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posted by n1 on Wednesday November 12 2014, @06:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the nasty-little-chemicals dept.

Derek Lowe keeps a blog, that alone wouldn't be news worthy but his blog is the home of Things I Won't Work With, a fascinating look at chemicals so noxious, so volatile that even the names will make amateur chemists flinch.

Such things as:

Peroxide Peroxides

Everyone knows hydrogen peroxide, HOOH. And if you know it, you also know that it's well-behaved in dilute solution, and progressively less so as it gets concentrated. The 30% solution will go to work immediately bleaching you out if you are so careless as to spill some on you, and the 70% solution, which I haven't seen in years, provides an occasion to break out the chain-mail gloves.

Mercury Azides

When we last checked in with the Klapƶtke lab at Munich, it was to highlight their accomplishments in the field of nitrotetrazole oxides. Never forget, the biggest accomplishment in such work is not blowing out the lab windows.

and FOOF

And a hard core it is! This stuff was first prepared in Germany in 1932 by Ruff and Menzel, who must have been likely lads indeed, because it's not like people didn't respect fluorine back then. No, elemental fluorine has commanded respect since well before anyone managed to isolate it, a process that took a good fifty years to work out in the 1800s. (The list of people who were blown up or poisoned while trying to do so is impressive). And that's at room temperature.

Has anyone here had to work with any of these?

 
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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday November 12 2014, @06:32AM

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday November 12 2014, @06:32AM (#115099) Journal

    Has anyone here had to work with any of these?

    I'd share with you my experiences if only I'd have the fingers to type them here.
    ---
    (grin) [wikipedia.org]

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  • (Score: 2) by Arik on Wednesday November 12 2014, @03:55PM

    by Arik (4543) on Wednesday November 12 2014, @03:55PM (#115223) Journal
    I've worked with virtually pure H2O2 a few times. Definitely have to be very careful of exposure before you get it diluted. A tiny little drop, barely enough to notice a hint of moisture on the skin of my thumb, burned the first layer of skin white and dead in seconds. Another slightly larger drop destroyed a perfectly good shoe.
    --
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?