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Author: Subject: Opinions of working with carcinogenic alkyl halides such as bromoethane?
Cou
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[*] posted on 1-7-2020 at 14:27
Opinions of working with carcinogenic alkyl halides such as bromoethane?


If you want to get serious about organic chemistry, you eventually need to play with alkyl bromides.

I want to make bromoethane from ethanol, and use that to make grignard reagents.

I don't have a fume hood, but I can work outside with a heavy duty fan and a respirator and gloves(not sure if it's the right respirator, what filter should i get)?

We have to balance the risk and benefit. I think organic chemistry as a hobby makes life much more worth living. I've been a lot happier since I started. Perhaps by the time I get old enough to see consequences like leukemia, biochemists will have found very good treatments.




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Belowzero
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[*] posted on 1-7-2020 at 14:55


AX type filters are supposedly suitable for working with bromoethane and alike.

This table is quite useful : https://www.optrel.com/service/downloads/?no_cache=1&tx_...

As you mention , a good fan , upwind etc are all good precautions.
Also something nearby to clean up in case of accidents.
Not very fond of your last remark, hoping for a magical cure for cancer in the future is not something I would place my bets on.
According to that 'logic' we would have Mars colonies by now.

[Edited on 1-7-2020 by Belowzero]
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Refinery
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[*] posted on 7-7-2020 at 11:27


Supposedly if you use proper PPE your exposure to hazardous materials is limited to almost zero. I have at least taken it granted that if I use mask equipped with ABEK filter that is approved for chemical industry use, it would provide full protection up to sensible limits. After that, taking care you won't contaminate your workplace and equipment and properly manage your waste, you should be pretty good.

Also, I think some things must be put into scale, for example alcohol consumption is in 1A carcinogenicity class, but look around what people do, and they mostly keep living, hence exposure to small amounts of acetaldehyde should not provide you with excessive risk of cancer. I'm not sure if you get what I'm saying, but it is not to fear things too much. Just study them, and respect the terms you're given.
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mackolol
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[*] posted on 7-7-2020 at 11:46


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  

Also, I think some things must be put into scale, for example alcohol consumption is in 1A carcinogenicity class, but look around what people do, and they mostly keep living, hence exposure to small amounts of acetaldehyde should not provide you with excessive risk of cancer.

I totally agree with Refinery, I suppose that as a hobby chemist, that doesn't have any specific production in his lab, that will require working with the same chemicals over and over again, you won't handle big amounts of alkyl bromides, and you won't do it often (probably few times at all).

Furthermore if you have gloves and are working outside, exposure goes nearly to zero.
Go ahead, wish you the best working with it! :D
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 7-7-2020 at 12:07


Quote: Originally posted by Cou  

We have to balance the risk and benefit. I think organic chemistry as a hobby makes life much more worth living. I've been a lot happier since I started. Perhaps by the time I get old enough to see consequences like leukemia, biochemists will have found very good treatments.

A study I've read some years ago, claims that there is no increased risk of such illnesses for chemists in advanced age.
So just work properly and take precautions, it will be completely fine then.
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