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(SeattlePI)   UW lab worker rushed to hospital after "bottom fell out" of container holding over two liters of hydrochloric acid solution. Nobody said science would be easy   (blog.seattlepi.com) divider line 213
    More: Scary, hydrochloric acid, University of Washington, Seattle Fire Department, UW lab, decontamination, oil spills, corrosive, containers  
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9643 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Sep 2013 at 9:16 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-27 10:11:19 PM
You want scary situations go in to any high school chem lab older than 10 years - there's about a 1% chance that someone has invested the time and money to have sufficient and proper storage for strong acids and bases.  If you're lucky they're in different cabinets - chances are the hinges have just about corroded away.
 
2013-09-27 10:11:41 PM
CSB: My wife dropped a 4-liter bottle (1 gallon) of fuming hydrochloric acid on her foot in lab -- I'm not sure how much was left in the bottle.  Thankfully she was right next to a sink and got her leg in the water before it could eat through her clothes, but the whole floor had to be evacuated and it ate through the vinyl flooring down to concrete.
 
2013-09-27 10:11:49 PM

Hollie Maea: We can't all be so lucky as to live in Tulsa.


Recently, at a party, someone mentioned Tulsa. I remembered the friend at my elbow had lived in Oklahoma in the 90s.

Me: "Hey, Jim here used to live in Tulsa. Right, Jim?"

Jim: "Oh my, no. We were in Norman. We DREAMED of living in Tulsa."

/CSB
 
2013-09-27 10:12:31 PM

tetsoushima: http://i.minus.com/ibazhDkbGDPb5P.gif  I thought this gif was relevant to the thread.  too large to fit on here, but relevant.


Emergency gay wet-undie contest?
 
2013-09-27 10:14:41 PM

Hollie Maea: My workplace has all sorts of stuff trying to kill me. The HCl and KOH are pretty tame but I don't trust the Nitric or the HF or that bastard Silane.


Google nickel tetracarbonyl.
 
2013-09-27 10:14:51 PM

RoyHobbs22: we used to put muriatic acid in plastic 2 liter bottles, shove some aluminum foil in and and tighten the cap and put them in mailboxes.  good times.


Ah, the old fast track to a hook for a hand.

whatshisname: I was a short order cook at a bar during high school. One night the dishwasher decided to mix some dishwasher scale remover, ammonia and bleach to clean the floors. We had to evacuate the place.


I erred in having a full container of Iron Out by the toilet when trying to remove some rust stains. Accidentally dumped the whole thing in the water. The fumes from the reaction were awful. Nearly choked me out trying to get out the bathroom.
 
2013-09-27 10:15:45 PM
CSB time

I spilled orange juice on my desk. It didn't do anything.
 
2013-09-27 10:17:16 PM
The Health and Safety guy at my school tells a story of someone who was lifting a winchester of concentrated sulphuric acid from a shelf above her head...and the bottom fell out.

He had to respond to it.

He didn't describe what he saw, only that he never wants to see it again.

I've seen what that stuff does to paper towel.
 
2013-09-27 10:18:44 PM
Let's see...  Breaking Bad?  Check.  Front fell off?  Came for this, check.  Joker?  Multiple versions, check and check.  Goggles do nothing?  Check.  Okay, I think we're done here.  Well done, everyone, thread over!
 
2013-09-27 10:19:06 PM
I once spilled vinegar in a cut.
 
2013-09-27 10:19:25 PM

jaytkay: Hollie Maea: We can't all be so lucky as to live in Tulsa.

Recently, at a party, someone mentioned Tulsa. I remembered the friend at my elbow had lived in Oklahoma in the 90s.

Me: "Hey, Jim here used to live in Tulsa. Right, Jim?"

Jim: "Oh my, no. We were in Norman. We DREAMED of living in Tulsa."

/CSB


NORMAN? We should be so lucky! We used to live in a rusty tin can in the middle of the road. One hour after sunset we would clean the road with our tongues, eat a handful of cold gravel and work 20 hours at the mill with no pay! When we got home our Dad would cut us up with a dull Ginsu knife and use us for cheese fondue...
 
2013-09-27 10:20:52 PM

jshine: Hollie Maea: My workplace has all sorts of stuff trying to kill me. The HCl and KOH are pretty tame but I don't trust the Nitric or the HF or that bastard Silane.

Google nickel tetracarbonyl.


Or dimethylmercury.
 
2013-09-27 10:22:30 PM
I spilled the beans once.  I got in trouble.
 
2013-09-27 10:23:46 PM
Hydrochloric acid solution? More like a hydrochloride acid problem, if you ask me.
 
