold as a drain cleaner.

A quick search indicates that high strength sulfuric acid is still available in the UK.

But availability alone isn't a good explanation. In fact this only shows how hard it is to prevent violence by banning "weapons".




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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 07:24


Alchemists were making sulfuric acid out of rocks, and we have hundreds of years of scientific knowledge on them. It's kind of hard to do an at-home contact process, but it's actually not that hard to make sulfuric acid from OTC sources even without battery acid and drain cleaners. A non-chemist will not find it trivial to make sulfuric acid, but for an actual chemical enthusiast, numerous methods are available. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to drain a car battery and boil the liquid down in a beaker.

I don't see a lot of details in your post.... Is sulfuric acid available on the shelves in the UK? Are you unable to order it online in your location?




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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 07:54


UK - sulfuric acid drain cleaner:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Instant-Drain-Cleaner-Safety-Gloves...
http://www.wickes.co.uk/Rhino-High-Strength-Drain-Unblocker-...

I'm sure there are UK residents here that can settle this once and for all.

Here? Nope. It's available for plumbers (and anyone with a registered company), but not for the general public.
And I know it's possible to make, but it's not what I'd call "readily available". I think it's fair to assume that the people that use this as a weapon choose it based on availability, basically they will look for the worst OTC chemical they can find. So banning SA will probably produce an increase in attacks with other chemicals such as muriatic acid or lye.




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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 07:59


What country is this?


[Edited on 15-7-2017 by JJay]




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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 08:49


Quote: Originally posted by Fulmen  
UK - sulfuric acid drain cleaner:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Instant-Drain-Cleaner-Safety-Gloves...
http://www.wickes.co.uk/Rhino-High-Strength-Drain-Unblocker-...

I'm sure there are UK residents here that can settle this once and for all.

Here? Nope. It's available for plumbers (and anyone with a registered company), but not for the general public.

I went out today and bought some "drain cleaner".
Twice , in 2 different shops. (I'm stockpiling in case there's a ban)
It's essentially conc sulphuric.
No request for ID.
Paid cash.
The fact that I'm white, male and over 50 might help.
In practice it is available to teh public.
But then again, everyone knew that.
If it wasn't then it couldn't be used as a weapon.

However, imagine that some "bag guy" went into the same shop and found that he couldn't get the stuff any more.
Well, it's a hardware store, so there's a wide variety of hammers, knives, pickaxe handles and so on.
It's only going to inconvenience him slightly.
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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 08:52


Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys  
As the article suggests, there isn't a law (yet) against carrying around sulfuric acid like there is about carrying a gun or a knife. I guess it's a less risky method of assault. If the perpetrator's weapon isn't legally a weapon until he uses it, it's a pretty good way to get off the hook with a reasonably short sentence I think. Plus, unlike a bat or a knife, acid to the face pretty much makes any chance of the victim fighting back impossible.

[Edited on 14-7-2017 by Praxichys]

It's legal to carry a knife as long as you can make up some sort of excuse.

"If the perpetrator's weapon isn't legally a weapon until he uses it, it's a pretty good way to get off the hook with a reasonably short sentence I think. "
Like a steak knife or a hammer or whatever.
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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 09:13


Thanx, Unionseed. I think we can take it as a fact that SA drain cleaners are readily available in the UK. Where I live? One of the Scandinavian countries, I don't think any of them have SA as an OTC chemical.



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JJay
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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 10:28


Interesting. I actually didn't think it was available on shelves in the U.S. until a few years ago. I mean, sure, I could buy it online....

Is there a law against it? Can it be purchased online in Scandinavian countries?

There are many chemicals that are technically available to the public in the U.S., but in practice, they can't usually be purchased unless you have connections in industry or are willing to go through a lot of scrutiny. If I wanted to play with some t-butyl lithium, for example, I am pretty sure I could get a hold of some, but it's not generally available to the public.

Is this how sulfuric acid is in your country, or is it actually impossible for amateurs to purchase it?




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[*] posted on 15-7-2017 at 10:53


Here in the UK there are very few chemicals that are truly banned from private ownership.
Bu that's not the same as finding someone who will sell them to you.
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