Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:35:40 -0600
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: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: Chemical Safety headlines from Google
As a followup, the main active component of chili peppers is capsaicin,
IUPAC Name 8-methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-nonenamide
, CAS 404-86-4. Chilis also contain several related chemical comp
ounds known as capsaicinoids.
There is actually a rating scale for the "hottness" of chilis:
; the Scoville scale. Pur capsaicin has a Scoville rating of 16 M
illion, while jalapeno peppers have a rating of about 2,500 and the hab
anero pepper, said to be the hottest, rates from 300,000-500,00&nbs
C&E News had an article on this in the November 3, 2003 issu
e which was quoted on-line in Science Daily: http://www/sciencedaily
There's also an informative entry on Capsaicin in Wikipedia.
Given the molecular formula of capsaicin of C18H27NO3 and its Molar Mass of
305.41 g/mol, I would suspect it and similar compounds would not be dete
cted by the types of instruments usually carried by HAZMAT responders.
That ought to be enough on this topic from the peanut gallery here in Laram
Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:55:27 -0400
ject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google
25, 2011 2:03:33 PM EDT
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google
I will say t
hat I remember working in a major Emergency Department in El Paso, Texas
many years back when we had quite a large number of late-middle aged Hispan
ic women coming in complaining of chest tightness and chest pain. After about the 4th ot 5th one
, we got smart enough to ask them if they were working, and if so, wh
Turned out t
hat it was the end of the chili growing season there and they were all empl
oyed as temps in chopping and roasting chilis for a mexican food plant in A
nthony, Texas. A si
te visit gave me the same symptoms.&
nbsp; After some discussions with management, ventilation was si
gnificantly improved and the "epidemic" of what looked clinically rather li
ke angina chest pain disappeared.
by on I-25 near Hatch, NM which arguably grows some of the hottest chili
s in America during the roasting season is sufficient to cause eye and uppe
r airway irritation.
And yes, a
s an ol' boy who spend a lot of years practicing medicine on the US-Mexico
border, I love to eat chilis!
I would also
doubt that standard HAZMAT team detection gear would detect the various ir
ritant organic compounds released from roasting chilis, but maybe someone
who knows detection devices better than I do could comment.
Maybe the ne
ighbor should just have made a big pot of chili con queso and invited every
one over for a picnic?
Alan H. Hall
25 Apr 2011 10:14:03 -0400
[DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google
Re: fumes ca
used by heating chilies.
=93The Hazmat unit was unable to
detect the cause of the fumes because it was organic=85..=94
I=92m a bit at a loss.<
SPAN class=ecxApple-converted-space> I would crack a joke
about the chilies being raised without the use of pesticides, but the sta
tement shows such a lack of understanding that it=92s almost scary. I hope it was the reporter t
hat was clueless and not the people entrusted to make knowledgeable decisio
ns about potentially hazardous situations.