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What is the most dangerous chemical that you know about


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Yup :) but water covers 70% of the Earth surface :) much easier to go into water than taking a dip in a dangerous chemical container (which are most likely closed anyway / or have protection barriers to prevent you from doing so)

It would be really worrying if any really toxic chemical which we only have in small quantities on Earth(compared to water, it's insignificant) could account for more deaths than water accidents :) water drowning is not a result of the water directly killing you - it's merely preventing you from getting enough dioxygen to sustain the body.

Edited by sgt_flyer
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Potassium

Highly combustible

Not really. If you had a jar-sized lump of potassium and tried to ignite it, it would start a smouldering metal fire. If the lump is thick enough, it wouldn't even finish burning because oxygen can't reach through all the oxides covering it like moss. They also react with the moisture in the air, forming a deliquescent hydroxide that just cakes up the metal. That's why alkali metal fires are best dealt with by covering them with dry sand and just leaving them like that for a while.

When the thing cools down, one can pour mineral oil (or kerosene, if you're sure what you're doing) to wet the pile and then slowly dig out the metal, clean it with a knife and put it in a jar of kerosene.

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Potassium

Highly combustible

If you're going with the alkali metals because of their reactivity with water, you may as well go with the most reactive one, Francium (Fr). It is also so radioactive that there are thought to be only a few grams of it on Earth at any one time.

Nitrogen (N2) is by far the most abundant substance in the atmosphere, so how about anti-Nitrogen?

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The most dangerous chemical would mean something notoriously difficult to work with to ensure the safety of the person working with it, right?

That must include both fierce radioactivity, easy dispersal, chemical reactivity and poisonous properties. Chlorine trifluoride is a kitten compared to these.

Transuranics in metallic forms are a good candidate. They corrode in atmosphere to form a powder charged by alpha rays they emit, and can also catch metallic fire. Extremely radioactive and produce lots of heat by decay.

Metallic radium and polonium. Radium is a soft, very reactive earth alkali metal taken up by body and it emits a blast of gamma rays. Polonium is a radioactive chalkogenic element (oxygen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium group - taken up by body) and macroscopic amounts heat themselves up very fast.

Metallic strontium-90. It would probably burst into flame because its radioactive decomposition would heat it up. Also produces electrically charged powder of hydroxide and carbonate.

Liquid radon. Cryogenic liquid, absolutely bonkering radioactive, needs constant heavy cooling, absolutely tight seals, ventilation. Inert, but good luck handling it.

Iodine-131 in elemental form. A nightmare difficult to describe. Perhaps not a good thing to include as it is gone in a short time, but it is a nightmare. Elemental iodine is extremely volatile and when you add heat released by the radioactive decay, and the fact our thyroid wants it, ugh...

If you're going with the alkali metals because of their reactivity with water, you may as well go with the most reactive one, Francium (Fr). It is also so radioactive that there are thought to be only a few grams of it on Earth at any one time.

There is no use for mentioning francium because we never made a macroscopic amount of it. With such a short decay halftime, we probably never will.

Hypothetically, it would be a very hot liquid under vacuum because of the decay heat.

Edited by lajoswinkler
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Any anti particle will react with an regular particle. It does NOT matter what element it is!

Yup. The charges cancel out, and the masses of the two AMUs [represented in kilograms for energy conversion because of E=mc2​] become raw energy [100% efficiency]. A kilogram of the stuff, when colliding with regular matter, produces

1.8 • 10​17​J

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Yup. The charges cancel out, and the masses of the two AMUs [represented in kilograms for energy conversion because of E=mc2​] become raw energy [100% efficiency]. A kilogram of the stuff, when colliding with regular matter, produces

1.8 • 10​17​J

They do not become raw energy. They become gamma photons. Energy is not a particle, it is being carried by particles.

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We managed to turn this thread into a fountain of nightmare fuel :) I'll add one more - chlorine. Toxic gas that turns into an acid in the throat and lungs, burning you from the inside. It is also a strong, corrosive oxidiser.

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I have one I haven't seen mentioned yet...

