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Author: Subject: Ever nearly dispatched oneself?
Baphomet
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Ever nearly dispatched oneself?

Has anyone here had a near miss or actually done themselves harm as an amateur chemist?

I was thinking about the time I almost asphyxiated myself on CO2. For 10 minutes after exposure my pulse was racing as my heart tried to pump more oxygen around my system.

It sounds silly but at the time I thought I was going to die as no-one was around to perform CPR in the event I lost conciousness.
12AX7
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Can't say I have, some might argue that with some measures I've taken around hot stuff, but then that would be disfiguring, not necessarily *life* threatening.

Tim

Seven Transistor Labs LLC http://seventransistorlabs.com/
Electronic Design, from Concept to Layout.
Need engineering assistance? Drop me a message!
BromicAcid
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Closest was phosphine.... second closest was chlorine. Phosphine though had a real shot at taking me out, almost called poison control until I realized I likely knew more about it then them considering I had the same reference manual most of them use.

Shamelessly plugging my attempts at writing fiction: http://www.robvincent.org
Ozone
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Erm, yes?

1. sec-butyl-2,4-dinitrophenol (Used at the time as a polymerization inhibitor) goes straight through nitrile gloves. I developed a migraine, fast irregular heartbeat, I was *hot*, sweating profusely. I removed my gloves to find that I had yellow fingers. Not good. I went outside, (it was cold, thank goodness) sat down and had a smoke (tasted like DNP and metal). Fortunately, this went away, but the dose was small and *transdermal*. yikes. Use latex (or other) with nitrophenolics! Pyridine also goes straight though nitrile (just stinky, though).

2. "Naphtha" to start a fireplace. I made a mistake and grabbed the wrong bottle of "naptha". I was used to the "ligroin" range, and thought that I had grabbed that. Unfortunately, (the labels were identical), I grabbed the 35°C range "naptha", let it soak in, and went after it with a match. A huge fireball erupted from the fireplace, and I ended up abou t 15 ft (or so) from where I started (backpedaling rapidly) with the skin falling off of the "match" hand. I can only imagine what came out of the chimney when that happened. It is true that time dilates...I can remember details about the fireball (orange, "cauliflowerey" with blue edges rolled into the "florettes", and HOT).

3. DCM vapor. I set up 23 liquid-liquid extractors (1L sample, 0.5L DCM) and turned on the mantles. I left for a moment, then realized that I had forgotten to put the condensers on...I went in rapidly and rectified this...Around #19, or so, I began to have tunnel vision, and began to "buzz" like crazy (very much like N2O). I finished the operation, saved the samples, and barely made it out without dying (nice buzz, *BAD* for the liver--I was thinking as I stumbled out).

I am now quite anal about safety!

Live by the sword,

O3

[Edited on 22-11-2006 by Ozone]

[Edited on 22-11-2006 by Ozone]

-Anyone who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
--Albert Einstein
Twospoons
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With chems? No. With electricity? Within a whisker!
I'm really cautious with chems, as I'm well aware my knowledge is fairly limited (compared to those on this board).

Helicopter: "helico" -> spiral, "pter" -> with wings
Baphomet
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O3 are you TRYING to reach the afterlife?
YT2095
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Im with Twospoons on this, I always expect the worst when it comes to chem and so try to cover every possible eventuality, however Ive had some very close calls with HT electricity, even been hospitalised once because of it.

\"In a world full of wonders mankind has managed to invent boredom\" - Death
Twinkies don\'t have a shelf life. They have a half-life! -Caine (a friend of mine)
woelen

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I never had a bad accident with my chemistry hobby. The worst is some stains on my hands from HNO3 and AgNO3 and a small burn from a KClO3/red P mix (onloy 50 mg, so no real damage besides the eek and the small burns).

I did have a really nasty shock recently from a 3 kV neon sign transformer. One day later I still felt a little weak in my arm, through which I had this shock. This was quite frightening.

The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
Jdurg
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1): In high school chem lab we were bending old glass tubing. This tubing was apparently used many years before to condense bromine vapor but nobody knew this. I was foolishly standing right in between the glass tube and the overhead vent fan and got a good lung full of Br2 vapor.

2): A few years ago I was attempting to make Cl2 for my element collection. I mixed bleach with an acidic drain cleaner that used HCl hoping to make copious amounts of that yellow-green element. I looked in the reaction vessel, which was a white bottle, and saw no color change. Instead of using the smart "waft" technique to smell chlorine, I just put my nose close to the opening and inhaled deeply. I coughed for a good half-hour and was sore for a few days.

