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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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9640 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Sep 2013 at 9:16 PM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-27 07:58:59 PM
tvmedia.ign.com

/oblig
 
2013-09-27 08:00:21 PM
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.
 
2013-09-27 08:00:53 PM
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.
 
2013-09-27 08:01:41 PM
lh5.googleusercontent.com
 
2013-09-27 08:20:20 PM

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.
 
2013-09-27 08:34:06 PM

www.thomassci.com

 
2013-09-27 08:44:19 PM
cdn.arwrath.com
 
2013-09-27 09:20:00 PM
That'll clear the ol' sinuses.
 
2013-09-27 09:21:06 PM
Bottom? I think you mean front...
img.fark.net
 
2013-09-27 09:21:08 PM
Ugh.  I work with Hydrofluoric acid daily...not good stuff.  Especially if you have any cuts/scrapes, anything.

/Use it to strip chrome/aluminum
 
2013-09-27 09:22:03 PM

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

/oblig


img2u.info
 
2013-09-27 09:23:26 PM

alizeran: Bottom? I think you mean front...
[img.fark.net image 288x216]


Came for this. Leaving by cab, 'cause the ministry car's front fell off.
 
2013-09-27 09:24:38 PM
blog.seattlepi.com

Why is the Seattle Fire Department using Instagram?
 
2013-09-27 09:25:11 PM

alizeran: Bottom? I think you mean front...
[img.fark.net image 288x216]


DAMMIT!!!

Everyone is beating my to my image posts today.
 
2013-09-27 09:26:02 PM

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

Why is the Seattle Fire Department using Instagram?


That's not 1:1 format, so ... not Instagram?
 
2013-09-27 09:26:11 PM

oi43.tinypic.com

 
2013-09-27 09:29:12 PM
I spilled some HCl all over my arm in lab once. Freaked out for a sec, then just sat there and watched my wet arm do nothing. Rinsed it off after a minute or so then told the TA his HCl sucks and is ghey.

I thought it would at least fizz like H2O2.
 
2013-09-27 09:31:54 PM
Robocop?
 
2013-09-27 09:32:01 PM
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
 
2013-09-27 09:32:40 PM
Word of advice for any chemistry lab technicians: don't keep large such amounts of corrosive acid in any single container.
 
2013-09-27 09:34:13 PM
www.comicbookmovie.com

The worker suffered some facial scarring, but is expected to make a full recovery.
 
2013-09-27 09:34:41 PM
 
2013-09-27 09:36:49 PM
So the acid dissolved the base and wasn't neutralized?
 
2013-09-27 09:37:41 PM

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

Why is the Seattle Fire Department using Instagram?

That's not 1:1 format, so ... not Instagram?


I guess I meant odd filtered look.
 
2013-09-27 09:38:58 PM
http://i.minus.com/ibazhDkbGDPb5P.gif  I thought this gif was relevant to the thread.  too large to fit on here, but relevant.
 
2013-09-27 09:40:29 PM

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.


Similar thing happened at my campus. The doofus didn't realize the handle on the bucket was loose and swung it like a pail of water. A litre of 11 M HCl in a second floor lab. The entire wing was evacuated and all the tiling had to be replaced when it was melted into a puddle of cheap vinyl goo. One unfortunate girl inhaled a wiff in the panic and got a lung infection for three weeks from the damage.

The dumbasses in my class can't figure out why I keep reminding them to put on gloves before they handle the concentrated acid stock bottles. I don't care about them, I'd just rather not see someone's flesh get melted off in front of me.

Suckmaster Burstingfoam: I spilled some HCl all over my arm in lab once. Freaked out for a sec, then just sat there and watched my wet arm do nothing. Rinsed it off after a minute or so then told the TA his HCl sucks and is ghey.

I thought it would at least fizz like H2O2.


What was the molarity and volume, oh great and wise chemist?
 
2013-09-27 09:41:18 PM
Basically, he's screwed.
 
2013-09-27 09:42:53 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.