There's this stuff called Perchlorethyline... I think that's spelled right.... we used it in a factory I worked in way back when to degrease computer components.... and it is foul!!! I lost count how many times my department cleared the room when someone opened the degreaser too fast. That's all it took... open it too fast and the fumes would make you so sick!!! People would drop whatever they were doing and literally run for the door!

The labels said it's quite deadly.... and I'm afraid to think what it's done to those folk that worked in that place their whole life breathing in that crap... ;.;

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We managed to turn this thread into a fountain of nightmare fuel :) I'll add one more - chlorine. Toxic gas that turns into an acid in the throat and lungs, burning you from the inside. It is also a strong, corrosive oxidiser.

All halogens are a nightmare, with fluorine being the worst, ignoring astatine because we never made it in macroscopic amounts. Although chlorine is more powerful oxidizer, bromine is probably worse to deal with because it's a very volatile liquid producing thick, dense fumes which linger and cause wreckage in the lungs. It behaves like a very concentrated chlorine. A bit less oxidizing, but it redeems itself with its density. I've actually made lots of high purity larger amounts in my life and I can say that although it's a very nice looking element, it's not something anyone can deal with.

I have one I haven't seen mentioned yet...

There's this stuff called Perchlorethyline... I think that's spelled right.... we used it in a factory I worked in way back when to degrease computer components.... and it is foul!!! I lost count how many times my department cleared the room when someone opened the degreaser too fast. That's all it took... open it too fast and the fumes would make you so sick!!! People would drop whatever they were doing and literally run for the door!

The labels said it's quite deadly.... and I'm afraid to think what it's done to those folk that worked in that place their whole life breathing in that crap... ;.;

That would be a trademark name, and those are often horribly against all logic and rules of nomenclature. I think you're talking about tetrachloroethene, the degreasing fluid. It has a sweet odor, not foul one. It is an anaesthetic and a central nervous system depressant, and in high enough concentrations it feels warm and fuzzy in your lungs, douses your will to live like a candle in low oxygen environment. Very similar to chloroform (trichloromethane) which is sweeter.

Seems to me your factory had an extremely low, criminally negligent occupational hazard mitigation ethics. I'd understand if that happened in China, but in USA? Those people exposed to it chronically in such high amounts have a high probability of developing hepatocellular carcinoma or cirrhosis.

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Well, most stuff on "Things I Won't Work With", of course.

In my view to be a contender for "most dangerous" a chemical needs to be not only potentially lethal, but extremely difficult to handle safely except in amounts small enough to be harmless. So anything that's been used as a chemical weapon is out of consideration since it was safe enough for soldiers to handle. Any rocket fuels that went beyond early experiments are out of consideration for the same reason.

Radionuclides can be very dangerous by that standard, especially either an easily-ingested alpha emitter or a strong gamma emitter, but they run into problems with "chemical" if only some isotopes are very dangerous.

So probably an excessively sensitive explosive, maybe C2N14. Then again, to be really dangerous we want something that not only explodes if you look at the wrong way, but produces viciously toxic gas when it does. Any ideas?

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Well, most stuff on "Things I Won't Work With", of course.

In my view to be a contender for "most dangerous" a chemical needs to be not only potentially lethal, but extremely difficult to handle safely except in amounts small enough to be harmless. So anything that's been used as a chemical weapon is out of consideration since it was safe enough for soldiers to handle. Any rocket fuels that went beyond early experiments are out of consideration for the same reason.

Radionuclides can be very dangerous by that standard, especially either an easily-ingested alpha emitter or a strong gamma emitter, but they run into problems with "chemical" if only some isotopes are very dangerous.

So probably an excessively sensitive explosive, maybe C2N14. Then again, to be really dangerous we want something that not only explodes if you look at the wrong way, but produces viciously toxic gas when it does. Any ideas?

All nitrogen trihalogenides except the trifluoride. They are all contact explosives and release their constituent halogens. Trichloride is a liquid that wrecked Dulong and Davy and probably more less famous scientists and others back in those times.

Tribromide is a deep red solid that probably never harmed anyone because it was synthesized in cryogenic environment in the 70s in small quantities under a lot more safety considerations.

