Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Bombing etc


G’day; Thanks Peter Rowe for putting things right in regard to
the bombing process, and the fear behind various chemicals
jewellers use.

I would like to add just another word or two, this time on the
subject of labelling. I tend to be a fanatic about the clear
labelling of absolutely everything. I worked in laboratories all
my working life and the only person I came across who was
poisoned, did it himself in the full knowledge of what he was
doing. The only accidental poisonings I know of happened to
very young children whose care-givers had left out poisonous
materials, or in the case of older people, the container of
poison hadn’t been properly labelled. But so long as absolutely
everything is clearly labelled and sensible precautions are taken
not to breathe fumes or to eat or drink in the workplace, and to
wash hands after handling anything dubious, adults should have
little to fear. So, in every lab I’ve been in, any container
which had no label, or had a label barely readable, was sensibly
disposed of, and all flasks, jars and bottles had to be labelled
in large letters, plus the word POISON where appropriate, though
in a lab ALL materials are to be regarded as poisonous. Have a
look around your workplace, eh?

In case you’re wondering, the person who ‘did it himself’ was a
professor of chemistry at the university where we both worked -
and I supplied him with the 500 gram bottle of potassium cyanide
he used for the job! Though of course, I wasn’t aware of what
use he had for it when he asked me for it. It certainly killed
him, but then, he drank a strong solution of the stuff.

Since potassium and sodium cyanides are also extremely alkaline,
it is akin to drinking caustic soda, (‘Drano’; Lye) and in the
few minutes before the cyanide drinker becomes unconscious,
extreme, unbearable pain is experienced. It isn’t the easiest of
ways to leave the rat-race.

   / \
 /  /

/ /
/ /| \ @John_Burgess2
____ )
At sunny Nelson NZ (in mid-winter but there’s a few blossoms