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
In-Reply-To: <FAFC681C-C814-414E-94B1-1518AFE311EA**At_Symbol_Here**>

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 p;Scoville units.
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 .com/releases/2003/11/031104064123.htm.
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 ie, WY.
Alan H. Hall, M.D.

Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:55:27 -0400
From: secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG
Sub ject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines from Google
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LI ST.UVM.EDU

From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**>
Date: April 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 ere.


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.


Even driving 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< /DIV>
Alan H. Hall , M.D.


Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 10:14:03 -0400
Subject: Re: [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.


Kay Calhoun< /FONT>


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