[Histonet] picric acid

Amos Brooks amosbrooks <@t> gmail.com
Sun Feb 5 08:47:12 CST 2012

    The largest disaster I know of related to picric acid (among other
things) is one that every one working with it should keep in mind. The
Halifax explosion basically leveled the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia,
Canada in 1917. While they were carrying much more than the 500 ml to 1
gallon that we might use it is worth noting the magnitude of what this
caused. There is a really good Wikipedia article on it here:
     This was a terrible disaster and it underscores why we need to be
really conscious of the chemicals we work with, and even the ones we
haven't used in years.
    I would also like to play Devil's advocate here though. Yes there are
inherent hazards with many chemicals we work with. But, we also need to be
able use these chemicals in a safe manner. If used safely, these chemicals
can be used for stains that cannot really be replicated with substitutes.
Picro-sirius red is a good example of this.
    The solution to hazardous chemicals is not getting rid of them and
burying your head in the sand. It is education and understanding of the
hazards and using them properly.

Amos Brooks

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