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Chemicals down the drain


#1

So I ask:

If you neutralize Sparex with sodium bicarbonate and pour it down your
drain, this is bad. But if you pour Drano (sodium hydroxide) down your
drain, this is OK.

I’m confused.

Personally, sodium hydroxide is way more caustic than neutralized Sparex.

Not all cities have pickup for toxic chemicals. Woburn, the home of Civil
Action (we even have a tour bus visiting Main St.) has no provision for
toxic waste day. When I started Metalwerx, I made sure to visit City Hall
and get all the poop on toxic waste day pickup. “Uh, well…we don’t have
one”, was the response. “How do people dispose their toxic waste?” “Well,
I don’t know, and I don’t want to know”. This kind of “stick your head in
the sand” of my elected officials drives me crazy. I have gallons of spent
ferric chloride in my basement, which will cost me $100 to drag away when I
have filled a barrel of it. The barrel is on order.

Climbing down off my soapbox (which I will dispose of ecologically).

Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
416 Main St.
Woburn, MA 01801
781/937-3532
http://www.metalwerx.com/
@metalart

Current Artwork:

https://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/karen1.htm


#2
 I have gallons of spent ferric chloride in my basement, which will cost
me $100 to drag away when I have filled a barrel of it.  The barrel is on
order. 

G’day Karen; if you poured your ferric chloride waste into trays of
sawdust and let the sun evaporate the liquid, it might not cost you quite
as much to cart it qway.


#3

You have every right to be confused. The notion that everything is qan
environmental hazard arrises out of a lot of ignorance and political
corerectness PC . Speaking out for common sence is seriously condemed.
Ferric Chloride for example is used in Treatment of potable drinking water
some places asd a coagulent to clarify the water that will be consumed. It
is more commonly used as a coagulent in activated sludge waste (domestic
sewage)treatment plants as a coagulent to help setle solids and clarify the
liquid effluent that usualy goes into as river a few miles upstream from
the next towns drinking water intake. This goes on over and over again .
The further downstream you are the more times the water has been thru the
cycle.Sometimes this water gets bottled and sold for premium prices. The
sparex used as a pickle is sodium bisulfate. You can buy this at the
grocery store in areas where swiming pools are common.It is used to control
the pH (acid -alkaline) level that helps keep the water clear. Alum an
amonium sulfate is also used as a coagulent to treat drinking water. it has
the same ions ultimately as sparex. You are picking up some copper etc in
both the etching and pickling process so this is a little different.
Neutralizing with baking soda is a good idea since it better for the iron
pipes. In the west water is so alkaline that acid wont get far but will
precipitate the carbonates as it neutralizes in the pipe . Unless you are
a major factory producing these things it won’t hurt the treatment plant or
the enviornment. The fertilizer you put on your lawn does much more harm.
Golf courses are terrible for streams. Phosphates in laundry soap are also
bad for waterways. If you were a steel mill producing truckloads of waste
pickle acid you very well might sell your waste acid to a city to treat
water. Organic solvents, paints etc are a somewhat different matter and
don’t belong in the sewer. Am I in trouble now!! Jesse


#4

John,

You are a babe! I never thought of that! How about kitty litter, the
clumping variety? Is it OK to toss in my regular garbage after
evaporation?

I will have to try this right away. I thought you would pick up on this
thread and provide the right answer. BTW, what is the scoop on citric acid
and pitting?

Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
416 Main St.
Woburn, MA 01801
781/937-3532
http://www.metalwerx.com/
@metalart

Current Artwork:

https://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/karen1.htm


#5
    G'day Karen;  if you poured your ferric chloride waste  into trays of
sawdust and let the sun evaporate the liquid, it might not cost you quite
as much to cart it qway. 

Be careful. There is a plater here in Houston doing electroless nickle,
and he was using sand to absorb the toxic refuse and letting it dry. He
basically gave this sand away to a local dirt yard in order to get it
hauled away. The dirt yard sold the sand to someone to fill their yard and
a sandbox, and the people noticed something amiss with it from the children
playing in it. This plater is now liable for the cleanup, being sued by
everyone, and was fined by the EPA, to say nothing of the free publicity
he received from the local media when it was discovered what had
transpired.


#6

The plater should have known better. Nickel salts and chrome salts are both
toxic and I’m sure he knew it. These are not in the same catagory as iron
salts and the limited ammount of copper salt in spent sparex-
sodiumbisulfaste reswidues. Neutralized nitric acid pickle is a good
nitrate fertilizer just dilute it a bit to avoid overstimulting the grass.
Jesse


#7

Hi, Orchidians

It is never cool to “dump” chemicals down the drain…

“Think globally, act locally”

How many DuPont’s or Monsanto’s have said “hell, it came outta the ground
didn’t it, lets just dump it back in.”

