Jump to content

Most dangerous chemicals?


Rougesang

Recommended Posts

Hi, to begin with, I am a bit of a chemistry noob.

But I came across this YouTube video from a channel called SciShow explaining the 5 most dangerous chemicals. In short these are the 5 chemicals listed in the video and why. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckSoDW2-wrc&ab_channel=SciShow

In short the video lists these 5 and the reasons behind it:

”Germany, 1939. In a secret bunker on the German-Polish border, Nazi agents were experimenting with a deadly chemical they named Substanz N. This chemical was extremely dangerous, boiling upon exposure to air, exploding upon contact with water, and releasing lethal hydrofluoric acid when decomposed. The Nazis planned to use Substanz N to arm their troops and melt Allied bunkers. However, they eventually deemed it too risky to work with and discontinued the experiments. This gives a glimpse into the realm of the most dangerous chemicals in the world, some of which even the Nazis found too extreme.

One such chemical is chlorine trifluoride, a highly potent fluorinating agent that can ignite violently upon contact with various substances, including things like bricks and asbestos. This compound is so reactive that it outperforms oxygen as an oxidizer, making it extremely hazardous to handle. Chlorine trifluoride is known for its ability to burn through concrete and dirt, highlighting its extreme danger. Azidoazide, another compound, is considered the most explosive chemical ever created, with its sensitivity being beyond the capabilities of measurement. Even the slightest disturbances can lead to explosive reactions, making it a nightmare to work with.

This is a free summary of a YouTube video autogenerated by url deleted

Dimethylcadmium, on the other hand, stands out as one of the most toxic chemicals gram for gram. This compound, a deadly organometallic substance, is known for its acute and chronic effects, swiftly affecting the bloodstream and major organs with toxic compounds of cadmium. The carcinogenic properties of dimethylcadmium further accentuate its lethal nature, making it a severe threat to human health. Despite its explosive and flammable characteristics, it's the extreme toxicity that makes dimethylcadmium stand out as one of the most dangerous chemicals in existence.

Thioacetone provides another perspective on chemical danger, being acclaimed as the world's smelliest compound. While not explosive or carcinogenic, the foul odor of thioacetone is unbearable, causing people to fall ill and leading to city evacuations. The pervasive stench of thioacetone showcases the diverse forms of danger that chemicals can exhibit, extending beyond physical harm to psychological and social impacts.

Lastly, fluoroantimonic acid claims the title of the strongest corrosive agent and the most dangerous acid ever created. This super acid, 10 quadrillion times stronger than sulfuric acid, poses a severe threat due to its ability to rip through organic tissues and even bones upon contact. The extreme reactivity of fluoroantimonic acid limits the ability to conduct experiments with it, as it devours glass and fume hoods, emphasizing the need for cautious handling and observation from a distance.”

 

Now to my question regarding this as I struggle to find conclusive information and don't really have much knowledge in the matter. Are these the 5 most dangerous chemicals in the world or are there others that they have missed? Maybe some have occurred since the video was released 9 years ago that have to be considered? What would you classify as the most dangerous? Looking forward to learning and seeing your opinions on the matter!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Rougesang said:

This is a free summary of a YouTube video autogenerated by url deleted

!

Moderator Note

Advertising is against our rules, but thank you for noting the transcript/summary was generated content.

I will remind everyone that discussion of the synthesis of dangerous chemicals is also against the rules

 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a matter of definition.
Looking at "number of people killed" I think alcohol and nicotine do pretty well.
I guess there's a case for "the DNA of the malaria parasite".

Water is surprisingly high up the list when you consider skidding on wet roads or collisions due to fog. (I think drownings are relatively rare but even that's not zero)

Things like fluoroantimonic acid are obviously bad for you, but since sulphuric acid is strong enough to burn holes in skin, there's a limit to the point of making stronger acids if that's your game plan. I suspect an equal volume of HF would do more damage.
The toxicity of fluoride and antimony are also contributors there but I doubt magic acid  has actually killed anyone.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Moontanman said:

I've heard some bad things about organic mercury compounds, a minuscule amount resulting in a slow, but inevitable, degenerative death? 