2013-09-27 10:24:00 PM

Brainsick: jaytkay: Hollie Maea: We can't all be so lucky as to live in Tulsa.

Recently, at a party, someone mentioned Tulsa. I remembered the friend at my elbow had lived in Oklahoma in the 90s.

Me: "Hey, Jim here used to live in Tulsa. Right, Jim?"

Jim: "Oh my, no. We were in Norman. We DREAMED of living in Tulsa."

/CSB

NORMAN? We should be so lucky! We used to live in a rusty tin can in the middle of the road. One hour after sunset we would clean the road with our tongues, eat a handful of cold gravel and work 20 hours at the mill with no pay! When we got home our Dad would cut us up with a dull Ginsu knife and use us for cheese fondue...


Oh, you just had to brag about how good you had it!
 
2013-09-27 10:24:56 PM

Fubini: all metal surfaces (including his roommates) had become severely rusted.


Did he dorm with robots?
 
2013-09-27 10:25:06 PM

fusillade762: [tvmedia.ign.com image 468x270]

/oblig


That was hydrofluoric acid not chloric.

 And they screwed up the science as that acid eats your bones from the inside out and they showed bones as the only remains. HF is much more insidious than HCL.  It smells awful.  I'd take hydrochloric acid over hydrofluroic any day.

The more you know.
 
2013-09-27 10:25:54 PM

Mrbogey: RoyHobbs22: we used to put muriatic acid in plastic 2 liter bottles, shove some aluminum foil in and and tighten the cap and put them in mailboxes.  good times.

Ah, the old fast track to a hook for a hand.

whatshisname: I was a short order cook at a bar during high school. One night the dishwasher decided to mix some dishwasher scale remover, ammonia and bleach to clean the floors. We had to evacuate the place.

I erred in having a full container of Iron Out by the toilet when trying to remove some rust stains. Accidentally dumped the whole thing in the water. The fumes from the reaction were awful. Nearly choked  suffocatedme out trying to get out the bathroom.


/ftfy
//No, no, Jimmy, choking is something you do when you eat too fast. As I'm crushing Mister Moorin's windpipe with my watch chain, what I'm doing is actually referred to as strangling.
 
2013-09-27 10:25:57 PM

RoyHobbs22: we used to put muriatic acid in plastic 2 liter bottles, shove some aluminum foil in and and tighten the cap and put them in mailboxes.  good times.


Heh! When I was in High School we would do that on campus; drop them in a trash can, and walk away nonchalantly...allegedly, of course.

16 year old me: I'd like a bottle of muriatic acid please
Guy at hardware store: What for?
Me: Cleaning pool tiles
Guy: That'll be $5

/Good times...
//the boom was great but the resulting cloud of noxious gas was better
///we didn't have hallways, our classrooms were built with exterior (as in, to the outside) doors so no evacuation necessary
 
2013-09-27 10:26:20 PM

Brainsick: NORMAN? We should be so lucky! We used to live in a rusty tin can in the middle of the road.


lol bonus points for you, my friend who lived in Norman is English, hasn't lost his accent
 
2013-09-27 10:27:14 PM
Looks like we found one of Ripley's bad guys....
 
2013-09-27 10:27:47 PM

Felgraf: Also, at least it wasn't Piranha Solution. Mother of god that stuff scares me. I really, REALLY do not like working with it *at all*.


If you haven't already seen it, look up the Mythbusters episode where they use a bathtub full of Piranha solution to replicate a Breaking Bad myth.
 
2013-09-27 10:28:46 PM
2 liters of HCL gimme a break. What is this high school chemistry?
 
2013-09-27 10:29:32 PM
had something similar almost happen in the chemistry lab at my college. i was standing by the door and noticed a bunch of really tall beakers on a table right next to me. i glanced through the labels and noticed one of them was HCL. now i knew enough chemistry to generally not murder myself in the lab and even then i damn well knew what that is. and here this damn thing, with what looked like a few ounces of acid in it, sitting next to a door that 30 psychotic freshmen were about to mash through.

i pointed it out to the teacher, poor guy looked a little tense until he had it  all the way on the other side of the room. some one defiantly got chewed out over that one.
 
2013-09-27 10:29:45 PM

Lt. Cheese Weasel: Meh, HCL is nasty.  HFL is worse.  It won't kill you for several agonizing weeks, as you watch your flesh slough off like rotted spam.

/former semiconductor manufacturing work slave who dealt with such nasties.
//Fark TI


THIS.

I work in a semicon fab and HF is one of the truly nasties.  I don't even care if it's the 2% stuff.

