I was taught in my histopathology classes that picric acid was
dangerous, in chemistry classes we were told of all the gags that can
be played using it.
Apparently it was used in Naval ammunitions because it explodes when
slightly damp - when gun powder won't.
Crytals spread on the flood in the days of hard, leather soled shoes
created a crackling sound as you walked across the room.
Crystals sprinkled on the bench and slapped with a ruler go 'pop' just
like a fire cracker.
More seriously it is also a neuro toxin.
Many years ago the safety officer in the institute I was working in
found a dried out jar of picric acid. While he was gingerly walking
across the yard from the main building to the less used pump house (he
was all dressed up in face shield, leather gloves and leather apron),
the jar was safely contained in a 20L bucket of water, I was asking
what he intended to do.
It turned out that I sneaked into the pump house a couple of days
later, gently loosened the lid (under water), retrieved the jar filled
it with distilled water and had a nice stock of picric acid for the
A little bit of thought and care is much cheaper than the bomb squad!
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