Dimethylmercury doesn't have many uses because of its toxicity. It can pass through layers of protective gloves. Scientist Karen Wetterhahn was a killed by it. IIRC handling protocols were changed after her death.

Edited by StringJunky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, TheVat said:

C12H22O11.  Around 1.5 million deaths per year. (before sucrose was widely available, diabetes was relatively rare)

Definitely competitive with ethanol, nicotine, and plasmodium DNA.

But I think nicotine is the champion, with 8 million/yr.

 

High fructose corn syrup is  consumed in the US 50x more than in EU... 50 pounds vs 1 pound p.a. I wonder if there is a per capita correlation in the relative incidence of mortality related to obesity with that.

 

Edited by StringJunky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

High fructose corn syrup is  consumed in the US 50x more than in EU... 50 pounds vs 1 pound p.a. I wonder if there is a per capita correlation in the relative incidence of mortality related to obesity with that.

 

I quit eating sugar almost a year and a half ago, its made a big difference in my life, my cognition has improved, I've lost weight, I feel physically better than I did. I'd recommend to anyone to stop, you have to be ruthless, HFCS is in everything, sometimes hidden quite well. I eat very little sugar now, if I do its mostly in the form of honey or brown sugar and very little of it, almost no white sugar except in the tiny amount of bread I eat. I've cut carbs about as far as I can and still eat. Pumpernickel rules!   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

I quit eating sugar almost a year and a half ago, its made a big difference in my life, my cognition has improved, I've lost weight, I feel physically better than I did. I'd recommend to anyone to stop, you have to be ruthless, HFCS is in everything, sometimes hidden quite well. I eat very little sugar now, if I do its mostly in the form of honey or brown sugar and very little of it, almost no white sugar except in the tiny amount of bread I eat. I've cut carbs about as far as I can and still eat. Pumpernickel rules!   

As addictive as hard drugs. I've kicked smoking, drugs, but can I give up sugar... NO. As you say, it's very pervasive.

Edited by StringJunky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

As addictive as hard drugs. I've kicked smoking, drugs, but can I give up sugar... NO.

That is really true, I beat oxy but sugar is on ongoing battle, I doubt I will ever really win. I have managed to reverse my type 2 diabetes 

Edited by Moontanman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

I've cut carbs about as far as I can and still eat. Pumpernickel rules!   

Pumpernickel is a fine option; but about 50% w/w carbohydrate.
There's essentially no difference nutritional between brown and white sugar (I accept they taste different.)

If you look really carefully, you can find honey with a higher fructose content than some HFCS.

https://draxe.com/nutrition/what-is-pumpernickel/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, John Cuthber said:

Pumpernickel is a fine option; but about 50% w/w carbohydrate.
There's essentially no difference nutritional between brown and white sugar (I accept they taste different.)

If you look really carefully, you can find honey with a higher fructose content than some HFCS.

https://draxe.com/nutrition/what-is-pumpernickel/

Oh yeah, I know, I use it because I like the taste not for its sweetness (to me honey has always tasted kind bitter for some reason) but I use it very seldom, a 16 oz jar has lasted me more than a year. I am exploring stevia to get my sweet tea fix now days, house wine of the south you know! But mostly I eat meat, cruciferous vegetables, and I am slowly adding some pasta back and a small amount of rice (once a month or so) but my main problem is exercise. nerve pain prevents me from getting much exercise. I miss things like maple syrup, bread or food made from flour, potatoes (checkers French fries) Its gonna be a life long fight but the fight is what gives me more life. I eat a lot of eggs, chicken and seafood.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, KJW said:

Sugar a most dangerous chemical??? You people have a weird notion of what a dangerous chemical is. I'm going with the stuff that burns through concrete.

