Re: a picric acid story

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To:Renee Seiler <>
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The moral of this story is, the best way to handle picric acid that has been
allowed to dry is to submerge the bottle in water and open the lid.

Rande Kline, HT (ASCP)

Renee Seiler <> on 06/28/2000 03:32:53 PM

cc:    (bcc: Rande Kline/EMI/Merck)
Subject:  Re: a picric acid story

Loved your story!  Refreshing to hear instead of all those awful "almost blow up
the lab" ones-I don't go as far back as you(only 20 years) but I've had my share
of "in the old days" of Histology sagas-Renee in CO ^^^^
----- Original Message -----

Subject: a picric acid story
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 10:01:29 -0400

Fellow Histonetters:

Way, way back in the history of my laboratory (so far back that I was still
in elementary school - actually some time in the late 60's) a jar of dried
picric acid was discovered.  This was pre-safety officer, and probably
pre-any kind of disposal regulations.  So.....what to do?

We are a small marine research lab on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, and
at that time had 3 ponds on-site in which algae was grown.  The laboratory
wastewater also discharged to one of these ponds.  One of the scientists
carried the offending bottle outside and heaved it into the middle of a
pond.  The hunters among the staff lined up and fired several (many) shotgun
volleys at the bottle until it disappeared - it did not explode.

A testament to something, but not necessarily good sense.

Carol B. McCollough, HT(ASCP)
Diagnostics & Histology Laboratory Manager
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fisheries Service
Cooperative Oxford Laboratory
904 S. Morris Street
Oxford, MD 21654

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