RE: [Histonet] Re: Bouins alternative/substitute question
This is totally off the subject but.... I was reading an article in the May
06 Smithsonian Magazine at my doctors office and noticed Gayle Callis's name
in the article about dinosaurs. It was a wonderful article about some
really exciting new discoveries in Montana. Everyone should read this
wonderful article. Congratulations on being involved in this exciting
From: Gayle Callis [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 12:34 PM
To: Kemlo Rogerson; Histonet@lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: RE: [Histonet] Re: Bouins alternative/substitute question
Interesting that you said this, and also a story from our university
chemical safety handling of dry picric acid found in an old
laboratory. They had a hard time getting it to explode also.
Chemical safety removed a jar of picric acid, dry and age
undetermined. Knowing it was explosive, the fellow in charge took it out
to a very remote area and shot at the jar with a rifle, and it took a lot
of rifle bullets to get it to blow up. He did have a good session of
target practice for deer hunting season being in the Wild Wild West of
The potential is there for explosion, and we still have picric acid on our
shelves, although stored under a generous layer of distilled water. When
we need to make up Bouins, we just scoop it out and make sure we have a
saturated solution of picric acid.
Care must be taken to keep dry crystals off lids, these are actually sealed
by dipping into hot paraffin, and check regularly for any leakage around
lid. I don't think it would be a good thing to have in a laboratory fire,
but solvents are just as bad. How many people still store isopentane in a
non explosion proof freezer - now that IS an explosive situation.
We remain cautious but not in panic state. Bouins is still very
important as a fixative and mordant for Massons trichrome, we will continue
to use it, dispose of it correctly and not put metal cassettes into it. We
often purchase it ready made from Sigma to avoid having to handle it.
At 09:27 AM 5/22/2006, you wrote:
>I think it is because picric acid explodes when dry but I've tried, and
>tried, and tried and it has never exploded.
>Has anyone ever succeeded?
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