 

 

So some deadly esoteric chemical we're unlikely to ever come in contact with is more dangerous than the common but deadly chemical that is in nearly everything we eat? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/15/2024 at 4:56 AM, Rougesang said:

Azidoazide, another compound, is considered the most explosive chemical ever created, with its sensitivity being beyond the capabilities of measurement. Even the slightest disturbances can lead to explosive reactions, making it a nightmare to work with.

According to Wikipedia, nitrogen triiodide is more sensitive, being the only known chemical explosive that detonates when exposed to alpha particles and nuclear fission products.

 

 

On 5/15/2024 at 4:56 AM, Rougesang said:

Dimethylcadmium, on the other hand, stands out as one of the most toxic chemicals gram for gram.

I doubt that. It is my understanding that the most toxic known substance is botulinum toxin, with an estimated human median lethal dose of 1.3–2.1 ng/kg

 

 

On 5/15/2024 at 4:56 AM, Rougesang said:

fluoroantimonic acid claims the title of the strongest corrosive agent and the most dangerous acid ever created.

Interestingly, what might actually be the strongest known acid, the only known acid to protonate carbon dioxide, carborane acid, is considered to be "gentle".

 

 

24 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

So some deadly esoteric chemical we're unlikely to ever come in contact with is more dangerous than the common but deadly chemical that is in nearly everything we eat? 

I often walk past 1kg bags of sugar while shopping in a supermarket. I do so without any fear that my life is in danger. I can't exactly say the same about lithium-ion batteries in the home. And if I saw "chlorine trifluoride" written on a railway tanker somewhere, I think I would very much like to be somewhere else.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

So some deadly esoteric chemical we're unlikely to ever come in contact with is more dangerous than the common but deadly chemical that is in nearly everything we eat? 

Sugar is simply not in the same league. It just happens to be something many of us choose to consume to great excess despite knowing that it will harm us.

I managed to wean myself off sweets in childhood to the extent that even artificial sweeteners can make me feel quite nauseous.

Yet the moment my weight drops below 70 kg (bout of malaria) I experience an intense craving for sweet tea. Quite a shock the first time it happened. But I learned that when my body really needs some glucose fast, it will tell me in no uncertain terms.

So I don't buy that sugar is intrinsically 'deadly': quite the opposite. The real problem lies elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, sethoflagos said:

So I don't buy that sugar is intrinsically 'deadly':

I'm no chemist, but I would think nothing (or everything) is intrinsically 'deadly'. Doesn't the 'deadliness' come from level of exposure? In a small enough dose nothing will kill us, and in a large enough dose everything will kill us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, zapatos said:

I'm no chemist, but I would think nothing (or everything) is intrinsically 'deadly'. Doesn't the 'deadliness' come from level of exposure? In a small enough dose nothing will kill us, and in a large enough dose everything will kill us.

You're right, it's a question of degree. I seem to remember seeing the LD50 of carrots set at 40 kg. A bit much to eat at one sitting perhaps, but a caution to be wary of some extreme carrot concentrate.

But the previously mentioned botulinum toxin is at an entirely different level. And cumulative poisons with no known positive biological function like lead and arsenic really have no clearly definable upper safe limit. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, sethoflagos said:

You're right, it's a question of degree. I seem to remember seeing the LD50 of carrots set at 40 kg. A bit much to eat at one sitting perhaps, but a caution to be wary of some extreme carrot concentrate.

But the previously mentioned botulinum toxin is at an entirely different level. And cumulative poisons with no known positive biological function like lead and arsenic really have no clearly definable upper safe limit. 

 

Shouldn't the danger a chemical represents be tied to the likelihood of actually being exposed to it? Botulinum toxin occurs in nature and often results of major kills of wild life... ducks come to mind. But a railcar full of chlorine trifluoride? Let me know when you see one, I'll be buying lottery tickets. 

1 hour ago, KJW said:

According to Wikipedia, nitrogen triiodide is more sensitive, being the only known chemical explosive that detonates when exposed to alpha particles and nuclear fission products.

