Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 07:29:27 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Christopher Suznovich <snuz**At_Symbol_Here**MAC.COM>
Subject: Re: Chemical Safety headlines from Google
In-Reply-To: <a05200f03c832bddea673**At_Symbol_Here**[]>
Mixing the acetic acid and sodium bicarb would not cause this situation and mixing bleach with ammonia don’t cause pulmonary edema but causes you to pass out if you breathe the vapor in.

The problem is that the foaming drain cleaners have a high concentration of sodium hydroxide and hypochlorite and have a warning that they can have a tendency to foam back into the sink and after 1 hour they faucet should be run for at least 5 minutes with hot tap water to flush the drain cleaner down the drain completely.

Having used the foaming drain cleaner before, I can say that if the room is closed off or sealed without any ventilation, the odor from the chemicals is very strong and could cause irritation to the eyes, lungs and skin until the room has been properly exhausted.  The product will foam back up the drain when you pour it out of the container at first and after the 1 hour some foam typically remains in the sink around the drain until flushed.  

Can’t find anything on Runo. Mixing the 2 though could have caused the smokey conditions and the prolonged irritating fumes.


From: Anne Skinner <Anne.R.Skinner**At_Symbol_Here**WILLIAMS.EDU>
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**>
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 2010 11:19:03 -0400
To: <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google

There's another problem with this.  Neither acetic acid nor sodium bicarbonate are ammonia-based.  Ammonia is in cleaners, especially window cleaners, and certainly can make your eyes sting, but it is not involved in the reaction as described by Chief Belau.

Anne Skinner

From: "Samuella B. Sigmann" <sigmannsb**At_Symbol_Here**>
Date: June 7, 2010 9:12:24 AM EDT
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google


..."I poured liquid plumber down the drain, two hours later I poured Runo down the drain and two hours later I poured another bottle of liquid plumber," says Hunter.

And that created a chemical so toxic, that even he didn't want us to go inside more than 12 hours later.

"It bubbled up started smoking and burning my eyes and I couldn't breathe so I got out of the house," says Hunter.

...We had Chief Belau demonstrate what can happen when acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate, both commonly used in household cleaners, are mixed together.

"You'll be able to see a chemical reaction as the two combine," he says.

Although this combination isn't toxic, it is poisonous.

"Anytime you mix an ammonia-based product with a bleach or an acid you get a bad chemical reaction...scratchy throat irritated eyes if you're exposed for too long you can develop something called Pulmonary Edema which is where the little air sacks in the lungs lead fluid and it causes trouble breathing," he says.

>Although this combination isn't toxic, it is poisonous.

From* *for the definition of _toxic_: * "containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation"


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Dr. Anne Skinner
Chemistry Department, Williams College
47 Lab Campus Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267

Phone:  (413) 597-2285
Fax No: (413) 597-4116

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