I'll see your HF and raise you ClF3

/to say nothing of hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane and the aptly-named FOOF
 
2013-09-27 09:45:12 PM

JohnAnnArbor: That'll clear the ol' sinuses.


Yes, yes it does.

The hood in my college Chem lab was used when it should have been.
 
2013-09-27 09:46:10 PM
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-09-27 09:46:30 PM
Nothing like a small faceful of HCl fumes to clean your sinuses.

/Oh, I'll just open this empty bottle by the waste bottles and use it as the new RCA-2 acid waste bottle. Surely, this has been rinsed, and SON OF A biatch THEY DIDN'T RINSE IT AND THE TINY BIT OF HCL LEFT ALL VAPORIZED DAMN THAT STINGS
//I'm still an idiot for not opening that in the hood, but it was *empty*.
 
2013-09-27 09:47:13 PM
i5.photobucket.com

On the bright side, at least Titanica will come visit him in the hospital now.
 
2013-09-27 09:47:19 PM
Haha oh wow I hadn't even seen John Ann Arbor's comment.
 
2013-09-27 09:48:08 PM

badhatharry: http://www.chem.purdue.edu/chemsafety/equip/hffacts12.pdf


nobody wants to read that!
 
2013-09-27 09:49:12 PM
Nothing freaks you out more in freshman chem than grabbing a bottle of HCl and realizing the outside is wet.
 
2013-09-27 09:50:57 PM
I'll echo a few other comments here - at least it wasn't hydrofluoric. HCL is nasty and will fark you up, but HF is the stuff of true nightmares.
 
2013-09-27 09:52:21 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.


Came for that.

Safe handling procedures exist for a reason. Every rule exists because of some idiot.But it doesn't always take an idiot for a dangerous situation to occur.
 
2013-09-27 09:54:33 PM
The exact same thing happened to me many years ago when I worked in a university chem lab. I picked up a bottle of 12M HCl out of the fume hood to put it on the cart, and the bottom just fell right off. I sort of stood there in shock for a second and went for the emergency shower which was fortunately right next to me. I couldn't believe how much water came out of that thing. My boss figured out something was wrong as soon as she saw me walking down the hallway completely soaked.

The amazing thing was that none of my clothes were damaged, nor did I get any burns. There wasn't even significant vapor in that lab - the hoods sucked it all in and scrubbed it. I was very very lucky.

The dept. chair had all the lab section instructors go over how to treat the reagent bottles with respect to every class... we found a couple more with suspect cracks in the gen chem labs.
 
2013-09-27 09:56:52 PM
One time I added to much H2O2 to HCL and created a huge purple foaming monster.
 
2013-09-27 09:58:33 PM
I've been burned by trifluoroacetic acid and it's not fun.
 
2013-09-27 09:58:44 PM

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

Why is the Seattle Fire Department using Instagram?


That's just the way things look in Seattle (and down south in Portland, too). It's because of the thick concentration of smug from hipsters and hippies that infest the area.
 
2013-09-27 09:59:20 PM
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.
 
2013-09-27 09:59:22 PM
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*.
 
2013-09-27 10:00:49 PM
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.
 
2013-09-27 10:00:51 PM
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.
 
2013-09-27 10:03:12 PM

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

Why is the Seattle Fire Department using Instagram?

That's just the way things look in Seattle (and down south in Portland, too). It's because of the thick concentration of smug from hipsters and hippies that infest the area.


We can't all be so lucky as to live in Tulsa.
 
2013-09-27 10:05:56 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.


I initially read the headline as saying HF, and my heart sank. I would not wish HF exposure on the worst of my enemies.
 
2013-09-27 10:07:18 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.


Worst
Chippendales
ever
 
2013-09-27 10:09:36 PM
So, if it fell off, where is it now?
 
2013-09-27 10:10:47 PM
Eh. I once had a liter of EtBr spill down the front of me. Got to go home early. We used to drop sulfuric acid on our palms to make thick calluses in college. We were freaks.
 
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