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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Methanol accident (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Cliffg37
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Inner circle
Long Beach, CA
2490 Posts

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On January 4th at a school somewhere in New York, a young boy was burned over 50% of his body in an accident involving the chemical methanol. Methanol is the simplest form of alcohol, and is very useful in demonstrations involving chemicals that burn in different colors. The unbelievably common accident occurred because someone did not move the full bottle away from the area after safely pouring the required amount into the apparatus.

This common accident is so easy to avoid. Move the darn bottle away. That's all at will take, and now some poor innocent student is suffering and probably scarred for life.

Sorry to rave, but as a science teacher, and a trained safety man, it makes me so angry. Some accidents are unforeseeable, some should never happen.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
EsnRedshirt
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Newark, CA
895 Posts

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Sad.

I wonder how many science classrooms have burn marks in the ceiling from the old "sodium + water" demonstration. I'm guessing quite a few. That's another one that's caused some injuries.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3WZ5deHhQM
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Cliffg37
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Inner circle
Long Beach, CA
2490 Posts

Profile of Cliffg37
Better the ceiling than someone's eye. There was a monumentally stupid teacher who put an ingot (The size of 2 human fists next to each other) of Sodium into a large plastic trash can full of water. One student lost an eye, several were burned badly by the scalding hot water splash that resulted. Luckily the teacher was wearing protective goggles and a thick apron and was not hurt in the explosion. The proper way to do that demo is with a piece of sodium the size of your little finger nail. Pouring mineral oil on top of the water first, blocks the explosion and allows full (safe) viewing of the reaction.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Methanol accident (0 Likes)
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