It's kinda like the ocean.  You don't know what the hell is going on underneath you (under your skin) if you come in contact with it.

Hexamethydisilazane smells like caustic bottled swamp ass infused with 30 year old swamp river acetone.  I thought, "what a unique smell....GAAAH!!!"
 
2013-09-27 10:29:45 PM

jaytkay: Brainsick: NORMAN? We should be so lucky! We used to live in a rusty tin can in the middle of the road.

lol bonus points for you, my friend who lived in Norman is English, hasn't lost his accent


Nice
 
2013-09-27 10:32:14 PM
And suddenly, acid wash makes a comeback with the hipsters.
 
2013-09-27 10:33:49 PM
It was a success. Bring him to debriefing.

www.lab-initio.com
 
2013-09-27 10:34:13 PM

doglover: At least it wasn't HF or some other solution. HCl will burn you pretty bad, but it's natural. You make it in your stomach. HF isn't natural and while it won't eat dead meat like in Breaking Bad, it will kill you. It's contact poison and can give you a heart attack, or just go to town inside your body and do all kinds of nasty.


"Natural" or not doesn't have anything to do with it (particularly since it is an arbitrary distinction). The reason HF is so dangerous is simply because of the electronegativity and size of fluoride.
 
2013-09-27 10:34:53 PM

Tchernobog: Ugh.  I work with Hydrofluoric acid daily...not good stuff.  Especially if you have any cuts/scrapes, anything.

/Use it to strip chrome/aluminum


Galvanizing plant here.  We work with - at most - a 15% HCL/H2O solution and if you have a cut you know it quickly.  What's worse is the caustic acid we use as a first step - a 50% solution accidentally sprayed on me a couple years ago and burned one leg enough that I ended up at the doctors.  Felt like wasp stings until I got it hosed off.
 
2013-09-27 10:34:57 PM

White_Scarf_Syndrome: Hexamethydisilazane smells like caustic bottled swamp ass infused with 30 year old swamp river acetone.  I thought, "what a unique smell....GAAAH!!!"


If you smell it it is already far too late....just kidding.  Your kids will turn out just fine.
 
2013-09-27 10:37:26 PM
OK OK!

I haven't read the thread but...how many semicon fab workers do we have here?  How many have seen the emergency showers being used? I'd like my home shower to put out that volume of water in 30 seconds.  I wouldn't be late for work so much.

OK I will read the thread.

Chem-nerds! GOOOOO!!!!
 
2013-09-27 10:37:46 PM

Ivo Shandor: Felgraf: Also, at least it wasn't Piranha Solution. Mother of god that stuff scares me. I really, REALLY do not like working with it *at all*.

If you haven't already seen it, look up the Mythbusters episode where they use a bathtub full of Piranha solution to replicate a Breaking Bad myth.


It's more the fact that if there's organic residue in the beaker that you don't know about, it can farking *explode* (especially if there's, say, acetone).

That's because the reaction actually creates free elemental oxygen.
 
2013-09-27 10:42:00 PM

Felgraf: Also, at least it wasn't Piranha Solution. Mother of god that stuff scares me. I really, REALLY do not like working with it *at all*.


Looks at what Piranha Solution is....

Ummm yeah, I don't wanna be within 1000 feet of that stuff either.
 
2013-09-27 10:42:27 PM
I have been waiting for "ze goggles, zey do nozzing, but I am disappoint...
 
2013-09-27 10:43:45 PM

berylman: White_Scarf_Syndrome: Hexamethydisilazane smells like caustic bottled swamp ass infused with 30 year old swamp river acetone.  I thought, "what a unique smell....GAAAH!!!"

If you smell it it is already far too late....just kidding.  Your kids will turn out just fine.


What's ONE teensy whiff?

-Goes to check the MSDS....
 
2013-09-27 10:44:37 PM
I am reminded of a poem from a college chemistry lab course manual:

Little Timmy took a drink
He lived to drink no more
For what he thought was H2O
Was H2SO4
 
2013-09-27 10:44:43 PM
I worked with HF and piranha on a daily basis in grad school. Respect it, be careful, but fear will cause mistakes. Of course, being a complete dumbass will cause mistakes too, like the grad student who got caught stirring HF with a gloved finger. He was banned from the lab for a couple of weeks while he went through safety training about ten more times.
 
2013-09-27 10:46:10 PM

jshine: nickel tetracarbonyl


Ummm crap.
 
2013-09-27 10:46:52 PM

Ivo Shandor: a bathtub full of Piranha solution


4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-09-27 10:48:07 PM
In many chem labs, HCl is one of the least dangerous things you work with.

