[Histonet] Picric acid

Amos Brooks amosbrooks <@t> gmail.com
Thu Sep 20 16:54:04 CDT 2012

The Halifax explosion was indeed a very dramatic event. Anyone unfamiliar
with the story should certainly read up on it. It was truly incredible. The
link to the Wikipedia article was previously posted. A couple of important
points about this story. The ship that blew up was carrying metric *tons*
of picric acid. The ship also was carrying tons of other explosive material
(nitroglycerine amongst others).
If your lab has tons of picric acid (not 10-100 grams like most labs) and
tons of other explosives, you might have cause for panic. If not, you
likely have an extremely small amount stored under water or in a solution
which poses less risk when used & stored properly than many other chemicals
in a lab.
I don't mean to say there is no risk, but I would say the concern is a bit
overly dramatic. Like a carpenter, know your tools and how to treat them
and they will serve you well. Otherwise ANY of the tools you have are
likely to bite you.


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