Re: reagents

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From:Shirley Powell <powell_sa@Mercer.EDU>
To:"R.Wadley" <>
Date:Tue, 10 Aug 1999 12:18:28 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Better still, leave it alone, and call the bomb squad.  Craters can be made with a
small amount of "ancient picric acid".  It may cause some media coverage, but better
than the alternative if it blows in your face, protective covering or not.

"R.Wadley" wrote:

>         Dear All,
>         Just a quick note about ancient (or more importantly dry) picric acid.
>         I've worked in a couple of labs where I've come cross dry, solid picric
> acid, once in a large glass jar sealed with a cork!
>         First Handle with Extreme Care:  Do not touch or move the container until
> you have a bucket of water to place it into.  Then wearing a face shield,
> heavy gloves (leather is good), & preferably a leather apron, GENTLY place
> the container into a bucket of water.  It is also best to clear onlookers
> from the scene, incase you trip over one.
>         I prefer to use distilled or deionised water so I can use the picric acid
> once its saturated.
>         Leave it in the bucket at least 1-2 days before attempting to loosen the
> lid.  Again use protective gear.  Then fill with distilled or deioinised
> water.  Leave for another day or 2 keeping the water topped up.  The very
> gently agitate (by inversion is best) Your picric acid is now ready for use
> or disposal.
>         I have had the experience where "professional hazardous waste folks" have
> refused to touch picric acid until the above steps have been taken.
>         Never strike, drop, apply flame to or otherwise apply a kinetic ignition
> force to picric acid, it does make a big bang, in a glass jar it is a
> potential & potent hand grenade.  Even the attempt to twist off a dry
> lid/cork/stopper can be sufficient to set this stuff off.  Once in
> university (in the good old days) I left a prac with both hands completely
> yellow from picric acid, the only safety advice I got was not to clap my
> hands together!  Years later I found out it is a neuro toxin.
>         As an aside, picric acid was apparently very popular with the Navy during
> WW2 hostilities, it is a powerful propellant that will work when damp,
> unlike gun powder!
>         Regards
>         Rob W.
> At 04:23 PM 8/9/99 -0400, you wrote:
> >In general 8 years is not very long on the shelf for many of the dyes
> >you mention as long as they stay dry. I have been known to comb the
> >dustiest of shelves in search of Congo Red lots from the fifties (they
> >have a higer due content than anything you can buy now). Hematoxylin
> >will also last for just about ever. As for testing, chemical and
> >empirical tests for most common dyes are in "Conn's Biological
> >Stains'" If you run across a jar of picric acid that has been around
> >a long time, don't touch it, stop rummaging completely. Get some
> >professional hazardous waste folks to help you out.
> R. Wadley, B.App.Sc. M.L.S, Grad.Dip.Sc.MM
> Laboratory Manager
> Cellular Analysis Facility
> School of Microbiology & Immunology
> UNSW, New South Wales, Australia, 2052
> Ph (BH)         +61 (2) 9385 3517
> Ph (AH) +61 (2) 9555 1239
> Fax     +61 (2) 9385 1591
> E-mail
> www

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