The metals we use have small impurities called heavy metals, some still
have cadmium in the solders, especially old stocks of solder.

These contaminate at extremely low levels. Parts per billion!!!

They are called “persistent” cause they hang around in the ground and in
human tissue.

We have more environmentally friendly ways of disposing of waste.

I say “more” because even our land fills are not really as well designed
and installed as they can and should be

Think about it, kitty litter just absorbs the waste…it does very little
to nothing to neutralise the contaminants.

When we neutralise an acid or alkali all we are doing is adjusting the ph
of the chemical…cool thing to do but it doesn’t not necessarily make
it non-contaminating.

This is a really important topic for discussion, every suggestion is
fantastically important to us now and to future generations.

If we don’t educate ourselves, we will do the “Roman” thing… only the
wealthy could afford to use those high class bright red ceramic cups and
plates…oh, yeah that is a low fired lead glaze… guess
who got all the benefits of lead poisoning…

Never take what anyone else(including me, of course) says as “gospel” , do
the research… open a search engine and read about these things. This is
"the age"

:>)

Orchid ROCKS,
Peace out,
Bill

http://www.mysticmerchant.com Jewelry,Gems,Crystals ICQ# 8835495
Contemporary, Metaphysical & New Age Symbols of Personal empowerment
Web Monk WebSite Design Service 334-645-9081


#8

G’day. There is no way anyone can sensibly compare the amount of waste
pickle, or ferric chloride waste from a jeweller with that from an
electroplater. The quantities involved are incompatible. Furthermore how
was the plater to blame if the sand merchant sent it to anyone who put it
into a sand box? That was surely no blame to the plater. Pity that the
good American people are so much in thrall to the 'ambulance chasing’
lawyers. Cheers. PS: I do believe we are slowly catching that disease!

        /\      John Burgess
       / /
      / /      Johnb@ts.co.nz    
     / /__|\
    (_______) Modern Corporate Song (Very last verse -

promise!):-
Robin Hood: what a crook! Gave away what he took
Charity’s fine - subscribe to mine
You gotta pick a pocket or two
Chorus; Charity flowers - subscribe to ours
We gotta pick a pocket or two


#9

Okay Bill:

You’ve made a valid point. BUT, what if you generate a certain amount of
toxic waste while doing your thing? Can you afford to pay the huge
disposal costs? Even if you do, what is your assurence the "athorities"
won’t simply neutralize the acids, dry the liquids and dump them same as
you would? Once there’s a poison, how do truly make it no longer poisonous?
Is it possible to make cyanide “earth friendly”? My point being, you’ve
shown us the problem…what’s the solution?

Best;
Steve Klepinger


#10

Chemical disposal

One useful thing to remember is that “acid plus base(caustic) equals salt
plus water”.

That was something I picked up in freshman chemistry (too many) years ago.
It’s stood me good stead. I work with a lot of acids, and a big box of
baking soda is always handy. You mix it in until the reaction stops.

I like using the cat litter idea, it’s better than pouring the neutralized
solution on the ground or down a drain here in shallow water-tabled FL.

Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
afn03234@afn.org OR @Ron_Charlotte

#11

Hello John B. in NZ- Yes, I rather agree about the amounts with the plater
and such, but I was trying to say in this country of ours, one should be
very careful about Disclosure of what a material is, especially a toxic
one. This is how it works in an oligarchy like the US- If you’re a big
company like Anaconda, etc, well, you can mine anything you want, in any
way you want, and leave all the tailings to pollute the ground water with
heavy metals, etc. and you don’t have a rumble from anyone. And on top of
that, you get to do it basically free and on gov’t owned land. If you’re a
small business and do something like this, you’re bait for the EPA and the
lawyers you refered to. This entire country is going GREEN, and that’s
great, but what about the multinational companies? The people who purchased
the sand went back to the dirt yard owner about it, he claimed he wasn’t
told about it by the plater, so the plater ended up with the fines and
lawsuits. (and rightly so, I’d say) The Dirt man hauled the sand away for
free without knowing what was in it, although one could say he should have
known something was amiss by the very fact that it was free,and quite some
distance from any dunes.