Triiodide is easy to synthesize but I also don't think anyone got wrecked by it. A tiny grub of it made me deaf for a minute or two a long time ago.

All of them are notoriously sensitive explosives, unusable for such usage.

Mercury(II) fulminate is less sensitive, but also something you want to handle very carefuly, and upon detonation it releases gaseous mercury and its soluble cyanide.

Edited by lajoswinkler
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Well, most stuff on "Things I Won't Work With", of course.

In my view to be a contender for "most dangerous" a chemical needs to be not only potentially lethal, but extremely difficult to handle safely except in amounts small enough to be harmless. So anything that's been used as a chemical weapon is out of consideration since it was safe enough for soldiers to handle. Any rocket fuels that went beyond early experiments are out of consideration for the same reason.

Radionuclides can be very dangerous by that standard, especially either an easily-ingested alpha emitter or a strong gamma emitter, but they run into problems with "chemical" if only some isotopes are very dangerous.

So probably an excessively sensitive explosive, maybe C2N14. Then again, to be really dangerous we want something that not only explodes if you look at the wrong way, but produces viciously toxic gas when it does. Any ideas?

Do you know why chlorine stopped being used as a chemical weapon? Because every time it was used, it killed similiar amounts of soldiers on both sides. No matter who released it. If that's not "difficult to handle" i don't know what is.

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Do you know why chlorine stopped being used as a chemical weapon? Because every time it was used, it killed similiar amounts of soldiers on both sides. No matter who released it. If that's not "difficult to handle" i don't know what is.
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H2O.

Everyone who ever drank it, died.

Doesn't count, because you'll die if you DON'T drink it, too.

And aging doesn't count.

Seriously, WATER DOES NOT BELONG IN THIS THREAD. STAHP.

Sarin doesn't count becuase it's not toxic to things that don't have nerves. It won't kill a single-celled organism.

Plutonium is still top on my list for elemental toxicity.

It readily forms PuO2 when exposed to moisture from air. This PuO2 occupies 40% more volume than the solid metal, which causes it to turn to a very fine powder. That powder is pyrophoric, radioactive, acutely toxic, chronically toxic, and alpha decay means it all gains the same charge, which has the effect of making it much easier for wind to blow it around.

And it's half life is 24,110 years, which means that it's going to stick around for a long, long time. Unless of course it's run thru a reactor, but even then the decay products are still highly radioactive and poisonous.

Edited by SciMan
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Without breaking any nondisclosure agreements.

Organic hazards can be broken into two categories. chemsafety and biosafety hazrds. Per unit these supercede in any other hazard known, you can look these up on wiki. for chem safety hazards the criteria is known sa LD50 per kg or gram, there are a few that are in the microgram per kilogram of body weight or lower, one comes from a bean and the other comes from a relatively common deep soil bacteria. In th biological saftey things like ebola, anthrax, spanish flu, etc, I have never worked with these biologicall safety hazards.

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That's a good one oil

it will get every were. It is highly flammable and it poisonous it kills wild life when spilled and it is a pain in e wallet to clean up,

Oil is not highly flammable. Highly flammable things are hydrogen, low hydrocarbons, phosphorus, etc. Crude oil is mildly flammable. And it does not kill everything. Anoxic bacteria are happy with it, and there are also bacteria that eat it. If that didn't happen, oceans would look very crapped up from the oils released by putrefaction of other organisms.

Plutonium is still top on my list for elemental toxicity.

It readily forms PuO2 when exposed to moisture from air. This PuO2 occupies 40% more volume than the solid metal, which causes it to turn to a very fine powder. That powder is pyrophoric, radioactive, acutely toxic, chronically toxic, and alpha decay means it all gains the same charge, which has the effect of making it much easier for wind to blow it around.

And it's half life is 24,110 years, which means that it's going to stick around for a long, long time. Unless of course it's run thru a reactor, but even then the decay products are still highly radioactive and poisonous.

Plutonium dioxide is not pyrophoric (it's a refractory material), but plutonium powder and shavings are.

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