I do 50% HF regularly (digestion for elemental analysis), piranha occasionally, have a synthesis with dimethyl sulfate coming up where I'll have to warn coworkers to run the fark away and pull the fire alarm if they see me lying on the floor, because we don't need additional casualties form someone coming into a room where we have a release.
 
2013-09-27 10:48:13 PM

doglover: Fubini: CST

There was a certain midwest engineering college that gave all the incoming freshman the following assignment:

Make a chemically powered model car

There were quite a few well meaning but mediocre students who settled for simple (safe) chemical reactions, such as combining vinegar and baking soda to make water and CO2. Some others were a little more adventurous.

One young student, not really knowing chemistry (but figuring he did), just walked down to the chemical storeroom and asked for "strong hydrochloric acid". The stockroom guy, apparently devoid of sense, looked around and found an ancient bottle of 8 molar HCL. Figuring that the kid knew what he was asking for, handed over the acid.

The wayward freshman proceeded with the bottle back to his dorm room to experiment. This is where things get a little fuzzy, but it suffices to say that in the course of said activity his bottle shattered. Three floors of the dorm were evacuated for several hours while the gasses vented. The wayward freshman was first hosed down by the school and then had to stand outside at some length with no pants on. It's rumored that when he returned to his room his keyboard had melted and fused onto his desk, and that all metal surfaces (including his roommates) had become severely rusted.

Following this incident the chemical stockroom implemented stricter controls over who was allowed access to ancient bottles of extremely strong acids.

In the Penn State dorm rules, there's one addendum that obviously has a backstory. Sadly, it predated the 2004 class sufficiently that the RA who showed me was unawares of the deets.

Anyway, the rule is the last rule on appropriate hallway use. It reads something like "No go-karts, rocket powered cars, or similar vehicles are permitted to be ridden in the hallways."

I mean, really. That sounds like someone had a party.


Go-karts are particularly attractive to children. Surprised they didn't encourage that activity.
 
2013-09-27 10:48:49 PM

tetsoushima: [blog.seattlepi.com image 568x426]

Why is the Seattle Fire Department using Instagram?


Why not? I know exactly where they are and where the hell to stay away from.

/thanks, internet!
 
2013-09-27 10:49:40 PM

jshine: jshine: Hollie Maea: My workplace has all sorts of stuff trying to kill me. The HCl and KOH are pretty tame but I don't trust the Nitric or the HF or that bastard Silane.

Google nickel tetracarbonyl.

Or dimethylmercury.


Wow, just a few drops kills.  Ummmm, wow.
 
2013-09-27 10:50:09 PM
Son, that's not what knocking the bottom of it means.
 
2013-09-27 10:50:31 PM

White_Scarf_Syndrome: OK OK!

I haven't read the thread but...how many semicon fab workers do we have here?  How many have seen the emergency showers being used? I'd like my home shower to put out that volume of water in 30 seconds.  I wouldn't be late for work so much.

OK I will read the thread.

Chem-nerds! GOOOOO!!!!


Amusingly, I am actually a physicist.

But I'm doing my grad degree in nanophysics, so about half of what I do is chemistry (or, as I call it, magic.)
/Alternatively, I call it "you farking bastards, you left crucial steps out of your paper! WHYU DO THAT"
 
2013-09-27 10:52:07 PM
When I was a tween I figured out chlorine and sprite made amazing reactions. Let's just say that my friend and I caused a lot of trouble when we figured out that the reaction was even better inside a 2 litter bottle
 
2013-09-27 10:56:38 PM

doglover: HF isn't natural


Isn't everything, when you get down to at the molecular level, organic?

/serious question
 
2013-09-27 10:57:25 PM
Every chemist has a great store of tales like this.  I managed to open a stuck jar of KOH pellets once and ended up flinging them all over the place.  I got most of them but missed two- one ate a hole in my pocket, the other I found about ten minutes later when I noticed my hair felt funny.  Dissolved it all very nicely down to a bald spot.

I also managed to turn my arm orange when I splashed fuming nitric all over it while nitrating cotton balls,  (Damn ice bath cubes locked up when I was trying to move the flask)

Still, nowhere near as bad as walking past an organic lab and smelling new mown hay.   Umm, guys, you might want to evacuate pronto...
 
2013-09-27 10:58:12 PM

thisisyourbrainonFark: doglover: HF isn't natural

Isn't everything, when you get down to at the molecular level, organic?

/serious question


Most things labelled organic have carbon in them.

And this thread has totally inspired me to go back to school to learn some chemistry. I want to learn to read a molecule diagram and go "oh crap" or giggle because everyone is freaking out over water.
 
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