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Whats the most dangerous chemical you have used / seen?


RyanJ
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I'm a first year chemistry student, So I've only done General Chemistry 1...

 

But I'd probably have to say either solid NaOH, or Concentrated Sulfuric acid... Rather tame, but first year chem student.

 

Now I have watched some videos on YouTube that contain some pretty nasty stuff i.e. elemental Flourine, but I don't think that counts.

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  • 3 months later...

Sodium methoxide is really dangerous. It is a highly corrosive liquid, more basic than sodium hydroxide.

 

It has the unique charactaristic that if a few drops get splashed onto skin it will cause chemical burns but will deactivate pain receptors so that one may not realise that they are being burned. I have poured concentrated HNO3 before, and often I feel little points of burning on my skin from the little micro-droplets that splash up into the air, even when pouring very carefully and there is no obvious splashing. Sodium methoxide is also very flammable, and if one tries to extinguish the fire with water, it will just generate much heat as the water violently reacts with the substance, causing methanol to boil out and causing a big fire cloud to form.

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It has the unique charactaristic that if a few drops get splashed onto skin it will cause chemical burns but will deactivate pain receptors so that one may not realise that they are being burned

I wonder whether that is true. I read on wiki that it is supposed to kill nerve cells, which would indicate extreme and rapid neurotoxicity. However that did not appear to be what the MSDS sheets indicate. Do you happen to have a source for that?

 

Also I would have assumed that one would wear PPE when pouring HNO3. Just saying.

Edited by CharonY
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I did regular chemistry my sophomore year of highschool, and now, during my senior year, I'm about to finish AP chemistry, which is one of the college level classes offered at my school. Like first year chem students, I have not seen or handled half of these dangerous-sounding chemicals listed here.

 

I've handled the common stuff. We had a lab where 16 M HCl was used, concentrated NaOH, and various other skin irritants and the like.

 

Before one lab, my teacher informed the class that one of the chemicals we'd be handling was a known carcinogen that definitely shouldn't be inhaled. I wish I could remember what the chemical was called... I believe the carcinogenic chemical was the small solution we made by dissolving blue-to-purple copper II chloride crystals in a certain alcohol.

 

In my own time, I did do electrolysis of sodium chloride solution. All I had to do was use two ordinary 1.5 volt batteries with a couple of good electrodes, and I got a little chlorine gas. Can you really get chlorine with just two double A, 1.5 V alkaline Duracell batteries, or was my light green solution something different? =o I was wondering, because the videos and online instructions I've read always use 9 volts or higher.

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  • 3 months later...

Chlorine! Good ol' chlorine.

Er... bromine? Iodine? Worked with them too.

 

Anyway, radioactive cookie, it all depends on the saturation of the solution. The more saturated, the better the likelihood of producing more chlorine than oxygen. But with a small lab setup, this wouldn't be nearly enough to kill you. I, on the other hand, mixed HCl and MnO2. I really need to figure out a way to trap that gas, I do still need to ampoule it after all...

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Mods: Is this acceptable, I am not asking people how they made the stuff, where they got it etc. I'm just wondering what the most dangerous thing you think you've seen / used :)

 

I saw these when we were clearing out an old cupboard in the chemistry lad last week:

 

I think the most dangerous chemical I have ever seen was something labelled [ce]Hg(ONC)_2[/ce] and it was in the back of one of the school chemistry cupboards... I did some reasearch and this stuff is explosive. My chemistry teacher said he never knew it was there - he said it has probably been there for years, the next day the bomb squad were called up to remove the stuff... I just wish I could have seen it explode!

 

Or... it may have been the really concentrated solution of Hydrogen Peroxide, I've heard that stuff is pretty powerful. My teacher managed to dispose of that one - I'm not shure how he made us leave the room incase of any problems. Apparently it was about 83% concentrated but I'm not shure about that.

 

Edit: then again, the Nitrogen Triiodide reaction was pretty powerful - I'm staying clear of that one too!

 

Anyone else have anything interesting to share? Please do not post how to make the stuff - danger is bad!

 

Cheers,

 

Ryan Jones

 

I saw a sealed tube labeled polonium cyanide, 500 micrograms once at the science center...ohmy.gif Sounds insanely poisonous. The polonium makes the CN ion sound so safe. Lol, never thought I would consider cyanide safe.

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