 

 

I doubt that. It is my understanding that the most toxic known substance is botulinum toxin, with an estimated human median lethal dose of 1.3–2.1 ng/kg

 

 

Interestingly, what might actually be the strongest known acid, the only known acid to protonate carbon dioxide, carborane acid, is considered to be "gentle".

 

 

I often walk past 1kg bags of sugar while shopping in a supermarket. I do so without any fear that my life is in danger. I can't exactly say the same about lithium-ion batteries in the home. And if I saw "chlorine trifluoride" written on a railway tanker somewhere, I think I would very much like to be somewhere else.

 

 

 

38 minutes ago, sethoflagos said:

Sugar is simply not in the same league. It just happens to be something many of us choose to consume to great excess despite knowing that it will harm us.

I managed to wean myself off sweets in childhood to the extent that even artificial sweeteners can make me feel quite nauseous.

Yet the moment my weight drops below 70 kg (bout of malaria) I experience an intense craving for sweet tea. Quite a shock the first time it happened. But I learned that when my body really needs some glucose fast, it will tell me in no uncertain terms.

So I don't buy that sugar is intrinsically 'deadly': quite the opposite. The real problem lies elsewhere.

 

12 minutes ago, sethoflagos said:

You're right, it's a question of degree. I seem to remember seeing the LD50 of carrots set at 40 kg. A bit much to eat at one sitting perhaps, but a caution to be wary of some extreme carrot concentrate.

But the previously mentioned botulinum toxin is at an entirely different level. And cumulative poisons with no known positive biological function like lead and arsenic really have no clearly definable upper safe limit. 

 

 

1 minute ago, Moontanman said:

Shouldn't the danger a chemical represents be tied to the likelihood of actually being exposed to it? Botulinum toxin occurs in nature and often results of major kills of wild life... ducks come to mind. But a railcar full of chlorine trifluoride? Let me know when you see one, I'll be buying lottery tickets. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

Shouldn't the danger a chemical represents be tied to the likelihood of actually being exposed to it?

On the other hand, the reason you are unlikely to be exposed to deadly chemicals is because they are so deadly, and thus kept behind lock and key.

Is radium no longer dangerous now that girls don't ingest it while painting the hands of watches?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, zapatos said:

On the other hand, the reason you are unlikely to be exposed to deadly chemicals is because they are so deadly, and thus kept behind lock and key.

Is radium no longer dangerous now that girls don't ingest it while painting the hands of watches?

We are all much more likely to be exposed to radium than we are to chlorine trifluoride, which is more dangerous?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

Shouldn't the danger a chemical represents be tied to the likelihood of actually being exposed to it?

Not what the OP was asking.

I don't live in the US. Sub-saharan diets typically don't include added sugar except for rare treats so your issue is less of an issue for the rest of us.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, KJW said:

According to Wikipedia, nitrogen triiodide is more sensitive, being the only known chemical explosive that detonates when exposed to alpha particles and nuclear fission products.

 

 

I doubt that. It is my understanding that the most toxic known substance is botulinum toxin, with an estimated human median lethal dose of 1.3–2.1 ng/kg

 

 

Interestingly, what might actually be the strongest known acid, the only known acid to protonate carbon dioxide, carborane acid, is considered to be "gentle".

 

 

I often walk past 1kg bags of sugar while shopping in a supermarket. I do so without any fear that my life is in danger. I can't exactly say the same about lithium-ion batteries in the home. And if I saw "chlorine trifluoride" written on a railway tanker somewhere, I think I would very much like to be somewhere else.

 

 

I did not know about carborane acid. Rather interesting. Thanks for drawing to my attention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sort of regret my earlier post, which was meant as a bit whimsical, suggesting that sugar was the most dangerous chemical.  I did understand that danger, in the OP context, was meant in the sense of extremely toxic in tiny amounts and not "might give you pancreatitis or diabetes in a few decades of nonstop bingeing."

I was offering it in the same way that someone will say mosquito when asked what's the world most dangerous animal.  True answer, but often not what the asker had in mind.  Danger must be defined, it having multiple meanings.  Ask an electrician and they would probably say "squirrel."  🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.