3): In college organic lab, I had spilled diethyl ether on my jacket at the beginning of lab. I hung my jacket up by the fume hood to let the ether evaporate. At the end of the two hour lab I picked up my jacket and couldn't smell any ether. (I was apparently temporarily numb to the smell). I went outside and lit a cigarette. WHOOOOSH!!!!! This quick but loud blowing of air around me was felt followed by the stench of burned hair and melted plastic. I guess there was still plenty of ether on my jacket and the lighting of the cigarette set it off. Thankfully the burns weren't too bad. It just looked like I got a nasty sunburn.

\"A real fart is beefy, has a density greater than or equal to the air surrounding it, consists of the unmistakable scent of broccoli, and usually requires wiping afterwards.\"
Ozone
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 Quote: Originally posted by Baphomet O3 are you TRYING to reach the afterlife?

No Indeed! I was just inexperienced at the time (first lab job; it was years ago). Fortunately, the luck (and reflexes!) of youth are usually replaced with (slower, more deliberate) experience. Knock wood.

This also serves to point out that no one is exempt.

Be safe everyone!

O3

-Anyone who never made a mistake never tried anything new.
--Albert Einstein
Chris The Great
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Touched one end of a 3kV charged capacitor with one hand accidently. Spark jumped to my other hand. Interesting feeling when you feel your heart stop beating and go into one giant contraction.
chemoleo
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You know the transformers used for igniting oil in central heating systems? (I calculated it at 20 kV)
Well I scavenged one, and made a pretty Jacob's ladder with it. Insulation was with thick sticky tape. I touched the wires only with pliars, through a plastic handle. Until, for some inexplicable reason, I touched the insulation-covered wire of each Jacobs ladder arm with my bare hands. Of course, the spark went right through the insulation into my fingers, through my chest, and departed on the other hand. I shook quite strongly, not pleasant at all, and only afterwards I realised that this was a close call. I had two little black craters in each finger tip, 2mm in diameter and about the same depth. I guess the Amp wasn't high enough to be deadly, so this is what saved me.

Did I ever mention the new years eve pyro mix with trichloroethylene that became hot while mixing? Well... it all went down the loo... the only safe option at hand!

Never Stop to Begin, and Never Begin to Stop...
Tolerance is good. But not with the intolerant! (Wilhelm Busch)
Misanthropy
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Once as a kid: Holding a HeNe laser one day after wiring a 7.5Kv transformer to it. Seems the HV coaxial jacket had been compromised at some point. I had ahold of the grounded laser case in my right hand & the x-fmr in my left where a hot spot had found it convenient to tell me 'hello'. I couldn't for the life of me (!) put that sucker down until I spasmed through the midsection & the whole mess went flying onto my bed across the room.

My father (radio/radar tech) had once touched with his screwdriver, the output of a final radar amp on his Coast Guard icebreaker with the other hand on the bench. ~20Kv? He said his entire upper body was instantly numbed and his torso immobilized. His legs were ok though & he was able to walk backwards away from the bench.

Amazing he's alive considering that's just one little incident of dozens, much more serious.... Like driving himself & his motorcycle between the duels of a flatbed semi....

[Edited on 25-11-2006 by Misanthropy]

[Edited on 25-11-2006 by Misanthropy]

vulture
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- Lighting a selfmade cracker with a faulty endcap...Felt the casing hitting my leg before I heard the bang...painful. Somewhat higher and I could be Jack Sparrows best mate. Always turn firecrackers perpendicular to you.

- 300g of flash powder which started to heat up and boil off acetone. Lesson learned: Do not use acetone with KMnO4 flash.

- Inhaled NO2 after cellulose nitration runaway. Lesson learned: Runaway can still occur after 10min of peaceful reaction.

- Inhaled chlorine gas during an electrolysis experiment in a confined space.

- Inhaled too much NH3 after mixing KOH solution with ammonium nitrate, again in a confined space.
Lesson learned: Do not perform experiments which produce noxious gas in a confined space.

[Edited on 25-11-2006 by vulture]

One shouldn't accept or resort to the mutilation of science to appease the mentally impaired.
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Close call...

I was trying to make 100grams of Ammonium Nitrate/Dextrose/Zinc rocket propellant. As soon as the detrose melted the propellant errupted in flames and sent this white ash all voer the place.

Pyrovus
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Well, I've never had a near-fatal experience, but I had a very unpleasant incident happen a few months ago.

I was wanting to make some sodium aluminate, and went about it by dissolving aluminium foil in sodium hydroxide. Very nice, satisfying reaction I must say, with the very minor drawback that it appears to produce fine particles of aluminium which become airborne. And, as luck would have it, I managed to get a lungful of them. This was unpleasant at the time, and I immediately started coughing, but after about an hour I was alright. Then two days later I come down with very unpleasant flu-like symptoms, leaving me practically bed-ridden for the next five days while my lungs went about getting rid of all those wonderful particles in rather disgusting fashion. Suffice to say, ever since I've been that much more careful (but not quite to the point of paranoia) with any reaction where there is the remotest chance of producing any nasty vapours/particles. I've certainly got no intention of ever going through an experience like that again.

