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Author: Subject: methylene chloride alert!
Hermes_Trismegistus
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shocked.gif posted on 17-10-2005 at 09:38
methylene chloride alert!


Some months ago I purchased three litres of methylene chloride from a quebec chemical supplier. It was supplied in polyethylene bottles.

It was stored for several months and when retrieved the bottles were found to be empty. I mean dead empty.

I mean bone fricking dry!!!

Research showed that methylene chloride is permeable to P.E.

I may have breathed in three litres of a potent mutagen, carcinogen, and toxin.

I am not well pleased.:mad:

I offer this word to the wise...

If you store halogenated or aromatic hydrocarbons in plastic bottles, you may wish to do so out of doors.




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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 09:55


Where have you been saving them?

How a supplier would keep it in his place without losing his supplies as you lost them?

When you bought it ... did he packaged it while you are there or it was already packaged?

I think there are a lot of compounds permeable through glass , pe at a higher temperatures...

Anyway i hope you make it if you really breathed that quantity !!! Thanks for the warning




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Hermes_Trismegistus
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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 10:06


1. I stored them on a shelf in my apartment, and am very concerned about my health and future well-being.

2. I ordered them mail-order and do not know how they are packaged at her premises.

3. Thank you for your well-wishes.




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Darkblade48
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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 11:22


Ouch, that's quite eyebrow-raising, I certainly hope that there will be no serious long term effects.

Maybe the company had them in large glass containers and thought that they could save by shipping the methylene chloride to you in PE containers?

I'm curious if HDPE containers would have the same problem?
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Mr. Wizard
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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 11:59


Sorry to hear of your exposure. Another problem is leaking alkyl halides exposed to flames and combustion inside a building leading to exposure of phosgene and HCl :( This can cause long term lung problems. This can even happen with Freon. There is a cheap and dirty test using a colorless blue flame issuing from a copper, or brass pipe. Any chlorine compound, and perhaps other halides will give a green color to the flame. It was used years ago to look for freon leaks. Does anyone know if the test works for other halides?
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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 12:25


"Beilsteins test" IIRC. Doesn't work for fluorides.
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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 12:43
Beilstein test


[edit: unionised, your memory serves you correctly]

Mr . Wizard, the test you're talking about is called the Beilstein test. It is highly sensitive and can be used to detect organohalide compounds, except for organofluorides. Chlorides, bromides and iodides are said to impart different colours to the flame; see the pictures here: http://ull.chemistry.uakron.edu/organic_lab/beil/.

Hermes: 'I may have breathed in three litres of a potent mutagen, carcinogen, and toxin'

I wouldn't worry - for a start, it will not help in the slightest. DCM is not a potent mutagen, carcinogen or toxin. It is considered only a potential carcinogen even after chronic exposure. Surely you would have noticed the effects of the acute exposure first, such as nausea and headache. A pragmatic approach would be to look at this as a lesson: you cannot change the past, just do not let it happen again.
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FrankRizzo
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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 16:27


How did you not smell it?
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IrC
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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 18:03


You should store it in metal cans just like acetone is sold in, and the real danger is the formation of carbon monoxide in your bloodstream. I used to buy 5 gallon metal cans of it in Phoenix all the time for depotting, and the heat makes that stuff build up so much pressure I always had to loosen the lid slightly before I headed home with it. I kept it in the back with both back windows open over my monoxide fears. Learned my lesson about the heat when my swelled can blew the lid in the air. Leaking very slowly you are not likely to smell anything and the fact that you are not dead yet means don't worry about it. You survived it and like was mentioned it is not likely you will ever notice any further problems. I bet your bone marrow got a hell of a workout, and you must be running on all new blood!

IIRC it also forms formaldehyde in your bloodstream, and this would be the carcinogen I would worry about. But as was also mentioned you suffered no acute effects so your exposure was likely very small. The nausea and headaches are actually from the CO poisoning, which directly indicates both exposure and formaldehyde formation, meaning the fact that you never noticed these symptoms should give you a clean bill of health. I was overexposed to methylene chloride once doing depotting during the winter, with all the mentioned side effects (and worse) and the only thing that came out of it was the first panic attacks about a chemical I ever encountered, and a long bout of chronic kidney pain I assume was due to formaldehyde. I actually had to stop using that stuff as I would get the attacks of panic about it everytime I had any around. I have never used this solvent since. I wonder if psychotic episodes is another symptom of poisoning by this chemical?


[Edited on 18-10-2005 by IrC]
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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 18:08


The quebec suppliers I know of (I am 99% sure I know which one you are talking about) when dealing with barely legitimate compounds are not too carefull with what it packages its liquids in, unfortunalty.

I hope the effects are minimal for you.(Can't be worse than your chlorform accident a while back;))




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[*] posted on 17-10-2005 at 21:13


.....I'm curious if HDPE containers would have the same problem?........

Yep, thick reagent bottle HDPE at that.

Recently got a shipment of chloroform in it and after a couple weeks I noticed the level was down a little. So tightened the cap and taped it. Sure enough level kept dropping even in the fridge so into glass it went.

Around here many things are shipped in LLDPE or HDPE that shouldn't be stored for long in this plastic.

BTW certain chemicals are more compatible
with low density than high density PE or even HDPP.

Also different densities of either type are made. The difference is so extreme that benzene for example in HDPE at 50deg will dissolve one density and not the other.
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[*] posted on 6-11-2005 at 14:12


I think chloroform and dichloromethane have about the same level of smell as methanol and ethanol.
mick

You have to inhale a lot of chlorinated solvents before you smell them. Toluene, ethyl acetate, ethers are easy.
mick

[Edited on 6-11-2005 by mick]
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[*] posted on 6-11-2005 at 14:17


You must be kidding , DCM has a light aromatic odor but irritating and
chloroform is very pungent heavy aromatic odor which absolutely reeks
and is powerfully irritating .

In comparison methanol and even moreso ethanol are virtually odorless when pure .
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[*] posted on 6-11-2005 at 17:50


Perhaps people smell chloroform differently, because I find it to be nonirritating, light, and sweet; quite similar to DCM but slightly stronger. Kirk-Othmer gives an odor threshold of 205-310 ppm for CHCl3 and 300 ppm for CH2Cl2.

I've also tried HDPE for for chlorinated organics and for aromatics and it sucks.
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