#12

It is and was the platers legal ( and moral ) responsibility to despose of
this type of waste in a regulated manner. This type of material is only to
be disposed of to a responsible licensed disposer in a licensed regulated
toxic waste dump. This costs money to do. The plater found a way arround
this and violated his legal and responsibilities. Some govt. inspector also
probably did not do his job. The dirt vendor may may not have been guilty
in conducting an illegal disposal business. There is nothing wrong with our
methods of attempting to handle the handling of industrial quantities of
these very toxic materials. We have had some very bad waste dump
experiences. The bureaucrats have made handling some of these a real mess
when you consider what they consider hazardous. Big old dumps are "cleaned"
up by the goverment and billed back to the original waste generator if they
can be found. Small quantities of non industrial waste such as being
discussed in this forum contain basicly insignifigant quanties of a
material naturaly found in the domestic waste dispoal system. Many of these
are not toxic unless you eat them with a spoon. Iron is in the waste system
from the iron consumed in food, chlorides, nitrates are present from sewage
anfd fertilizer . sulfates are naturaly present in all our water and
continue naturaly as part of the waste stream, The quantity of copper
removed in pickle acid is almost non existant on a quantity basis…
Manufacturing Jewelers generating larger quantities of this type material
are subject correctly to the existing regulations. Citric acid is used in
many chelating metal cleaners but small sacale use of it offers zero
ecological benefit. This is all a matter of having a reasonable
perspective. Jesse


#13

The first rule in dealing with any material containing cyanide is NEVER
NEVER put it in acid or allow any acid to come in contact with it. Acid
will generate Hydrogen Cyanide gas which will kill.

But Cyanide is easily TOTALY destroyed.

The simplest process using simple easily obtained household chemicals uses
plain laundry bleach (sodium hypochorite) and lye (sodium hydroxide). This
results in common salt (sodium chloride) and Soda ash ( washing soda or
sodium carbonate) in water.

The result is totaly non toxic with regard to cyanide. Any contained metal
salts are still there and may be toxic by themselves.

Any one doing Electroplating should have at least have looked at the
Electrochemical Engineering Handbook and copied pages relative to their
usege of the process.

A lot of books on this subject are currently out of print including this
one. This makes a library vist appropriate. An engineering school library
may be required depending on your library system. Search AMAZON.com for
electroplating books. I don’t have copies of or I have seen many of these
so I can’t give a review or any other suggestions. check the used book
services the books may seem expensive but then coffins aren’t cheap. Jesse


#14

steve - you asked ‘bill’, not me, but here’s my answer to you questioning -

  what if you generate a certain amount of toxic waste while doing your
thing?    Can you afford to pay the huge disposal costs?
  • steve, if you’re making any profit on products creating toxic waste &
    not factoring in the cost of disposal, you’re cheating not only yourself
    but MY children’s children & let me tell you that’s not what grown-ups do.
Even if you do, what is your assurance the "athorities" won't simply
neutralize the acids, dry the liquids and dump them same as you would?
  • steve, instead of continuing copping out of contacting the authorities
    because you can’t trust them to properly dispose of toxic waste, why don’t
    you get off of your a - ah - shop stool & go check it out - make certain
    they do!
Once there's a poison, how do truly make it no longer poisonous? Is it
possible to make cyanide "earth friendly"?
  • steve, why don’t we all just flop on the ground, moaning & groaning
    that there’s already toxic waste on the planet & we’re all dooooooomed! OR
    you could try a very radical approach to the problem: BE RESPONSIBLE FOR
    YOUR OWN TOXIC WASTE & INSIST THAT OTHERS DO THE SAME. h.a.n.d. ive

what if you do generate toxic waste with your work’ & can’t afford to
dispose of it safely, not knowing if the authorities are disposing of it
any more properly than you could, can we make cyanide ‘earth friendly’: if
you’re making any profit on products creating toxic waste & not factoring
in the cost of disposal, you’re cheating not only yourself but your
children’s children. if you’re copping out of contacting the authorities
because you can’t trust them to use disposal, that’s not only valid


#15
    The Dirt man hauled the sand away for   free without knowing what
was in it, although one could say he should have  known something was
amiss by the very fact that it was free,and  quite some distance from any
dunes 

Not really. Free dirt/sand/gravel/fill is hauled here and there all the
time. Some places have fill that’s not wanted, some places need fill. If
you’ll pardon the expression, sand is dirt cheap - it’s the hauling that
costs money.

OTOH, if he sold it to someone else, I would think he has an obligation to
know the suitability of the product.

Al
mailto:@Alan_Balmer


#16

Once there’s a poison, how do truly make it no longer poisonous?
Is it possible to make cyanide “earth friendly”?