Never accept that which can be changed.
Dr.3vil
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Let’s see...... actually, that’s the point, I can still see!! By all accounts I should be blind. I had an antique hydrometer in which the alcohol had separated in the thermometer. No big deal, rather then follow the directions and place it in a car radiator, I used a cig lighter to heat the base. I was under the impression I held the lighter far enough away. That impression ended with a loud pop and a burning sensation in my eyes. Instinctively I dropped everything and ran to the bathroom to flush my eyes. Luckily everything was ok. I still have the red stain on my keyboard and desk as a reminder to:

2) Ware eye protection no matter what.

After that experience, I found new respect for what I was doing.

--- To all who lived to tell their tale ---

3vil
The_Davster
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NOT IN MY LAB....IN A REAL ONE

Uranium metal ignited while I was cutting it...not in a fumehood...Noone told me the dangers of it at the time...all I was wearing was a dustmask. I probally inhaled some of the fumes.

*Sigh* its an early death for me...

In mine...
Chlorine generator exploded, some acid burns on face
Runaway nitration acid burned my hand much.

International Hazard

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Chemistry - no, Electricity - YES

Worst things that happened in chemistry - Armstrong's mixture blowing off eyebrows
and inhaling small amounts of irritating chlorine gas during per(chlorate) production when
my 1st exhaust fan went belly up.

Electricity. Now there's one that gave me some hard zaps and I didn't even know they
were coming. Cases in point:

Several years ago my toaster malfunctioned when I went to use it. It had one of those chrome
metal casings. Apparently, one of the wires from the power cord had frayed and grounded itself
to the casing. I touched the casing and got my ass knocked on the kitchen floor by the 120 volt
jolt !

Last May, when I changed residences, I was hooking up my electronic gear in my bedroom.
For some reason I can't explain, a short developed somewhere in my Philips DVDR75
burner. I plugged it into the UPS so it could still record even during a power outage. My left
hand was on the UPS and I touched one of the controls on the Philips and got knocked on
my ass again.

The scariest thing of all happened about a year ago. My Panasonic microwave decided it
still wanted to cook when I opened the door. Needless to say, I through it in the dumpster
and bought another unit.

From opening of NCIS New Orleans - It goes a BOOM ! BOOM ! BOOM ! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !
12AX7
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Yipe! But now that you mention it...what'd it feel like? (The microwave.)

Tim

Seven Transistor Labs LLC http://seventransistorlabs.com/
Electronic Design, from Concept to Layout.
Need engineering assistance? Drop me a message!
Maya
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<< The scariest thing of all happened about a year ago. My Panasonic microwave decided it
still wanted to cook when I opened the door. Needless to say, I through it in the dumpster >>

Don't people hit the stop button B4 opening the door?

I think I read somewhere that the first symptoms you would feel from microwaves frying your ass is the fluid in your eyes boiling
12AX7
Post Harlot

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I think it would be general warmth, like radiant heat, but a much unexpected revelation without a bonfire around to explain it! Microwaves don't go out of their way to nuke your eyes (or testicles for that matter), but after enough exposure, they are a prime concern.

All microwaves have interlocks (certainly a legal requirement) so they stop when opened, thus there is no need to hit stop on a properly functioning microwave.

Tim

Seven Transistor Labs LLC http://seventransistorlabs.com/
Electronic Design, from Concept to Layout.
Need engineering assistance? Drop me a message!
International Hazard

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Microwave

I didn't feel anything because I was scared shitless ! I closed the door immediately,
so my exposure was for probably a couple of seconds. I cleared out the timer but to no
avail. I opened the door and the damn thing started running again. At that point, I pulled the
plug out of the wall and promptly discarded the unit. What's really scary is that the unit had
an 1100 watt rating ! I certainly never expected the thing to malfunction in that manner.

From opening of NCIS New Orleans - It goes a BOOM ! BOOM ! BOOM ! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !
Waffles
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 Quote: Originally posted by DeAdFX Close call... I was trying to make 100grams of Ammonium Nitrate/Dextrose/Zinc rocket propellant. As soon as the detrose melted the propellant errupted in flames and sent this white ash all voer the place.

This happened to me, but in my kitchen on the stove, and with ~500g…at least I know the smoke detector works now. And the floor, ceiling, and countertop will need to be refinished eventually...I was only doing it in this manner because I had done it at least a half dozen times before without a single hiccup. Serves me right.

\"…\'tis man\'s perdition to be safe, when for the truth he ought to die.\"
Chris The Great
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