Re: reagents

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From:denise M m Long-Woodward <>
Date:Wed, 11 Aug 1999 15:34:47 +0000

If you find dry picric acid, you should be evauating the building and
calling the nearest bomb squad.  Under no circumstances would I even
attempt to touch the jar.  Let the experts handle it.
D Woodward, Boston, MA

On Tue, 10 Aug 1999 11:11:20 +1000 "R.Wadley" <>
> 	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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