G’day; You can make cyanides relatively innocuous by adding ferrous
sulphate or any iron salt in solution. This results in the formation of a
ferrocyanide, which is not soluble. In fact, artists have used it for ages
in the form of ‘prussian blue’ Ferrous salts are given as an antidote to
cyanide poisoning - but you’d better be quick! But having said that, I must
add that the words ‘poison’ or ‘toxic substance’ have a very close
relationship to ‘too much’ For instance, most people put sodium chloride
in their food at every mealtime in the form of table salt. But there have
been deaths, - particularly of children - of those who have drunk strong
solutions of salt in water. Then there is potassium chloride - as
innocuous as table salt. But it is given as a lethal injection in some
states of America. Oxygen is essential to human life. But too much for
too long is poisonous. Nitrogen is an inert gas - we breathe heaps of it
all the time, but if you breathe it under pressure, as scuba divers do, it
becomes a narcotic and causes death. Most people know that nitroglycerine
is the active constituent of dynamite and is extremely explosive. But it is
used to revive heart attack victims. And strychnine is well known to be
very poisonous - but is used in medicine a good deal. And how about
nitrous oxide, used as an anaesthetic? Many of today’s pressurized canned
foodstuffs such as cream and olive oil are pressurized with nitrous oxide.
Oh - I could go on and on ad nauseum (as they say) but you wouldn’t read
it.

There is an answer; EDUCATION; LEARN!. Know what you have to deal with in
everyday life, and use commonsense. It isn’t possible to protect everyone
from everything. Now, is it? Cheers, and try not to go overboard with the
doom and gloom merchants. –

        /\      John Burgess
       / /
      / /      Johnb@ts.co.nz    
     / /__|\
    (_______)  We have daffodils, and crocus in bloom, and I can

smell the scent of daphne . I saw new born lambs dancing in the paddocks
yesterday. I can hear the love songs of birds as I type. The sky is
blue and the breeze is warm. And envy gets you nowhere.


#17

I have heard(read) much discussion in regards to the use of and disposal of
toxic chemicals by those of us in the jewelry business. It may not be as
simple as I seem to make it;however,it’s not as complicated either. If
everyone ,not just those in our business,would treat “Mother Earth” as
lovingly as they would treat their lover,wife,sweetheart,mother,sister,they
would NEVER poison her. With
respect, John Running Horse Barton,Images By JJ


#18

Okay John, you’ve made us all envious- you can stop now.) The little
lambies indeed! Also,you have to remember that it is all relative, and HERE
it’s even illegal to send motor oil out with your trash,(even if you soak
it up with sorball first) as it’s considered toxic, a pollutant to the
ground water, and you can be fined for it. You understand that this is the
Galveston Bay estuary, and the oil companies have been refining and
disposing for years with impunity, to say nothing of the chemical industry
here. No telling what they’ve dumped in the ground water over the years,
intentionally and accidentally. I think this is the 3rd most polluted
estuary in North America, and a Superfund site. And the funny thing about
the federal government people, they like that figure $10,000.00 a lot for
some reason. You know, as in fines and as in per plate fund raisers. At
least if I dispose of it properly, I don’t have to worry about being
liable for it later. And the same thing is accomplished by paying someone
else to take responsibility for it’s disposal. It’s a cost of doing
business here. Regards-


#19
         At  least if I dispose of it properly, I don't have to
worry about being liable for it later. 

yes you do.

among the other ridiculous and unconstitutional laws we have been
addled with [mistype, i meant saddled, but i like it anyway], YOU
are responsible for the company that hauls it off. even if you have
checked that it is properly permitted by state authorities. of course
they won’t be considered liable if they give a permit to Sanford and
Son who takes it out to a county road and dumps it.

or , your permitted carrier could take it to a permitted disposal
that has a leaky ground barrier, and guess what, you are responsible,
along with the carrier and the company[ies] that made your chemical to
start with.

it is called cradle to grave. you are even responsible if the
company that made it goofed.

isn’t it comforting to know how much our government cares for us?


#20
         among the other ridiculous and unconstitutional laws we
have been addled with [mistype, i meant saddled, but  i like it
anyway], YOU are responsible for the company that hauls it off. 
even if you have checked that it is properly permitted by state
authorities. of course they won't be considered liable if they give
a permit to Sanford and Son who takes it out to a county road and
dumps it. 

Have you seen cases of this, or references to applicable law? In
cases here, that has not been true - the licensed disposal company has
been held solely liable. I don’t have detailed references, but can get
them - my brother is a DEC investigator.

Al
mailto:@Alan_Balmer